Sound — 9
The sound, to my surprise, is way better than I originally expected. I compared this to a MIM Fender and I think they sound identical, if it's not better. When I compare this to a Yamaha RGX, I will say I like the sound & feel of the Aria better. Pickup-wise, you may hear little hum in the single coil positions but so as the Fender. With the HSS configuration w/ coil tapping, it does produce lots of different sounds for different genes of music. Indeed, the sound humbucker is relatively thick and powerful for what it is.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar, in general, is relatively versatile and playable. From beginner, intermediate or even advanced player, I do recommend it. The finish of the guitar is really unbeatable for the price. If my STG-004 is stolen, yes I will go and get another one and the same color. I played along and compared this guitar to MIM Fender Strat, Squier Affinity, Yamaha RGX and at the end, I still like the Aria better. I guess I choose Aria is because of the look and the fact it does product nice sound with a good feel after the setup. I have helped others to setup guitars and this is by far way better than other guitars at a similar price range. It's a good buy after all and I think they can actually sell this at a higher price tag.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Surely it will last... I have taken it to live performance a few times w/o a backup and it didn't disappoint me. Again, I have confidence the finish will last and the body always looks great. The strap buttons are strong but if you play rock, I do recommend you replace them with a longer screws. The feel of the electronics (knobs and selectors) have quite solid feel and they should last too.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is fine from the factory but I did the setup again to make it better. Currently, I am able to achieve a very low action (5/64") across all six strings without any fret buzzing. So far, I haven't found any uneven fret problem yet even at a low action setting. Mine is a 3 tone sunburst and the finish still looks Brand New everytime after I clean it. The wood selected to make the body is a very good choice. From a few feet away, it looks like the guitar is made of a one piece Alder wood. It takes a very close inspection to tell the gap between the first and the second piece. However, even at close inspection, it's very hard to tell the gap between the second pc and the third pc wood (I would expect it's a 3-pc body). I really think they did a fantastic job in matching the wood grains, even at the price level they are selling. In general, I am happy with it.
Features — 10
It's probably in China. The STG has 22 frets, Standard Strat scale. It features solid Alder body, maple neck and rosewood finger (which is the most perfect finish I have ever seen). It has two Aria single coils and one humbucker with coil tapping. All electronics are passive. Along with a 3-ply pickguard, 5-way pickup selector, 2 tone and 1 volume, the STG-004 does give lots of features.