Purchased from: gift, I think guitar center
Sound — 8
I practice playing a lot of classic rock (Crosby, Stills and Nash; Eagles) and country songs (Alabama and Hank Williams Jr.) and the guitar is great for this type of music. The sound is clear and the chords I play ring true. Since, I am basing this purely on my first guitar it does fit my selection of music.
Overall Impression — 10
As I stated before, I received the guitar as a gift last May 2004 and the Fender is a great match for the type of music I want to learn to play. I also think that it is a great beginner guitar for those who want to start playing and continue to play. The only thing I wish it had is a front strap button. If this was lost or stolen, I would possibly purchase it again. My disclaimer however is as one becomes more proficient in play your taste and quality in instruments also change. So this would be a consideration prior to purchasing this guitar again. On a sidebar note, if I had a niece or nephew who was interested in playing guitar I would not hesitate to purchase this guitar for them to play.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think this guitar will last as long as the owner treats it as a true instrument and takes the time to conduct regular maintenance and cleaning it should withstand the owners play. Also, if the owner keeps the guitar cased when not playing it should be last long enough to pass down generations of players. It is just like a car if you don't take care of it, it won't last that long.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Well since I took it out of the box and was given some basic chords to strum it sounded very well. After about two hours of practicing a small adjustment on the strings and they are ready again. I have had the opportunity to play a friends Martin guitar and did notice that this guitar strings ride higher above the fretboard, however it does not effect the quality of the sound, it just means your fingers get tougher quicker. I would have to say for pulling this guitar out of a box and playing it right away was a treat.
Features — 8
I just received the Fender as a gift last year. I never really paid attention to where and what year it was made. I have not counted how many frets the guitar has on it, but I am assuming the number is the same as the other review states. In addition since I am fairly new player I stick mostly to the top four frets and anything after those I don't pay attention too. The neck however looks more maple than rosewood and the it is a solid top with a satin finish.