Price paid: £ 499
Purchased from: Music Cellar
Sound — 9
Very versatile sound. It can play anything from Jazz to Metal, though not the extremes (i.e. uber heavy trash, traditional 50's jazz). The Yamaha single coils are a million times better than I expected (I was planning on changing them when I got it, but a mere hour of playing changed my mind). They're great for lead, jazz and even a bit of funk. The humbucker also does not disapoint, It really does give the extra punch when plying heavy rock, especially when you split it. Overall a fantastic versatile sound, which when combined with my Vox Valvetronics amp produces a fantastic noise. The only thing stopping me giving it a 10 is the Yamaha single coils. Had it the coil of the 812V and boom, 10.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, a great buy. It's my second guitar and fantastic for Beginner/Intermediate players, and even experts alike! The versatile sound, combined with with the solid body and comfortable weight and cheap price makes it perfect for people Who want more than the 412V but don't want to splash out all the way for an 812V. Best guitar I own.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Solid guitar, has taken the bashings of its fair share of gigs and home use, with only the typical belt nicks on the back, and dents in the headstock/body. It has taken everything I have thrown at it and just kept playing to tip top Standard. The finish is high quality, very difficult to put a nasty scratch on. The Grover works fantastic. Unlike many non-locking tremelos, it goes back into tune even after thrashing the whammy with some Steve Vai. This thing has lasted a year and a half of abuse and will still be here ten years from now.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was well setup in the shop (apart from the crappy factory strings) but other than that it was basically a dust off, tune up and crank up the volume.
Features — 9
Beautiful black flamed maple top, alder body, maple/rosewood neck, 22 frets. Seymore Duncan JB bridge and 2 Yamaha single coils. 5 way pickup selector and volume and tone knobs with really good "push-push" Switch for splitting the humbucker. Grover Locking tuners can be a tad unpredictable though. No accessories included, but I did haggle for a discount on a case.