AMG-25 review by AMG Guitars

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.6 Neat
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
AMG Guitars: AMG-25
2

Purchased from: eBay store in Italy

Features — 7
AMG-25 - semi-hollowbody, Gibson ES-335-style, P90s-copies, three way-switch for PUs, two tone, two volume potmeters. So. AMG Guitars, supposedly made in Korea, though when I received mine, it had a sticker saying "Made in China" on it. No matter: The wood finish as well as the hardware is good, the fretboard also in accordance with specs, and the machine heads working like a treat. The pick guard is made from the cheapest plastic, but either you take it off, or buy a better quality replacement.

The guitar is - bar the pick guard - pretty and not splashed with pseudo-brands. In fact it has exactly nothing written on it. Now, forget all about playing it "out of the box." I had to spend €70 to have the guitar adjusted - but it was totally worth it! It is now highly playable. Sound? Well. It's fitted with dog-ear P90s, which sounds OK. It's not a hell of a lot of output you'll get from them, but the pickups pick up, and on a good amp they do quite fine with blues, jazz - and throw some gain after them and they actually perform.

So. You'll get a playable quite nice sounding guitar for <€300. And I, for one, like that it's a non-brand with no name or half-vulgar inlays anywhere. The semi-transparent cherry color (leaving textures of the wood visible) makes it look quite nice, and made me think prior to the adjustment that it'll still look good on my wall, in case I couldn't make it play. Some may opt for the Epiphone Dot (about the same price, and with an established brand behind it), but then you will have a slightly different design, and be playing on humbuckers. All in all the AMG-25 in comparison is good value for money - though some proper P90s may be an addition I'll consider in the future.

Sound — 8
Playing blues and jazz is pretty cool after the adjustment. However, throw some drive after the P90s and they'll start performing for a more hard rock experience. Played it on a '69 Fender top on an Orange 2x10 and it was bliss. A pretty broad variety of sounds. There is actually no noise from the hardware, which can surprise, as the PUs are copies, as much else on the guitar. Throwing some overdrive at it gives a nice resonating sound, and the sustain is quite good in spite of the core wood probably not being mahogany or anything harder/more fancy.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
The guitar was honestly set up poorly from the factory. Adjustments, however, goes a long way to improve this. During the adjustment the saddle was adjusted quite a lot, which was needed. The pick guard is a true shame, and I'm considering buying a Gibson spare part. It's never going to be the ultra-low action-guitar, but it's good for blues/rock/jazz. I could have benefited from being sold in a case, rather than cardboard. But thing at it like this: You buy a guitar for €200 - it will probably need some TLC, before you're ready to rock steady.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have very little live experience with this guitar. I would, however, never question that it could perform live. The unplugged sound is good, too, so using it in my living room makes me pick this one over my SG, when I'm just fooling around acoustically. I took the liberty to change the strap attachments to straplock ones, which was easy enough. I am yet to see how patina will develop - I figure the transparent lacquer will wear off at some point after use, but that's one for the future. Knobs for volume/tone are curiously enough in gold, while the hardware/PUs/machine heads are held in chrome.

Overall Impression — 7
As the guitar can only be bought through (international) mail in Denmark, it was always going to be a gamble. The finish as well as the P90s made it win against the Epiphone Dot, or even the Harley Benton E-35 from Thomann. After adjustments, the gamble has certainly paid of, and I'm very happy with the guitar - especially as I'd be looking at e.g. a Lennon Epiphone Casino to get the P90s. And, though the Lennon IS a better sounding guitar, I feel I've fooled the market a bit by paying less (the comparison is, of course unfair as AMG-25 is semi-HB, while Casino is full HB).

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