In February of this year I ordered this saber. To be honest, my original order was:
V4 Luke ROTJ
In the end, after months of misunderstandings and issues, my order was edited to be:
V3-GX-Plus Luke ROTJ
2.0 Sith sound (closest to movie)
There was an unexplained issue with why a V4 wasn't eventually able to be completed, however Makoto had come across an LED that was 40% brighter than his previous V3 LED, so this new one he coined as his V3-GX. My saber is 2-strips of the V3-GX LEDs, which has about the same brightness (or more) of his average V4. I am huge fan of the ROTJ saber style, and since I am not a "saber collector" (no money!) I decided that I would like to own the one that has the most nostalgic quality for me. As a kid, this was the saber that defeated Vader. It was in the style of Obi-Wan Kenobi's hilt. As a college student I saw the green as the color Yoda/Qui-Gon used. Plus, heck it had accent lights, right?
The blade itself is very, very bright. I am not always a fan of the "foam" and clear tubing Makoto uses, however on this the brightness and diffusing qualities are much better balanced than my previous Makoto Starkiller V3. I may still one day sand the outside, or change to another tubing, but we'll see. The 2.0 soundcard of course has the ramp-up/down functions that are a great enhancement for the on/off use of this saber. Also, there's a very nice slow "swell" to the light.
Unfortunately, this is not a dueling saber. I don't duel...so that doesn't really bother me. Makoto never seemed very clear on why when I asked, maybe its the amount of space between the tube/foam and the LED that could cause easy displacement or breakage, or maybe the "setting" of the blade isn't as strong because of the thin-neck design. Either way, its not a flaw to me in this product, although I am sure many people would wish for the dueling option.
The hilt is quite nice. The thin-neck is beautiful in its design, and the ribbed handle is awesome. I only have a couple of minor complaints. The "copper" pieces of the hilt are more of a gold quality, painted in a dusted brass color that to me isn't very true to the original rich copper. The control box and neck both have this issue. The contrast is still fine, I just think a copper meshes better with the silver color, rather than a gold color instead. Also, very shortly after taking it out of the box, the green accent "arrow" light came off. I had to search for it for a long time, then eventually bought some super glue and set it back on. Its ever-so-slightly off, but not noticeably unless critiquing it. Altho the "gold" parts and pommel are painted, it still comes across looking very nice. I contemplated giving a glossy finish to the metal parts, but I didn't know how that would make the saber look as a whole so I haven't messed with it.
The accent lights work nice. The red seems to never waiver unless the battery dies. The green accent light is just a TAD dimmer, and it fades as the saber is in use with the blade brightness. Its kind've a nice indicator that the saber needs charging soon. It will stop glowing before the saber itself dies.
The 2.0 sound is a nice rich, deep hum. I'll be honest, when I ordered 2.0 sound I thought it would be the whole package (Jedi, Sith, Gundam), but I guess that was something lost in translation. Makoto instead put in his 2.0 Sith sound as the saber sound, because it most closely matched the "snap-hiss" ignition and rumbling sound of Luke's saber in ROTJ. There are actually 2 fonts that play, 1 is kind've a low vibrating sound, and another that has a deep swell to it. Both have slightly different on/off and movement sounds as well. My only issue with Makoto's sound fonts is that there's an electronic buzz thats always present under the sounds. This was true of my V3 Starkiller as well. Its not a major complaint, but if the buzz could fall off and overall volume could be increased, it'd be perfect.
Also, I know its not a dueling weapon, but I didn't realize some of the sounds would not be included as a part of that. I was showing my wife (who actually thinks its cool) and I tapped her arm and saw there was no "clash" sound. Its not meant to strike, but I'm surprised it didn't come with some kind of striking sound if it did touch something.
All in all, a wonderful display replica saber, with an extremely bright blade and good sound. I did have to wait an extra 2 weeks for a working charger. Makoto states that he did not include a recharge port because it takes away from the movie-style of this saber, but it is a convenience that I asked for in my order that wasn't met. Instead, a screw has to be loosened on bottom and beneath the speaker is a port that can be charged with his custom charger. A part of me almost wishes I had held out for a V5, ha, but then again... when I turn this saber off my eyes see everything in a slightly purple/blue color so its best not to stare too close at the blade anyways!
It isn't my intention to gripe, Makoto did an incredible job and I know that work like this is NOT something you find everyday. I give this saber a solid 4/5 stars merely due to wait (-20 weeks turned into 9 months), paint, order edits, and a faulty charger being sent.(Video Review)
My Makoto Luke ROTJ V3-GX PLUS Saber, 2.0 Sound - YouTube