MetAlien GPK836BK Review

manufacturer: Behringer date: 01/19/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Behringer: MetAlien GPK836BK
The Behringer MetAlien GPK836BK is a beginner guitar package with everything a new guitarist needs to get started.
 Sound: 6
 Overall Impression: 4
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 3
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) pictures (1) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.2
MetAlien GPK836BK Reviewed by: katalyzt13, on january 19, 2011
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: The Behringer Metalien has 24 Jumbo Frets, a bolt-on neck, the body is made of Aspen and the neck is Maple with a Rosewood Fretboard. You have a humbucker in the bridge position and then two single coils, the middle and neck position. This has a 5 way pickup selector and a single volume and single tone knob. This has a tremolo bridge. This guitar does not have a USB hookup. This guitar pack also came with a 10 watt practice amp, a canvas gig bag, a tuner (not chromatic), a canvas strap, an instrument cable, a tremolo arm (whammy bar), and some picks. Also included is a DVD and some paperwork. This has everything that you would expect and want from a beginner's guitar package. // 10

Sound: The Behringer Metalien has its strengths and weaknesses. First and foremost, this is a beginner's guitar. The neck and middle single coil pickups sound identical to each other, which is to say bland. The bridge humbucking pickup is not GREAT, but it is very nice compared to the middle and neck single coils. The sound, really, I would just describe as adequate for a beginner. There is not any great tone to be found with this guitar. The bridge pickup does handle distortion fairly well, and seems more articulate with distortion than I would expect. It doesn't get muddy as fast as it seems like it should, which is a good thing. I've played blues, thrash metal, classic rock and some other things on this guitar and it really sounds at its best with Vintage style distortion for classic rock. I've played this through the practice amp that came with it, through a Line 6 Spider, through a Vox solid state, through a small generic battery powered amp, and through POD Farm and Gearbox via a Line 6 Toneport UX2. This guitar sounds the most decent through the Vox. The 10 watt practice amp that comes with this guitar is solely a practice amp. It does not sound good. It does not get any louder than the minimum you need for practice unless you use the little boost button, and then it becomes loud and muddy. Not really getting much response from the EQ on this amp. If I was categorizing the amp and the guitar separately for sound, then this amp would get a 3. It is like a toy. Despite the problems with the amp, and my comments on the guitar, this guitar is still playable for a beginner. The bridge pickup, while it is not great, is the saving grace of the Behringer Metalien. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar pack with the intention of giving to my young son to start learning to play. I had read some reviews gushing about how great this was as a beginner's pack, etc. I honestly can't understand what the people giving these positive reviews were thinking. I ended up giving my son an Epiphone G400 I had laying around in my den, and put this Metalien in the corner, where it mostly stays. The Behringer Metalien arrived with a poorly adjusted neck, sharp frets, the strings were actually splintered, there was sawdust in all the cracks of the guitar and the pickups were dropped down as low as they would go. I had to do some Precision filing on the nut, where the strings (small guage 9-42) were binding. I had to remove the neck and re-attach so that it was sitting flush in the pocket. I had to rub steel wool along the edge of the fret wires for a long time to smooth out the sharp fretwire. I had to immediately change the strings, and I had to blow the sawdust out of the cracks of the guitar with canned air. I had to raise the pickups substantially to get the best signal I could get without getting a muddy sound. The intonation was off so bad that I messed with it probably an hour before I got so frustrated that I took it to a friend and paid him to do it. The guitar wasn't really playable out of the box, especially not with the strings on it splintering. Even after all of my work on this guitar, the action still doesn't get very low, and the neck just isn't comfortable. The tremolo is actually okay. It isn't great, but you can use it a little without going out of tune. Of course, I didn't try it before filing the nut, so keep that in mind. I also didn't do anything too drastic (i.e. no divebombs). The neck on this guitar is a disappointment. This guitar is named combining the words Metal and Alien and has the wicked shaped pickguard, etc. it makes you think it was intended for shred and metal playing. The neck is chunky in a bad way. The neck feels unwieldy and almost blocky. The shark's tooth inlays look like a cheap knock off of the Ibanez shark's tooth inlays. The inlays are not attractive, they make the guitar look cheesy as a side note, I don't have a problem with Shark tooth inlays on Ibanez guitars - they just look very bad and cheap on the Behringer Metalien. // 3

Reliability & Durability: After making the corrections needed to this guitar, while it isn't a comfortable instrument to play, it really does seem to be built pretty solid. If I was giving a guitar to a child that I thought would be rough on an instrument I might give them the Metalien. When I opened this up, the wiring seems to have good solders. Since I've retired this guitar to a corner in my den it has sat there for over a year, only being picked up a few times since. People tend to accidentally knock it over all the time, and the finish seems pretty thick and hasn't chipped or anything. There is no corrosion, etc. This thing is built like a tank, but that is really its main strength, which isn't such a good thing. // 8

Overall Impression: I got this guitar for my son (12 years old at the time) who plays primarily metal and hard rock. The bridge humbucker is a good match, but the neck and middle position pickups are useless. If this were lost or stolen it wouldn't break my heart. I have bought, played, traded all kinds of entry level equipment and you hear you get what you pay for a lot, but I've gotten instruments that are a lot better than the Behringer Metalien for the same amount of money or less. As a summary, the guitar seems indestructible and the bridge pickup is satisfactory, but the neck is uncomfortable and really needs a professional setup to even be playable. I would only suggest this guitar as a gift to a young hyperactive accident prone child as a first guitar. // 4

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