I play everything from blues to punk and electronica to death metal and need a axes that allow me to do this live with as little hassle as possible. This guitar is perfect for many styles, although it came with pretty light strings (heavy metal oriented) and a changed those for a set .10 strings for versatility. I've played it through a number of tube amps but use a PodXT regularly as well. Not too many effects, as I try and keep the signal chain clean.
This guitar brings a noiseless, clear and well focused sound. Not a very colorful sound but overall a useful one. The low end is tight and defined, not too strong or boomy. The mid range isn't very lively as is typical on EMG's so this will necessitate some minor adjustments on the amp (my old main guitar has a SD Invader on the bridge and the other one has a SD Distortion). However pick squeels and harmonics are very strong and ringing and the sound smooths out nicely with the tone knob. Also, of course, the tracking is quite good while using the whammy for extreme bob dives.
For all kinds of metal this is a really good axe. For rock it works very nivcely as well. The single coils also make this a good tool for lighter music. The fixed neck gives a fairly good sustain as well
So far (4 months) everything aside from one thing described below everything has been peachy. The floyd is always the weakest link, but my style of playing can be really heavy handed and abusive to the axe at times, and the guitar has so far passed with flying colors.
The guitar is quite heavy and the neck and body feel quite substantial, joints well made, so I see no real problems here. The strap buttons do need some tightening, but then I move around a lot. I'll probably change them to locking-straps sometime soon anyway.
A minor thing happened just recently on a gig. The Volume pot for the bridge pickup popped off when pulling the pot during a song. The pots are heavy duty, and can do this, so they need to be checked regularly and tightened, so that this doesn't happen.
I've been playing for 17 years. Owned quite a few guitars, modded some of them (routing, electronics, neck adjustments) and am generally interested in the technology of the guitar.
This guitar has fast become my main on the road axe and a solid addition to studio work as well. Not the most "rock" sounding guitar by a long shot, but definitely one of the better mass manufactured 7-strings out there.
What's most important this really is a splendid value for my money. Brings all great parts in a beautiful and well crafted whole to make a solid work horse guitar. Definitely a keeper.
If lost, I'd looking in to a similar replacement from Schecter. Although competition from Ibanez is stiff, the DiMarzio pickups are for me a real downer.