Now, as many of you know I haven't had a lot of guitar playing time over the last few months due to fatherhood and moving house. What time I did get to play I usually grabbed the KXK as it's a more "house" friendly shape. ie. No sticky-out bits to whack on tables etc.
However, over the last couple of weeks I've had more time to play both, and more importantly get the verdicts of several other players over which is better. The answer? The KXK.
Both are awesome guitars, but the KXK is just more awesome. The neck feels nicer (plus the DW neck feels truly monstrous after playing the KXK, it's huge!), it sounds nicer (not that the DW doesn't sound good, it does), and the final clincher is the added versatility of the two pickups in the KXK. I'd also say it just pips the DW in the build quality stakes too, but that really is splitting hairs as they're both very, very high quality instruments.
To be honest, a great deal of the differences are splitting hairs, or personal preference. Stuff like the neck profiles for instance. Yes, I prefer thinner necks, so the KXK suits me better in that respect, but even guys like Hal who prefer the DW neck admit the KXK is the better guitar.
I've actually done this comparison since I put the DW up for sale. That killed me to do at first, but now I realise that as absolutely awesome as it is, it's just not the guitar for me. It really is better to let someone it "fits" better have it, and move on to something that's more "me".
I'm just grateful to have been able to own two such phenominal insturments at the same time.
At the end of the day, that is the real difference: one guitar is a great instrument that you bought second hand. The other is a a great instrument that was built the way you wanted it. In terms of build quality, though, they're both way up there.
For me, personally, I thought the neck was too big, the shape was unwieldy, I hate the bridge, and all that wood translates into a sound that I'm not going for. I also know that when I was offered both a KxK and a Jackson endorsement, it was a really tough decision, and Mike and I spent a lot of time talking about it. My original guitar (the V7) was not up to the same quality standards as Rob's current output, but Jackson was also on the way down. It was a gamble that has paid off handsomly for me, as I doubt that I would have gotten something as nice as what Mike and Matt have.