Sound — 5
I play thrash metal which is why I bought this guitar (I'm a Megadeth fan boy). It sounds raw as hell. Fairly high output however unless playing clean the neck pick up is absolutely atrocious, do not ever use it. So that's right ladies and gents, it's yet another guitar with a neck pick up for show. Lead and rhythm on the bridge, trust me don't even experiment. However I did mention the neck on clean and it does sound nice with just a touch of reverb. One thing I must add though, I use noiseless cables and this guitar still gives horrible feed back when not being played which brings down my overall rating in the sound area.
Overall Impression — 8
This matches the style of music (Thrash) very well in terms of sound and durability. I wish I'd asked about the trem before buying but too little to late I suppose. If it were stolen or lost I wouldn't buy this but the ESP equivalent because for the same price they give you a fixed bridge instead of this Licensed Floyd Rose nonsense and pick ups that are far better voiced than these. I love the look and feel of the guitar, the sound is mediocre and I hate the trem. I wish it had a better trem and better voiced pick-ups but for now playing my small time gigs and jamming in my room they will do.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Now this is where this guitar shines. Though it's floyd may well not be usable Live and it's finish is very easy to wear away, this guitar takes a good beating. I never play with a back up because I don't use the trem and I know this guitar will get me through the night rather easily and with such great looks as well. The fine tuners on the floyd get in the way a little when picking at great speed ( I pick close to the bridge when speed picking because that creates less tension) but other than that this guitar takes a beating which is important in thrash.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The locking nut is an abomination. The alon key screws that hold the locking nut in place ware down really easily I've even tried using alon keys made out of softer metal but it just doesn't work. The floyd goes out of tune with every dive, sometimes only one string, sometimes them all. I'm not really fussy when it comes to string action etc. as long as its not outrageously high.
Features — 6
The guitar I got was made in 2006 with a 25.5" scale neck and 24 XJ frets. The neck is paper thin and very fast. The neck is made of mahogany and has a rosewood fingerboard. A bolt on construction as well as a basswood body to keep the guitar nice and cheap with a very boring black finish that chips very easily but at least the chips ad character to your guitar. It has quite possibly the worst Licensed Floyd Rose you should ever come across which is meant to be "low profile" but I find the fine tuners still get in the way. Duncan Designed pick ups I didn't care enough to check what they where exactly I'm sure another review will have. Not much other to say except for the guitar looks absolutely amazing.