Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: DCGL
Sound — 10
Don't let the fact that the pickups are only Duncan "designed" put you off of this guitar. The neck pickup gets a great blues sound (and can be coil-split), and I like the sound of the bridge pickup for metal. I'm playing it through a Crate V33-212 and it sounds great (I use a Boss DS-1 for distorion, though, because that amp can't do that well on it's own.) Sounds great with all settings I've tried.
Overall Impression — 10
I play rock and metal mainly, but I like to improvise blues a lot. This guitar is great for all of it. I've only been playing 1 1/2 years, but I can tell this guitar is worth the money I paid and more. My other gear is a Squier Strat, a Crate V33-212, a Fender Frontman 15G, and a Boss DS-1. It's a big upgrade from the Strat, and plays awesome through everything else. If this were stolen, I would beat the living **** out of the person Who took it, but if I couldn't get it back, I would buy another as soon as I had the money to. I compared it to the Tempest Custom and some Epiphone Les Pauls and SG's. This guitar won by a lot.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar could definitely withstand Live playing. The hardware's good and it seems dependable. I haven; t put straplocks on it because the strap buttons seem very secure. I would use it at a gig without a backup because I have had no problems at all with it so far. I've been to friend's houses numerous times to jam and it's still perfect (I baby it, though. Can anyone really blame me? ) The finish seems like it will last a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I got it in the mail, the action was a little low (frets buzzed), but I raised it a little bit to fix the buzz and it's still very comfortable! The pickups are at a perfect height, the frets have no sharp edges, the finish is AMAZING (I got it in Tribal Amber, I think it was a very limited run).Overall, it just feels great to play.
Features — 9
I got this guitar in September 2008, and I'm not sure when it was made (probably '08 or '07, though). You probably know the features: 24 frets, 2 volume knob, 1 tone knob, Tune-o-matic bridge, all that stuff. Pickups are duncan designed with coil-split implemented in the tone knob. It has a 3-way pickup selector, also.