Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play metal and I actually researched this guitar to buy because it was used by my favorite player Jeff Loomis of Nevermore. It's great for sweeping because the active pick-ups let every note sound through. The tone is very smooth at the neck, great for a solo with a lot of reverb. I can make a perfect Malmsteen tone with these pickups. Like Slayer or Amon Amarth? If so you'll love this guitar, it can take as much gain as you want to give it without the harsh humming. I play this though a Marshall JCM 2000 full-stack and it is absolutely devastating. It is a pinch-harmonic monster, it's like it has a mind of it's own.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 7 years and this guitar is perfect for what I do. If it was lost or destroyed I would replace it the next day (probably with the whammy system however). I Love everything about this guitar and would never get rid of it. I compared it to a lot of Ibanez, Gibson and ESP but I don't think anyone of them is a better value. For $750 this is just about the best metal guitar you can buy (besides Jeff Loomis' new sig model 7-string).
Reliability & Durability — 9
The only thing I can say here is that the black chrome nobs must be polished after use or they will tarnish badly. Unfortunately I'm having a horrible time getting the luster back. Other than that I think this will be my main guitar for a while, unless I get the C1 Hellraiser with the whammy system.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory action on this guitar rocks. I picked it up and fell in love with it. It was so easy to sweep and shred I felt a tear in my eye. I have no complaints about the setup or the finish, it was flawless. Enough said.
Features — 10
I bought my C1 Hellraiser in 2006. It is American made and has 24 jumbo frets. My first guitar was a SG so this took some getting used to. The maple neck and rosewood fret board make for great tone and smooth playing. The black cherry finish is beautiful. Also the guitar has a mother-of-pearl inlay around the edge of the body and headstock which adds a goth beauty to the guitar. The Double cut away has great access to the 24th fret and the action is low throughout the range of the neck. I've played a lot of high priced guitars ($2500+) and very few play better than this one. The Active EMGs (85-81) are amazing for any type of rock, especially metal and thrash. It has grover tuners and a string-thru-body bridge. What I love most though is the neck through body design which makes the guitar look great. All the features on this guitar have not given me any problems.