Purchased from: Thomann.ie
Features — 8
Ok, so first off, this guitar was made in China in mid to late 2014. Starting off with the neck, it has a 24 fret maple neck, a maple fretboard with black sharkfin inlays and white binding around the edge of the fretboard which adds a nice, visual touch to the guitar overall. The neck has a light, satin finish which makes fast position changes very easy. The tuners are non-locking Jackson tuners which are fairly decent.
Moving on to the body, my model is the snow white finish but this guitar is also available in Black, Transparent Red and Amber as far as I know. The body's top is basswood and is lightly arched which is also a nice addition to the aesthetic. The body shape is your general superstrat shape but with slightly pointier horns. Another nice feature is the neck scoop at the heel where the neck plate is slightly recessed into the body.
The hardware is also fairly decent from what I can tell, I've had this guitar for about 3 weeks now and it plays perfectly, the knobs are sturdy, the Floyd is rock solid tuning wise and the headstock tuners are good as well. Moving on to the electronics, It has 1 volume and 1 tone, a 3 way pickup selector and 2 passive Jackson ceramic humbuckers which have quite a high output. This guitar came with a set of Allen Keys, a set-up manual and the whammy bar for the Floyd.
Sound — 8
Ok so, I'm running this guitar through a Boss ME-50 into a Roland Cube 60. I mainly play hard rock and metal but I also play around with other styles such as blues and funk. Some of my favourite bands are Rage Against The Machine, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera and Evile just to name a few. I also play a lot of instrumental stuff by Satch, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Jason Becker. This guitar sounds great through my rig for all of the above, anything that involves heavy distortion really, the bridge pickup has a full, heavy tone that cuts through a band mix very well. The neck pickup has a nice, warm tone that sounds great for shred. The clean tones are nice in the middle position and the bridge but the neck pickup sounds a bit hollow and tasteless in my opinion. This is probably due to the neck pickup being a ceramic magnet as opposed to something like an Alnico II which would be lower output.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup was great out of the box, nice low action, bridge fairly parallel to the body and the neck was straight. It came with a set of 9's from the factory but the stock strings weren't great so I swapped them out straight away for a set of D'Addario 9's. I restrung it, adjusted the bridge plate just the slightest bit and then I was off! After scouring the guitar up and down for flaws, to my surprise I couldn't find any at all! The only thing I noticed was after excessive use of the whammy bar the assembly which holds it in place under the bridge came loose but all I had to do was tighten it up from the back and it was perfect again.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only had this guitar for about 3 weeks and have played two gigs with it already. As I said already, the hardware and the guitar overall is rock solid and holds up well in a gigging environment. I put a set of Dunlop straplocks on the guitar not out of necessity, as the stock strap buttons were solid, but simply the fact that I like to be sure that my strap won't fall off whilst playing resulting in a broken headstock or something. I would bring a backup guitar to a gig while using this guitar purely for the fact that it has a Floyd which is a nightmare to break a string on mid-gig.
Overall Impression — 9
So overall, I think this is a great shred-worthy guitar for the price, I'm impressed with the guitar as a whole both sonically and visually and would consider getting another one in the future to use in Eb. I've been playing for 3 and a half years and my rig is a Boss ME-50, a Roland Cube 50 and two strat copies. If this guitar was stolen, I would do my best to hunt down the ****face that stole it pummel him to death. If I couldn't manage that though, I would buy another one mainly because of the high quality for the price of the guitar. My favourite thing about this guitar is probably the Floyd, the stuff you can pull off with it is crazy such as the cool flutters and Satch-like squeals and I just can't knock it out of tune at all, from dive bombing until the strings drop off the fretboard to raising a note up as much as a 5th, this guitar stays in tune, which is especially surprising since this is a licensed Floyd. As I said above, there were no flaws I could find with this guitar at all surprisingly. One thing I wish it had is a kill-switch for all the RATM stuff, but hey, that can be easily installed.