Price paid: A$ 746
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
I play everything from blues, classic rock, rock, hard rock, 80's metal, classic, heavy and thrash metal. The pickups are very versatile especially with the coil splitting, I can get great bluesy cleans, and biting leads with the JB. The volume knob can get a little noisy at about half way, but other than that it is pretty quiet. I am running an Orange Tiny Terror head through an Epiphone Valve Junior cab and I get a very thick, bass and very clear tone with the gain below half way, and very crunchy mids with moderate gain. The 59' in the neck is nice and warm great for classic rock and rock. With an overdrive pedal it has no trouble getting great heavy metal and hard rock sounds without being muddy at all, and with little extra noise. Great variety, everything I need.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall a great guitar, I play a lot of different styles and this can cover them all, If you want to play modern metal You have the option of hellraisers or Blackjack ATX series, but for me it is great. The neck feels nice and fast to me although others like their necks thinner. I have been playing for two years now and own a Johnson Hollowbody as my other guitar with an LP sized shape and neck. If it were stolen I might try a Jackson Dinky but would probably buying another one. I love all the hardware, the shape and neck, the only thing I dislike is the finish, black is a bit boring to me, Mangenta FTW! I compared it to all the jacksons, Ibanez's and LTD's in the price range but for the price you get top quality hardware not on the other guitars, the only thing at all I wish it had would be maybe a different finish without the binding and maybe a 6 in line headstock. Other than that it's exactly what I want.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Well I don't gig or anything but with a set of strap locks this guitar would stand up to anything, I have had it for a few weeks and haven't had any problems with it. I use it a fair bit but cause it's my new guitar I look after it pretty well. The finish looks pretty well applied and I would gig with this without a backup after I put a decent set of strings on it and let them stretch.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up pretty well from the factory, but the bloke I bought it off probably tweaked it a little. There was no buzz but the action was a little higher than I would like, and the bridge was not perfectly level, but I'm a little bit of a perfectionist maybe. I just tuned it, adjusted the tension in the bridge and lowered he action a little and it's all good to go. The pickups are fine where they are but I may tweak them a little. Apart from the speck under the finish everything was great, no loose parts rattling or anything like that.
Features — 9
Mine is a 2008 FR model made in Korea. Maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 24 extra-jumbo frets, 21mm thick at the first fret with creme binding around the neck and headstock. Body is carved top mahogany, also with creme multiply binding. Gloss black finish, mine was actually a factory second with one tiny speck of white dust under the finish. Great Super-Strat shape that I love, with a set neck and great upper fret access. Gotoh tuners, Seymour Duncan passive JB in the bridge and 59' in the neck, and an original Floyd Rose fun for wankery. A volume and tone knob, and a five way Switch for coil tapping. With mine I got a spare cable and all the tools necessary to tune and tweak it.