Price paid: $ 730.17
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 9
People that say this is a metal guitar are just jealous and are trying to put you off buying it. Yep it's good for metal, but with a clean sound it gives better speedy jazz scales and licks(summertime, nature boy, take five, girl from ipanema). Any corny pop chord progressions can also be created really easily with the neck pickup eg. matchbox 20, saybia, Live, Snow Patrol, Coldplay. I play it through a AVT150w Marshall or Washburn Bad Dog, not the best amps but it still delivers great tone(that's what counts). The bridge pickup could be slightly hotter (high pitch squeels are hard to reach) so if you love Jimi Hendrix, look elsewhere. I may change it for an EMG-81. This guitar sounds great for dire straits, Rise Against, White Stripes, Alter Bridge, Metallica (...And Justice For All), Franz Ferdinand. If you want a cheap alternative to a Gibson this is great. any kind of harmonics come as easily as regular playing on this axe.
Overall Impression — 10
I love the neck humbucker and the maple neck with easy harmonics. I hate the tone control (it has no strength unless you lower the master volume too, which sucks because you lose your effect volume (e.g. the grit in distortion) but that's pretty much all I hate, and that can be changed easily. The only other thing that slightly annoys me is the fact that it's bolt-on, I think it might miss out on some valuble sustain, but still a lot better then similarlly priced contenders I played eg. Epiphone les pauls, Squier Espirits and ESP Vipers. I've been playing 5 years (2 years of classical training) and played in 4 or 5 largish concerts as lead and rhythm. I have not played many great guitars but have played my fair share of crap guitars, and I can safely say, this is true music to my ears after the trash I've had to endure. I've not given a '10' before because I'm very pesimistic. so I'll give a '10' now because I'm so chuffed with this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will indefinately outlive me and all my future generations. Nothing can destroy this guitar except itself. One must always arm oneself with a backup guitar, but if it ever decided to slip into a deep sleep, I would probably replace it with the closest H-S-S equivilent or one of its EMG siblings.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar came in great condition, eventually (I had to wait 2 months because the jacksons were sold out or sumin stupid like that, but it was worth every minute). I had to adjust the bridge slightly because the bass strings were thick and buzzed a bit, but that only took about 2 minutes and most of that time was to find the screwdriver. The first fret had a couple of small scratches but after a week of constant playing it's invisible. one of the tone knobs came loose after a bit too, but that was a 20 second job because I had the trusty screwdriver close at hand from previously.