Price paid: £ 409
Purchased from: DigitalVillage
Sound — 8
I play mainly metal, and the EMGs in this are incredible for it. I currently only have a Line 6 Spider III, but I'm hoping to get a POD X3 soon, and I'll use that all the time. Even through the Spider it sounds fine, but through some of the better amps at school (my school's not that rich, they're only half-decent solid-state amps. No fancy tubes) it sounds very nice indeed. Crunchy distorted riffs, delicious lead/solo tones, and the neck pickup is wonderful, too. I use it a lot more than I thought I would. For those tasty clean sounds, both pickups are great, too. There's not a huge amount of variety, but if you play metal or hard rock, then this is an excellent guitar for you.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly metal as I said, and this is a perfect match. Obviously it's not the standard, spiky metal guitar shape, but I don't care. It looks brilliant. I've been playing for about 20 months, and I don't own a lot of gear. This is the best guitar I've owned, and I won't need to purchase another 6 string for a long time. If it were stolen/lost, I'd definitely get it again, after burning the person who stole it. It is a wonderous piece of machinery, and I love it. If you play metal, and this seems like the sort of guitar you're looking for, you won't find anything better for the price. I'm pretty sure it would be a good competitor against guitars 200 more expensive than itself. Incredible guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Keeping this section short and sweet... I would definitely gig without a backup if I had this. I'd always carry a spare battery, but I trust it completely. Strap buttons are very solid, no problems. Hardware seems very durable, and I'm almost certain it'll last a long time. I've banged and bashed it a few times, but I've found nothing more than a tiny scratch. Very nice.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action was fantastic. Pickups were fantastic. Everything was done properly, and without a problem. The battery for the pickups that it came with didn't last too long, but that's hardly worth marking it down. The little cover for said battery did snap off the first time I changed the battery, but it was mainly my fault for crushing it. It still stays attached unless you open it, but it's slightly loose. Still, it's an easy 10.
Features — 10
Made in Indonesia, not sure what year. It has 24 frets, a rosewood fingerboard, and a set neck. Flamed maple carved top. Mahogany body. There is a transparent red finish, however I have the transparent black finish. They are both beautiful designs, however the black looks like a brown, cola-colour in internet pictures. It looks nothing like that in real life. It's a dark grey/black with slightly darker shaded marks. I often sit back and look at it, admiring it's beauty. And that's not a joke. String-thru body, tune-o-matic bridge, bridge pickup is an EMG 81, neck pickup is an EMG 85. Volume control, tone control, 3-way pickup selector. It has 'Exclusive Grover 18:1 gear ratio tuners'. Not sure what that means, but it stays in tune brilliantly, and I change tuning a lot (from Standard to drop C, occasionally to C standard). Suits everything I need.