Price paid: $ 139
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 6
The sound is pretty good. I use it through a Zoom505 into a Behringer 15 watt, rocking out. Nice slightly warm tone, fuller than my Peavey Raptor EXP Plus. (I think this is mainly due to the fact that the Peavey humbucker is tired though) The guitar is not noisy at all, feedback is nonexistent, even when close to the amp, though I prefer to have some feedback. Handles distortion and clean well. I must say it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the one I played in the store before I bought it though.
Overall Impression — 3
I play hard rock pushing to the metal area. It is good for that, but not for being an active player. It is light, which suits many people, but I like a chunkawood, and prefer the tone of a heavy guitar. I also have a Peavey Raptor, and will be replacing the humbucker to see if this guitar even stands up to that. That Peavey is built like a tank, an awesome Strat copy. If it were stolen, I would be happy, because then my wife would let me buy a new guitar, one of quality. I would definitely buy another brand, no more Arbors for me. The one thing I wish this guitar had was pride in workmanship. I am VERY disappointed with this. Makes me wonder how many others out there are like it.
Reliability & Durability — 2
I shudder at the very thought of using this guitar as a back-up, let alone as a main guitar, though I am sure it would last a little while. I baby it not because I love it, but because I am afraid of what might happen, or what might fall off. The hardware is soft and the bridge came with a huge dent in it. At least it intonates perfectly. I don't foresee any problems in the finish, but I don't expect it to last more than one year. I am certainly taking it to the hock shop well before then, after I file down the lumped up frets to get a somewhat passable action. The guitar arrived with a lead broken from the volume pot. I couldn't even play it before I had to repair it. And it was supposed to be new.
Action, Fit & Finish — 1
I don't know if the factory sets these up well, my seller had set it up before I bought it. If the neck was straight, then the setup was wonderfully low. However, the guitar came with a crippling lump at the 20th to 23rd frets, making it a high-action nightmare. I had to compensate with both a forward bow trussrod adjustment, and raising up the saddles just to get the fret buzz to an acceptable minimum. Also, the strings and neck were not centered on the guitar, they were off to the side, and noticeably. HOW IN THE WORLD WOULD ANYONE LET THIS OUT OF THE FACTORY? The 2 colors of binding are EXTREMELY tacky and ugly. The saddle height adjusters were stripped already when I got it, and one of the tuners was already having a dead spot. There was glue all over the place, whoever put this together didn't deserve to be paid. Also, even though it says that it is a mahogany body, it seems to me this mohagany is very flimsy. It is very light for mohagany, and is very suspect in my eyes. I have seen a G. Burton, and would say that Arbor mohagany is the next step up from that cheapo guitar line. Overall, this guitar is P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. I suspect there are probably some decent ones out there, but not this one, and I am rating this one. So, if there was a zero for the rating here, it would get it.
Features — 4
Look on www.arborguitars.net for info. I got a wammy bar, and allen wrenches for truss rod adjustment and saddle adjustment. All the hardware is EXTREMELY cheap. Well, what do you expect for a 200 dollar guitar? Mine is a "Transparent Black" which to Arbor is really a dark brown. Nice, huh? Has 2 different colors of binding, darker brown on the body and cream around the fretboard.