Price paid: $ 276
Purchased from: Cubao, Philippines
Features — 9
Bought in 2010 if memory serves. I think this was Made in Korea. Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Stratocaster shape. 22 frets. Candy apple red finish. Really, REALLY solid craftmanship. Active electronics. Synchronized Tremolo system that IS NOT THE MOST RELIABLE. Single coils for neck and middle, humbucker for bridge, the humbucker was poorly wrapped in cloth, had to tape it together. 5-way selector and a switch for the bridge pickup to change between single coil and humbucking modes. Ton of features for this guitar but could do better with the tremolo system and the poorly wrapped humbucker.
Sound — 8
This is a GREAT guitar for its value. Pickups at 3 different locations with a 5-way selector leads to LOADS of possible sounds that would fit with various genres! The clean sound is quite good but is somehow either too sharp or too deep, it slightly lacked in clarity, but maybe its my cheap Stagg amp's fault. The tone is an issue that amplifier's EQ can definitely deal with. The sound when dirty is SUPERB! This guitar sounds marvelous with even the slightest amount of dirt! Not recommended for metal playing though. You could but there are really other guitars for that.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action was perfect when I got it. Everything is hunky dory except the synchronized tremolo bridge(Yes its worth mentioning again). Maybe I'm just a noob at floating bridges, who knows. I tried loosening it up a bit for trial. A whole tone dive, if just ONE whole tone is even considered a dive, and its out of tune. Main reason why I'm looking at guitars with Floyd Rose bridges and locking nuts for my next guitar. EVERYTHING ELSE IS WUNDERBAR.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't play live much. About 10 times in 6 years. This is because I don't really gig, I'm more of a hobbyist than a professional. The sound when live though, SUPERB. Wouldn't use ANY guitar for a gig without backup though. Strap buttons became loose after about 3 years, major fret wear after about 5 years of inconsistent, light-moderate playing. Oh but I do shred so you be the judge. Will definitely have this guitar re-fretted sometime this year. Finish is still sexy AF.
Overall Impression — 8
Style (through the years in this order): Blues, mainstream rock, punk rock, alt. rock, progressive rock. Been playing for about 8-9 years? I don't own much gear, just my Stagg amp, and Boston disto pedal. I've been longing for more ever since. If this were stolen would I buy it again? Well lets just say that I'd be really really sad. This guitar can play so many genres and really enhanced my learning experience with regards to what genre I would specialize in. This guitar is DEFINITELY much better than expected and of GREAT value for its price. Better than most budget guitars out there.