Price paid: $ 732
Purchased from: Aylesbury Music Shop, Bucks, UK
Sound — 10
It's easy to look at this guitar and say it's a metal guitar and can't do anything else but that is VERY wrong. I've played very soft clean tone pieces on this guitar that sounded better than on my Yamaha acoustic and on the other end of the scale I've totally powered out an Ibanez one of my friends has. The tone is a very rough yet quite cheery (think classic 80's metal), though if dropped to C tuning it's a very nu metal sound. I use it with a Marshal MG series amp going through a Korg multi effects block and all of the 90 odd effects sound fantastic and the sound is fantastic. The whammy bar is an excellent feature and can withstand the most ridiculously powerful dives in history and still remain in tune and because of the whammy the range of PMing you can get is much greater then through body stringed guitars. The ony dislike I have is the occasional feedback that comes through when the amp is very high (e.g. 9 or higher) but other than that, the sound is a solid and versatile one.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression has not changed in the year and a half I've owned this guitar, I still belive it has not only given me more confidence but has also improved me much quicker than if I had still been on my Strat. The guitar is highly reliable and extremely versatile and is a joy to play (also is MUCH lighter than just about every other guitar around). I don't know of anyone else who is as happy with their guitar as I am and I know quite alot of guitar owners. The only thing I would like to see is an active EMG neck pick-up instead of the passive one. This guitar would be sadly replaced if lost or stolen as it has quickly become my own guitar and not just the guitar I play every now and then (sad I know). I would highly recommend to any player no matter what experience level except an absolute begginer as it does require some skill to play.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is a definate gig go-er without a backup, I've seen it used by Metallica and Evanescence and I doubt that it would cause any trouble live, especially with the locking headstock to prevent de-tuning. Generally I believe this guitar could withstand a nuclear war with only a few scratches... maybe not even the scratches. The only problem I've found is that the volume control has gone la-la and crackles whenever used (soon to be sorted out). Other than that little niggle the guitar was and has remained in perfect condition, even after several... err... "incidents" that may or may not involve door frames.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar when I bought it was perfectly set up (though this may have been down to the shop I bought it at), the body and neck itself was in fantastic condition and all feels very sturdy. the Floydd Rose is nicely fitted into it's home and doesn't look as if it will ever be coming back out which is reasuring.
Features — 10
2 EMG HZ passive pick-ups, 3 way selector Switch, 2 way locking Floydd Rose whammy, 1 tone 1 volume control, Reverse headstock, Alder body, Strat style body, Bolt on maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 24 Jumbo frets, Mother of pearl shark inlays, Colours - Black or Gun metal grey (though I have seen a blue one before).