Price paid: $ 555
Purchased from: Artist Systems Serbia
Sound — 9
I play modern heavy music and do covers of classical, and this guitar does me justice. I'm running it through a Peavey Vypyr 30. The cable I got with it is rather horrible, probably the most microphonic cable I've ever played. Replacing it with a Fender Vintage, I've gotten the singing trebs and full basses. The BLUSA does need waxing, but, by default, is a beast. Its clean is tailor made for chorus-y backings, its crunch is divine for blues, its lead is powerful and picks up pinch harmonics beautifully. The BLUSA pickups have a tendency to be inconsistently made, so much that I've spent an hour looking for the best outputting one. The Washburn stock, although some may hate it, is great, in my opinion, for classical music. Much as I'd like it to be a '59, I'm in no way dissatisfied by it.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar suits me very much, as it makes me be very precise and accurate (the Floyd doesn't allow for much slacking). The hardware on the red model should have been done in black, but other than that, it's a pretty model. I've been playing it for a full year now, and it hasn't let me down. It's close to a GAodin Redline 3, maybe a bit under. But it's well worth the invested.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've used this guitar on many a gigs, and it hasn't yet failed me. The hardware seems sturdy enough, only that I'd replace the nut with a Schaller one. I've had a friend use it with a common strap for a few hours, and it held on it. I, myself, have put DiMarzio straplocks on it. It can serve as the 'only' guitar, as long as you don't change tunings. The trem and nuts don't allow much tuning fluctuation, but again, I'd recommend putting an aftermarket nut on. The paint on the body is good, I haven't made any visible wear-outs on it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was very well set-up from the factory, the action is low but with no fret buzz. I could have gone on stage with it ten minutes after we've unpacked it at the shop. The pickups were at an OK height, But I've since lowered the Bridge pickup bu about 1.5mm (3/50ths of an inch), to eliminate the microphony. The Bridge was arrow straight, but it came equipped with Vinci 'Heavy Metal' strings (9 gauge casts, 10 gauge wounds), so the next string purchase (Fender 10's) required new setup. It's finish is... bad. the frets are unsanded, so the high e string locks itself under frets either 2, 3, or 4. the headstock had a speck of silver on its side, and the headstock paint looks really cheap and badly put on (I've had two chips chip off). The decal is really nice, it has a beautiful relief texture when you go over it.
Features — 10
This model comes from either China, Indonesia, perhaps Korea. Mine is a 2008 Indonesian made. Way better than the Chinese model (which they also had in the shop), this one has the model, serial number and the Buzz Feiten logo printed on the back of the headstock, and the Washburn Pro backplate. It comes with 22 medium jumbo frets on a fast, yet beefy, bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fretboard. Unpainted or Padauk stained, your choice. I'll talk more about it at the impression paragraph. The body is a slim alder strat. It comes equipped with a Bill Lawrence USA L500 in the Bridge and a Washburn Stock in the neck, with a three way toggle switch and a single volume knob with push-pull ability. The bridge is a licenced Floyd Rose, the tuners are Grover 18-1's. The guitar comes with a gig-bag (which I did not get (thank you, glorious Serbia)), an 8ft cable, one extra spring and (all) three allen wrenches.