Price paid: £ 99
Purchased from: West End Music
Features: Before you read on, I'm basing this review on my style, and I play a lot of Pop Punk.
The best feature, in my opinion, is the HWW Humbucker pick up, it's surprisingly good quality, and is perfect for those who play a lot of Pop Punk, like I do.
The Body is made from Solid Alder, it's basically an exact replica of a Fender Strat, the same shape, made with the same material. This S301 model is based off the Tom Delonge Signature Strat, looks the same, and is a lot cheaper! But what about the performance?
The White Pearloid pickguard looks very nice indeed, and there is one Control knob. The Fingerboard is made from Rosewood, and has 21 frets, and it also has an "S" style bridge. The machine heads are made from Diecast Metal and Nickel.
The neck is made from Maple, which is finished ever so well. There is a solid line of Rosewood, that runs down the Neck and rear of the Fingerboard, it's well done, and doesn't look cheap.
The glossy yellow finish is an eye opener, and the shade of yellow chosen is perfect, it's not to "in your face" and it's not to dull. I really like it. The little Diecast Stagg logo which is placed just below the tuning pegs, is a nice little touch to.
I guess it could of had a few more little features added to the Volume control, but I actually like the simplicity.
Oh, it also includes 2 strap buttons, which is a bonus, because some guitars don't come with them. // 8
Sound: Now, just to let you guys know before you read on, I'm not a beginner at the guitar, but I'm not a pro, I've been playing for a year and a half, and for the past year or so, I've been using a Rockburn LP style guitar, which is the perfect example of an awful "get what you pay for" guitar.
It's all I could afford back then, and it suited me fine, I learnt a lot of Blink 182 on that thing, and it served me well. However, I wanted something that was worth the money, something well made and not to much money. Being a hardcore fan of Blink 182, I chose this guitar, because it's basically a copy of a Tom Delonge Signature Stratocaster, and apart from the reviews on here, I'd heard good things about this guitar, and Stagg in general, so I went for it.
I can't really understand why this guitar has got such a poor review on here? I admit, it's not at an original Fenders standards, it's not astonishing, but it's a pretty amazing guitar for the money. The sound it produces through my little 15 watt Marshall is brilliant, lots of raw punk energy with the Humbucker pick up, and the distortion on low notes is quite frankly, ace.
My mate uses an actual Fender Telecaster, and he's had a blast on this Stagg, and I've got to say, he was impressed.
I took the Stagg to college the other day, plugged it into a Behringer 150 watt amp, and i was shocked by how incredible it sounded, power chords, palm mutes, hammer on's and off's, all sounded meaty, so it does boil down to what amp you have. It plays surprisingly smooth on booth Clean andf Overdrive channels, so I can't fault it there.
It does feel a little tinny on the high notes, but that is probably the only downside i can give for this guitar based on the sound it delivers.
Humbucker is great when using distortion! // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I've got a feeling the screws for adjusting the pick up height shall wear away at the screw hole in time, because I find myself adjusting the pick up every now and then because it's a little loose. Nothing major, but a definite flaw.
I didn't find a single problem with the bodys finish, the Fretboard edges are nice and smooth, Pickguard is screwed well in place, strings are good quality, tuning pegs are also nice and firm. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I've only had the guitar for about 2 - 3 months, but I've taken the guitar to college many times and performed in a TV studio for a show some guys were making, I was playing it pretty hard, jumping around, not a single string broke, it feels like a well built guitar, I'm sure it would withstand some bumps and scrapes. // 9
Overall Impression: Like I said earlier, I play a lot of Pop Punk, like Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, Sum 41 etc... On the odd occasion I've played some harder stuff, like Metal, you can get a nice deep heavy sound when using a large amp, but personally, it's a guitar that was made to play Punk Rock.
The Humbucker is a brilliant little pick up, might not be as good as one on an original Fender Strat, but it plays well, and I love the sound it produces.
Personally, i couldn't have spent my 99 any other way, definitely worth the money, it's not a cheap "get what you pay for" guitar, it's been designed and made by a manafacturer who want to create instruments that are affordable, but don't lack in performance.
If you want to step up to a better guitar than a cheap non branded one, or you've been playing for a year or so, and you still haven't got the money to splash out on a Fender or Gibson, then this is a great choice of guitar, for a beginner, it would be absolutely ideal.
I'm extremely happy with it, my favourite feature of the whole guitar would be the fact that it's based on the Tom Delonge Signature Strat, because to me that's awesome, but deep down, the whole guitar offers a great deal for the money.
Loving the Humbucker pick up!
Hope this review helped, I'm sure many of you are skeptical due to the other review and comments below, but don't let it put you off! My mate with the Fender Tele says it's a really good guitar, and he's been playing way longer than me, and had his fair share of guitars!
I'm off to jam now, so all the best dudes and thanks for reading.
Matt // 9