Price paid: $ 429
Purchased from: Gallucci Music
Sound — 9
Amazing is the first word that comes to mind. The sounds that you can get from this thing are insane. In the humbucking position you get very gritty deep tones (Avenged Sevenfold rhythm/Silent Civilian) which is perfect for any kind of drop tuning. The coil tap feature gives you a slightly brighter bite to your sound without giving up too much thickness. In the middle pos. it sounds very Gibson-ish and is the perfect setup for punk rock or alternative stuff like zebrahead and stuff like that. The bridge pickup is SO bright and clean and is perfect for basically anything that you would normally use a Strat with. If you coil tap that pickup you get a slightly softer tone with less bite and a little smoother sound. Both pickups are completely silent. I noticed it first when I played direcetly in front of a CRT Television, a computer monitor, and had fluorescent lights on. I then tried to make it feed so I kicked on some ungated distortion and put it directly in front of my Vavleking with everything full blast and I finally got some. Needless to say, these pickups are awesome.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the perfect guitar for me. It is pretty much a PRS SE killer. it's got better looks, better playability, and a cheaper price. Although the tone rivals a PRS Soapbar or Gibson LP Studio. I play everything from Brad Paisley-SRV-Santana-Avenged Sevenfold-Metallica-Silent Civilian-TransSiberianOrchestra-CCR- to Steve Miller Band. This things got you covered. Just learn how to setup your pickups! My friend cannot get the sound that he wants when he plays it because he doesnt't know how to adjust the coil tap to suit his needs, just learn to use the coil tapping and you will have every sound you need. If this thing was stolen I would track that person down and disembowel them while they are still alive. The only flaw is the lack of locking tuners, but that is going to be remedied soon enough, then it will be perfect!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing feels like a tank. You know that feeling you get when you pick up a Vintage Fender? That feeling of invincibility? it's the same with this guitar. It is heavy (like a Gibson) and the buttons and hardware are just as good as a Gibson (except they don't lock, but they stay in tune perfectly, even when in a gigbag). The finish is very nice and thick. The back I'm not too sure about as all of my guitars (even the fenders) get buckle rash after a while.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action and setup was great. The Strings were old, but can't expect much more from a Guitar store. The bridge pickup was a little low to really pick up the harmonics the way I like it, so I raised it about 1/16" and it was perfect. Everything was perfect and in great shape. If you get one, get the walnut finish, it's to die for. All controls were tightly fitter as well as tuners. The only thing I noticed was that the bridge wasn't locked, but I just grabbed my allen wrench and locked one of the ends and it was perfect.
Features — 10
Are you ready for a single cutaway with no sacrifices? One with every feature needed to build the ultimate guitar? If you're ready the Patriot Custom is your new favorite guitar. The list of extras on this one is too long to include completely. We start with an extra deeply carved maple top on a hand selected mahogany body. The set-in neck is tightly fit to assure maximum sustain and performance. Installed in this best-in-class body is a set of Rockfield SWC Pickups. Rckfield Pickups are built using the same high-end all USA Made components as many collectible humbuckers. The Rockfield SWC Pickups give the Custom a high output edge, while retaining a deep rich tone. To give you the full impact of these special pickups we have direct mounted the pickups and include a coil tap for each pickup. Normally humbuckers are mounted from plastic rings, suspending them apart from the full vibration and tone of the body. We attach them directly to the maple and mahogany body to draw every ounce of sound out. The coil taps allow you to switch each pickup from a full humbucker tone, to a single coil tone with a simple push-pull pot. No detail was overlooked on the Custom; it has an ebony fingerboard, recessed control knobs, Grover tuners, real abalone block inlays, TonePros locking bridge and an amazing flame maple top. We could go on and on, but the best bet is for you to get your hands on one and check it out for yourself.