Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Interstate Music
Sound — 4
I'm still learning how to play, trying out many types of harder rock and alternative. Having played a few other guitars before (including an Ultra cheap KMART POS and a few more expensive ones), I wish I would have gotten 2 humbuckers. The single coils suck on this guitar. I use florescent lamps in my pad, and even with a little overdrive, the buzz is unbearable. Even with the lights off, the sound still sucks on the single coils. They are very compressed and very quiet. It sounds very digital like a low end '80s synthesizer. The humbucker is about 10x lounder. It produces a decent sound, but it's not full enough for heavier music. At first I thought my equipment sucked (it does, I play a DigiTech RP80 through a mixer and a 200W non-guitar amp), but my friend tried it on his Marshall amp with Boss GT-6 and the singles still sucked and the sound was still not full. If I was to mod the guitar, I'd replace the pickups and maybe get a H/S/H config. Playing acoustically, the guitar makes a lot of sound.
Overall Impression — 7
I've been playing for about 1/2 a year, so I'm still a noob. I like this guitar, as it's got to be the cheapest working Floyd Rose bridge available and the guitar itself has a nice feel. The major issue is dismal sound. If there were better pickups, this would be a very nice guitar. If someone did steal it, I wouldn't get another one. The pain of setting it up and the bad sound would lead me to a different store and I would get a guitar with better pickups.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is built like a tank. I accidentally dropped it once onto cement without even a scratch or dent. The entire unit is well made, it's completely solid. The whammy bar works nice, the tuning stays perfectly for weeks. If I were to someday gig, I would not use it without backup, as with all Floyd Rose bridges, if a string breaks, you're SOL.
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
The folks at Interstate did a horrible job setting this up. The action was extremely low, causing a great deal of fret buzz and extra stress. They wouldn't help me either, since I got the guitar on clearance. The floyd rose was completely set up wrong, and that took me quite some time to master. Oh well, at least I know how to set up a guitar now! The finish is really nice, I like the translucent red body, no blemishes.
Features — 9
Available in red, black, blue, green, or starburst. I got the red one with a translucent finish (looks really cool). It's got a laminated body and a large pick guard (typical Strat like). Made in China. It has three passive pickups (2 single coils, bridge humbucker) with a 5 way selector, volume pot, and 2 tone knobs. The guitar has a Floyd Rose bridge (more on that later) and 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard on a maple neck. Interstate's retail store staff were very hostile and refused to give me any accessories except a pack of picks.