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Sound Quality

Again, I swapped out the stock pickups for EMG-81 pickups. Stock pickups and configuration would do most styles justice, but EMGs are my real preference. However, single coils aren't interesting to me, (unless its in a neck position), and being in the middle between 2 humbuckers looks cool but reaally gets in the way of my pick attack. I didn't replace the single coil but instead ditched it altogether. Took it out, gutted it and installed the now-empty housing back in its spot, and adjusted/tightened it down as low as I could get it so it wouldn't get in the way. Replaced the 5-way switch with a Fender style 3-way since there is now really only 2 humbuckers. Real bright sounding guitar that actually sounds good when its not even plugged in to an amp. Not as dark sounding like my Kelly.

Reliability/Durability

This guitar is my "beater" and it stands up well against any other guitar I've played. Great all around axe, no complaints except only one: the imitation Floyd Rose does its job allright, but the same old slop feeling in the bar drives me nuts! Its a somewhat Fender design so it screws into a collar on the bridge. The tolerances just aren't good enough to retain total control. At first I thought it was due to the fact that it was used, but the even the new ones are the same way! Now you know why most dealers display their guitars equipped with tremolos without the bar screwed in. (Unless its the good Floyd Rose) They don't want you to see or feel the sloppiness inherit in the old screw-in design and deter you from a potential purchase! I also took out the tone pot and moved the volume pot to the place where the tone was, and put a dummy pot in the volumes place. This came about because I was always accidentally turning down the volume while I was playing due to a somewhat aggressive playing style. Not really a problem with the guitar, just a necessity to aid my own style and comfort.

General Comments

Overall this is a very playable guitar and can be had for pretty cheap. I actually bought this guitar from a friend for $250 and he also threw in a little Marshall 10 watt practice amp with it. So I put some extra money into it for the EMG pickups, and 3-way switch and still came out way ahead. If I could find another one like this I would definitly get it. I would never consider getting rid of this guitar, it just plays and sounds so awesome. A bit of sentimental value is there too, I must admit, as the friend I bought it from lost his life over a lousy drug deal about 2 months later. Looking back, I'm quite sure now thats the reason he needed to sell the guitar in the first place. He's in a much better place now and the guitar has a good home too.




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