Price paid: $ 814.35
Purchased from: Peter Cook's Guitar World
Sound — 10
It's fairly obvious from it's vicious looks that this guitar is just begging for distortion, and it doesn't disappoint. The bridge JB provides an audio kick in the face when you stab at powerchords and chugs like a runaway train when you apply some Slayer-esque gallop rhythms. The neck pickup is best at lead playing, providing a smooth, warm tone. Even with extreme distortion and bass, your sound doesn't end up all sludgy, notes keep their clarity no matter what. Roll the volume controls all the way down and instead of muting the guitar, you are given a warm, bluesy clean tone that starts to snarl when you really dig in hard. The clean tones really surprised me. From a typical 'metal' guitar you would expect all the atention to go into the filthy side of things, but the Jazz pickup in the neck, and both pickups combined, provide a great clean sound with plenty of character. Perfect for any time you want to roll off the gain and lay down some atmospheric arpeggiated chord sequances.
Overall Impression — 10
I tend to play mostly metal and shred which this guitar suited perfectly, but it coped extremely well every other style I threw at it, from blues to Indie and funk. This guitar is extremely versatile and will excel in any situation. I ran it through my Marshall MG100DFX and Jim Dunlop Original Wah, and with it I achieved new sounds from my set-up that I couldn't with my other guitars (Jackson JS30KV and a Westone Goth). If it were stolen, I would hunt down the thief and beat them to death with an amp. Failing that, I would definitely buy another. I love everything about this guitar, but the EDS finish really makes it stand out from the crowd. I even manage seated practise with it, something you barely hear about a V-shape guitar. I bought this guitar happily over a Dean Razorback (665), a USA Custom Shop Jackson KV (1399) and an Ibanez JEM (1299) and to this day, I am still to regret it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar can handle Live playing really well, the tuning's solid as a Diamond, it balances perfectly from a strap around my neck and as the input jack is located on the upper part of the 'V', your lead is kept well out of the way of your feet. The strap buttons are solid as hell, but I would personally Switch to a locking set. You should take extra care about dropping a guitar this pointy. I have complete trust in this guitar, but I would take along a backup, a string breakage will spell catastrophe otherwise (the tremolo will plummet into the body, every string will go out of tune and it will take a while to fix. That's how it is with locking trems, so it's no surprise).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
On my model, the Floyd Rose was perfectly balanced and the action is amazing. It's so low that bends and legato seem effortless, but with no string buzz at all, anywhere along the fretboard. The neck is thin like an Ibanez, so shreddy runs were a pleasure to play. The pickups were at optimum height, just enough treble, just enough bass. The Floyd Rose kept it in tune, even after extreme whammy bar use. Switching between pickups is kept totally silent, even on a high volume and distortion setting. The volume knobs glide effortlessly with none of that stickiness you get on cheaper models.
Features — 10
The RR3's body is a beautifully crafted piece of alder with a bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with shark-fin inlays and 22 jumbo frets, more than enough for all but the most hardcore widdlers (but even then it's got enough). When I originally went into the store I was after the black finish, but my eyes alighted on the Eerie Desert Swirl finish, and I just fell in love with it. Looks aside, it has some top-notch hardware on it. Featuring a fully-licensed Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo, Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups (the famous JB model in the bridge and a jazz model in the neck position), separate wolume controls for each pickup. This is the kind of hardware you would expect on guitars costing way more than the RR3.