Price paid: $ 799
Features — 10
24 frets with a composite material like parker guitars to Gibson Les Paul Сustoms. Grover tuners, a Buzz Feiten System and it's string through. For the asking price if it was neck-through with a different bridge they would be crazy to not sell this for under 1200$. But now here's the best part besides the phenolic resin fretboard. It's got stainless steel frets. This will last 5x longer than an Ibanez or Gibson on a tour without a re-fret. From a luthier perspective the fact it's string through and has the pickups bolted in this guitar is going to ring out for a very long time. It's got a smooth semi-gloss finish to it too so your hands won't get sticky playing it in a show.
Sound — 8
This is a great metal guitar, the pickups were made by Egnater (probably spelled wrong) which were originally considered Randall pickups or vice versa. They were so high in power I wanted to take them out of the guitar and see what my multimeter read. The bridge pickup has this high gain bite to it like a more tame Seymour Duncan JB. The neck pickup is more smooth and concentrated. They balance well there isn't a big contrast where you'd drastically have to change your amp settings when switching pickups.
It's got an all mahogany body/neck. The fretboard is composite. Sort of like ebony in tone or maple. So a dark and warm tone. I can see people doing many styles on it as it's more than the specs it's us. If only it was as thick as a Schecter Damien it would be perfect. Weight isn't the concern light guitars are excellent for this and that but I don't want to give this guitar perfect 10s and this being a guitar you missed out on in shops. This has some flaws like everything else. On the positive side of things the volume knob is treble bleed modded or a linear potentiometer so a smoother 10-1 for more versatility when the guitar gets too bright.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The finish doesn't look like it's going to chip any time soon. The hardware is all solid. Everything looks consistent and is of some remotely name brand. Sung Il for the bridge. Grover tuners are amazing these are the 18:1 kind so that paired with the Buzz Feiten System go excellently together.
The fretting stood the test of time on a 5+ year ownership. The only complaint I have is I can't get the strings ultra low even when tweaking the trussrod. The only other thing I complain about is the pickups being bolted in I can't put the pickups closer to the strings. But other than that this is an excellent guitar. The actual fretboard is the smoothest fretboard you'll ever play. The material is composite and is technically called phenolic resin (richlite) it is very low maintenance like once every year or so spray WD40 on it as it's not wood. Paired with the jumbo frets this has this is a shredders dream. I also love how there is no fretboard inlays on this model.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This will definitely withstand playing live. It'll stay in tune well and the only bad thing I can say is there is no re-enforcement on the neck like say LTD guitars with Volutes so if I drop it, it's got a better chance to survive. The tuners will last a lifetime. The saddles on this Sung Il bridge I'd put graphite ones on in a heart beat. I'd use this live without any sort of backup guitar if it was the right guitar for the songs if I was in a band. Excellent intonation, light but not too light, great neck access and everything you look for in a professional guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
It doesn't look like much like every other guitar shredder oriented guitar on the market to the point you will probably not pick it up as so many people have to have this or that brand and see name brand pickups on a guitar to take it seriously. Once you pick it up and see how it sounds compared to Ibanez RG or higher end Epiphones and so forth in this price range it will really shine. I'm curious why they don't make these guitars any more they are fantastic. When I read the specs when I brought the guitar home I felt like I under paid for it. If you see these locally or online I'd highly recommend them.