Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Private Seller
Sound — 7
I play mostly punk, thrash, and some metal, and this guitar handles them all well. I have a GT100 Hartke head on an Ibanez 412 cab and it sounds great. It was clearly built for thrash and metal, and fits the bill. The sound is solid, nice highs and crushing low end sound as well. Sustain is excellent. The only thing about this guitar is the clean sound leaves much to be desired, although that may be the EMGs. Its not the best sounding guitar out there but its comparable for the price.
Overall Impression — 8
Its a perfect guitar for my purposes (punk/thrash/metal) and I think the kind of person who's turned on by the Rhoads body style will love it too. I've been playing for just over a year and I own a Squier Strat Bullet and a Greg Bennet Malibu (Strat copy) the Greg Bennets clean tones are superb, but its not a metal guitar. I'd probably have to get something else because its so hard to find this guitar that hasn't been trashed by some kid. I love how comfortable it feels, and how it doesn't dive like some RR3s I've played. The neck is my favorite part though I hate fat necks. My least favorite part is the frets, I don't like jumbo frets I like tiny frets so I can lower the action super low for easier playing. I compared it to a bunch of other 200-400 dollar guitars (think LTD, Epiphone) and this one was best for me.
I wish it had a neck through body, but I didn't pay for a neck through body, so I can't complain.
Reliability & Durability — 8
There are no broken parts after 14 years of use, so obviously this guitar is solid. My rule is take care of it and it'll take care of you, and that's true of anything. If I played live I'd be using this, with a back up because not having a back up is asking for trouble no matter what guitar you have. The strap buttons are great, I normally lock my straps on with bottle caps but it wasn't necessary with this guitar. The pots and switches are solid too.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The neck is where this guitar shines, its super thin but doesn't warp and is very solid. The paint has help up well, only some loss of gloss where arms have rubbed it away at the top of the body from 14 years of playing. The intonation was dead on and the action was nice and low but clean. (no buzz) The tremolo works great, I've had no problems with it, I've never used an original Floyd but I don't see much room for improvement either. The pickups like most guitars only take a second to get set where you like, so no problems there. The high frets are also very accessable even for small hands like mine, which is very important to me. If they're there, I want to play on them.
Features — 8
Its a 1996 made in Japan.
22 jumbo frets
Solid poplar body with a maple bolt on neck and rosewood fretboard.
White dot inlays
Rhoads body style with high gloss paint
Two passive humbuckers, mine came with EMG 81/83 setup (not stock)
Jackson Floyd Rose Licensed double locking tremelo
2 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector switch
Standard non-locking Jackson tuners
Comes with hardshell case