Purchased from: Voigt Music Center
Sound — 9
It suits me perfectly. It has a nice clean sound, and with the distortion it sounds better. I use it with my Marshall MG15DFX and a Bad Dog Distortion. It isn't noisy, but sometimes it's hard to get enough bass out of it. I don't know if it's my amp or the guitar, and in some songs it's not the easiest to do a volume swell and flick the toggle while holding a chord formation. But it's so sweet to play Cathedral on this guitar. It takes all kinds of harmonics greatly, when I can pull them off right. I can tap pretty fast, and I can slide up and down the neck enough so that I can play the Thunderstruck intro. I like to set up the delay sometimes and do some random volume swells, like in Cathedral, and I can get some nice sound with my amp and distortion. I have also played it through an ME-50 and some random amp at the music store, where I was actually going to buy a Jack Daniel's guitar. It was nice to mess around with the ME-50, and the sounds through that were also great.
Overall Impression — 10
The HP Signature EXP fits my style, which is classic rock. I have been playing since April when I was in eighth grade. I'm in 10th grade now. I'm too lazy to figure out how long that's been. I own a Squire acoustic (which I cannot play due to a broken nut) and a Squire Strat (which I cannot play electrically because I took it apart and need new pickups), a Frontman 15G (which I cannot use due to broken input), a Marshall MG15DFX, and a Bad Dog Distortion. I chose this guitar over a Jack Daniel's because I'm more comfortable with a Strat body, and the JD felt weird to play and didn't sound as good. I like everything about this guitar, and I don't think I'll need to get a new guitar for a while. I will fix my Strat, though. It still won't be as good as my Peavey. I did compare it to several Epiphone Les Pauls, a Peavey Jack Daniel's, several Stratocasters, a Peavey Rotor, and an HP Signature EX. At first I wasn't even considering getting this guitar until one of the employees showed it to me. I chose this because of the finish, the ease of playing, the familiar Strat body, the gold hardware, the sound, and partly to get back at my friend and his Rotor. I wish it had floyd rose. It's not that important, though, because none of the songs I play really need the whammy/tremolo bar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is an EXP. As far as I understand, that stands for Electric Professional. I'm just assuming, though. The world will end before this becomes un-playable. That is, if you do take proper care and maintenance of this guitar, store it properly, and don't abuse it. I'm going to get better strap buttons because I've always had problems with keeping the strap on any guitar, and after my Squire fell on the floor becaused of a faulty strap, I got kind of paranoid due to the huge dent that I eventually sanded smooth during the painting process. I wouldn't want to damage the finish in any way on this guitar, and if the finish I put on my Strat (which people said would last only a month or two) is still there, then I'm pretty sure a professional finish will last longer than my amatuer EVH stripes.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The pickups, action, and the strings and everything was proper. The people where I bought it probrably checked everything to make sure it was fine, considering I purchased it off the shelf, after putting it on lay-away for a few days. Everything seems okay and flawless, except that within two days of purchasing my guitar, the A-string broke, but the strings weren't new, and I don't know what kind of strings were on it. All I know is that they weren't Ernie Ball, my strings of choice.
Features — 9
This guitar was handcrafted in Korea, according to the back of the headstock. It has 24 frets that are pretty easy to access. The top wood is quilted maple veneer with the Tiger Eye finish, with a 3-peice mahogany body, and synthetic binding. The fretboard is ebony, and the neck also has binding. It has a Stratocaster-style body, but that's about the only thing it has in common with a Strat. The guitar has two humbucking pickups, that give some good sustain and harmonics sound nicely. It has two volumes and a tone, with a 3-way switch. Grover tuners, non-locking. The bridge is a Dual Compression string-through-body bridge.