Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Guitar Centre
Sound — 9
My other guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul, which is great for playing bluesy, rythmic melodies. However, when playing fast metal, it falls behind. The Damien FR was perfectly designed for speed, accuracy, and hard playing. It's improved my technique so much since I bought it. I hook it up to a Traynor TRM40 with a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion pedal, and it sounds pretty wicked. With the presence setting and treble up pretty high, you get a really sharp, clean, distorted sound. You can get great dive bombs out of this thing, and if you hook it up to a wah pedal, you can have a lot of fun with that and the trem bridge getting it to scream.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said before, for playing metal and hard rock, this guitar is fantastic. It can go from deep, menacing chords one second to shrieking harmonics the next. It is easy to reach the high frets because of the body's shape, which helps for arpeggios and things of that nature. I've been playing for about five and a half years now, and this is my third guitar and couldn't be happier about my purchase. If it were stolen, I would get another one in a heartbeat. It has truly made me a better player and opened up a lot of new genres to me. My favourite feature on it has to be the Floyd Rose trem bridge - it's flawless. It takes some getting used to in that it's always right under your hand, but once you do get used to it, it becomes your best friend. The only thing that is annoying about it is the locked tuners. It's great because it never goes out of tune, but to get it to Drop-D or another altered tuning, I have to take a screwdriver to it and perform a miracle. Otherwise, it's got everything one would want in a metal guitar. It's fast, it's easy to play, and it's got a really comfortable feel. Overall, I would definitely recommend it without hesitation.
Reliability & Durability — 8
After jamming with some friends, I found out that this guitar is great in that situation. Minus the whammy bar problem, the guitar is extremely durable. The locked tuners are great if you do a lot of dive bombing and trem stuff. The finish is excellent, no marks to speak of. Fingerprints sometimes rub off on it, though, so I'd advise anyone getting this guitar to get some sort of special cleaning spray to polish it every now and again.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was set up quite well, despite the fact that I had some initial problems with it. Pickups are fantastic and perfectly balanced. My main issue was the fact that the whammy bar actually fell out of the bridge, and then screws fell out after when I had done nothing to make that happen.