Price paid: $ 349
Purchased from: Steve's Music
Sound — 9
- I play progressive rock and metal, and through my Peavey amp (not sure of the model of amp, since it's not mine and at our practice space), it has a very decent sound. - The pickups are among the best you'll find in this price range. The bridge pickup has a lot of bite to it with distortion but never feels like it's too thin or crispy. Very smooth sound for a guitar of this price. Not a lot of noise either. The neck pickup is a bit more smooth-sounding, and perfect for the clean tones. I'd still replace the pickups for a better tone, but if you're buying a cheap shred guitar, you can't do much better than this guitar. The variety of sounds is pretty amazing, as well. It'll handle clean, chorused tones as well as it'll handle high-gain metal tones. Very pleasantly surprised, but it's still not going to compare to a more expensive guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
- It's a good match for prog-metal, if you're just getting into playing it (I'm a bit more advanced than that, though, as I've been playing close to 10 years) - I tend to prefer stop-tail guitars like my Squier Stagemaster seven-string. - I wish I had asked if this guitar came in other colours before buying it, because the black model with the white binding around the top is absolutely sharp-looking. - What I love about it is its versatility and the tuning stability. Thanks to the Floyd Rose, it's unwaveringly in tune. I also love the sculpted heel of the neck, which is a wonderful feature on such an inexpensive guitar, improving access to the upper frets. I dislike the complexity of the guitar for a gear noob like myself. I've played fixed-bridge guitars for so long, and I never got used to Floyd Roses. - Before I purchased this guitar, I tried out a couple of other cheap guitars, including an ESP LTD M-series guitar and an OLP Axis copy, and this one was priced just right and sounded just perfect for my tastes. It wasn't too thin or crisp, and it was very comfortable to play. - I wish this guitar came in a transparent colour with a flame maple top. They just released a stop-tail version of this guitar with a purple and Orange transparent finish over a flame maple top, and they're absolutely gorgeous. And, a personal preference of mine, is having 24 frets, which the stop-tail version also has. Other than that, this guitar is an incredible value. Also worthy of mention is how versatile this guitar is in regards to modification. Throw in a couple of good quality pickups, replace the Licensed Floyd with an OFR, and you'll have yourself a near-perfect shred guitar comparable with more expensive guitars, for less than a grand.
Reliability & Durability — 8
- I believe this guitar will withstand repeated live playing. The hardware is fairly sturdy on this guitar, but the Floyd Rose causes me concerns. It does break strings on the saddles often, which is definitely something that can be remedied by replacing the saddles with graphite ones. - I replaced the original strap buttons with Schaller strap locks, but the originals were large and solidly in place, and I would have gigged with them. - I wouldn't use this guitar without a backup for the obvious fact that it has a Floyd Rose, but it's definitely a great choice for a first main live guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
- The setup from the music store I purchased it at was perfect. Everything was perfectly balanced and intonated. The pickups were perfectly adjusted. The jumbo frets are not to my taste, but there were no prickly frets and the neck was nicely finished. - The only flaws I can think of with the action, fit and finish is that the finish is very thin and very susceptible to chipping and being dented. I've been very careful not to bang this guitar around, and yet, it has a few dents here and there. It's also a bit difficult if you're not used to a Floyd Rose, to set up on your own. I learned my lesson the hard way by putting the wrong gauge of strings on it. Otherwise, a pretty decent quality for a guitar in this price range, but again, still not going to compare to a more expensive guitar.
Features — 8
- Made in 2006-ish, in Indonesia. - 22 jumbo frets, 25.5 inch scale, rosewood fretboard, maple neck. Very fast neck, with a satin finish that doesn't get sticky when playing fast. - Basswood body (according to Peavey Customer Service), maple neck. Very light body. Basswood bodies have a bit of a tendency to make the lows sound a bit muddy and this is no exception. - Metallic Candy Apple Red finish (also comes in Metallic Cobalt Blue and Black). Black binding around the top of the body. The finish is kind of thin, and is a bit easy to dent. But it is pretty beautiful. - Superstrat body style, comparable to a lower-end Ibanez RG or a Jackson Dinky. - Passive humbucker pickups, three way selector switch. The pickups are pretty decent for a guitar in this price range. - Licensed Floyd Rose bridge, locking nut. Standard Peavey sealed tuners. - Bought it with a gig bag, came with a bunch of Allen wrenches and springs for the Floyd Rose. All in all, pretty good features for a guitar in this price range. I picked it up for about $300 CAD (I put the MSRP down above), and it may be the cheapest guitar by a well-known company with a Floyd. The only thing I would change is the Floyd, which is a licensed Floyd, and doesn't quite feel the same as an Original Floyd Rose.