AG 131 review by Ashton

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (45 votes)
Ashton: AG 131
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Price paid: £ 20

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 7
This guitar is good for country, blues and rock music. It covers all tastes. As you can probably tell, I'm a seasoned player, not a spotty little inexperienced teenager who doesn't have a clue what he's on about. You could use effects, but this guitar sounds great when clean. I did put it through my Line6 pod and it really came to life. But, all in all, you really don`t need to plug it in anything other than an amp. The pick-ups are very powerful and have a smooth sound. Playing with the tone knobs gives great results. Most people just turn the volume and tone all the way up and play. That philosophy beats me. Some people buy a Les Paul because they want to sound like Slash. They get a shock when they realise they sound the same as they did with a cheap guitar. If Slash got hold of your 20 dollar guitar, guess what, he would sound like Slash.

Overall Impression — 8
I play, country, folk, blues, blues-rock and rock. Basically, I play all kinds of music. I have been playing for 28 years. I own a USA Strat, a Mexican Tele, a Vintage AV6HGW, a 1988 Encore (as good as a Mexican Strat) and now this one. If it were stolen, I would be p-ssed off. It's a good guitar, I would buy one again.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is as solid as a rock. I would put it on par with Epiphone, Squier etc. The paintwork is tough as old boots. The hardware is, well it's hardware, the same as any other guitar in this price range. This guitar would easily withstand live playing. The only thing you need to change is the tuners unless you use 9's. Like I said earlier, it`s built to last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was only used a few times by the last owner. The action was as usual. Strings were approximately 5-6mm from the fretboard. I soon sorted that out. Although, action doesn't really mean anything. It all depends on how you like it. Some people like high, others like low. The neck is straight as an arrow, with perfect relief. I lowered the action right down and there was no string buzz at all.

Features — 8
First and foremost, I'm a Luthier. This is an older model. I think it's 2004. It is Strat style and has 22 frets. The body is basswood, the neck is hard maple with a rosewood fretboard and it's very well made. The pick up arrangement is H-S-S, with one volume, two tone controls and a five way selector switch. The colour is Midnight Blue and the finish is excellent, it's as tough as nails. Standard tremolo bridge, the same as you get on all Strat copies. The tuners are standard and stay in tune well, even when bending strings, which is quite odd for a cheap model of guitar.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jandricaleksand
    I have been using this guitar for about 8-9 years ,it served me well . I recently got an opurtunity to buy a new and quality guitar but i just cant get over this guitar ,its my first love .Theres rust every where , the frets are totally worn out, and i got bumper stickers all over it and it still does what i want it to do and i love it for it. I performed many times with it , and still do and also made recordings with it , professional recordings that i got paid for. It failed me only once and on stage , but this was recently and it was just a faulty input that failed after 8-9 years. I learned to play on this guitar and i would not sell it for anything and even if i buy a new and better guitar i will defenetly still play this one , and i will use it for performing and not just as a back-up.
    MaggaraMarine
    You could use effects, but this guitar sounds great when clean.
    If guitar doesn't sound good without effects, then you shouldn't even consider buying it.
    Most people just turn the volume and tone all the way up and play. That philosophy beats me.
    Why? I don't like tone knobs, they destroy the guitar's sound IMO, some people like them, some don't. Tone at full is the pure sound of the guitar, that's a fact. My Charvel doesn't even have a tone knob. Volume at full gives you full distortion. I can't get enough distortion if my volume isn't full. Volume full with distortion channel=balls. And if you lower the volume, you lose some treble unless you have modded your guitar with a treble bleed circuit. That's the second reason why I usually have my volume at full. Only if I want to get some cleaner sounds/different kinds of sounds (bluesy/funky) or don't have a chance to switch channels, I use my volume knob.
    Some people buy a Les Paul because they want to sound like Slash. They get a shock when they realise they sound the same as they did with a cheap guitar. If Slash got hold of your 20 dollar guitar, guess what, he would sound like Slash.
    People buy Les Pauls because they like their feel and sound. And you will get a closer Slash sound with a Les Paul than, let's say a Telecaster copy. Les Paul has humbuckers, Tele doesn't. And there's a huge difference soundwise with two guitars. Why would people buy $1000 guitars if they can get exactly the same tones from $20 guitars? Slash would sound like Slash with a $20 guitar but his sound wouldn't be as good as with his Les Paul. And you say you are a luthier? The things you say on your review just don't sound like it.