Purchased from: Guitar Center (Online)
Sound — 9
I play a vairiety of music on this guitar, mostly blues but I also play some metal on in. It actually does alright on the metal although the reason I use it for metal is because I like the neck so much. I use it with my Boss Metal Zone and Boss Distortion pedals through my Cube 15 amplifier. For stock pick-ups they're fairly silent and they are somewhat bright (which is what I expected). I can get a pretty full sound for some clean, harmonically rich playing and I can make it a little punchier for some soloing, it's sustain is decent.
Overall Impression — 9
I am very satisfied with this guitar overall, it was very well priced. I own an Ibanez Iceman that doesn't get played too much anymore because I've fallen in love with the way the '51 plays. I would have to say my favorite feature is the neck, it just plays like butter. The reason I bought this guitar is because I heard great things about it and it was priced right. If it were ever stolen I'm not sure if I could replace it because it was discontinued but, if I could I would in a heartbeat. In the future I plan on replacing the pick-ups with Seymour Duncans and replacing the tuners and bridge.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar is pretty sturdy, the hardware is going to be replaced eventually so I can maintain tuning better and so I can get the intonation dialed in. My worry with the hardware is not that if it will last or not, though. I'm not worried about the strap buttons but I suggest strap-locks anyway, just in case. I don't really gig but if I did, I would bring my other guitar not because this one is unreliable but because I don't want to be caught without an instrument.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was set-up pretty well when I got it, the pickups were also well set-up. The intonation is actually pretty bad, I adjusted it as well as I could and it is still off a little bit, but I have a feeling I'm unusually picky about intonation. Everything about it is put together fairly well and the guitar didn't have any flaws when I got it.
Features — 10
I like the features of this guitar a lot, I use the pickup splitting a lot and I use all of the pickups in different settings.