After spending a month with a Harley Benton 7-string that I bought through an Indian retailer, I decided to order this Vintage-style V directly from Thomann - Cory Miura's review helped in making the decision.
Unfortunately, being in India, I had to deal with a very corrupt customs officer who overcharged me on the customs duty. Also, Thomann's regular shipping company, DHL, failed in providing any info regarding the product tracking and I'd almost lost hope of ever receiving this package.
But, things worked out alright, albeit after a hefty fees was paid to the customs department here.
I was surprised that this guitar survived the ill-treatment packages usually get at the Foreign Post Office in Delhi. But it was very well-packed and arrived in perfect condition.
The neck was a bit thicker than what I was used to, but after a few mins of playing around, i got pretty comfortable with it. If you are used to the Ibanez-style necks like I am, then be prepared to spend some time getting used to this thing.
The fingerboard feels nice. The bridge is pretty good and easy to adjust - I did spend some time lowering it once I put in a set of my favourite Ernie Ball set of 10s - Skinny Top Heavy Bottom strings.
One massive issue I have is that the strap button on the neck side is right on the bloody neck joint! The pics on this site showed that this had been changed, but I guess this was my bad luck. I'll get it shifted to another position soon, but I am disappointed about this.
The guitar sounds nice and warm, but a bit weak compared to my Cort X-6 and Ibanez ARZ 300. You can play a fair bit of metal on it with a bit of tweaking, but I'd suggest dialing in a bit more high-mids and treble for your tones. I will get the pickups changed at some point in the future.
Aside from the horrible strap button on the neck-joint, the guitar has been put together very nicely. It holds tuning alright, feels nice to play, and sounds good. And there were no issues with the finish, or the fret ends. If you are planning to invest in a good quality affordable model with a view to modify it later, I'd recommend this. But consider the thick set-neck before buying!
I love shred-style guitars such as Ibanez RGs and Cort X series models but I found myself enjoying this guitar a lot more than I expected - more than the Harley Benton 7 string, which isn't bad either. I have not taken this for any gig or a jam session though. But I see an opportunity to test that scenario coming up in a few weeks, so we'll see how this holds up.
I am pretty happy with the guitar. I'm not happy with the bloody month-long delay and wankery from the Customs department. If you are in India, then by all means order from Thomann, but be prepared for THAT bullshit. The folks at Thomann are pretty helpful, but even they can't help you in dealing with Indian Customs. Sigh.
PS I will definitely order another Harley Benton soon.