Price paid: $ 449
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
Next the pickups. I was really nervous about ordering a guitar unplayed. It did pay off though because this guitar has an amazing tone to it. I was worried it would be too warm and lack articulation, but it isn't at all it is very clear, thick and ballsy. It's kind of like a punch in the gut when you hit an E with a moderate level of gain. As I play I hear all of these tones I've heard on classic and modern rock CD's. I'll hear growls and shreaks. It has a very similar sound to the foo fighters or maybe weezer. I can also get a lot of that late 60's early 70's rock tone. Don't let that fool you though. It also has a smooth clean tone retaining clarity with higher output.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all this is a great guitar and an excellent value. I would highly recommend that any intermediate to pro guitarist. The only things I would think about changing are sanding the neck and maybe rewiring so that I could coil tap either pick up independently like michael kelly's can.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Everything on the guitar seems to fairly tank-like. The parts all seem well made thus far. The bridge is tonepros locking, the tuners are grovers, they pick ups are seymour duncans. The electronics show no immediate defects so time will tell. The finish doesn't feel exceedingly delicate. As I stated before the neck is a 3 piece maple neck so it should be stable and warp free for decades to come. The rest of the hardware seems good time will tell again.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Fit. It is extremely well fit. The inlay on the fingerboard is well set, and the binding is perfect. Hardware and Finish. Alright, I had heard that the electronic on some of these guitars weren't good quality, but I haven't had that impression or any problems yet. The tuners, bridge and knobs, all feel like really quality parts. Time will tell how they will hold up. Lastly I come to finish. The finish on the top, neck and headstock were all perfect. The back of the guitar however was a little bit of a let down. The cover for the electronics is flat black on a gloss guitar, even with the protective plastice removed, but I was pleasantly surprized to find that the inside of it was well sheilded. I could see a few fine lines in the finish there were very very slight raised spots in the wood. I guess this is where the parts of the body were joined together. Since the guitar is black it was more visible than it might be in another color. Also since the guitar is black it is a bit of a finger print magnet, but anything black will be harder to keep clean.
Features — 9
What a great guitar for only $449. For that $449 you get Grover tuners, real Seymour Duncan pickups, coil tap, set 3 piece maple neck with an amazing neck joint, mahogany body, and a beautiful abalone binding on the body neck and headstock. But all that is obvious. All of this for $50 more dollars than the Omen-6 Extreme and the C-1 Standard in the same color. It is just a fantastic value. These were all on my checklist of ideal attributes I wanted in my next guitar. Ok just to focus on the neck, it has a maple neck which is more stable than mahogany and it is a 3 piece neck which is even more stable and resistant to warping. Gibson used maple necks on their higher end Les Pauls which is odd since it isn't really more expensive. The neck. I originally played a MIM Strat and the neck profile is very similar. Obviously it has a flatter fretboard radius which I find a lot easier to play especially with barre chords. I would say it is just slightly thicker than a Strat neck but it's hard to tell they are so close. But the thing that really stands out is the neck joint. I think they call it an Ultra access joint. But it's like they to a normal set neck and sanded away any thing that wasn't critical and left it so that as your hand slides up it can naturally slide right to the 24th fret with no bumps blocks or dips in the way. It is just ergonomic. The first time I played it and my had slide right up to the top I thought, "Hello that's new." It is absolutely a players neck on a player's guitar, with comfort built into it. The only improvement I could see is to finish the back of the neck matte, so I may wind up taping it and sanding it to a matte finish with super fine sand paper.