Price paid: £ 469
Purchased from: Bad Dog Music
Sound — 9
The sound that this guitar gives off when put through a good amp (Line 6 Spider Valve III) is actually very good quality. You can play anything from heavy metal such as Disturbed and Metallica on it, to blues/rock type of music like Joe Bonamassa and AC/DC. The pick-ups make no sound whatsoever when not playing and the guitar sounds great in all pick up ranges and tone varieties.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall dispite the downers, this guitar is pretty good, not quite as good a value for money as I'd like, but that's life. I've been playing for over 4 years now and this guitar is suited to me in terms of shape, action and sound. I it were stolen, then yes, I would be quite upset because I bought it myself (I'm only 18). There isn't really anything on this guitar that stands-out more than any of its other features (other than bad tuning stability). I was originally going to get the less expensive Epiphone Prophecy SG for 349 which had a tune-a-matic bridge and grover tuners! But due to travelling issues I was unable to buy it. It has now been more than two years since I purchased it and it hasnt changed since then in sound or reliability. Overall a pretty good guitar, although for the reasons stated, I wouldn't actually recommend it.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This section is when the guitar lets itself down... considerably. At first the guitar's tuning seemed fine... for about a month, until I started to notice that whenever I tightened (or loosened) the higher end strings, the tuners would often make a slight ping sound and knock that string more notches out of tune than I wanted. After it makes the pinging sound once it's fine, because the tuner has been loosened enough then and you could go up and down with that strings tuning as much as you wanted without a hiccup. Also, on the high end strings, one bigger bend than usual or even a simple USE of the tremolo bar knocks it out of tune. I now no longer use the tremolo bar at all, although just wiggling it slightly to get a nice bluesy stevie ray vaughan-like vibrato out of it is fine. The above points don't happen all the time, but enough to annoy you. But like I say during a playing session, when the guitar does it once, it usually doesn't do it again for a while ( an hour?) But I would NEVER take this guitar to play live without a back-up, my 130 4 year old Ibanez GAX30 holds tuning better and to me, if a guitar can't hold tuning properly than its value is instantly knocked right down.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar appears to have been set up fine at the factory, the action is low, the finish was undamaged and the guitar didn't appear to have any immediate flaws at first glance. The finish is spotless (despite being duller than first thought) if you're going to buy this in blue, get the other blue variation other than whale blue. See next section for more details.
Features — 7
I will spare you the finer details of this guitar as the reviewers above me have already covered that to a tee. The finish is actually questionable, when I saw photos of it, it looked a lot brighter than it actually is (usually guitars are true to their photos). So you can imagine my initial thoughts when the guy at the store unpacked it for me and I saw that it was in fact much duller than the photo suggested. You have to catch it in the right light for the finish to look bright. The control knobs work fine on it and the pick-up configuration is fine. You also get a free gig bag with it which is handy.