S301 Review

manufacturer: Stagg date: 10/06/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Stagg: S301
Being a single pickup solid body guitar it won't do EVERYTHING but what it does, it does well.
 Sound: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 7.3
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.3
 Features: 7.3
 Overall rating:
 5.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.1 
 Users rating:
 4 
 Votes:
 26 
reviews (4) pictures (3) 25 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
S301 Reviewed by: MattKinley, on january 21, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

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overall: 8.6
S301 Reviewed by: fneeglert, on october 06, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 40

Purchased from: Gumtree

Features: It's a good no nonsense budget guitar in a Strat style shape with one overwound humbucker pickup in the bridge position and a volume knob. I have the sky blue model. Looks nice. I like uncomplicated things.

The simplicity of it's design means it's made to be played and not to be twiddled with. There's no hardwear or other garbage in the way to obstruct your hands or complicate things in a live situation. You can just get on with the business of playing it.

I picked up mine for £40 from Gumtree without a case or a lead but those things are not that important to me as I get what I want later once I decide if I like the guitar (and I have a few). // 9

Sound: The overwound double coil pickup has a very different sound to the sort of bog standard humbuckers you get on most things in this price range. It's a much "hotter" pickup so it sounds great overdriven, better than most humbuckers on similar guitars, but also has more depth of sound so I actually find it quite versatile. Unlike most guitars the volume knob is actually very useful here and combined with this pickup you get nice distortion turned up full or roll the volume knob back for a cleaner sound that's not at all as thin and screechy as most bridge pickups and sounds almost like a middle positioned pickup. I was very surprised what this single pickup guitar can lend itself to. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The neck on mine is perfectly fine with great action and feels very fast and playable. The body is solid and well balanced. The overall quality is very good, and I'm not even a big fan of Strat shaped copy guitars.

It's easy to fine tune the bridge to suit your chosen strings and playing style and the "pearloid" scratchplate is actually quite good looking and decent quality compared to most other "budget" guitars.

Even the paint on this one is better than on some of my more expensive guitars and the body isn't just a three hole design with only one pickup in it, it's only got the one cavity routed in the wood so it's been designed to BE a single humbucker body as opposed to say a Strat copy with two pickups missing. This means the body is a bit heavier and more substantial than a Strat copy body.

Sure, you could make a similar looking guitar to this by modifying a Strat copy but it wouldn't be the same, and the overwound pickup really makes the Stagg much more individual and useful than a butchered Strat copy. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Feels as solid, or better even, than any other similar guitars, which means it's actually pretty good. Guitars these days are built way better made than they were 30 years ago, especially the cheaper models, so the quality of something like this is almost comparable to say a '70's Fender DuoSonic or Mustang.

Only the tuning keys let it down. Mine all work fine but you can just feel that they are cheaper made than what you'd find on a Fender or something but that's hardly an issue so long as they work. // 8

Overall Impression: Being a single pickup solid body guitar it won't do EVERYTHING but what it does, it does well. I've played guitar for decades and have had everything from cheap unbranded plywood crap to vintage Gibsons and Fenders (etc.), and as far as I'm concerned the Stagg s301 is a great guitar in my collection. The pickup is overwound (look it up morons) so it's got a very different sound and it plays very well. Of course trendy halfwits who favour lightning bolt shaped guitars with fifteen active pickups and three whammy bars will always say a guitar like this is crap, but then people like that should just stay in their bedrooms beating off to internet photos of flavour-of-the-month guitar shreaders and picking their noses for inspiration. // 8

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overall: 6.2
S301 Reviewed by: cryzhadry, on june 06, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 99

Purchased from: ddd-music.com

Features: My Stagg S301 was made in 2002. It has 21 thin frets, the neck is made of rosewood the body is made of alder. It has a Strat style and the bridge is a fixed-S-Style Bridge. The electronics are passive and there's just a volume controle-it's a beginners guitar. The only Pickup is a HWW hot Humbucker. With the selling price of 99 I got an cheap 3m cable and a pick. // 6

Sound: I play a lot of Metalcore ,Punkrock and some blues/jazz stuff too. This guitar sounds distorted very nice and has its best sound at the low notes.So you can play metal (and also punkrock) easyly with a good sound. But with clean stuff like pop/rock jazz and blues it sounds not very smooth. So if you rather listen to metal and harder punkrock its avery good guitar for you as a beginner. There isnt any noise if you're not playing. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The Action was ok. Nothing impressive but nothing to criticize. The Pickup wasn't adjusted prober, so after 5 months I had to go to a repair shop to fix it because it wasn't placed straight. The bridge and top were finished fine and there wasn't anithing to citicize, too. The nut had too be changed because a part broke apart which was a expensive problem(related to the price of the guitar). // 5

Reliability & Durability: The Stagg S301 probably wont be good enough to be played Live. you would have to invest some money to change the pickup and that's not worth it. I think this guitar will last some more years but I'm sure it will not stay playable for decades. Maybe as your last backup you can use this one. // 6

Overall Impression: If it was stolen i wouldn't buy it again because its just a beginner guitar. It would've been nice if the guitar would have an single coil added to the HWW-Humbucker. But as I said before:for beginners Who like hard stuff i would recommend this guitar. // 7

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overall: 4.8
S301 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 13, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 140

Purchased from: M&G Music

Features: Not sure what year this is, think it's a Chinese manufactured for a belgian company. Clasic Thin tele neck with the Standard number 22 plus jumbo frets. Solid looks Tele like ash body with I think some sort of cheap maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Comes complete with the traditional skunk stripe on the neck but face it we all know the put the truss rod in from under the fingerboard. Standard vintage style bridge a lipstick neck pick up, standard tele style bridge pick up 3 way selctor. Finished in a yellow-ish tinge body and a 3 ply black scratch plate. Cheapo home made tuners volume & tone control, 3 way pickup Switch with a top hat tip. Looks like Keith Richards from a distance. // 6

Sound: Well I'm just a student and bought this as a present on my birthday as I started taking the instrument seriously. Pickups are a bit tinny but can manage. Play through a pocket POD so the pickups don't affect it too much. Using an old Fender 15 watt practice amp. Produces a nice twang for blues and country but still capable of sticking it to grunge crowd. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Well set up sucked to be honest, it had a really high action and the neck bowed like robins hoods long bow. all in all not brilliant but for the money I had was ok, sorted the set up my self (amazing what you can find on the net) and had to just adjust the pick up heights. generally finish looks great but flaws include (discovered after living with it for 6 months). Neck finsh not a good as could be, had to polish up a bit and uneven to the touch. Fingerboard wood rather cheap and dyed to give the best colour. Neck socket and neck are fine but not as snug to the eye it appears. // 3

Reliability & Durability: Would not like to try a gig but I reackon it would survive (but lets face it I'd rather have a Fender tele to do that). Hard ware will last probably longer than the guitar, all strap buttons solid and not likley to go anywhere. I don't gig so I probably would use it as a backup if I did . Finish is quite fine and will last the course. // 5

Overall Impression: Generally for a student like me it will match what I need it to do until I buy the Telecaster of my dreams. I have been playing for about 6 months and pessess a ancient squire Strat from korea (its 2o years old!! ) I own the amp, and my pocket POD I wish I had checked out Gak.co.uk before buying as I could have got more for my money. I probably would nt buy it again I would have got a squire but The nearest shop was 50 k away. Ho hum. I love it because it looks like Keefs and I love the feel and heft of it. Like I say this was all I could afford and had access to to. All in all I would love a american Standard natural Tele... Anyone got a spare 750 lying around. // 5

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