Avion AV3 Review

manufacturer: Samick date: 05/02/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Samick: Avion AV3
The single cutaway design shortens the exposed area of the neck, making it more secure and therefore more rigid. Combining this with a set neck greatly improves string performance.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 8.6 
 Votes:
 85 
reviews (8) pictures (1) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: dimebag7, on november 15, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300.2

Purchased from: Musical Strings And Things

Features: This guitar was made in 2004 or 2003 and I'm not to sure where it was made though. Theres 22 frets and is rosewood. The body is mahogany an is pretty heavy like a real Les Paul. The body style is basiclly one of a Gibson Les Paul, which is why I got it! There's a 3-way toggle Switch, treble, middle and rythme. The pickups are humbuckers I'm not sure what kind though but I'm thinking Samick. It has a beauitful finished but I got a chip in it because I dropped it (rips own heart out). // 8

Sound: I play mostly thrash and speed metal, perfect fit. But my clean tone isnt that great, my clean tone is kinda rough. It's pretty noisy when your not playing sometimes if the volumes up high but that just might be a siting on my amp or something. For a low price guitar, it has a good quality, it sounds good with a pinch harmonic it can really get some big bends and make it scream but it cant hold some notes that long and the bends don't last along time but long euogh for me. This guitar is made for metal or rock but I dont think it could handle any other style. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The only thing I find is a problem I run into alot is the set-up with the controls and knobs and tuner heads, but I replaced the tuning heads because I broke one off, now I got Grover (there hella tight). The one thing that made me most mad was my 14th fret on the low 'e' string wouldnt play so I took it back to the store I bought and they adjusted the brigde. The action is very smooth, for me anyways. The finish is amazing though, other than the chip I put it in (I cry everytime I think about that horrible night). I would of put a high score for the action, fit, and finish but the set-up wasn't very good. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I would relie on this axe anytime live, though I probably shouldnt, and I have before. But it seems like it's not gonna last 'till it's to old to be used, or that'll just come soon. But I still love it, its a good match for me. The strap really bugs me, it falls off alot and the nail spriped it by bbending so I used so wood glue (I think thats what it was) and now its fine for now. // 8

Overall Impression: Like I said I play thrash metal, and speed metal its a pretty good fit I love it. I've been playing for about 2 years, and I'm looking to upgrade to a Jaskson, BC Rich, or? I hate the factory set up though its such a beaitful guitar but the set isnt that great. I love the finish its one of my favourite thing about this guitar thats why I cry when I see the chip (not really). It's a great for a guitarist whos been playing for awhile but doesn't have a lot of dough. I love it really, but I still want to upgrade. // 8

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overall: 9
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 10, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Just Pickups, Pittsburg, PA

Features: Some people only swear by a guitar's brand name. In most cases that's probably the way to go. However Samicks have never failed to impress me. My AV3 is an 06' with 22 frets, carved maple top with mahogany body, rosewood fret board, grover tuners and an adjustable bridge. 3-Way selector and 4 volume/tone/pickup knobs with two humbuckers (I believe they're H/H humbuckers). Bottom line, this guitar is beautiful! // 8

Sound: I play anything from classic rock to thrash and black metal and this guitar is just right. You could definately play blues as well. I currently use my AV3 with a Marshall Valvstate 265 and it sounds awesome. The stock pickups leave some to be desired, but overall really aren't that bad considering how much the guitar is worth. A beginner would have no problems at all with the sound, although there is a little bit of a hum. Spend a couple hundred on some tasty pickups and I shit you not, you're playing a Samick that is just as good as any Gibson. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up was decent. Unless you're spending a few G's on your guitar, you'll always have to take a store bought guitar to the shop for some alterations on the nut or bridge or intonation which is what I've done with this guitar. The action on this guitar is great. it's genuinely fun to play on. I love the heavy feel of a solid body guitar. This guitar both looks and plays beautifully. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It looks like most of the money was invested in the body and not so much the hardware. Not saying that the hardware sucks, it's just not great. But as I said before, just add some new pickups of your choice (I currently use a SH-13 Dimebucker on the bridge and an SH-1 on the neck) and you'll have a guitar that you'll never get rid of. I'd definately tour with this guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: I play many different types of metal. From black metal, doom metal, progressive metal to thrash metal. I also love to jam to older classic stuff like Zepplin and Floyd. This guitar is great for anything. I've been playing for over 10 years and aside from an '86 Reissue Gibson Explorer, this is the best guitar I've ever owned. I'd buy another one for sure. I love the weight, the sound and the feel. If anyone reads this review and takes anything I say to heart, hear these words: Brand name doesnt't mean everything. Hell, for years Samick has made guitars for the big companies anyways (if you've played on Jackons, Gibsons, ESP, you've probably played a Samick and didn't even know it). This guitar has quality that just DOES not come in a 300 dollar guitar. I swear by this, buy this guitar, take it to your local guitar shop and get some inexpensive work done on the nut, bridge and intonation and get some quality humbuckers and you have a guitar that easily equals (if not exceeds) any Gibson Les Paul worth double what you paid for. I play all kinds of guitars. I love Gibsons. But you just can't go wrong with a Samick! // 10

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overall: 8.8
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: sg4ever, on july 27, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 399

Purchased from: Hickory Wind Music

Features: The features of the guitar itself weren't that great, but it's only a guitar after all. However, the store owner threw in a hardshell case for an extra hundred dollars. He also included the amp(It was a Kustom KGA10 practice amp), strap, noiseless cable, picks, and pick holder for free. So all in all it was a good deal for me. The guitar came with Greg Bennet humbuckers and stock strings. With all these things I give the guitar a 9, but I would have given it an 8. I do like my cherry sunburst finish very much, though. // 9

Sound: I like the sound of the guitar a lot. I've tried it through a 120 watt Behringer, a Kustom Quad DFX 65, and my previously mentioned practice amp. Through all these amps, the clean had a nice clear ringing tone. The treble pickup takes on a variety of sounds from twangy bass string riffs to blues scale licks. A combination of the treble and rhythm pickup produced a deep, smooth, tone that I favor for the smoother side of blues. It also sounds good for clean rhythm. Though the rhythm pickup had to much low end girth. Through the Behringer's distorted amp models and the lead channel of the Quad this guitar took on an endless variety of tones through the treble pickup. Great blues bite, and classic rock crunch rang forth. Through the Behringer's hi-gain models, the Avion handled handled classic metal or AC/DC crunch, well. Similar AC/DC crunch via the Kustom Quad came through. With a twist of the gain the guitar even handled convincing punk, emo, and grunge tones. Truly the guitar suits anything I could want to play. The pickup selector on two or three was mediocre on anything but clean or bluesy overdrive. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up was mediocre. There was some light buzz throughout frets 1-10. Thankfully, with a fixer-upper at the shop, the buzz was improved. The pickups are adjustable via screws on the sides, but were in satisfactory position. The bridge was in place and the nut is good. One thing I praise the guitar for are its polished frets and fret inlays. The finish is of course great and the knobs and tuning pegs are secure. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would and will play this guitar live. The hardware is serviceable but I will someday replace the pickups if I still use the guitar. Everything is solid, though I've never abused it and never will, so I expect several years worth of use. I can and will depend on this guitar without backup. The finish is good and should last since I play everyday for quite a while. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly rock and emo type stuff and this guitar matches this and more. I've been playing for about a year, and have educated my self on good and bad sound. This guitar definately isn't bad. It's better than some guitars that cost easily $100 more. If it were stolen I would buy it again. I love it's clean and distorted sounds. I am just a tad disappointed at the action's difficulty. However, seeing as this is my first electric guitar, it's great for me and is all I need in a guitar. // 9

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overall: 8.4
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: rainman1987, on november 24, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Music Go Round

Features: when you first get a look at this guitar, it is good lookin. My Avion has the natural cherry top with a light cream binding. The body and the neck are made out of solid mahogany and the neck is set not bolted. It has a nice gloss, durable finish. Equipped with a Tune-O-Matic bridge and grover tuners, this guitar stays in tune forever. It has a set of decent humbucker pick-up that put out a nice warm sound. It has 2 volume and 2 tone knobs and a Switch for middle, treble, or rhythm. // 9

Sound: I am a blues/classic rock guy and this guitar really meshes in well with my style. It puts out a nice full and warm sound. It sounds exremely clean for a $300.00 guitar. It plays just as good as guitars twice it's value. I bought an effects pedal for it because it's too clean for thrash and alt. rock, but once you get the pedal on it, it sounds awesome. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: For a guitar in those lower price ranges, I am really satisfiedwith the quality of this guitar. Everything looks very clean and well-built. There were only two thing wrong with it, but they were every minor. One, the set between the neck and the body were a little rough cosmetically. Two, the neck needed some minor ajustments. Other then that the action is nice and low, and the bridge is perfectly dialed in. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar seems to be in it for the long haul. After a year, I have had no funtional issues with it. It seems to be the Chevrolet of guitars, it won't put a hole in your wallet and it will last a long time. Being made of solid mahogany, it will take anything you can throw at it. // 9

Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 4 years now and this is the best guitar I have had the privilage to get my hands on. I usually play with a 15w Epiphone amp with a berhinger effect pedal. Since I have the pedal, I can plug into my 700w stereo though the stereo output and really rock the house. Overall I think this guitar is a good as the epiphones and squires, and base line gibsons and fenders. It really is a great guitar for the money. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 30, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 290

Purchased from: Braganza, Calcutta

Features: Made in 2007, Indonesia, inspected by one Hadi, did a good job I must say... 22 frets with little buzz but the sound takes that in stride.. Flamed top I read, don't know but sounds gr8.Tuneomatic bridge gives gr8 sustainance to the sound, I have played Epiphone LesPauls which didn't sound this well. Grover tuners and Humbuckers give good fat sound.Cable, Gigbag, strap included. // 9

Sound: It suits my music style perfectly.I play soft rock but I like my guitar to sound meaty with sustainance.It fits the bill fine. Using a 15 watt amp for home practice, I have played this guitar with Peavey in store and it sounded just too good.It has a bright sound and max for tone and volume does not give any problem.I am using it with Boss-BD2 and RP-50 which I mostly use as a compressor till I get enough dough for one.The guitar can sound gr8 in range of tones and heavy stuff also sound good... // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I am still using the factory set up. Though the Selector Swith and knobs I understand will need replacement but as of now there's no problem Am playing it for past 2 years and it has kept pretty good shape giving no problems.Pick ups did not require any adjustment but the bridge did.In 2 years and I keep it out in open room of humid Calcutta Climate there has been no problems of rust. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Strap buttons are solid, I have played live and played like 10 hours a day with it generating no problem. Definitely can depend on it for gigs. Finish is just great. HardwARE May Not Last For Ever But Then Nothing Lasts forever... Finish is good to last and definately has not worn out over the past 2 years. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for 15 years now. Playing mostly classic, soft rock and I love playing my instrumental pieces and solo's.This guitar plays those very well. I have a useless RP-50(now used only as Compressor to my BD2) and I have played this guitar without any effects for quite some time. The set Neck gives a good sustain and the Humbuckers are powerful. Now with BD2 I play it with Gain at 11 to 3 o clock and the guitar handles the Sound brilliantly.I wanted a Les Paul Clone as I was fed up of Fender China made Squiers available in India, and this guitar sounded a beauty and still does.Till I have enuf for a les Paul I will go for this guitar again. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 07, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 302

Purchased from: Music 6K

Features: I have been playing since I was six years old. I am 20 now, over the past 14 years I have really figured out what it is I want in a guitar and I think I found it. This guitar is a 2004, handmade (custom) in Indonesia as they all are. 22 fat frets have given me a wide multitude of sounds (try your diminished scales, incredible) as well as a reliable lead and speed picking. The finish on the rosewood neck makes the action like a hot knife through butter. The solid mahogany body with a decent pair of humbucker pickups makes for an exquisite resonation and note vibration. I am a les paul guy, so this git-machine suits me well. The 3-way selector (rhythm, middle, treble) on top of a volume and tone knob for each pickup leaves unimaginable possibilities in sound. In my opinion, the only fallback to this guitar is the pick guard. It is suspended by a bracket, and it seems like the material it is made of is extremely brittle, so I replaced it straight away with something more my style. The grover heads are nice, and don't seem to slip thus causing re-tuning all that often. I replaced all my chrome hardware with gold plated though; which cost me more than the guitar itself, but one of the most aesthetically pleasing guitars in my collection. // 9

Sound: I play a lot of alternative and hard rock. This guitar plays it pretty well, but I usually use one of my battle axes so I don't thrash the hell out of my AV-3. For the most part, I play a lot of classic style rock on her, and she sings like Telecaster or G&L ASAT Classic wish they could. This guitar I have used orangies (48" amp) and cheap Peavey 6inch speakers with and seems to play an variation or style that you throw at it. it can be a little noisy about mid-frets but the harmonics are to die for. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was factory set up somewhat decent. I had extra money, so all my hardware was replaced with gold accent bridge, tuning heads, etc. It seemed to be in top condition (aside from being out of tune)the color and finish of this guitar even a blind man could appreciate. All and all I give this a 9, it would be a 10 if the gold hardware came with it (but I could have gone an AV-7). // 9

Reliability & Durability: I believe that reliability is based upon the one playing the guitar. You have your thrashers, and your non-thrashers (like an old jeep, versus an aston Martin) but if you take care of this guitar, it will take care of you. I have had no issues with it this far, and I have had it for about 2 years now. // 9

Overall Impression: I think my over all impression is as follows. If oyu have around 300-320 bucks, and you are a fan of the les pauls. Get yourself a Samick AV-3. It is a good entry level guitar, but will please even the most seasoned guitarists. I think that any guitar needs its own little tweaks and modifications to match your style. But this is a very versatile guitar that can handle anything you want to put it through. // 9

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overall: 5.8
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: SnackAttackO1, on december 15, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Consignment Music

Features: This guitar was made in 2009. Features are: 2 volume, 2 tone, and 3 way toggle. Grover tuners, tun-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece. Mahogany body, set neck(can't recall what wood it is, most likely mahogany or maple) with a medium thickness you contour. It has a rosewood fretboard with trapezoid inlays. The pickups are Seymour Duncan "design". I may be wrong, but I think that's a way of saying they aren't real Seymour Duncans, but they're based on them. Pretty simple straight forward design, nothing fancy. // 6

Sound: I play mainly rock, and metal. I play a few different styles from funky rock like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, old rock and metal like Black Sabbath, and new like Seether, and Slipknot. It suits most of what I play fairly well. It's great for classic rock, newer rock, and blues. However I wouldn't say it's ideal for thrash metal, or heavy drop b metal. The pickups are very warm and thick sounding with... Moderate output I guess would be the appropriate description. Tis guitar does best with a crunchy classic rock distortion setting. The sound is fair for the price range. By the price range I mean what most others reviewing this guitar paid, I think I overpaid a little for it by the looks of things. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up on this guitar was ok. I did not need to adjust the action or intonation. It doesn't feel uncomfortable to play, and is fairly light weight. The access to higher frets is not the best. The neck joint is a little like reaching around a brick, but the neck countour is comfortable, and easy to play lead on. I found no paint flaws. I did encounter some fret buzz, but not enough to make a big deal about. That being said there were a few problems I encountered. This guitar probably has one of the worst nuts I've seen. After about a month it came unglued, and it was cut in such a fashion where I pretty much had no open e note. Just straight buzz sound then mute. Also the imput jack, and bridge pickup tone knob came loose after a couple of months. Not a big problem, but annoying. The set up was ok, but I don't see how they let it run through the assembly line with that nut. // 5

Reliability & Durability: I don't really have the experience to comment from on durability since I'm not in a band, and don't play live shows, but I'll do the best I can. I do use a strap occasionally and nothing has ever went wrong there. The paint holds up eh. Fairly I guess. As noted above the nute came off, then there was the knob and imput jack. Not catastrophic failures, but I don't think I should have those problems after a couple of months. However I've had it about a year and a half now, and those are the only problems I've had. A couple of paint chips so far on the bottom of the neck, nothing major. It should continue to hold up. Overall it seems to be a little frail, but I don't think it'll crumble to pieces next time I pick it up. // 5

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for 2 years. I'm a total noob basically, but I'm doing my best to help anyone trying to weigh the pros and cons of buying this. It fits most of the things I play fairly well. It's a good guitar if you can get it at a low price. If this guitar were lost or stolen I probably wouldn't buy it again. I would save up and get something better like a Schecter C-1 which would probably suite the heavier styles of music I play better. As far as things I love or hate about go, I think it has a pretty nice sound with a crunchy distortion setting. What I dislike is it feels a little cheap to be honest. Overall I think this would be a great first guitar or maybe a second for someone who got a $50 Squier for their first and wanted to upgrade without spending a fortune on a custom PRS. Overall I give this guitar a 6. It has a pretty good sound, good playability, and decent set up. It feels a little cheap however, and had some flaws. If you're looking for an affordable Les Paul Copy go ahead and check one of these out while you're browsing the Epiphones. // 6

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overall: 8.2
Avion AV3 Reviewed by: fouellet1701, on may 02, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 220

Purchased from: Private sale

Features: Others have said it all, solid-body with carved top, Les Paul style guitar, etc. This is a copycat of the Epiphone and other Les Paul copies that Samick makes for other manufacturers. But it seems that with the Greg Bennett label the quality has improved and we get more for our buck than buying other brand names, even though the price is lower! Mine is a Korean-made guitar with Grover tuners, the pickups have been upgraded to "Powered by Lace" humbuckers which are not as bad as some people say. The finish is transparent blue with white pickguard and trims, which looks very sharp. The bridge and tailpiece seem made of high quality metal and adjustments are easy to make. The 3-position switch and Volume and Tone controls all work fine. // 9

Sound: I play mostly blues and ballad kind of music, and this guitar sounds good in clean or overdrive mode through a Crate 80-watt amp, also a little Traynor 10-watt portable amp. I don't use pedals except a Boss tremolo. The "Powered by Lace" pickups sound good and produce no noticeable noise; some people people complain about those "budget" pups but for less than $40 a piece I think they are pretty good, better than the basic unbranded pups we usually get the factory anyways. The heavy guitar body provides good sustain. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought it used, so I have no idea what the factory setting might have been. In any case I always spend time setting my guitars to my liking, adjusting the action and individual string intonation. It's fairly easy to get a low action without any fret buzz with simple 10-46 strings. The Grover tuners are smooth, keep the strings in tune and have positive action. The build quality is amazing for a guitar of that price range. It feels solid and nice. The finish seems like polyurethane and is very nice and glossy. The guitar has a set neck so it's one solid unit. // 8

Reliability & Durability: As mentioned earlier the guitar seems like it's very well made and I could find no construction flaws. I haven't had it for a long time but everything seems like it's built to last, the metal parts are high quality. I have no problem is taking her out to a live gig and use it as my primary axe. No need for a backup although getting another one won't break the bank! The finish looks like it will last, but time will tell, if it's polyurethane it might get yellow after 10+ years and the guitar may turn green! // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for many decades, this is the nicest electric guitar I have owned so far. I had Yamahas strat-like guitars in the past, this is my first axe modeled after a Gibson model and I like it so far. Samick makes great guitars (and other instruments) at the right price point. Even an entry-level model will bring lots of guitar for the buck. The main difference between the AV3 and higher-end Avion models is the hardware and pickups. There is nothing I don't like about this guitar, I would buy another one anytime. Way better than a similar Epiphone sold for 30% more because of the name. The Greg Bennett label has brought features like Grover tuners even to the its basic models. Great guitar. A definite keeper. // 8

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