Meanest Shredder in the House
The neck and body binding is neither white nor black, it is battleship grey. Since I can't think of any natural substances which are glossy battleship grey, it looks like putty plastic. Just embrace it.
Wow. It plays better (and with lower action) than my ESP Edwards Pink Alexi Sawtooth neck-through, or my ESP Hanneman Eagle-Inlay neck-through, and it's got about the same action (but a less flat fingerboard and thicker neck) than my late-80's neck-through Japan Charvel. It is absolutely stunning to play. If you put fat wide frets on it, you could set it up like a fretless wonder SG. It's that nice. The wife and I have decided it's probably the nicest metal axe in the house. Quite an achievement for a $400 purchase. If I thought they were going to close the China factories I would definitely get two more for general life principles. It's that nice to play.
Get the Jackson Soloist case, it fits inside perfectly, and it's a really bad ass case, with excellent thick molded edge protection for actual airline travel.
This guitar has a metallic high end, like a strat with Hot Rails in the bridge. It's really crisp. The rosewood is beautiful, and the paint line on the neck joint where the bare neck meets the paint, is not as bad as pro reviewers have said. I have some very expensive neck-throughs with bare necks, and I've never seen a neck joint paint seam I can't feel.
This neck is as pretty as any bare neck I've seen in a neck-through. The guitar was stiff for two days but I've been applying generous lemon oil to the rear of the neck and smaller careful amounts to the fretboard. After three days, the rosewood is much darker, and the guitar is singing a bit better.
The pickup rings are thin plastic, and the EMG pickups wobble a bit more than I'm used to. But the rings are exactly standard size (everything is just perfect, really) and I'm dropping some black metal pickup rings onto it, and padding the insides of the pickup rings with low foam to keep the pickups solid.
I can't say enough about this guitar, and I am a worshipper of the vintage Japan neck-through Charvel I gave my wife when I met her. If I spent two grand on an ESP E-II or Edwards M-series, I'd be lucky to get one that plays this nicely. If I spent 3 grand or more on a ESP USA series, there would be no guarantee it would play any better than this axe. It is built about like a $1200 shredder, with one inlay still showing glue edges, and the grey binding very daring. The edge of the fretboard shows excellent fret filing and careful work. I would give it a 10 out of 10 if I could.
I picked the heaviest one from the showroom pictures, and it happened to have flame maple all along the three-piece neck. Good luck getting a good one! I sure did. Enjoy.