Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
The Seymour Duncan JB & Jazz pickups combined with the mahogany/maple woods produce a very clear yet warm sound perfect for rock. These pickups are incredibly versatile, since the JB can do anything from rock to metal, and the Jazz can do anything from the cleanest cleans to jazz and blues. My musical taste was changing rapidly when I bought this guitar and shifted from rock to metal and metalcore. This is why I put EMG81/85 pickups in. The metal tone this guitar produces with these pickups is not from this world. I'm playing this guitar through a B-52 AT 112 tube amplifier boosted by a DigiTech Bad Monkey overdrive. This setup can give me any sound I could dream of. It isn't noisy at all, even when I was still using the stock passive pickups. I can push my gain and treble to it's maximum and not have to deal with insane amounts of feedback. I usually boost the Bass and Treble, and leave the mids at 50%. This gives me a very punchy and deep metal tone without losing any of it's definition. My clean settings are very similar. I must say that the stock pickups sounded much, much better clean than these EMGs do. However the improved low end punch in metal made it worthwile for me to change the pickups. The guitar with stock pickups is incredibly versatile, and suited for pretty much any musical style. However, the neck is a bit fatter than Ibanez necks. This is fine, but you have to like it. I personally find Ibanez necks a bit too thin so this neck suits me perfectly. I give it a 9, for it's versatility and incredible sound. I am refraining from giving a 10 however, since this neck might not be for everyone.
Overall Impression — 9
At this time I play metal and metalcore, and sometimes rock when my family demands a demonstration. Their fragile ears cannot yet handle the force that is metal. I've been playing for 2 years, but I have been playing other guitars besides this one. You can check my profile for my other gear, as well as soundclips if you care. I am extremely satisfied with this guitar, and if it were stolen I would just get this guitar again. There is nothing that compares for the price. I absolutely love this guitar for it's gorgeous looks and versatility. I don't hate anything about this guitar, and it is near perfect as is. The only thing I would have liked seeing on this guitar was independant volume/tone controls for the pickups, and a whammy bar. (Floyd Rose or ZR tremolo) However, this is a rock guitar and not a metal guitar so it is no surprise these things don't come on this guitar. I compared this guitar ro several other products including: Ibanez S520EX, Schecter Hellraiser, Gibson LP studio, Gibson LP classic, Epiphone LP Standard, Ibanez RG1560. I decided on the C1 Classic in the end, because none of those other guitars even came close in they money/guitar ratio. These features are just incredible for the price. This guitar is incredibly versatile, and I recommend everyone to try it before deciding on a guitar. The neck might not be for you, but that depends entirely on your preferance. No other guitar I could find comes close to this, when it comes to bang for your buck.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this guitar for 2 years now, and it hasn't failed me yet. I would never ever gig without a backup, because we all know strange things can happen at concerts. However, this guitar would hold its own just fine. it's a great guitar for Live playing, the hardware is very solid, strap buttons are tight. The finish on this guitar is surprisingly rigid: not a single scratch in 2 years of playing! The one thing I originally had a problem with was the output jack. It sometimes got a little loose. Some super glue on the bolt permanently solved the matter. An 8 here, because of the output jack.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory setup was very good. It was very nice and low, and the intonation was spot on. I just changed the strings to a .11 from the stock gauge, which required a little adjustment on my part. The pickups were close enough to the strings, no adjustment was needed there. The top was matching perfectly, I could see no flaws. The bridge too was spotless. The frets were all filed perfectly, the neck was well oiled and the nut was in good shape. I noticed one small flaw in the painting near the neck, but it is very minor. I'm giving this an 8, for it's minor paint mistake near the neck.
Features — 10
The features on this guitar are incredible especially for it's price. At present there is no other guitar on the market with these amazing features for less than $1000. Neck through, Seymour Duncan pickups, TOM string thru bridge, grover tuners, vine of life inlays, 24 jumbo frets what more could you want in a set bridge guitar? I rate the features a 10 simply because there is no other guitar on the market with such quality features for this price.