Price paid: € 165
Purchased from: Mainmusic
Sound — 9
The R500 tigerstripe-blue is a great guitar for warm and full sounds. It sounds also very vivid and more sparkling than my Epiphone Flying V. I play for about 90% metal and this R500 is very good at that! The humbuckers have high output and the sustain is great! It is not noisy, and therefore very good for powermetal and prog, I believe. I have a Vox AD100VTH and with that amp and this guitar I wouldn't need another guitar if I did not also want to have a very low-tuned doommetal-axe. But the R500 also is generally suitable for blues, rock and even more styles.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a lot of metal and the guitar is very well suited for that! A tight vivid full sound with lots of sustain. My first guitar was a Stagg, I bought that Les Paul in 1993. It was far less solid, but good enough to start with (and learn how to adjust). Now that I have increased my skills through several bands I certainly am happy with this kind of prs-style guitar.I would buy it again, because 165 euros is very little for this kind of guitar. You could not buy a much better guitar until you pay about 900 euros or so. I only wish it had a floydrose tremolo, but you do have to pay for that. The darkblue tigerstripe transparent highgloss finish is excellent!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Its a solid guitar. I would certainly use it on stage. Always have a backup! Not because of the quality of this guitar, but with any guitar please have a backup live. Everything seems to be built to last. I bought this one to have a guitar in normal tuning. Buttons are solid, the jack-out is solid, everything is solid enough to last for years it seems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I could not find any flaws. I was surprised by the finish though; the dark blue covers all but a small part of the side of the archtop. It looks as if that was done on purpose. The pickups are adjusted well enough. After a few uses of the tremolo, the low e-snare started to be noisy on the first fret so that needed adjustment. Furthermore the guitar is solid. The action is pretty low. Lower than any tune-o-matic-bridged guitar. Probably can be adjusted better though.
Features — 9
I bought this guitar just a few weeks ago in november 2009 in the Netherlands. I believe the neck is normal to thin and the frets are rosewood. The neck is glued to the body and the darkblue transparent finish is really good! The body has an archtop and has tigerstriped wood, I don't really know which wood. It's a prs-style guitar. The neck is easy to play. It has two humbuckers without covers and it has a simple tremolo (working downwords only). The snares are through body. The electronics are passive, they're switchable in 3 ways (bridge, neck, both) and there is a volume and tone-knob. The pickups are high-gain, more gain than an Epiphone Flying V from 1994. The guitar came with just one cable. To me the features are great, because of the sounds it creates. Compared to the price I'd say its really great.