Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Rockland Music, Rocklin, CA
Features: As you can see, the Cort G210 has a Strat-style build. My G210 was made in Indonesia, though I'm not sure of the date; for the record, I bought it new in 2011. The neck comes with 22 frets, and has a smooth, subtly rounded shape to facilitate chords. Tuners are die-cast, non-locking, and the whammy bar is likewise non-locking. The pickups come in an S/S/H configuration (Powersound PSEG5P-5F & PSEG5P-5M & PSEG4P-2R, respectively) with 5-way pickup switching, 1 volume knob, and 1 tone knob; as I will go into later, the humbucker's pretty decent, but the single coils were a disappointment. Overall, it's your basic Strat knockoff.
Thanks to the neck design, this is a very easily playable instrument. However, the tuners don't do a good job keeping the instrument in tune. I eventually wound up having to remove the whammy bar just because any use of it immediately threw the entire instrument out of tune. // 4
Sound: My style is sort of like Neil Young-meets-Joy Division, with a lot of distorted minor-key chords. I plug my guitar into an Ibanez TS 9 (for overdrive), Electro-Harmonix Holy Stain (for reverb and fuzz), Boss GE-7 (equalizer), and an Electro-Harmonix Micro POG (octave pedal, to fatten up the low end); this all feeds into a Fender Starcaster practice amp. Needless to say, this setup gets noisy, so I'm inclined to give the guitar a pass on that. (Besides, my equalizer cuts a lot of that out anyway).
The humbucker packs a decent punch, perfect for a hard rock sound; just don't ever consider droning anything on this pickup, and you'll be okay. The single-coils, on the other hand, come out sounding kind of dull, so I generally ignore them. There's absolutely no resonance when you play this guitar clean - you *have* to play the G210 in a hard rock style with some heavy effects, or you'll be disappointed. // 5
Action, Fit & Finish: There were no obvious errors in the way the hardware was assembled; my only beef here is with the bridge. Use the lightest gauge strings possible, or else you can expect the bridge to lift up. Because of the way it lifts up, this instrument is basically impossible to tune with high- or medium-gauge strings: you tune a string up, the bridge lifts up, and all the other strings get looser. I've broken a couple strings over-compensating for this issue before realizing I had to use a lighter gauge. // 3
Reliability & Durability: After owning this guitar for 7 months, the pickups and pickup selector are heavily rusted - and this was purchased new last year. Do not leave this guitar lying out; keep it in a case or a bag whenever you are not playing it. Also, the screws in the panel holding the springs are very, very soft, rendered useless after some gentle screwdriver work. Knobs, body etc. Seem pretty durable, though, and have given me no issue. // 4
Overall Impression: Due to the deficiency of the single-coil pickups, this is a fairly limited instrument. I'm lucky that I like a loud, gnarled, overdrive sound, because that's about all you're going to get out of the G210.
Player-friendly neck design
Lousy, dull single-coil pickups
Loose bridge, prone to lifting and loosening/detuning strings when you're trying to tune them
Whammy bar throws all strings out of tune immediately
Metal hardware rusts/deteriorates with surprising speed
Overall, if this were stolen, I'd just go ahead and buy a different model from a different brand. I prefer my Epiphone Les Paul hands down, and honestly the Squier Fender doesn't look too bad in comparison to my G210. The G210 is good for one thing, though. If you can get it used as a beginner instrument, buy it; you'll mess it up, but in the process you'll learn how to care for a proper electric guitar, and you'll be ready to move on up by the time you have the cash to do so. // 4