Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: AllMusic Inc
Sound — 9
I play any kind of rock you could dream up and this guitar is pretty damn good for it. This baby gets plugged straight into my Peavey ValveKing 112 with an Eminence Patriot Red White and Blues speaker and it just rips! That amp does help but I've played a few other guitars through it and haven't found one that matches this axe for natural harmonics and string definition. The pickups are dead quiet even at high gain and give a slightly brighter sound than your usual Les Paul. My musical repertoire ranges from country and blues to metal and this guitar cleans up very well but definitely likes gettin' dirty as well.
Overall Impression — 8
I play any kind of rock you could imagine, country, and some metal and this guitar does all three pretty handily. I've been playing for about 6 years now and have a Fender CD-100 acoustic, the Squier Strat I mentioned above, and a Kramer Fat Strat. All guitars I have are played through a Peavey ValveKing 112. I love all my gear but this guitar is really a unique piece and I'd definitely get another one if I lost it or someone stole it. I love the sound and the way this guitar plays but I just wish they would've paid more attention to the nut at the factory. I was choosing between a Fender Telecaster, an Ibanez ART100, and this guitar and picked this one just because it felt the best to play and the pickups kill. My only regret with this guitar is that it doesn't have a coil tap feature, but I might install that myself later.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've been gigging with this guitar for over a month and haven't had a single problem at all. The hardware is solid and the strap buttons hold even my worst strap with ease. Being as tough as it is I have no qualms about leaving my backup (a Squier Strat with Lace Sensor pickups) at home. The finish will last and the guitar is tough.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The factory set-up was alright, the intonation was slightly off and the action was just a little too high for my liking, but I was able to fix those issues quickly. The pickups were well-adjusted and the top and bridge were near perfect, if not truly perfect. My problem, though, was the nut. The G string is always pinched in the nut which makes tuning very difficult and I plan on filing it out better so the string can slide. Oddly enough for the price of this guitar though, there is no string buzz even with the super low action I like.
Features — 8
My guitar was made in Korea in 2010 I believe, I don't worry much about where my gear was made. This axe has 22 medium jumbo frets on a 24.75" scale neck, which is made of mahogany with an Indian Rosewood fretboard. Also, the guitar has a set neck that is somewhere between an Ibanez and a Fender profile. The body and top of this guitar are made of pink mahogany, making it very light but still providing pretty epic sustain. The Les Paul style body has a unique open-grain black finish with a wizard design carved into the top. As far as bridges go, this has a standard Tune-O-Matic style tailpiece and comes with a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup in the neck. Tuners are Spear locking tuners and the guitar comes with nothing more than a cable and a hex wrench for the truss rod.