Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 8
I had gotten this particular guitar from my parents buying it for me for my Beginner Guitar class back in 8th grade. It was worth pretty much every penny put into it. A nice 20-fret Maple-bodied and rosewood fretboard with ebony backing Dreadnought with a laminated top and a glossy, natural wood color for the body. However, the body was prone to being banged around too much and chipping easily, as were the neck and backing. It came simply as an acoustic and has continued to be just an acoustic, having no need for any electronics on it at all. The tuning pegs stuck firmly in place all the time even after all these 8-9 years. The factory strings lasted quite a while even after much playing, but were prone to much snapping if going off of any tuning but Standard. The guitar came with a leather case, guitar strap and picks, which worked very nicely for what I wanted to play it for. Didn't want or need electronics or other equipment with it.
Sound — 8
My style back when I was learning guitar and actually did learn it well was simply to go for rhythm guitar playing, which meant mostly chords and hardly any lead solos. There were no electronics, so no effects or amps were ever used with it. That did limit its ability to play very much. However, who needed an amp when the guitar played loud enough to rival most amps back then? It sounded clear and crisp until the strings got rusted and had to be replaced, when it started buzzing too much, leading back to the issue of the strings either not bending well enough or just being too rigid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was basically brand new and off the factory line when I got it, so it was very well put together and well made. Everything seemed to fit into place. Personally, how "cheap" a guitar looks does nothing to me to judge how well it will play. Some of the most beat up and worst looking guitars ever have sounded amazing, and this was no exception. As, dare I say it, sort of ugly as it was when I played it after all the years, it was still very well done. The body and fretboard were, as stated before, prone to chipping and rusting over, as were the strings even if replaced. Even the better strings I had replaced for the guitar snapped because the fretboard was too rigid on the guitar and kept on cutting into the strings. The nut was all right, even if it did keep on going out of where it needed to be.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If one wants a guitar that can go the distance and really attract crowds or just be a nice solo piece, this is the guitar for that purpose. I can't recall how many times I have accidentally banged the guitar around simply because I didn't see where obstacles and things were, but the guitar never played badly. Even with rusted strings, rigid fretboard, and tuning pegs that were a bit too loose or too tight, it still never failed me. 9 years later, I can still say that. The Squier line keeps on impressing more and more folks for the simple fact that it can take many many beatings and keep on going with no end and no falter.
Overall Impression — 8
I will never regret having this guitar, besides the fact it was my first and foremost. The guitar has lasted almost a decade of full-on playing from me and just won't give up. I have been tutoring and teaching others guitar for the past 5 years now, and this was the main guitar I used to teach. Others were very much impressed with it and wanted to play it. I own a Cruzer Explorer and plan on getting more guitars in the later future. For now, though, I will stick with my Acoustic and Electric. I play pretty much any genre and don't mind switching the tuning, and this does it. I will say it does look a bit cheaper than some other guitar models and brands I have seen, but again, the better guitars aren't necessarily the prettiest. One of the main things I wish it had would be electric capabilities. That way, I don't need to rely on my electric all the time now. Overall, a fantastic guitar for a beginner, a decent guitar for an expert or professional. If only the strings didn't keep messing up and the bridge didn't feel too rigid, then it would be perfect. Better luck next time, I suppose.