Okay, I've been playing this guitar since I got it on Wednesday (a couple days after I made this post on BAM), and I just finished an amp-fully-cranked band practice with it. I'd like to go ahead and post my first impressions before they begin to fade in my mind -- just remember I've only had this guitar for two days. I generally like to read forums like this to get details on gear I might be interested in, so in that spirit I intend to cover the DGT very comprehensively as a service to those not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play one themselves (like I was before two days ago). If you'd rather not read the wall of text that's sure to follow, you can go ahead and skip to the last paragraph where I'll give my general impressions. The particular guitar I'm reviewing is a brand-new, unaltered 2011 model weighing in at 7.8 lbs in sunset burst (V12) finish. I've played it exclusively through a Bogner Shiva with reverb head into a 2x12 cab with Celestion Vintage 30s. Firstly, I'm a Les Paul guy, but I've always loved Strat tones too, particularly John Mayer aok), and SRV, but it's just not what I primarily go for. I do own a Strat, I just don't ever play it in a band setting because I feel like a "tool" switching guitars around all the time when everybody else just wants to play, especially during gigs. I became interested in the DGT because I thought it could give me a little of both in one flexible package, and I'm very happy to say that it totally delivers! The guitar could very much stand on its own without the coil-tap feature, or being permanently coil-tapped, which is just excellent because you don't feel like you're really making any compromises by owning/playing the guitar. I would characterize the tone of the guitar while not coil-tapped as 95% straight Les Paul mixed with 5% Telecaster. I've heard others describe the DGT as having a lot of clarity and I believe it's that little touch of Tele-like snappiness (aside from the great pickups -- we'll get there in a minute) that gives it that distinguishing quality. Personally I think this is why people might be disappointed in the guitar if looking for a 1:1 replacement for a Les Paul. I don't consider myself a full-on LP purist, so it doesn't bother me. I happen to think that it adds to the character of the guitar and distinguishes it as having it's own voice -- and that voice is very balanced to my ears. Man, it's got a LOT of sustain too. The pickups while in humbucker mode are fat but articulate. The bridge pickup comes off to me as fairly bright, but not harsh, and has a muscular quality that I think most look for in a LP bridge pickup. The middle position feels the most balanced and can be easily tweaked by adjusting the two volume knobs to blend each pickups' tone to taste -- something most Les Paul users will be very familiar with. The treble bleed caps really allow the guitar to shine at any volume by not allowing your tone to turn into complete mud when the volume is lowered below 5-6 like many LPs I've played. In most cases while in the middle position, I've been turning my neck pickup down to around 7 to allow the brightness of the bridge pickup to shine through a little more. This brings me to the neck pickup: It's dark. It's certainly not too dark to be useful, but I don't feel like it's suitable for strumming rhythms in many situations. This is something that's also not new to me as a Les Paul player, but I would count it as a slight negative overall. One particular thing the neck pickup is useful for is early-Clapton style woman tones while playing lead. I've definitely been staying mainly between the middle and bridge positions and only dropping into the neck position occasionally when I want to elicit a sort-of smoky, smooth, indistinct lead-guitar sound. Speaking generally about the humbucking tones, there's no congestion, giving it a very hi-fi appeal, which I love. When I put a WCR wiring kit and Godwood Pickups in my Les Paul, I really noticed that "hi-fi" quality, and I was glad to see it present in the DGT without needing modifications. The DGT pickups feel like a nice set of muscular PAFs, the bridge in particular sizzles. The neck and bridge pickups sound dissimilar enough to be really noticeable when switched between, but paired well enough so that it sounds like two different flavors of the same general tone. I just feel like the neck pickup skews slightly dark for my personal taste in the two days I've had with it. Alright, let's talk about this thing while coil-tapped. When you pull up the tone knob to engage the coil-tap, there's very little drop in volume. Before I got the guitar, I expected there to be about a 25% drop-off based on other comments and reviews of the guitar. My DGT seems to drop off by more like 10%. I'm very happy with this because it means I don't have to worry about fiddling with volumes after I switch the tap on of off. As far as tone goes, the single-coil setting is beautiful and has that Fender-y twang we all love. Where it differs from a Tele or Strat is that it is just a lot meatier sounding. I said earlier that the DGT can sound about 95% like a Les Paul, but the coil-tap side of things isn't quite as authentic. If you're not interested in sounding exactly like a Tele or Strat, then you're in good shape because although you're not exactly going to be copping genuine Fender tones from the DGT, you will be getting some great ones that are all their own. I've read in places that the Bridge pickup tapped sounds more like a Tele and the neck more like a Strat. I would agree with that description except that it sounds like a huge Tele and a huge Strat. Especially on the Stratocaster side of things, this guitar just has an immediacy to the attack that isn't present in any Strat I've ever played. I still believe though that your average Joe would identify the coil-tapped DGT as a Strat or Tele in a blindfold test. Another thing I've noticed is that the bridge and middle positions seem to get brighter when tapped (as expected), but the neck pickup gets a bit darker. I feel like the neck pickup is more usable while tapped, but is still the least usable position of the three. While coil-tapped, I tend to stay in the middle position most of the time. I may be tempted to change out the neck pickup in the future to try and make this the absolute perfect guitar, but I'm afraid I'd get a larger volume drop-off which could ruin the usability of the middle position, which I love in both humbucking and single coil modes. I've only had the guitar for a couple days now though, so I may be able to tweak the tone to perfection with amp settings given more time. The neck pickup being dark is just a slight niggle though in a guitar that I think is pretty damn close to perfect -- I've never personally played a Les Paul style guitar that I didn't only use the neck pickup in occasionally. And it has to be said that I've never had a guitar with stock pickups that I've been so satisfied with. The DGT pickups stand right up there with the expensive boutique WCR pickups in my LP. Okay, enough about tone. How well does it work? The guitar's knob/switch configuration feels very natural and I don't mind the DGT's switch location as opposed to an LP's. After two days putting it through its paces, it feels just as natural as playing a guitar I've owned for years. I have noticed that the volume knob for the bridge pickup seems to spin a little too easily and I'll have to ensure that it hasn't moved occasionally when I want it turned all the way up. There may be a fix for this, I don't know. Also, pulling up the tone knob in order to tap the coils isn't quite as easy as I'd like, making quick switches a little difficult. I like the tremelo system and I can verify that it stays in tune very well after messing around with dive bombs and the like. I'm not very used to using a whammy bar, so I don't really have much to say about it except that it goes forward quite a bit, but it can barely move backwards. I do like using it for David Grissom-like vibrato on full chords. As a 2011 model, it does feature the new V12 finish. I haven't played many PRS guitars before, so I can't really distinguish it from PRS poly or nitro finishes. It is definitely not sticky or gummy though. I feel like it may be a little bit less brilliantly shiny than how I remember some PRS guitars I've seen in the past, but I can't confirm that. No one would disagree with me that it looks super classy, that's for sure. I've read many statements of loving the DGT neck profile and others saying it's too small at the nut. I was a little worried before it's arrival that the neck would be too slim. It turns out that it feels a whole lot like my Les Paul's neck, which is a huge plus for me. My LP has a 60's profile neck i believe, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Playing the DGT is super comfortable for me, but that's subjective. The frets aren't as drastically large as I expected and don't really contribute much to the feel of the guitar in my opinion coming from my Les Paul. The .011 strings are a little rough on me (I normally use .010s), but I'm going to keep them on at least until this set is ready to be changed to allow myself to adjust. I play with plenty of bends and after an hour or so I definitely start getting hand-fatigue. I believe the large gauge strings may also be somewhat prohibitive for speed/shred playing with my short experience using the guitar, which will influence my choice of strings later on. The Phase III tuners look sexy to me and I don't think the exposed gears will pose a problem. On other guitars when tuning the low E string, I tend to overshoot the correct pitch because of the tuner's low gear ratio. It only really affects the E string, but it seems like even an 10th of a turn will take you too far while tuning. It's not a big problem, but the DGT solves it with the Phase III's 18:1 ratio. When compared my LP's Sperzel tuners' 14:1 ratio, there is a noticeable improvement in accuracy, but only on the low E string, however, it doesn't slow down the tuning process. I haven't had any issues with the balance of the guitar while playing it standing with a strap. The moon inlays look far more distinct and classy in person than they did in pictures. I prefer the understated look of moons to birds -- to each his own. Oh, and before I forget to address the scale length of the guitar, to me it does indeed feel like a hybrid between a LP and a Strat, but as a LP type of guy, this hasn't affected my comfortability with playing the guitar. So my impression of the DGT is that it is a vintage-style instrument capable of more varied tones than any vintage-style instrument made in the past while giving you everything you need and nothing you don't in a beautiful PRS package. Want a tone-slinging Les Paul that comes stock with locking tuners that actually work, boutique quality pickups, excellent tremolo system, and good fret access, that weighs less than 8 lbs and plays like melted butter? Well...you can't have it, but as long as you're not an absolute purist, the DGT will fill that gap and more. The thing offers gorgeous single-coil tones and meaty humbucking goodness while providing its own brand of authenticity. It's a guitar that just makes sense in every single design element, and with only a few minor issues. It's not a perfect guitar, but it's the closest thing I've ever played. I think it will satisfy humbucker-guitar fans more in general, but its single-coil tones sound great enough in such a versatile configuration that it should really be considered by any guitarist with fingers and ears. I'm pretty happy with the guitar.