its long overdue, but ive been so busy with work, school, and then jamming, i havent had a chance to really post the NGD thread. Been waiting and waiting to decide on which 7 string to jump on when I first saw the Dino bust on the scene, it literally had every spec i wanted. At first the different placement of the dots bothered me, but as Ive been playing it more and more they kinda disappear while Im playing so I dont mind them much anymore. If I end up deciding to hang on to her permanently, ill replace the dots with black dots before I dye the fretboard ebony. I was also taken aback by just how DARK the color of this guitar is that doesnt really show well in pics. When I first opened the case, I had to turn on another light because I thought i had a black one lol. Im really impressed with the finish, the color is definitely unique. What I totally love is that reversed headstock, theres just something that just feels better about a reversed HS Ibby. i would say that my only gripes fall with the body shape, and the neck carve. Not to say that the body design is bad, but it feels like its more in the way of my arm resting on the bridge than a normal RG. The reduced weight in the body definitely throws the balance of it off when resting on my leg, but once i put in my hardware to fix the bridge itll add some more weight to the bridge side of the body to help swing it back towards the body being heavier. As far as the neck goes, I know that a lot of people are a fan of the wider necks, but its definitely taking a lot of adjustment for me. My gold standard neck is the 1077XL neck, but this one is a bit wider and a bit thicker than the XL. One thing I havent had the chance to do is to A/B the DCM with a standard scale 7 string with the same string gauges and tuning to see what the difference in feel is, but as far as playing goes, 26.5 feels extremely close to 25.5. I notice the difference more when im higher on the neck but down at frets 1-5, i dont really notice the difference. The lopro7 is of course sex to my palm so i love having my favorite trem again. I havent done enough playing around with her though to give a good evaluation of the Retribution. Though after hearing all the soaring recommendations about putting the Fishman Fluence Modern 7 into this particular guitar, I am looking at at least buying one to give it a shot. After talking with one of the guys at AxePalace, he said he has a friend that reprofiled his DCM's neck to match the XL's neck so I wanna look into that and seeing how much it is. I think if my only complaint about it is the profile of the neck, thats totally fixable. Im definitely happy for now, even with my complaints about the neck profile. I would love to get it converted if I can, because I would love to just keep this guitar to use for B standard/ Drop A.... and then get a 1077XL for my A standard / Drop G stuff. Then Im completely covered for 7s, and can go back to hunting for my perfect 6 string (if i could ever FIND an RG970XL lol). Im still not convinced or swayed to any particular amp, so Im still weighing my options there. Anyways, sorry for the bad quality, I dont have the greatest cell phone.