Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: musicians friend
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal/thrash stuff and this guitar could not be any more perfect for my style. Everyone knows that EMGs scream and the combo of a string through design coupled with the set neck creates sustain for days. Even with my amp at playing volume, if I cover the strings with my hand I get no feedback even if I'm kneeling in front of the amp. Overall this guitar just sounds so good it's ridiculous. Zero complaints about the tone of this baby.
Overall Impression — 10
I honestly can not say enough good things about this guitar. It plays and sounds just as good as it looks. Without a doubt you will never find a guitar as good for TWICE the price much less the measly 650 charged for this one. Seriously, compare to many much more expensive guitars and tell me I'm wrong. For instance the Razorback V has a set neck EMG ZW set and is similarly featured to the C-1 Hellraiser but costs $1200. Granted it does have a Floyd Rose but the Hellraiser can be had with a Floyd Rose for $799. Bottom line is that I've compared this to a ton of other guitars and it's easily on par with many "pro" guitars but at an "amateur" price. If this guitar were lost, stolen, run over by a Mack truck I would immediately buy another. I suspect it will be a long time before I find a guitar to compete with this one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seems extremely sturdy and I'm sure could take a serious beating. During shows I will definatly use strap locks though. Not because of any flaw with the strap buttons but only because the finish is so amazing I wouldn't want to take any chances. I would absolutely gig without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Ok the attention to detail that goes into the set up on these guitars is second to none. When I pulled it out of the box and removed the overwrap I was amazed to find that it made it's way to me still in tune! The action was set up perfectly, no fret buzz what'soever and the neck, although finished, plays extremely fast. This guitar does feature a set neck but the joint used looks and plays like a neck through design. Everything is set up and functions perfectly.
Features — 10
My particular guitar was made in 2007 and has the same features already stated in other reviews. EMG's, set neck, 2 volume, 1 tone, grovers, x jumbo frets, etc. The only thing that could have made this any sweeter is if it included a case but, can't get too greedy I suppose.