Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Little Mexico
Sound — 7
I play metal. That's all there is to it. well, I play in chapel for my school, so you can't suddenly bust out some Pantera during "Amazing Grace". Anyway, the neck pickup has a tinny, yet slightly warm sound to it, a little like Stevie Ray. The middle pickup is pretty much bleh and the bridge has a substantial amount of meat to it, enough for me not to swap it out. I use one of those DigiTech workstations through a Fender Deville 212 (which when turned to 5 can kill small mammals from a distance of 50 yards). The Workstation replicates famous sounds from various artists, so set it on "Dream Theater" and all hints of weak tone disappear.
Overall Impression — 9
The two categories that my playing mainly fall under are metal and Christian, but I also like some classic rock and bluesy stuff to solo over like ZZ Top (which is classic rock too). This guitar suits me just fine for all that. I have been playing for almost three years. Besides my G-5V I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio, Epiphone Beast EX/FX (Explorer body), Ibanez Gio, RG350, and acousic model, and a Squire Bullet that I made a Flying V out of (it looks more like a lobster claw). My G-5V would be about third, right before the Epi and right after the Les Paul If it had had some better pickups on it like some EMG's, then it would tie for second in the list. But since I got no doe, I can't but any pickups. In the end, this is a great guitar that has great potential once fixed up; if you run across one in your never-ending Quest for the perfect axe, consider this one before making any final decisions.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is definitely a rugged guitar since it has been through about 20 years of hair metal brutality and survived and still plays great. Everything is solid and durable and definately will last awhile. I wouldn't use this as the main guitar live (since my late '80s RG350 w/ a Bill Lawrence L-500XL is my fav), but this would definitly my backup if I broke a string on the RG350's floyd.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The acton was pretty good to start out with, but was a little high for my standards, so I lowered the action adjusters on the Wonderbar slightly and it played like a dream; the chuncky D-profile neck only added to the magic. The Wonderbar tremolo system is a work of art. It never loses tune. The only issue I have with it is that it's range is somewhat limited, but I can get over that. There were some issues with this guitar when I got it though. First, whoever had it before me practically took a chainsaw and cut the wiring to pieces. We had to look everywhere for some wiring schematics (which took to long for me) so I decided to test some series that I thought were right. Eventually I gave up and let my electrical engineering specialist-dad re-wire it (because he actually knew what he was doing). Second, there was barely any room for fretting on the high E string, so we just moved the bridge up a little, no big deal. Last, the body was riddled with chips and dings, but that's typically normal for pawn shops. Overall, other than annhialated wiring and a misplaced bridge, this guitar was set up fine.
Features — 7
I believe this is a Standard G-5V (made in Kasuga, Japan) in 1986. 25 1/2" neck with sharkfin inlay and 22 pretty big frets. It's got the Strat body style with H/S/S setup and a Wonderbar trem. It has a tone knob that pops in and out (possibly for cancelling one coil on the humbucker). The pickups are labeled "Washburn", which later evolved into EMG Selects. Tuners are chrome govers which might be aftermarket (this being a lower class guitar). I didn't get any bonus apparel with this, probably because I got it from a pawn shop.