Sound — 10
Like I said before, this has EMG 81's and 85's, that can punch out anything from Metallica to Primus to Deep Purple. Any kind of rock, metal, punk, generally whetever you play, this thing can do it. I know because I play all three through my Line 6 Spider III 75. It doesn't hum and hasn't given me hardly any feedback since I bought it five days ago, and I have used it extensively since then. If you want something with more variety and choice than the closest Wal-Mart, you'll want this guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing since January 07, though I started to practice vigorously in November of that year, and continue to do so today. I play a lot of classic rock, hard rock, metal and metalcore, etc., and this guitar fits all of them like Richie Blackmore, Angus Young and Alexi Laiho all played the exact instrument in question. This is an excellent instrument for the aspiring musician, and after playing over 30 guitars in the store, including the ESP Alexi-600, Gibson Slash Signature and the most expensive Stratocaster I could find, this was my favourite. I have no regrets with buying this guitar, and if it were stolen, I'd hunt down the ******* and beat it from HIM in a heartbeat. It comes with everything I need, a fast, slick neck, great pickups, and a name that no one can accuse me of getting because I'm a "fanboy". I genuinely love this guitar, and will keep it forever, for me and my family.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is built tough. I've already dropped it right onto my bedpost and no scratches or nicks at all. The hardware looks like it will last a long time, and ths guitar is easily tour worthy, even if you only play the local bar once a month. The strap buttons are well placed, and don't move at all. I would depend on it without a backup, and even my guitar teacher, Who does everything to do with guitar making, repair, etc. in my town of 7, 500, says if he lost his custom-made guitar he slaved at for four years, the first thing he would do would be call me up and ask for mine. The finish doesn't scratch easily from what I can see, and it's a very trustworthy guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up very well at the factory. When I got it, the action was incredible, though I like to have my neck to feel like glass, so I did get the local tech guy to do very minor adjustments, that probably weren't really necassary. The pickups were positioned to the perfect height, the double locking bridge was clamped so even after a rough ride on a gravel road, it was still in tune very well when I got it.There were no flaws what'soever, and after about a half an hour of testing in the shop, I bought it.
Features — 9
I'm not sure what year this guitar was made, but it must be a newer model since the old one had EMG-HZ passives in it. This sucker comes stock equipped with a pair of active EMG 81's and 85's. There is a little sticker on the neck saying "Made In Japan". This factor, however, should not take away from anyones perception of this guitar. This guitar has 24 jumbo frets, with a thin, fast maple neck and a compound radius fretboard, making for very easy, slick and incredibly fast playing. It comes in a variety of finishes, including cobalt blue, cobalt blue swirl, black, black forest and and trans black. The body is a comfortable Strat-style shape made of solid alder, unless you get a transparent finish, in which case the top becomes maple. It has a Floyd Rose Licensed Bridge, not as good as the original, but you can still dive-bomb all you want and it won't come out of tune, as long as the blocks are clamped tightly enough. There is a 3-way pickup Switch between the tone knob and volume knob, because there are only two knobs altogether. The tuners are Jackson tuners, which work well enough.