Price paid: $ 129.99
Purchased from: Rondomusic.com
Sound — 8
I play Thrash Metal (Slayer, Megadeth, Early Metallica) and a lot of modern Metallica. I also play some Scorpions and Black Sabbath as well and this guitar suits these styles very well. It sounds great with a nice heavy distortion and it has great cleans. I run this through a Boss SD-1 overdrive pedal(for solos) and a Morley Bad Horsie Wah pedal and into a Randall RG100 G3 Plus(better than original G3). I find that the pickups are a tad noisy when using the pups as single coils through distortion but the hbuckers by themselves are awesome. I can get pretty decent harmonics both natural and artificial/pinch. I live the Floyd bridge... its fun just to F**k around with it and make crazy noises.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar suits my style of playing very well. I've been playing for about a year now but I've known guitars and amps for years(father and cousin play). I own an ESP LTD M-10, a cheap beginners guitar, an acoustic, and this guitar. My other gear is listed above. If it was lost or stolen I would buy another in a heartbeat.I love that it has 24 frets to hit high notes in solos, I love the HSH pups, and I love the Floyd Rose bridge and Ultra thin neck. The only flaw I've found is that it only locks in one place and not at the bridge. I compared it to several high end Ibanez guitars and this guitar is practically equal in all except the pickups and bridge.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar will definitely withstand live playing as long as you are comfortable with a Floyd Bridge. Hardware seems very durable and stable. The strap buttons are solid but I plan on changing them out for Straploks soon. I would never use it at a gig without a backup especially because of the floyd but I'd never not have a backup whe playing live. The finish is decent but it could have been a little better.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar needed a professional setup because it has a Floyd bridge and they are a headache to someone not accustomed to setting up the bridge. The action is very comfortable. A little higher than I prefer but very nice nontheless. I so far haven't found any flaws whatsoever with the exception that the bridge tends to break low guauge strings at the ball end too easy. Its very comfortable and easy to play.
Features — 8
This guitar has many features that are great for playing metal and hard rock. It has a 24 fret maple bolt on neck with a rosewood fretboard and cream binding. The neck is very thin and flat comparable to an Ibanez Wizard neck. Neck has a smooth and comfortable satin finish. The body is a typical Strat shaped body similar to most Ibanez RG bodies. The body is solid Alder and is back routed (no pickguard) This guitar was available in 3 finishes. Black, White, or Red and I bought the black version. Pics are on my profile. The bridge is a Licensed Floyd Rose bridge That is only single locking meaning that you don't cut the ball ends off, just run the strings through the bridge and lock it off at the nut. My suggestion is to use the low 4 strings from a set of .09's and to use the 2 high strings from a set of .10's because the strings tend to snap if you pull up too far. Or replace the bridge with an original floyd rose(double locking) It comes with an HSH pickup configuration that is nice and loud. I plan on changing these out for EMG's or GuitarHeads MegaMetal humbuckers soon. It has one Volume knob and one Tone knob and a 5 way pickup selector switch. The tuners are SX brand tuners and are pretty decent but that doesnt matter because of the locking nut.