ok, when i bought this guitar, i was about ready to pee myself, it was the prettiest thing id ever seen, i bought it used from the local guitar shop, and i asked WHY someone would trade that in, the guy said the person that had owned it before saw the *advantages* of a PRS santana SE, over this guitar *which is bullshit...more on that later :-P* anyhow, i traded in my de-armond for it and brought it home, i was happy as shit cuz i had the hottest guitar anyone around my area had seen. The sound at that time wasnt bad, i liked it better than the de-armond, and it sounded alright distorted, and pretty ok clean. no noise on pickup changes, and nothing rattled or anything, and it was great for someone that had only been playing for a few years.
ANYHOW, now on to why that guys opinion of the SE over this is bullshit, now i understand that immediatley the guitar is better, it plays ok sounds decent, and ive heard it dubbed the *les paul killer* well great. i felt like my guitar was weak sounding..and it was, so i put in two 1979 dirty fingers, and a texas special single in the middle so i got h/s/h now, WITH a toggle switch for the single coil, so i still have the three way h/h switch, and i can turn the single coil on whenever i want, that opened this guitar UP, you could hear the wood, you could feel the bends theres not a sound in the world i cant get out of this now, and all together it cost me 400 dollars, and id put this against any PRS out there, theres so much power in it, which is a huge testament to the wood in the guitar, samicks electronics are iffy, but the body on this guitar is great, im giving the sound a 10 because of how the wood sounded after i got done with it
i trust this guitar with my life, i love it, its been thru alot and it still looks good, i gig with out a backup all the time *which is retarded cuz ive busted strings and needed a back up set of strings* but i have 100% confidence in the guitar itself, i put locking strap buttons on and those are great now, but the tune o matic bridge seems to be some type of pot metal, and its wearing down pretty rapidly i might slap on a gibson tune-0-matic after a while, i gave it a 9 just because of that, it doesnt hinder playing at all, but i cant help wonder if im loseing tone thru it
after i got done with this guitar, it costed me 400 bucks, thats it, and its one of the best playing guitars ive ever held, if it were stolen or lost i would literaly cry my eyes out, these guitars are so rare theyre almost non-existant anymore, and theres a huge sum of sentimental value, after doing that much to this guitar, its mine, the way i have it set up, theres no other one like mine. it would kill me if it were gone. the ONLY thing id want different is MAYBE a floyd rose, and ill think about putting one of those in later, but well have to see.
This guitar may not match up well against a les paul or a PRS stock, but with a little care, and careful planning you can make it scream.