Mason Bernard Guitar: Hands on Part 1

After seeing a friend of a friends post on facebook, a picture of two guitars- one a vintage/high-end looking BC Rich, the other one I did not recognize.  The mutual friend showing me the post mentioned that this person probabaly wouldn't buy a garbage guitar.  As you can guess, the guitar was a "Mason Bernard" (or "MBenard" as it is on the headstock), which for those that don't know, was a company Bernie Rico started in the 90's after licensing BC Rich out. 
"these guitars were designed as if price was no object. I tried out everything and only chose the best. DiMarzio came up with a proprietary pickup design for me, including a very neat vintage single coil." Bernie Rico, Vintage Guitar Magazine
Start the GAS. What I read on the web was enough for me to pull the trigger on one, and at a very reasonable price (no other bids, in fact).
Here are a few things I've noticed with this specific guitar in my hands.  I haven't fully "played" it yet, as it still needs quite a bit of set up...
- while the headstock is angled, the neck is one piece maple, no neck splice/joint (small extra piece on the headstock).  This has always been a pet-peeve of mine, not for any reason except that I gained the impression that this was a sign of cost cutting.  The fact that this guitar does not have it only reinforces that impression.   
- has the typical floyd rose locking nut, but only screws in from the top, not right thru as per usual (nice touch, compared to my Ibanez on the right: Also note the neck splice/joint and gloss finish)
- either no finish or at least a non-gloss finish on the neck, feels great!
- the inlay-free ebony fretboard is THICK, almost 1/4 inch, much thicker than the ebony fretboard on my Les Paul studio, or the rosewood board on my Ibanez... can't wait to shred!!!
Additional resources: