Price paid: A$ 1500
Purchased from: Reakton Studios
Sound — 7
I play a wide range of music and this guitar works well for most. It works best with rock and metal but is significant for blues and other styles. It gets a great rock sound on my Marshall MG-15CDR practice amp as well as large stacks I have used, it even gets a good sound out of my Vox headphone amp. It if a fairly quiet guitar but does pick up static from mobile phones etc very easily and loudly, more so then my other guitars. All up it has a great variety of sounds but is at home with rock and metal.
Overall Impression — 10
Over all this guitar is worth what I paid and then some. It is fine instrument. It works so well for hard rock, soft rock, rock, metal, post hardcore, hardcore and death metal. I noticed it has a perfect sound for "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" as well as most Dethklok songs. I've been playing for almost 4 years and have a Ashton electric and a B.C. Rich Warlock and the Jackson Stars is 10% better then both of them, I was tossing up between this and a similar priced Jackson V and the stars sounded better for softer tones and was at least on par for heaver styles. I love every thing about this guitar and the neck is amazing, the through neck makes getting to the high frets easy, the only thing I don't like is where the strap attaches at the neck makes it difficult to play high notes on the low e string when standing but that is a necessary fault as there is nowhere else for a strap button to go. I'm considering installing a modular pre amp and changing the pickups but that's only for it to suite the style of music my band plays a bit better. All in all if you play rock or metal I highly recommend this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definitely with stand live playing, and as soon as I have the chance I will test it. All the hardware seams of good quality the only thing that might need replacing at a later date would be the three way selector those things never last. The strap buttons are solid as a rock. I would never use any guitar at a gig with out a back up, I've see what can happen, but if any guitar can do it this would be one of them. The finish is top shelf stuff the only wear it has after little over a year of continuous playing is on the very tips where it has cracked and chipped a little.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It was set up near perfect from the factory, I only made minor adjustments and that was more for preference the pick-ups were adjusted to perfection and all of the hardware and the finish was immaculate. The controls are solid and smooth, and the three way selector is also solid although t is easy to bump it out of the middle position.
Features — 9
Made in Japan in 2002. It has a striped ebony fret board with 24 jumbo frets. It has a alder body with maple through neck. It has a limited edition Blue swirl finish. It's a Randy Rhoads V style body with a string-through body bridge and passive Seymour Duncan pickups (SH-1N and TB-4). It has two volume controls and a tone as well as a three was selector. It came with a soft leather bag.