Price paid: $ 378
Purchased from: Local music store
Sound — 9
I play a lot of Metallica but also stuff like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, In Flames and a lot of other styles to like blues. The guitar is No Doubt a heavy metal axe but that doesn't mean other stuff can't be played. I use the Peavey Valveking 112 witch is a cheap tube combo. I play without any effects and usually a lot of gain and it's what the guitar is made for. Harmonics come out realy good if you choose the bridge pickup. That pickup is a litte noisy but it's not so bad. For the price you pay for this guitar you get a realy good heavy sound and solos cut nice throu the rythm. Clean sounds is what you would expect. In my amp it sounds wery much like Metallica's early stuff like One, Call of Ktulu and Fade to Black.
Overall Impression — 9
It's my first guitar but I have played a lot of different guitars. I've been playing for 4-5 months and I don't think I will buy a more expensive guitar for a long time. If it were stolen I would have a go for a Gibson or ESP but as long as that doesn't happen I will keep this one. It's a great guitar for beginners and intermidates and is a lot better than the price suggests.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't even broken a string yet. Live playing won't become a problem and everything seems to last good. Strap buttons are realy good and they are often a flaw in far more expensive guitars. Even with a good guitar you should always take a backup with you at a gig.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It was good set up, the only things I have done is changed the strings and put the pickups a litte closer to the strings. I only se one flaw and that is the black cap on the pickup selector. Sometimes it can get loose but it's easy to screw it in place again.
Features — 8
It's made in Indonesia. I'm not sure about the year but would guess 2003. It's based on the Xplorer design but is a litte streched out still very true to the original. I read somwhere that "the very fast 22-fret, 24-3/4 scale neck is a shredders playground" and must agree. Your fingers will be dancing over the rosewood. The guitar features fully bound mahogany neck and body. The black color could be used as I mirror if you like, it's shiny and pretty but dust gets very visible. The pickups are some random noname brand (RW2 features duncans) but they are okay and has the sound that you would expect from this kind of guitar. That means it's hevavy rythm and great attack in the palm mutes. The soloing sounds more like a Les Paul. Groover tuners work great, they have never let me down. We got the usual Explorer 3 way toggle and one tone potentiometer and two for volume.