Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Music Retailer
Sound — 8
I should start by saying this guitar was a gift. This guitar has a very bright sound. I play metal mostly and the pickups don't work well for me. I always planned to swap them out, but never got around to it. I'm not sure what type of music this guitar was made to play, but I wouldn't buy it to play metal unless I planned to change out the pickups. It doesn't sound terrible, just not a strong and deep enough tone for my style. Maybe I'll slap some EMGs or Duncan Blackouts in it sometime.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall, this guitar is a cheapo PRS knock off, but is a real pleasure to the eyes. It's price, by today's standards with Schecter and LTD making quality $500 guitars, would be too high. But it was a good deal back in 2000 and it came with a case. If it came out nowadays, it'd have to be less than $400 for me to even consider it, but I'd probably still spend the extra cash on a Schecter. I loved the aesthetics and the comfortable, fast neck on this guitar, but I hate the fake photo laminate, especially since it covers the entire guitar. The shoddy electronics also kill it. With better electronics, pickups, a real wood finish, and neck buttons that stayed in, I'd rate this at 9, easy. But it is what it is.
Reliability & Durability — 4
Major points lost for durability. The input jack started to short out within months of getting it. One of the strap button came out and had to be glued in. The toggle Switch developed a short after a few years. I would never gig with this guitar, it would get destroyed. It's extremely light as well, which is nice for leisurely playing, but I don't trust it's integrity for live performances. The finish has lasted though, and I think it will last for many more years to come.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action is wonderful. The neck is fast and extremely comfortable. The neck really is the best part of this guitar, though my one complaint about it would be it's only 22 frets, but I'm sure some people would be happy with that. The "Vine of Life" inlay is gorgeous and nicely done. There is no buzzing to be fixed or blemishes either. The neck on the guitar is really great fun to play and beats out most guitars I've played in terms of speed and aesthetics. The body is just as nice to look at and extremely light weight. The abalone trim around the body looks great and was nicely done. The body shape is close to a PRS. The biggest complaint about this guitar would probably be the photo laminate top. Real wood would have taken this guitar much further. The laminate top does look nice though, and believable as real Maple Burl to the average, non guitar savvy person. But amongst experienced players and guitar enthusiasts, it's just ridiculous. The gold hardware is very nice, the TOM is fine and Gotoh tuners are always a plus. Even the screws are gold. The thick gloss finish is flawless and looks great. Of course, the inlays around the body and up the neck all add it's beauty. All in all, this is one of the flashiest guitars I've eve seen, and everything goes together well. It's a real pleasure to show people and see their reaction. I would feel out of place putting on a metal show with this bad boy though. Overall, this guitar looks great and plays great, but it loses points for having a photo laminate top.
Features — 7
Made in Korea in 2000 Mahogany neck? "Vine of Life" inlay, 22 Frets, 24 3/4 scale Alder body, entire guitar covered in Maple Burl photo laminate Gloss finish PRS Style Tune-O-Matic bridge Seymour Duncan passive pickups 3 way selector switch, tone and volume knob Gotoh tuners