Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Features: This guitar has top quality sound and terrible feel. It was made in South Korea, and according to the sticker on the electronics plate, it was setup in the USA. Features:
- mahogany body, set fat mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, abalony goth cross inlays
- 24 jumbo frets
- 3x3 grover tuners
- frt floyd rose(the chrome one)
- Active coil tappable EMG81TW/89, 3 way selector (V/V/T)
- round pointed v shape with abalony binding
- a 1/4 cable that doesnt't fit the guitar // 9
Sound: I running this through a Vypyr 30, and have Elixir Nanowebs 10-46 on it.
The guitar sounds great for metal. The 81TW in dual coil mode has a chunky sound great for tones like master of puppets, but it doesnt't sound quite as good as the original EMG 81, and has some annoying feedback. In single coil mode, this pickup is terrible with high gain. The feedback is ridiculous. The neck pickup (89) in dual coil mode is good for soloing, has very little to no feedback, but isnt very good for high gain rythm (gets really muddy). The 89 in single coil mode is where the guitar shines. This makes the 89 my favorite pickup ever, it can do anything. Its great for rythm when you want a tone with a bit more chunk and less treble than the 81, and for soloing this pickup is beautiful, and has no feedback noise. Both pickups aren't very sensitive, good thing.
The 81 in dual coil mode sounds clear and bright. In single coil mode it has a tinier sound, noticably weaker and quieter and doesnt't sound very good. The 89 in dual coil mode is the best for chords, it has a very bassy sound and every note is heard. In single coil mode is almost identical with a bit less bass, and sounds just as good. The floyd is useful(sometimes) and never goes out of tune. Sustain sucks bad(ex. Pluck the 14th fret B string, the note ring 2.5 seconds and fades). // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar, it was ready to play, low action and no fret buzz, but it did have 1 major flaw. Still don't know exactly what the problem is, but the Bridge pickup dies for a few seconds randomly when switching between pickups. It sucks when it happens. I bought it used almost new condition with apparently no flaws (thank you Musiciansfriend). No picture does this guitar justice, it looks badass(mines white). Its well painted, the abalony binding is well done, and it has chrome parts. The parts do rust easily. The feel of this guitar is terrible. When you play it standing, it lean to the front left, and the neck is terribly heavy. The neck is fat(it can get used to), and the neck joint is so fat its really hard to reach the higher frets fast. // 6
Reliability & Durability: I've knocked this on a few walls more than a few times, and it barely has a scratch on the tips, the finish is great. Electronic-wise, I fear the 81TW will die soon. The saddles on the Floyd Rose rust faster than the rest. But the rest looks very durable. No need for strap locks, I play with a satriani nylon strap, and its never fallen off. I'll never gig with this thing without a backup. // 7
Overall Impression: This guitar is extremely versatile, and has great sound. My favorite part about it is the EMG 89. Looks bada-s. If it were lost or stolen I'd most likely get another guitar, and put in the same pickups, this guitar isnt comfortable at all. But at $500, I can't really complain. The songs I mainly used to review this guitar: "Orion" (Metallica), "Tornado Of Souls" (Megadeth), "Tears Of An Angel" (Marty Friedman), and "Mama Said" (Metallica). // 7