Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Local Store (Mexico)
Sound — 8
I play everything from Beatles to Queens Of The Stone Age, and it is quite suited for both clear sound and distorted. Clear it sounds great, no buzz. Distorted is not as good, but still holds its own. I have a Fender Princeton 650 and a Line 6 POD Plus and it sounds great with both. The only complain is that the output is not enough, even at top volume levels is not as noisy as my other guitars. The sound however is bright, and the tone diversity is fairly good.
Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing for 5 years now. I own a Gibson SG Faded and an Ibanez Iceman and it feels at home. It has fantastic looks, a ridiculous price and it does not require but a minor, expert-done setup. If it was stolen or lost I'd get another one (hell maybe two, considering the price). If you are looking for an inexpensive backup, a Tele-styled guitar or a Vintage oddity to add to your collection, the Badwater El Dorado is great choice both for unique sound and looks.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played it live and it held its own, however the tuners are not the best and it goes out of tune if played like a maniac (which is how everyone should play). The strap buttons are soild and it seems it will last many years without repairs. The finish looks durable, but don't hold it Against Me if you get those crackle-finish guitars and it peels off like wallpaper. Backup is a must on a gig, so never, ever go without backup. You never can tell.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This is the sad part my friends: the action was set up way too high, the bridge pickup was a little loose and the strings were a little rusty. Nothing a good technician can't fix, but does prove the point of chinese guitars not having the finese of its american counterparts. However, the frets have slightly sharp edges that will obliterate your fingers after a couple days, but the fretboard had that expensive-guitar feeling so it doesn't Hurt at first. The finish as I mentioned before is great, 90% of the people assume its an expensive guitar and have offered triple its cost (I might consider selling to an uneducated buyer and getting another one :P)
Features — 9
It's a 2009 chinese Badwater series El Dorado. It has 21 frets, a Rosewood fretborad and solid Alder body. The finish is spectacular, I got mine in Off-white and it has a worn finish, from the tuners to the output jack. It's a Tele-styled body, with a string-thruy body bridge style. One volume and one tone knobs, 2 single coil pickups. The box only included a practice cable, no tools sadly. It is a stunning looking guitar for a beginner's price.