I've sold off a ton of gear recently, but wanted to grab a fixed bridge 7 to replace some of the guitars that have gone. I'm normally a staunch Ibanez guy, but I wasn't too keen on any of the 7s they have available, or much that's out there secondhand, so I started looking 'outside'.
Grabbed a Mercer Blackmachine BM7 copy from a dude over on /7/. Whilst it was shipping, I came across a cheap Chinese knock-off that looked ok and was only £400, so decided to take a punt on it. Here they both are, starting with the Mercer:
1-piece swamp ash body
5-piece maple/wenge neck
wenge fretboard and headstock top
BK Holy Diver and Emerald pickups
2-piece swamp ash body
1-piece mahogany neck (some stupid paint to make it look like a multi-piece)
walnut (I think) veneer on headstock and body
All cheap hardware
The Mercer plays great. I've read a few threads where people have had problems ordering form him. One of those elusive luthiers. But everybody who owns a guitar made by him seems to be really pleased with the quality. I'd go along with that. It's really nicely put together. The only problem I've spotted is the high E doesn't have a lot of room before the edge of the fretboard, but I think I can adjust the neck alignment a little.
The Chinamachine sounds and plays really great. It's actually a really nicely made guitar. Way better than what you'll get from any of the big companies in the £400-700 price range. Fretboard is a really nice piece of rosewood, and the fretwork is excellent. The body-shape is a bit off. It has a longer straight line along the bottom edge, but I don't really care. Looks a bit like the Alvarez Scoop's body shape.
I realise some people don't like these copies in principal. I (obviously) don't have a problem with it. I've got my flamesuit standing by, so feel free to come at me, bros.
Now going to learn some bad Periphery rip-off bands and make bad cover videos.
Tons of SLR pictures? Blackmachine copies?
Cassidjent confirmed. Great looking fiddles dude.