Price paid: $ 239
Purchased from: GuitarFetish.com
Sound — 7
I play mostly rock/metal. Lots of 80's hair bands. However, I just turned 41 and I wanted something to go along with my other guitars, but look classy instead of looking like a shred machine. For that purpose, this guitar can bring it. I realize that everyone has their own taste in pickup sound, but these factory Crunchy Pat pickups seem fine. I had to back the bass side off a bit as it was overwhelming the treble, but otherwise, no complaints. Pickups can hit harmonics just fine. Not a ton of sustain, but enough. Sound leans toward a bright sound, as this is the nature of poplar wood. Only played on one of my setups, but at full volume and tone, I get a slight hum. Not sure if it was the guitar or the way I had my rig set up at the time. I was using a Line 6 mobile pod with my iPad at the time and had pulled up a user created tone. I was listening through headphones. I will plug into my DigiTech RP350 and do more testing after I post this.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing on an off for 20 years. As I said, I play metal/rock with an emphasis on hair band stuff. I own 20 guitars: Dean, B.C. Rich, Douglas, Anthem, Shine, Floyd, SX, Gibson, Kramer, etc. The quality of this guitar for the price I paid is AMAZING (especially with the original Floyd Rose Special). I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it again. I've been looking at this axe for 6 months, but have seen no reviews, which is why I decided to write this up. I believe GFS partnered with ESP/LTD guitars to manufacture this axe (because of the paperwork that came with the guitar). If stolen, I would buy another one. I chose this axe because of the sweet looks, the quality hardware, and the transparent ocean blue color. Thing I like best is the overall quality and that there were no flaws on the guitar when I received it. Thing I like least is the small string offset toward the treble side. I may swap out the pickups or the pups at some point. That's all. Buy it!
Reliability & Durability — 9
If I gigged, I would not hesitate to gig with this guitar. It's solid. The hardware is quality. The original Floyd stays in tune fine. The finish is nice and seems like it would stand up to time. The strap buttons are anchored well. All around good job in this category.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I'm a HUGE stickler for action, fit and finish. I collect guitars, and if they aren't perfect when I receive them in the mail, I send them back. Thankfully, this guitar came out of the box nearly perfect. Cosmetically, it was perfect. Thankfully, the neck was straight and the frets were level. I've bought other GFS guitars that went back because they needed a fret job out of the box. This one is fine. No scratches, dings, etc. It just needed a setup. I tuned it, set the string action, checked relief, adjusted pickup height, made sure the Floyd was balanced, checked intonation, and that was it. It wasn't ready to play out of the box and needed a setup (all guitars do, so I'm not deducting points for this). Make sure you know how to set up a Floyd or just take it to your local guitar shop. My ONLY complaint, and this is a nitpick, but when the neck was glued in, the strings are *slightly* offset toward the treble side of the neck. Meaning there is less space from the high E to the neck edge (treble side), and more space between the low E to the edge of the neck (bass side). Not a huge deal, but not perfect, so I'm deducting a point here. If it were a bolt-on, I could just loosen the screws and pull the neck to one side to balance the strings, but I can't do that with this set neck.
Features — 9
Made in Indonesia, in 2012. 24 medium-jumbo nickel silver frets. Body is Popular. Top is flamed maple. Neck is SET, solid maple with a rosewood fingerboard. Superstrat style. Bridge is a GENUINE Floyd Rose Special. Passive Pickups. Bridge is a GFS Crunchy Pat, and Neck is also a Crunchy Pat. 1 volume, 1 tone. 3 way switch. GFS tuners with a locking nut. Included SIT strings, a whammy bar, and some allen wrenches.