Right out of the box the guitar felt amazing. The action was set low, the fret job was very smooth, the tremolo unit was set up to perfection, the neck was just right. Only thing I ended up having to adjust was the intonation. That was off by a little bit. Compared to what I remembered my old RG 7620 sounding like (I sold it about a year before buying this one) I initially thought the pickups sounded a bit dull. I guess my taste just had changed to favour more mid range rich tone. These definitely sound a little scooped in the mids. For a while I contemplated changing the pickups but over the next months I got grew more fond of them and I'm not thinking about replacing them any more. All in all the guitar is amazing value considering the price. No build quality issues at all. There is nothing about the guitar that strikes me as "cheap" or lesser than the Japanese made ones. The case and the tools are really nice bonus too.
As with all Vai models you can't put a finger on the guitar's sound. The tone is incredibly smooth (both with distortion and clean) and has all the output you'd wish for. The guitar looks nice as and is really easy to play - definitely good for shred!
However, the tremolo is bad. Like really bad.. Not surprising though, seeing as the guitar is made in Indonesia and not Japan. If you plan to do any whammy-stuff, this is not the guitar for you - it will NOT stay in tune. In fact I ended up detaching the tremolo arm to refrain from all use of the tremolo.
So..if you can resist the temptation of doing divebombs and such, you'll have a great sounding guitar at a decent price.
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