Sound — 10
I play mainly Rock, Metal and such. This guitar is simply amazing for it. Rich and powerful and has just the right amount of punch. it's equaly good for Classic Rock, Blues and Jazz (roll the tone down abit) I play through a 5150 head and matching 4X12. it's just right for me. The neck pickup is an amazing match for JB in the bridge. The 2 work excellent together. For everything I play, the sound is perfect for me.
Overall Impression — 10
I've owned my AES for 2 years now, and as I mentioned, this guitar suits all my musical needs. it's amazing. I have played for over 15 years, had many other guitars... keep going back to Yamaha. Since it was given to me as a gift, I would most definetly go and buy another one if it was stolen... heck, I might just buy another one for different tuning! I've played many, many guitars over the years, I own a Peavey EVH wolfgang that sold for near $3000 when they were released. The AES is a fraction of the price and is just amamzing. I think it beats out any Epiphone, LTD, PRS SE anything, Ibanez or any guitar in it's shape and style. that's just my opinion after playing all of these instuments with great setups. It just does something for me. it's an amazing guitar and worth every penny... Period. Its not for everyone, but if your looking for the LP style guitar, give this a try, you won't regret it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've been playing for over 15 years. I have 2 other Yamaha's, a custom built and an EVH Peavey Wolfgang Standard. I've played them all Live and they all Live up to gig standards. The AES was exception in tuning stability, balance when strapped on and just overall playability. If I blew a string on it, simple to change. Yamaha's hardware is amazing. Nothing drifts out of place or moves. it's solid. I would buy another one with out question. I would gig with only one and no back up if I had to. I like having a back up... just incase; ) It is very dependable and sturdy. I beat the crap out of it on a few gigs and it took the punishment.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The setup from the factor was decent. The action was a bit high for me and it was strug with.9's. So... those came off, 10-60's went on, adjusted the neck, set the pickup height and adjusted the intonation. Spot On. The guitar has no flaws in it's hardware. Everything sounded and worked properly. No noises, no scratching, no crap hardware. The Finish too, was flawless. No scraches or dings.
Features — 9
Made in Yamaha's Taiwan factory... I sill have a Yamaha RGX from 13 years ago made in that factory... still amazing as the day I bought it. Mahogany Body with Veneer maple finsih (transparent amber burst) LP style with sculped body. Well balanced and comfortable to play sitting or Standing. 1/4" jack mounted on the bottom between the 2 strap pins so when you sit... you won't crush your cable. Through body setup with adjustable tune-o-matic bridge. Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker in the bridge and a Yamaha Alnico Humbucker in the neck with a 3 way toggle Switch. 2 Voyumes and a master tone control. Grover tuning machines keep her in tune all the time. I give it a 9 due to the veneer top... but you'd pay $200 more for one with a real maple top.