Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Brickhouse Music
Sound — 10
I play mostly Thrash, Alternative, and Metal, so this guitar is absolutely perfect for all of those styles. I use the EMG setup I mentioned before, through a DigiTech GNX4 Guitar Workstation, which I run through a Peavey Bandit 112. It has very bright, crunchy sound when I use the bridge pickup and warmer tones at the neck. I can play everything in my catalog with this one guitar, anything from Megadeth, Ozzy, and Metallica to Nirvana or Pearl Jam. I never have to Switch, since this one does it all.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I play thrash, metal, and alternative, and this axe is perfect for all of those styles. It is a great match for my technique and everyone says it looks good on me too. I have been playing for 8 1/2 years, and I have two other electrics. I have a B\.C\. Rich Warlock and an Epiphone Gothic '58 Explorer, and this is by far my favorite axe. The neck is very speedy and the sound and setup is magnificent. If this were stolen, I'd be so pissed off, but yes, I would certainly buy another one. I love the tone I get out of this guitar. I don't think I hate anything about it, but I wish the tuners were a little less touchy. My favorite thing (as bad as it sounds) is probably just the way the black EMGs look against the quilted red finish. Very bad-ass. I compared this to the Gibson Flying V and the Jackson Rhoads model V, and this one just seemed to play and fit better than the other two. This guitar is f*cking awesome.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing would absolutely withstand the Live gigs. The harware seems like it would last, but I might replace the tuners with something a little less touchy. I replaced the strap buttons with some Schaller strap locks, and they are as solid as can be, but the original buttons were also set very well. I would not use it at a gig without a backup, because I would never use any guitar at a gig without a backup. You can't be too careful. However, this is a very reliable guitar. The finish is very attractive and seems to be very even and durable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Setup was okay. I lowered the action a bit (since I have to play a ton of fast solos), and then it was fine. I had to play around with the bridge to correct some minor intonation issues, but that's all part of the game, you know. Pickups were a little too close to the strings for me, but a few turns with a screwdriver and that's easily corrected. The only flaw was that it had a small chip in the plastic nameplate on the headstock, but that's purely cosmetic. Other than that, the guitar was in mint condition.
Features — 9
This axe is well worth the price. I'm not sure when or where it was made, but it has a 24 jumbo fret bolt-on maple neck. Fretboard is made of rosewood, with shark-fin inlays. My specific guitar has a laminated top with the quilted finish. The body is made from alder and the neck is maple. Much cooler looking than the Gibson-style V. It has a JT390 adjustable bridge with string-thru body for bad-ass sustain. The guitar came with Duncan Designed HB-102 pickups, which actually weren't bad, but I replaced them with an active EMG 81/60 setup, and the EMGs give this guitar the perfect tones for metal and rock. It has two humbuckers with a volume and a tone knob, and three-way selector Switch. The tuners are just the stock ones put on by Jackson, and they can be a little sticky and hard to turn with thicker strings, but that is the only complaint I really have about this guitar. It didn't come with any accessories, since I bought it at a small town music shop, and we all know that they don't want to give you too much bang for your buck.