Price paid: € 250
Purchased from: Musicstore Cologne
Sound — 7
Starting with the Alnico's: the Alnico's perform well on this guitar, they have a nice wide range and you can play anything from metal to blues on it. But as the saying goes 'Jack of all trades, master of none'. This is exactly what applies to these pickups. They miss the true raw power for heavy rock/metal but also the warmness and nice round sound for the bluesy types of music. Combined with the hollow body, the sustain isn't that great either. But we must judge this as to what it really is: a starters' guitar. For this role its performance is just top notch and can satisfy a guitar player well into his playing career. 5 years down the road and I still use it very often.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good start for any aspiring rock guitar player. It looks stunning, it sounds ok and it is a durable pice of equipment. I have been playing rock/metal for five years now and it has served me very well and still continues to do so. I also have had the luxury of comparison in the past years and I have to say that this budget guitar will hold its own very well. I think its one of the best guitars in its price range I have yet come across. If I were to lose it somehow, I would strongly consider buying one of these again.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't play gigs. But in the past five years of ownership of this piece of equipment I have to say that the durability is very good (apart from the switch/pods). It stays in tune pretty well, the neck hasn't deformed, only the gold hardware is starting to fade. It holds up nicely overall.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When the guitar was delivered there was literally nothing done with regards to setting it up. I had to do that myself. After that, the result was good. Although the action is a little high it plays like a charm. The best thing about this guitar is its finish though, it just looks wonderful. Almost eerily similar to a Gibson. Also the set neck is of good quality, it is straight as an arrow, no weird curves or bobs in the fretboard that you might find on a lot of low-tier guitars. The only downside is that the three-way-selecter switch and the pods are prone to fall to pieces. But that's nothing a replacement can't fix.
Features — 8
I picked mine up in 2007. It's your standard Les Paul copy, but what a copy it is, especially visually. It has 22 frets, a sonokelin fretboard with trapezoid inlays on a set neck. The body is hollow, so it is lightweight, with a cherry sunburst finish. It has Alnico 4 pickups, a three-way-selecter switch and a tone- and volume pod, separately for each pickup. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge in gold.