1998 WARRIOR FULLY ARMED GUARDIAN
I bought this guitar used in 2003 and initially was very impressed with it. It is fairly versatile and sounds good. The neck feels very flat and has very little in terms of a radius to it - I like that.
The Warrior Fully Armed Guardian model is no longer manufactured. Warrior now makes the inferior Soldier model as a replacement. The original Fully Armed Guardians featured select tonewoods that were at least 80 years old. This guitar was no exception.
The Warrior is a very beautiful instrument in both design and execution. I've had many people tell me that it is the most beautiful guitar that I have owned. No one has told me it is the best sounding (or playing) though. Let's not forget that is what is most important.
The guitar is very deeply carved both front and back. This makes the guitar both extremely light in weight and ergonomic. It feels as though it just melts into you.
Warrior Guardians were all hand built. One of the most unique features about Warriors is the recessed bridge. Since the angle the string has as it passes over the bridge determines how taught or slinky the strings feel, this guitar has strings that feel almost slack even when they are tuned at full pitch. As a result it is VERY comfortable to play. Ultimately, this very feature is why this guitar has fallen out of favor with me. The tension of the string over the bridge also determines how much acoustic energy is transferred to the carved top. Because there is actually less tension passing over the bridge and the bridge is recessed deep into the top, the reduced acoustic transference actually detracts from the sound both when the guitar is plugged in and when it isn't. It doesn't sound bad. It just doesn't sound anything compared to how it looks. Another problem with this guitar is that the tuning stability is not great. This might be due to the recessed bridge as well.
The pickups are Seymour Duncans although I do not know which model as I never removed the cover plates. One irritating feature of the Warrior is that the pickup selector is a 5 way rotary knob. While Paul Reed Smith has successfully used this feature for many years, the folks at Warrior decided to wire their selector in reverse of how PRS does it. It is counter intuitive during play and I have often found myself making the wrong selection! In addition, Warrior has tried to save money by manufacturing their own tuners. These tuners are very inferior to numerous other models on the open market. They feel cheap. There is no reason to include something like that on a high end guitar. It is inexcusable. I sold this guitar for the reasons I mentioned above.
Here are some of the features for reference: