Purchased from: Hollowood Music and Sound
Sound — 8
I generally play fast, intense metal and rock, and mostly lead parts and this guitar suits those styles perfectly well, the HZs can handle a lot of volume and distortion without buzzing noticeably. I'm running it through a Rocktron Tri-Wah and Crate GLX 65 amplifier (the lead tone is to die for). The only downside is that the clean tones aren't particularly beautiful, but honestly if yu're buying a guitar with EMGs you're probably not looking for the greatest, most sparkling clean sound. Another thing to note is that it seems like the Turbocharger has a lot more effect on the volume of the guitar on a clean amp setting than it does when it's distorted.
Overall Impression — 8
This is a solid rock/metal guitar. I've been playing for a little over three years, and prior to purchasing my DKMGFF in December of 2006, I had already owned an ESP Viper-50. There's no question that the DKMGFF is the superior of my two guitars. I would probably not buy this again if it were stolen, but that's only because I'm saving up for an Ibanez JEM 7V WH and I need all the money I can get. I love the flame inlays. reverse headstock, and super-low action. Before having bought this I strongly considered an Ibanez RG350, but as soon as I saw this guitar I fell in love with how commanding ithe DKMG looked. I wish I had waited it out and bought the newer version with the 81/85s, but I got a sweet deal due to a combonation of the guitar being a floor model and a Christmas sale. I'd reccomend this to any rock/metal player looking for a solid guitar for well under $1000.
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar is definitely durable, it has withstood Live playing on multiple occasions, and the hardware is rock-solid. The only time the guitar ever failed me is that a few months ago, the headstock cracked around the high-e tuner (at the bottom, since it's reversed). I've heard about this happening to other DKMG owners, which makes me think it's a general design flaw in DKMGs, not just my guitar. However it is easily fixable and it only cost me $35 my local music store to remedy the problem, in fact I've heard it can be done simply with superglue. The finish seems spot-on. The only reasons I'd use a backup Live with this guitar are because of the Floyd Rose making alternate tunings a no-no, and because I'd be afraid to snap a strign because I ahve that tendency. Not Jackson's fault.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was a bit high when I first purchased the guitar, but it was a floor model so I expected that. I've had it adjusted since, and I must say that it has the lowest action of any gutiar I've ever played without string buzz, which bodes well for shred/intense solos. Everything else was set up perfectly fine.
Features — 9
This is a 2006 model made in Japan. It's got 24 jumbo frets with very cool flame inlays on a bolt-on maple neck (25.5 inch scale legnth). It has a reversed headstock. The body is carved-top alder with a glossy black finish, it's the Standard Jackson superstrat body style. It has a licensed (read: cheap) Floyd Rose bridge, but it's the perfectly acceptable black kind and not the terrible chrome kind. It has 2 EMG HZ's, although the newer models have an 81/85 combo, with the three-way selector and Jackson's Turbocharger system that lets you give the pickups a 20db boost (activated by pulling up on the bottom knob and then turning it to your desired level). Other than that control it has a volume and a master tone. It's got Standard Jackson tuners. All the hardware is black.