Price paid: £ 108
Purchased from: www.loujaymusic.co.uk
Sound — 9
This guitars sound suits me and my style (Shred Improv) very well. I have played a Westone Thunder 1A since I was a teenager (It was cutting edge back in the day!) I realised technology had passed me by when my teenage sons B.C. Rich Warbeast made may old Westone sound like I was twanging a rubber band pulled across a shoebox. This is by far the most versatile guitar in a seven guitar household, Any combination of sounds can be got from the the HSH configuration coupled with the 5 way switch. I play through a variety of amps but I like to judge a guitar on a small no mark practice amp at home as that's predominantly what I use when playing for fun at home
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly improvised shred style metal. I play for my own private enjoyment and to challenge myself. I have been playing for 22 years in a self taught style and know children who have been playing for 18 month who far eclipse my limited efforts. I own or rather co-own with my son, Seven guitars of different ages and styles from middle of the road manufacturers but as said previously, This is now my favorite and I would purchase another if it was stolen without thinking twice about it! Its difficult to say what I love most about it... The fact that it was a gift/the look of it/the sound. It has a lot going for it this guitar. The only thing I wish it had was a decal on the headstock that said "Jackson" as nobody's heard of "Shafe Guitars".
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar was kind of billed as a backup guitar but I have now made it my main instrument, When I think to myself "Time to play" I know what I want to be playing and it isn't my Westone! I would not think twice about gigging with this as my main instrument. I wouldn't use it without a backup obviously due to the Floyd as that would be really stupid wouldn't it!? But I wouldn't be worried about it letting me down, just me breaking the strings. The finish seems good but as I said, I don't care for it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As mentioned I had to refit a couple of the strings (Bottom E and A) to the saddles during initial tuning. One minor irritation was very minor fret buzz on the top E string at the 21st fret but after around five hours of playing this dissapeared. I do a lot of legato in this area of the fretboard so this probably explains the buzz ironing itself out. If I wanted to be really picky (And to be honest I'm just rambling to fill up the 500 charachter limit) then the fret wires are a little rough at the ends but not sharp.
Features — 9
Was bought this Guitar for Christmas by the wife. Had been looking for a new instrument (Probably a classic Jackson/Charvel) for a while and was quite surprised to get this. The guitar is branded as "Shafe Guitars" and was bought brand new. It's a Dinky style body, 24 fret neck with dot inlays and a reverse headstock. I can't find out anything about Shafe on the web and don't have many details regarding construction materials except that the body is hardwood and the fingerboard is rosewood. The body is gloss finished and is a maroon coloured mottled effect under the laquer. Its quite a nice finish but not to my taste. The bridge is a licenced Floyd Rose. Two of the strings pulled out of the saddles during initial tuning but after minimal setup the Floyd is as good as licensed Floyds get. Once the strings are locked at the nut it holds tune well. You can put the bar down to the body and then hang the body off the bar repeatedly and it holds tune. The pickups are unbranded and the setup is HSH. Nasty noises can be made with the bridge pickup, The single coil gives a very nice Strat like "Qwark" and the neck pickup is very warm with nice depth to the sound. The five way switch makes this a very versatile setup and some nice blending of tones can be had. One problem I had was that I had to lower the single coil slightly as I kept hitting it but it was a two minute job. The tuners are unbranded and non locking. The guitar came with a lead and a set of allen keys for the Floyd.