Price paid: $ 151.2
Purchased from: MusicPoint Berlin
Sound — 9
As mentioned above, the pickup configuration allows for almost any sound, except maybe jazz or blues which is not my style anyway (I prefer rock f.e. AC/DC, Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Chuck Berry and classical stuff). I'm using a Roland Cube-20X, usually no effects, only overdrive or tube simulator. The only thing you could critisize is the not-as-high output of the pickup, so you probably might need a boost to get maximum distortion from a tube amp.
Overall Impression — 9
It's certainly a good match for all rock styles, so I'm perfectly happy with it so far. So far I have no regrets about it, and I guess I would buy it again (or the STG-006) as my budget does not allow for more and there are very little alternatives in this price class. So far, I love the fact that it's always reliable and that you can discover a new sound every day. No hatred so far. I compared it to a Yamaha Pacifica 112 and an Epiphone SG-400 and chose it due to the pickup variety, the price and my good feeling about it. If there was one thing I wished it had it would be a higher-output humbucker, I might change that some time.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As I had not the slightest sign of a malfunction in the two months I own I would rely on it for Live playing. Strap buttons are solid, even mastered a test with an additional 100 pounds. Finish is solid, too, pretty hard to put a scratch on it. As I only have it for 2 months I'm gonna give it an 8 out of 10, you never know...
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was already tuned and had a perfectly set neck when I bought it. Had no flaws so far except for the neck pickup which was not perfectly positioned in the middle. Besides that it's a real plug-and-play guitar. Had no loose controls or disconnected wires.
Features — 8
The Aria STG-005's most outstanding feature in my opinion are the 2 humbuckers, which can both be splitted for a single-coil sound, and which feature a 3-way pickup selector, so they basically allow for any style. It has a good overall quality and is as far as I'm concerned flawless. It has a decent neck with 22 frets, C-shaped and with capsuled mechanics. It has a tremolo that I made a floating one; it's usually locked (tremolo arm is included). The cons include the high weight, although this contributes to the good sustain (even though it's bolt-on), and the high-gloss candy apple finish, which is solid but does not fit the black pickguard; anyway you get used to it. Included accesories are a cable and the tremolo arm.