Price paid: € 180
Purchased from: Reynolds Music, Letterekenny
Sound — 6
This was my first guitar and I've bought 2 of these as I like the way they sound and feel. I played a lot of punk and heavy rock when I started playing. The coil tap is excellent, gives you a nice punchy sound when you want and then a nice Strat sound when you want it. I used this through a solid state and valve amp. Sounds excellent through both, not noisy when its set to the humbucker but gives a little hum from the tapped single coil. The neck gives a little smooth creamy sound and gives a little hum which I've never had with another guitar. The hum, not the creamy lead sounds. Sounds good but the hum does get annoying so a 6.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this thing covers a large range of music. I can't really compare this to my other guitars as I have a load of 7 strings and this. I wish the bridge was a little more tuning stable and the tuners too but it's pretty solid when you don't use the trem. If I lost this I'd be pissed as it was my first guitar, I sold the second one I bought. What I love about this is the chunky neck that's just so comfy, the fact it's not heavy and the coil tap. I compared this to the squire strats and the Yamaha pacifica and I chose this out of cost and feel. It just seemed to fit me more. For the price, this thing is as good as you can get, I believe it's one of if not the best entry level guitars. Gets full marks in my books because I've seen guitars the same age and get the same treatment fall apart where this thing just keeps on truckin.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have used this guitar live before, it held up well. No serious faults and holds it's tuning well when you don't use the trem. The strap buttons have beeen reliable, doesn't slip, the input jack was good and solid but after a while it came loose and stopped making a connection but this happened over a year. I dropped this thing once, straight of a stage head first and I just hopped down, picked it up and went straight back to playing. It didn't even lose it's tuning and just a small nick in the headstock where it landed. So it's pretty solid. I've had this guitar for ten years, it's still getting used when I want to play some rock or lighter stuff even though I have had guitars 5 times the price.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was set up well out of the factory, I had it set up for different gauge strings though. I adjusted the height of the humbucker as I always do, I like it to be as close to the strings as possible but not contacting the strings when I mute heavily. There were no blemishes or scratches but when I used the tremolo I got this weird sound so I opened it up to see what was happening, when I depressed the bar, the springs at the back were rubbing of the body where a little to much sealer and lacquer was used. I sanded it off and now it's not as noticible but still rubs, so I just don't use it. Because of this, I'm only giving it a 6 as everything else was perfect and it was comfortable as hell to play.
Features — 8
Not sure what year it was made, 22 medium jumbo fret neck, 25 and a half inch scale with rosewood fretboard, maple bolt on neck, Tobacco sunburst finish with white/black/white scratchboard. Strat style Alder body with Vintage style trem, HSS pickup configuration with 5 way pickup switch and coil tapped humbucker. Active pickups with grover tuners. Came with a gig bag, strap and cable.