Price paid: $ 329.4
Purchased from: Music Warehouse, Colchester
Sound — 8
I play a very diverse collection of music, from metal to funk, and this guitar does them all reasonably well. It's made for metal; the pickups tend to add gain to my sound, but that's the way I like it. I'm using this guitar through a Roland Cube 30, and it matches up nicely with the sounds on the amp. The Pickups provide warm round cleans with high output, high gain distortion. I am surprised by how good the pickups are - I've never been a fan of stock pickups, but TBH, I prefer these EMG knock-offs to the actual EMGs I have installed in my other guitar. Unlike other guitars I've played, the tone knob actually does something and The volume pot is a gradual change; it doesn't suddenly jump to nothing at about 3 quarters of the way round. I give it an 8 because it doesn't seem to handle twangy cleans very well (But then they are humbuckers so I'm just being picky). Remember though - 80% of your sound is the amp you play through.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I am happy with this guitar. It looks good, plays well and feels nice to play. Metal is in this guitar's soul. Play metal with it! Strangely enough, it plays jazz and light funk well too. If this guitar were stolen or lost I would definitely buy another one. My favourite feature is the rhythm pickup. It sounds great! I wish it had a harder body, because I am a bit clumsy with it. Before buying this product, I wish I had asked how to change the strings. Make sure you do!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will last a few years without any serious work needing to be done on it. Be careful when you change the strings! Not for the new guitarist to attempt. You must keep to the same gauge with a floating bridge like on this guitar. The Floyd Rose is built to last, I don't feel scared as I dive. The hardware may need a bit of extra shielding (it buzzed slightly when I got it), but that's a small job. The fretboard just needs the odd clean when changing strings, or some of that fretboard polish that smells like oranges!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I ripped it out of the box on Christmas morning it was tuned, set up and ready to go. I had to lower the action a bit, I like it lower than average, and much later I heightened the pickups but that's my preference. The Floyd Rose was dead level with the body, which I wasn't happy with. In fairness to the people at Jackson Guitars, that's how it's meant to be set up, but I prefer it leaning back a little so that I've got more diving room. There was nothing wrong with this guitar when I opened it. That said, after having it a while I noticed that the wood really is quite soft, as well as the finish. This a guitar you'll have to be very careful about bumping. It dents easily.