Price paid: $ 121.6
Purchased from: Coffs Music
Sound — 8
This was the first guitar I bought. I went into the music store with absolutely no idea what I wanted/should buy, and walked out with this guitar and $160AU poorer. I have to say that for the money I paid, I could have done a hell of a lot worse. Until I bought this guitar, I had no idea the brand even existed. Upon reading the label, they are Australian designed and distributed, so I guess I'm helping somebody in out country make a living? With a decent set of strings, this thing sounds fairly good, it's definitely no Maton though. I've played it against an older Maton (absolutely amazing, I can't recommend Maton Guitars enough) and a Fender acoustic (no idea of the model) and it was definitely the worst sounding, but still a butt-load cheaper. I play a huge range, from Metallica to Johnny Cash, and this guitar is fine for them all. Just don't try to learn anything above the 15th fret. I'll give it a 8, once again for it's price it's a great way to get into playing guitar.
Overall Impression — 7
Although the defects don't affect the playability in any way, the really detract from my overall impression of this guitar. For the price, I do not regret buying it. As I mentioned before, I play a bit of everything and this guitar always has a decent tone (could do with a bit more body for recording, but I can't expect everything now). If it was stolen, I would look at investing my money in a better piece of kit, most probably a top-end Takamine or Maton. Overall, I'm giving this thing a 7. If you're a beginner looking for a good guitar to learn on and don't have any preference to genres, this is perfect for you. If you're a pro looking for a good recording guitar, I think your money would be better spent elsewhere.
Reliability & Durability — 7
While I'm sure this guitar would withstand Live playing (I've been playing it for 2 years now and it hasn't really let me down, apart from the aforementioned defects), I wouldn't use it without a backup as always. The hardware could definitely do with replacing in the coming months, although this is more an aesthetic thing than anything. All the hardware seems mounted adequately to the body, I'm not expecting strap pins or the tuners to snap off at anytime. Even though these tuners are a generic brand, I only really have to tune it once every few weeks, a bit more often if I do lots of bending. The finish is still good, although it's started to get dings in it from carelessness. As long as I'm careful, I'm sure it will last for a lot longer.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
This is where the guitar is let down severely. Action is fairly high (filed down the saddle and nut and it helped a lot). The finish was mostly fine, except for what looks to be a repaired crack on the neck binding. The frets needed filing and leveling, and a few aren't even set in the fretboard properly. A lot of the hardware is starting to oxidise, although this could only be expected from generic parts and over 2 years use. One thing the guitar has going for it is the intonation, it's spot on all the way up the neck. After fixing these problems where I can, it's definitely playable, but some people wouldn't pay for a guitar that came from the factory like this. I'll give it a 5, this is the only aspect where the guitar was let down.
Features — 7
Bought this one in 2005, not sure what year it was made though. 20 frets (nothing above the 16th is realistically useable though, maybe with slide you might be able to put them to use). Dreadnought body shape. 25.5" scale. According to a website it's got a spruce top with nato back, neck and sides. White binding along the body and neck. Rosewood fretboard. Diecast generic tuners. I'm giving it a 7 as it has decent features for it's price.