Price paid: $ 539.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
So I've been playing for about 5 years and just recently started getting into heavier metal (mostly because now I can play it). The sound of this DK2M is not as versatile as some other guitars, but if you're playing metal, this guitar has every sound you could imagine, If you use the right tone and pickup. I'm using a 150-watt Line 6 Spider III amp so I have a few effects to mess around with. I've taken the distorted and clean tones from Metallica, and they sound great. I even played Mastadon on this guitar and with the right settings it sounded perfect! And if you don't want just cranked distortion, you don't have to change amp settings, simply turn down the volume on the guitar. I went from playing Master of Puppets to Back in Black by simply adjusting the volume on my guitar (admittedly a few other tones on the amp, but that was just to sound like Angus Young). I know a lot of people say this is simply a metal guitar, but I think it's more for just any rock in general. One thing that really impressed me the most is that while my amp was cranked (and I sit about 2 feet away from it, facing the amp) there was NO noise. None at all. I thought that was the greatest thing to have coupled with the amount of distortion that I had on.
Overall Impression — 10
From playing mostly metal, I can say this is the guitar you want to buy if you're on a lower budget. Sure there are others out there for metal, but my price range was anything under $700 (that's what my Preferred Player Card was approved for:D). Every kind I looked at under $700 either felt like a piece of crap in my hands (necks were not slick, pickups sounded bad, or a lot of noise with the amp) and once I picked this guitar up I knew this was the one I was going to get. Yes I know it sounds cheesy, but I originally set into the store to buy an ESP, so that tells you something when you can pick up some guitar and just know that's what you're going to get.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I really can't say anything on reliability, since I haven't taken it anywhere yet. However, the associate at Guitar Center told me that the guitar has been on the floor for 4 months. So, taking from the, the very little wear on the guitar from being in an environment like that really speaks to its durability. The white body is great for hiding any kind of blemishes or anything (that's why I didn't get the black one).
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I really can't say much for assembly in the factory since I bought mine off the floor. But from the as a floor model, the guitar was in pretty good condition. It had a small ding in the neck near the nut, which kinda pissed me off, but isn't the fault of the factory assembly. The volume knob was a little loose, so I had to tighten it down (I'm assuming that's from factory since people don't really come into a guitar store and start pulling on knobs). However, other than that, it was perfect.
Features — 10
Body: alder. Neck: rock maple with scarf joint. Fingerboard: maple with 14-inch to 16-inch compound radius. Number of frets: 24. Fret size: jumbo. Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan TB-4 JB humbucker. Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan SH-2n humbucker. Controls: master volume, master tone. Bridge: Jackson licensed Floyd Rose tremolo. Pickup switching: 3-position toggle: bridge pickup, bridge and neck pickup, neck pickup. Hardware: black. Scale length: 25.5 in. Width at nut: 1-11/16 in. With all these specs, I believe there are 2 worth emphasis: the Floyd Rose trem and the locking nut. It is incredible how far I can dive with the whammy bar and still stay in tune (I know a few of you reading are going to say, yeah but that's just engineering, it's on plenty of other guitars, and yes you're right). I love the resonance I get out of it (even while diving). The neck is very thin, which is great for shredding. I really couldn't believe easy it was to play on this guitar! Just so you can see what I'm talking about, I was playing Enter Sandman on a Gibson Les Paul Studio, so you could imagine how big the neck was that I was used to playing on. The scalloped heel is great for when you want to reach the frets passed about 20 or so. Two final things that were great: the neck is extremely slick and the strings are very close to the neck; this is great for playing some quick solos or anything of the sort.