Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Online Retailer
Features — 10
First off, I've owned two of these; first of which was sold for rent at the time along with a Peavey Valveking 212 (awesome), and wound up buying a second one years later used which needed fretwork which wasn't mentioned in the ad. They were both mahogany bodied, mahogany set neck, both had the Seymour Duncan 59 and custom combination of pickups. Both were beautifully finished and had VCC, with locking grovers with the compensating nut and tune-o-matic bridge with stop bar tail piece.
The beat up one I got used I wound up swapping the pups and did the fret repair necessary myself (fret repair is suck). Replaced the pups with Artec Retrotron style pups and put all chrome dome tele knobs in place of the speed knobs, and even went so far as to get the Gretsch style pickup selector switch cover in chrome. Turned out real nice, but obviously that's not the same guitar anymore.
So for all intents and purposes this review is about my first one, which was tobacco sunburst with creme binding.
Sound — 10
I have a diverse style of music that uses the full spectrum of what electric guitars can sound like, from heavy metal tones, to blues slide guitar, to delay laden cleans and all of it. I used it with a Peavey Valveking 212 which no doubt added to my level of enjoyment on this instrument. The pups were amazing, and anything I tried with it sounded great. The Voice Contour Controls offered me the ability to dial in truer single coil sound than I have been able to achieve with a straight coil split, and did offer me everything I was looking for. Truth be told, if you can find one of these, and you don't pick it up, you would be greeted by an army of face palms by previous and current owners.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything about the setup was flawless. The action was perfect, the pickups were just right, the top was top notch, obviously the routing was done right. It has the buzz feiten tuning system which just makes everything a million times better. I know how to tune by ear, and this system makes that a 20 second activity, and the damn thing just stayed in tune until I had to re string it. Time and time again.
The finish was just amazing, and I'd feel bad putting it in a bag because it looked like it should be in a trophy case. That pseudo les paul look with a flawless binding and the shine. There was just nothing to complain about on this guitar. And I've gone through a few.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'd say with absolute certainty that this guitar could stand up to live playing, as it's a heavy (as heavy as guitars are anyway) and solidly built instrument all the way through. Nothing on that instrument seemed like it would ever fade, but eventually (a decade or two of being your only instrument) I suppose it would be possible. The strap buttons weren't particularly memorable, I only used them a few times, but they never ceased to hold up for me. I definitely depended on it while I had it, and used it without a backup for a good while.
I'd honestly be suprised if the finish had been worn out by now, and it's been years. Nice thick coat of great looking material.
Overall Impression — 10
I play my own style of music that takes a little from everywhere, and I'd say it was a great match. Playing for 11 years now, and have since picked up a Schecter Tempest Custom (close but no cigar), Squier Stratocaster, and Jazzmaster, and the reworked WI66 pro I mentioned earlier. I also own a Schecter Raiden Special IV, a pair of Peavey Vypyrs, and a handful of other amps along the way. They don't make them anymore, and I would replace it if I could afford it, but I really can't these days. Easily the best guitar I've ever had, played, looked at, etc. I'd take a fresh one of these over a Gibson Les Paul, and I'm not exaggerating. Between the pups, vcc, finish, shape, buzz feiten system... it's just no contest.