Sound — 8
I play a lot of blues and some rock/metal, so this is beyond perfect. I'm not very good at that whole whammy thing, so I don't really miss it all that much. I was testing it with an old Fender bass amp and my tiny Marshall Micro 15W amp to get some really good overdriven sounds, and this guitar sounds awesome. I think it's the unfinished woods that make it sound so raw and aggressive. The hum (at super-high gain levels, mind you) is probably due to unshielded pickups, which are a result of my laziness and unwillingness to make this the best guitar I've ever owned. It's still the best sounding guitar I own, but I'm sure if you wanted to put the work into it, you could make this the very best guitar you ever wanted. It handled blues supremely well, and rock was alright. I'm still working out some intonation issues with the bridge, so I don't know if it handles all types of music. Plus, I don't really play all kinds.
Overall Impression — 8
This is a perfect match for the style of music I play (primarily blues). I've been playing for five or six years, and I own only one other electric guitar. The two amps I own work well with this guitar. Before buying this product, I should have asked if there were any little details I should have known about before starting this project. If this got stolen or lost, I'd hunt down the person who stole it and get it back. It's that important to me. If that failed, I'd make another one, using the knowledge I gained from making this one. I love the sound I get from this guitar, and I know it can't all be the pickups. I hate how hard some of the tiny screws were to get screwed in. My favorite feature is probably the fact that I have complete control over every aspect of this guitar's tonal capability since I constructed it myself. I couldn't exactly compare this guitar to anything else in its price range, because frankly, nothing else sounds this awesome straight out of the box. I kind of wish the kit came with better directions, but I got it together and working with the ones in the box, so I guess they couldn't be that bad. Overall, I highly recommend this as a pet project for you guitarheads out there who like to tinker with guitars. Everything is already measured for you, all you really need to do is put it together. You also get complete control over customization: there is no end to the modifications you could make to this. You can finish it any way you like, you can shape it any way you like, make the bridge and nut do anything you like.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Since I built this guitar myself, I had complete (well, close to it) control over how everything was set up. However, some things in the directions were not accurate, so I had to improvise a little on some things. One thing I did notice was, unless you have an electric screwdriver, the really tiny screws get really hard to turn after a while. Maybe I'm out of shape and too weak or something, but they were damned hard to get in real far. This prevents my tuners from looking really clean, but everything else went pretty smoothly. Everything in the kit looked top-notch, like it came right from the factory.
Features — 8
Kit includes all parts and instructions to build a complete, playable guitar. Body is made of all-select Basswood- shaping and routing is complete. Solid select Maple neck with a fretted rosewood fingerboard. Adjustable truss rod. All hardware is heavily nickel plated Electronics are complete and ready for installation- no soldering required. All holes are pre-drilled. Complete with strings and electric cord.