Price paid: £ 235
Purchased from: thomann.de
Sound — 8
I play what would probably be called jazz-fusion/avant-garde. I used to dislike headless guitars but eventually warmed up to the design. I've been playing about 4 years, and own an Ibanex RG320DXFM, which has been my main guitar for that time. The guitar is surprisngly very toney for how small it is. I use my PODXT as a preamp and play through a small, cheap Stagg amp. I have two main tones: a rich, chorusy clean tone and a hot, rounded, non-noisy lead tone. This guitar works well with both. The pickups sound decent, the bridge humbucker being quite bright and the neck being quite warm. The output is about right, but I'll probably swap them for some Duncans eventually. I removed the middle pickup because it gets in the way of my picking hand.
Overall Impression — 8
I bought this guitar from thomann.de, I was wary at first after reading mixed reviews about them, but it was 70 cheaper than any UK site so I took the plunge. Everything about the transaction was perfect. Originally I wanted the Steinberger Spirit GU which has a normal S-shaped body, but they're discontinued now. Generally, I'm pleased with this guitar. The only caveats are the painful angular body, the stiff tuners and the stiff tremolo. I don't regret buying it, it's very good for the price, and a great travel guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Everything seems very solidly constructed, and it's very quick and easy to change strings with the double-ball R-trem. It also stays in tune very well. The strap buttons are solid, but I use 50p plastic Dunlop straploks on all my guitars to completely negate any chance of an instrument hitting the floor. I could definitely gig without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was set just right. The rosewood fretboard is smooth and dark, all areas are finished perfectly. The pickups are about the right height. No noticeable flaws. I was surprised at the construction quality, it's very solid and very well finished all over, I didn't expect much from a relatively cheap, Korean-made guitar.
Features — 8
The specs: Korean made, 24 med-jumbo frets, all maple neck-through, gloss finish, Steinberger R-trem, tone/volume knobs, 5 way PU selector, H-S-H pickup configuration. Included gig bag, a cable, a couple of allan keys and the whammy bar. The R-trem can lock with a clip to act as a hardtail. There's also a "master tuning peg" that will raise and lower the pitch of all strings simultaneously, which makes drop tuning very easy. There's a solid flap that folds out to make the guitar rest on your leg nicely, but the angular body really digs into my chest and makes it quite painful and uncomfortable to play while sitting down. I might end up chiseling out a small bay in the body to make it more comfortable. Changing strings is very quick and easy, but the tuners on the bridge are very stiff and my index finger and thumb are red raw from turning them. It's a bit of a challenge to get them perfectly in tune, and also hard to turn them without turning the ones next to them because they are so stiff and closely spaced. The R-trem is also quite stiff, but responsive. I only make subtle use of the whammy bar these days, so it's not a problem. The gig bag is very nice, smooth and padded inside.