Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
This guitar is built for rock. The two humbuckers sound amaizing with distortion, much better than anything else in the price range, and they sound pretty good clean too. The three way Switch gives you a wide range of sounds and the tone knob actually does what it's supposed to. I run it through a Roland Micro Cube, although I've also tried it through a 65 watt Crate and a Marshall MG10CD. It sounds great through all of them. It's silent when not being played, even with gain and volume all the way up. When I went in the buy a guitar, they offered me a used Epiphone Les Paul Goldtop for the same price as this, $299 (retails for about $650 new). I played them both, and this was clearly better in the sound department as well as playablity. It also sounds better than my friend's old Fender Strat.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly rock, ranging from Chevelle to Staind to AC/DC to Guns N' Roses, and I can get all of those sounds out of this axe. I've only been playing guitar for 3 months but I've proggressing quickly. I got this after learning the basics on my Ibanez acoustic. I went to the store planning on buying an Ibanez RG321 with Mahagony finish, and when they didn't have it, the salesman suggested this. What a genious! If it were lost or stolen, I'd deffinatly buy it again, even if I had more money to spend. I love everything about it, down to the shape of the headstock and there's nothing I dislike. It'd be cool if it had a single coil pickup in the middle position for brighter sounds, but it's really not necessary. All in all, this is the best $300 you could spend on a guitar, and probably the best guitar for rock that you can get for less than $600.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would, without a doubt, withstand live playing. The hardware is solid, the strap buttons aren't going anywhere, and the finish is great. As far as durability goes, I would use this in a gig without a backup, but I'd be affraid to because I might break a string (which I did twice within the first 5 days of owning this).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I pulled this out of the unopened box, and not only was it set up properly, but it was more or less in tune! The pickups are just how I like them and everything seems to fit together quite well. The finish isn't glossy, so it doesn't get fingerprints on it too easily, and seems like it'll hold up nicely. The strap buttons are in tightly. I have the dark red transparent finish (I've seen it called all sorts of things) and it looks amaizing. The pictures of it on the internet all look awfull, but I promise if you get it, you won't be disappointed.
Features — 10
Made in 2004 in Korea. It has 22 jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard. The neck is made of maple while the body is made of basswood. It's on the light side but still has plenty of presence. I have the dark red transparent finish but it also comes in black. The body is similar to an Ibanez S, although it's a little different. It has a string thru body bridge that gives it great sustain and makes it easy to change strings. A three way Switch and single volume and tone knobs give you a wide range of sounds from the two humbuckers. The tuners are cheap "Diamond Brand, " but they seem to work quite well. Comes with a thin six foot cable that's only good for tying stuff down in the back of a truck.