Played AX40 today, among other things - Jemsite
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: baton rouge
Posts: 3,922
Reviews: 11
Played AX40 today, among other things

So, low and behold, theres a HIGH end guitar store about two blocks away from where I live, and Im just now finding it... wtf... lol

anyway, they ONLY stock relatively high end stuff, with some medium stuff in between.

So, I got to play an AX40 back to back with the real deal Axis. played through some 3500$ orange stack (which made me.... I wont go there, best amp EVER, hands down)...

AX40 blew me away. I LOVE those OLP's but they dont hold a candle to the sterlings. Flame maple fret board, one piece maple neck, EXACT same shape as the axis. Pickups... they may not be dimarzios, but I'll be damned if I could tell a difference between them.

The REAL differences I could see overtly
-> Paint/finish... not even close. The MM is obviously spades better. The one I played was sparkle purple on the back, had stainless steel binding, and the top was figured far better/real. I know the OLP's use a "photo finish" And I imagine these sterlings do as well. However, that said, I consider this the least important quality of the guitar. I dare say this is the part that eats up most of the price difference.

-> neck finishing is obviously not quite up to par, but then again, its still awesome to play on. The back felt "slower" I guess, but I can fix that easily enough Fret work was lower quality, but not bad quality.

-> the floyd rose on the sterling was complete and utter garbage, totally useless. Floppy, SUPER stiff, was like playing with a normal trem that can down a bit further. This was the major turn off for me actually.

Unforuntately the AX20 isnt as good quality as the AX40, and reflected in the price difference. If they could combine the two (AX30 anyone?) Id have bought one right then and there. But at the same time, the ax20 had a tone knob, 5 way switching, and similar specs. Just felt a little less "good".

All in all Id put the AX40 on par with the RG550. The RG550 is a great axe, but not a JEM by any means. The price difference is staggering though. When I started playing it, I went "Holy #[email protected]%". It was THAT good. I will be buying one if I can find one without floyd rose.

Also played ->
Jem505 not even close to the 7's... not sure why people hail this guitar so much.
Tom Anderson Drop Top -> scared to play it, but man it was amazing. For that price, it better be though.... lol
Couple prestige models, unsure -> Not impressed! Fret work was uninspired, finishes werent that great, etc etc. Real let down for me.
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