Price paid: C$ 750
Purchased from: Tom Lee Music
Sound — 9
I play everything, and this guitar can do it all. I use a 30W Marshall, a Duncan Crybaby, a Brian May sig pedal, and a Boss Metal Zone 2. I started with Hendrix, moved into jazz and metal, and I'm managing quite well with neo-classical metal on it. I've swapped out the SD 59s for some active EMG Blackouts, both for the better sound and to get rid of the sound of neighbourhood weed-whackers, lawn mowers, and radio coming through my amp when using the bridge pup.
Overall Impression — 9
If this were stolen, and if I could find it again, I would buy it, because Yamaha guitars tend to drop in resale value. However, like most of Yamaha's best guitars, they get pulled from the market very fast. My favourite feature is just the way it feels when holding it... Kind of like a sense of power knowing I could knock someone's brains out with it... Both physically and musically. Overall I give this a 9, mostly because I know there are better guitars out there (like my Strat). At the time of writing this review, I've played for 12 years, I also own two Yamaha and Fender classicals, an Epiphone Jazz, a rare Emperador custom acoustic electric, and my own custom stratocaster.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Aside from that one incident, this guitar feels very solid, the neck appears fairly thin, however I do not feel like I'm going to break it, this gives the fretplay an awesome feel. The strap buttons are very sturdy too, so it really depends on the strap, I use a strap lock on the less sturdy lower strap button just as a precaution on all my guitars. I have performed live with this without any worries or complications. The finish is like a coat of tough glass, I accidentally smashed it with the metal part of my crybaby, and it barely made a ding, I have trouble finding it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The only problem I encountered was after about a month of playing, when I noticed the telltale signs of a cold solder. I took it in to the store and they fixed it. No problems since then. The hardware feels very durable, heavy duty is how I'd describe it, though it's a pain to remove the knobs as they're the kind with a tiny screw holding them in place, and that's after removing a tightly fitted rubber grip. I think quality control could be better.
Features — 9
I love this thing. It has a black quilted maple solid Les Paul body and an African mahogany neck. The electronics include a 3-way switch, 3 vol/tone control pots - very smooth operation, and Seymour Duncan 59 humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions (passive). Everything down to the knobs are a heavy-duty chrome. I bought it because I was going for the ESP eclipse, but upon hearing this guitar, I realized it was better and cost significantly less than the two eclipse I had been considering. It came with a fitted black/charcoal hardshell case.