Price paid: € 289
Sound — 8
I play mostly metal, rock and punk, but I sometimes also play blues, jazz, bossa nova, pop, and other styles. It is very good for my heavier sounds - good sustain and warmth, and if I want a brighter, thinner sound, I can pop the coil tap for a more strat-like sound. Very good versatility, this guitar can pull a fat growl, and messing with all the 6 different configurations (between 3-way selector and coil tap), you can get some different sounds. However, this only holds true when playing with zero to medium distortion, because when I play heavier rock or metal, the coil tap does not feel like it's affecting the sound at all. I use it through a Peavey Vypyr 75, with the Sanpera I pedal. I use only the built-in effects and distortion. It has very little, almost none fret buzz ( in a scale of one to 10, I'd say it has 0,6 fret buzz) and it's practically negligible. However, it appears to have a lot of fret buzz from factory (nothing a good set-up won't fix) but all in all, it sounds very good. I have played it with some friend that had other guitars and I could compare it to active EMG pickus guitars, and I've got to say, it stood up very well indeed.
Overall Impression — 8
This is definitely a good guitar for everything from metal to pop, and everything in between - like punk and blues. Especially considering it's price. I mean, are you kidding me?! Guitars with inferior quality than this are sold at 350+ ! For the amount of extras this guitar has (FR, great looks, coil tap, volume bleed mod) and for the sound it produces, A more reasonable price would be like 450. But it's not, and I think this was a great buy. I have been playing for more than 3 years now, and up untill now, I only had a low-level Ibanez starter guitar, so this was definitely a step forward. However, beware of the FR: it's not the est out there, and if you are unsure, you should just buy the fixed bridge version. If it was stolen... I don't know if I'd buy it again, but I probably would. I will probably mod it - either active pickups or something DiMarzio. Other than that, it's already perfect for me. One of the thing I live about it is it's mad looks. It's a killer sexy guitar! One thing I hate... It's bigger than the Standard guitar dimension. I have a rigid guitar in which I can fit my other guitar easily, but this one needs some twists and spins to fit in there. I don't know why or what exactly it is, but it is bigger than it should. All in all, a very good guitar, especially if you want versatility, 24 frets with a great access neck, FR and all the cool things this guitar has. If you are in a tight budget, or even if you aren't and you just want a great guitar, I would strongly recommend this.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't played it live yet (well only if you count jamming with my friends), but I have had playing sessions of more than 5 hours, and it holds pretty well. Because of the FR, it needs 10 seconds fine-tuning every other hour, and I would imagine more if you abuse the FR (which I don't), but other than that, it's fine. The hardware seems, for some reason, a bit more frail than my other guitar, but if you don't go around throwing the guitar to the walls, it will surely last long. I probably wouldn't use it in a gig without a backup, but that's because I'm obsessive compulsive, lol. The strap buttons are probably solid, but still, I swapped them for straploks, again, because I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff. The finish in the body and headstock seems perfect, but the neck is wearing out very fast. However, I applied fret cleaner to it, and it revived pretty fast. The guitar, being black, gets a lot of fingerprints on it, I'm afraid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Like I said, the guitar's set-up was a bit off, with fret buzz in the E and A string, but al other strings were fine. Medium action, not as low as I would want it, but if I already had fret buzz like that, I won't lower it even more. The neck pickup was perfectly adjusted, but the bridge pickup is a bit off. Nothing noticeable from more than 20 cm away, but still, under closer inspection, it was a few milimetres up from where it should be. The bridge sits perfectly where it is supposed to, and all other functional parts work properly. The FR is also very responsive: in a friend's Ibanez Edge III bridge, you have to pull it almost all the way down to notice any wham, while in this guitar's FR, the slightest touch in the bar is instantly noticeable. This can be a bad thing. I found, however, a few aesthetical flaws in it: the headstock had a 1 mm radius dent; the neck's angle is about 0.5 degrees off; and the glood finish ends abruptly 2/11 ths up the neck, only to restart again in the headstock. All in all, some things could be improved, but nothing noticeable or nothing that affects the guitar's performance.
Features — 8
The guitar is Kramer Assault 220 FR black w/ red binding. From top to bottom: -> New Kramer headstock (black), with new Kramer logo (white), red binding -> Mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard -> 24 frets, 25.5" scale, 14" radius (feels like Ibanez's wizard necks) -> Red binding and red thorn inlays -> Set (glued in) neck -> Mahogany body with red binding, gloss finish -> Les Paul style body (single-cutaway) -> H-H passive pickup config (cool detail in how each of the single coil pickup of the humbucker in of a different colour than the other; from neck to bridge, they go like this: black, red, then red, black) -> Floyd Rose style bridge -> Volume knob, 3-way selector switch, tone knob with coil split (pull it out and it will turn the humbuckers into single coils) -> Volume bleed For more info.