Sound — 9
It is clearly cut for metal and harder styles of rock, considering the EMGs; however, the single coil settings of the pick-ups work amazingly well. Of course, it does not compare to what you will hear from a tele, but it is perfectly suited to play the clean passages in metal/rock tracks (unlike Ibanez and jacksons which sound like crap in clean). The bridge pick-up has a very fast attack thanks to the active electronics and is perfect for metal riffing with heavy palm mutes, while the neck pick up has a more Vintage, warm, almost sweet tone. Sustain is extremely good when compared to my Ibanez, and the pick-ups are silent as long as you keep them away from your amp. When combined with a Metal Muff and a decent amp, it roars for metal. Not the best guitar for any other style though.
Overall Impression — 9
I mostly play metal. I have been playing for 5 years, I own an Ibanez 370DX and I have played with many other guitars that include Fender Strat, Ibanez RG2557 and SZ-520 series, and some Jackson and Yamahas. I have bought this guitar as my main metal rig. I have compared it with many other alternatives, mostly Ibanez RG and JS series, and decided on this. It has a different feel than the guitars I have mentioned above, but this is what makes it appealing. It is a solid metal axe, one of the best you can get, so get it if you are into metal (and if you hate Floyd Rose as much as I do)!
Reliability & Durability — 9
006 will certainly withstand any Live performance. It is rock solid; wood and the hardware are made to last. Strap buttons are sealed in place. I would certainly depend on it on any gig (mostly thanks to the absence of that cursed Floyd Rose bridge). I did not trust the gloss paint very much, since by experience I can tell that they tend to get scratches and dents quite easily; however, while trying to lower the action I accidentally slipped the screwdriver and hit the body real hard, on the day I got my guitar. Thankfully, there is no trace of that, so I can easily say that the guitar can take a beating and you can rely on it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar arrived with a few minor finish flaws, probably due to the overseas shipping, but they are not even visible unless you particularly look for them. The pick ups are adjusted very close to the strings, but this is a good thing since they are active and this adjustment gives a better sustain. The action was a bit too high for my tastes, but it is easy to fix with a screwdriver. Keep in mind though, this guitar has x-jumbo frets, that are considerably higher than regular jumbo frets, and no matter what you do, you cannot get that very low action you can achieve on Ibanez fretboards. Not a deal breaker though; with it's somehow thick (but very comfortable) neck and unusual "low" action setting, it has it's own playing style. It just takes a few days to get used to it. Everything else is perfectly well made, there were a few buzzing parts at the beginning but they fit in place after playing for a day. Now the looks... I originally ordered the C1 Hellraiser in black cherry (which has exactly the same features, except the body shape), but since it was not going to be in stock for a long time, I got this one in gloss black. I'm glad I took the risk, 006 has a body shape that is far superior in comfort and looks than C1H, imho, and the gloss black paint, which looks like **** in the catalog pictures is in fact beautiful (just keep it clean though). Another thing that bothered me was the so called gothic-cross inlays, but again, it fits so well with the black paint, I am glad they are there.
Features — 9
006 Hellraiser, 2008 model, made in Korea and set up in USA. It has 24 x-jumbo frets, 3 piece mahogany set-neck, rosewood fingerboard and 25.5 scale. The body is mahogany, the black cherry model comes with a quilted maple top, mine is painted in gloss black with a stylish gray pearl binding. It's a super Strat with a more modern cut. Has TonePros bridge with string thru-body. Equipped with EMG 81tw and 89 active pick ups with coil splitting for single coil and humbucker tones, a 3-way selector, two tap-volumes and a tone control. Has grover tuners, gothic cross inlays and black chrome hardware. Doesn't include case or accesories..