Price paid: $ 699
Purchased from: Musicians friend
Sound — 10
I plug this guitar strait into a Peavy Classic 50 w/JJ tubes. That's about as honest of a sound as you can get. I play a wide range of music from some country to metal (depends on where I am) and have no problem achieving my tone with this guitar. You may have to experiment with different Switch, tone, and volume combinations, but it's there. I have noticed no noise problems, at least no more than my Les Paul or Jackson RR. All in all very nice. The basic distortion tone of this guitar is very similar to my Les Paul, a hair less bite, but more presence and harmonics.
Overall Impression — 10
When I purchased the guitar I figured I could send it back if I didn't like it. Perfect match so far. If something were to happen to it, I'd replace it with the exact same.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Over 3 years, this guitar has traveled quite a bit. I have used it without a backup on most occasions. If I use a backup it's always something related to the set list. The only problem I did have was that the forward strap button backed out and the hole became stripped. filled the whole with epoxy and redrilled and is all taken care of. Just as much my fault as anyones. The finish durability seems to be holding up just fine. This is funny considering I paid more for a Les Paul and have to baby the finish constantly (no exaggeration) A little wear has developed on the bridge from palm muting, but theres not much of a way around that if your hardware is anything but chrome.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It amazed me that when I first played it, I didn't have to set anything up! This was a first. 24 years of playing and buying guitars and I didn't have to turn a single screw. That's more like it. At the time I purchased the guitar (early 2002) there weren't many reviews about it so I thought maybe it was just luck of the draw. It appears that by these reviews, you can look forward to a good setup on this guitar. By setup I mean, action, pickups, intonation, installation of hardware, the whole 9 yards. Finish and construction are stunning, and I have found no flaws.