Okay y'all - I posted a NGD not too long ago, maybe early last year. it was a schecter sls c-7 with blackouts. When I got it out the box I knew it didn't feel right, it was a special order though, dumb on my part so I could not return it. I sold it on ebay recently and bought this after reading about the hype. I'm very happy I did. This guitar is a much, much better instrument than the schecter. The neck is so damn comfortable and I don't get it. Upon first glance it looks pretty wide and almost hefty. The guitar looks gorgeous of course, and I'm sure the other owners can attest to that. But I'm just so damn thrilled with this guitar. The pickups sound great - if you've ever played a gibson flying V, and you're familiar with the 500t and 496r combo, I would say that the pickups sound similiar but a little less hot, a little spongier on the low mids and very warm. I started off with cleans and they sound great, particularly the middle and neck positions. The bridge sounds great too, but more so when you roll off the volume knob a bit in full humbucker mode. Just strumming the guitar shimmers, and when tapped in the middle position you get an almost acoustic sound. I can imagine this being very useful for live situations. The distortion on this guitar sounds better to my ears than on the schecter with the seymour duncan blackouts. The blackouts were almost too tight on the low end and too cutting, at least for me, and seem to only sound good with huge distortion and chugging stuff. In contrast, the pickups on the prs are more responsive to pick attack, but I was surprised at how good they sound when playing high gain metal stuff. They have a little more noise than the blackouts and aren't as tight on the bottom but still sound really, really good. I was surprised because of how people described the instrument as being more traditional but the pickups aren't quite as "PAF" as I expected. The scale length is super comfortable to me and the neck carve is fantastic. I dropped the bottom string down to an A and it felt fine and can't imagine anyone having problems de-tuning as long as they install the appropriate string gauges (I'd say a 64 for the A). The tuning keys are super smooth. The guitar stays in tune well. Verdict - I'm a super impatient person and if I'm not impressed by a guitar I'll put it back on the shelf within a couple of minutes. With this one I was just throwing everything I could at it and it performed like a champ. Chugging, pop-punky stuff, shimmering cleans, acoustic strumming, oldies...if you know how to play, you adjust your pick attack accordingly and the guitar is right there with you. If you want djent and metal exclusively you might like the ibanez iron labels. But these pickups sound so good in nearly everything they do that I want to keep them the way they are. You can always swap the pups and the playability is top notch. It beats the schecter sls c-7 in so many ways. I strongly urge you to check it out!