Purchased from: Davis Wheeler Music Canberra
Sound — 8
The guitar has a bright thrashy tone that suits rock metal very well in the bridge pickup position. The middle and neck pickups are not of a high standard and unfortunatley can sound 'thin' depending on what your playing. The guitar doesnt have huge amounts of signal noise. However it is an entry-level guitar so you must expect some. It is always silent on the humbucker pickup however. In short this guitar would suit rock, metal & punk the best. I suppose you could play a bit of blues as well but you could find a better guitar for that. It suits my music interests fine (Metal/Thrash) so I don't have a problem with it. You may find its upper pickups limiting depending on what you want to get out of it tone-wise.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar could greatly benefit from having two humbuckers instead of the humbucker and 2singles setup it has now. My faveroute feature would be the shape of the body and the low action. If it were stolen I wouldn't buy it again, I'd just smash the bloke who stole it and keep playing. But if I lost it I probably wouldnt buy the same guitar principally because I'd like too try something new and probably in a higher price bracket. Eventually I'd like too do a custom setup on this guitar with new pickups and all new hardware for a better sound at high volumes. I run this guitar through a 100W combo occasionally with a DigiTech RP50 (the review is not based upon sound quality with effects however. Assume all comments based on dry guitar with distortion.)
Reliability & Durability — 10
As I mentioned the body is Strat shaped, but it noticably smaller. I find it very easy too play for long periods standing up. The guitar is very well balanced. I do play gigs with this guitar, however I own more than one electric so if any problems did occur it would not be a huge drama. Although as a I mentioned the manufacture of this guitar is excellent - I doubt you would have any problems with it. In short I would take this guitar too a gig without backup. The general manufacture and finish of this guitar is excellent and is amoungst the best I saw in this price bracket.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Now here is where the guitar comes into it's own. The action and playability of this guitar make you wonder if the price is correct. I have set it up fairly low with 46-9 strings. I am unsure of what the scale length is, but bends are very easy too execute (not just because of the strings either, I was previously running 52-10s.) The curve in the neck suits me down too the ground, although this is a matter of personal taste, so you will have too make your own decision. The Whammy bar is only effective on dropping pitch due too the design of this bridge. You could set this up with a higher action and loosen the bridge's spring tension too raise pitch with this bridge, but you'd be better off getting a guitar with a floyd rose bridge for that.
Features — 8
Manufactured in Vietnam, the guitar has a similar body shape as a Strat, it is however tapered off more around the edges and I find it more comfortable too play. No pickgaurd. The Neck is Rosewood 22 fret. The finish is a cool shade of dark brown that appears purple in strong light. Hardware - wise it features a humbucker at the bridge and two single coils both passive. (Yamaha Pacifica style) One volume, one tone, five-way selector Switch. The bridge is a fulcrum point trem. I. e not a floyd or fixed bridge. The bridge design I have not seen on any other guitar so far, asthetically it is good. The tuners are 6 a side with no brand marked.