MetAlien GPK836BK review by Behringer

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 6.2 Neat
  • Users' score: 4.6 (25 votes)
Behringer: MetAlien GPK836BK
2

Sound — 6
The Behringer Metalien has its strengths and weaknesses. First and foremost, this is a beginner's guitar. The neck and middle single coil pickups sound identical to each other, which is to say bland. The bridge humbucking pickup is not GREAT, but it is very nice compared to the middle and neck single coils. The sound, really, I would just describe as adequate for a beginner. There is not any great tone to be found with this guitar. The bridge pickup does handle distortion fairly well, and seems more articulate with distortion than I would expect. It doesn't get muddy as fast as it seems like it should, which is a good thing. I've played blues, thrash metal, classic rock and some other things on this guitar and it really sounds at its best with Vintage style distortion for classic rock. I've played this through the practice amp that came with it, through a Line 6 Spider, through a Vox solid state, through a small generic battery powered amp, and through POD Farm and Gearbox via a Line 6 Toneport UX2. This guitar sounds the most decent through the Vox. The 10 watt practice amp that comes with this guitar is solely a practice amp. It does not sound good. It does not get any louder than the minimum you need for practice unless you use the little boost button, and then it becomes loud and muddy. Not really getting much response from the EQ on this amp. If I was categorizing the amp and the guitar separately for sound, then this amp would get a 3. It is like a toy. Despite the problems with the amp, and my comments on the guitar, this guitar is still playable for a beginner. The bridge pickup, while it is not great, is the saving grace of the Behringer Metalien.

Overall Impression — 4
I got this guitar for my son (12 years old at the time) who plays primarily metal and hard rock. The bridge humbucker is a good match, but the neck and middle position pickups are useless. If this were lost or stolen it wouldn't break my heart. I have bought, played, traded all kinds of entry level equipment and you hear you get what you pay for a lot, but I've gotten instruments that are a lot better than the Behringer Metalien for the same amount of money or less. As a summary, the guitar seems indestructible and the bridge pickup is satisfactory, but the neck is uncomfortable and really needs a professional setup to even be playable. I would only suggest this guitar as a gift to a young hyperactive accident prone child as a first guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 8
After making the corrections needed to this guitar, while it isn't a comfortable instrument to play, it really does seem to be built pretty solid. If I was giving a guitar to a child that I thought would be rough on an instrument I might give them the Metalien. When I opened this up, the wiring seems to have good solders. Since I've retired this guitar to a corner in my den it has sat there for over a year, only being picked up a few times since. People tend to accidentally knock it over all the time, and the finish seems pretty thick and hasn't chipped or anything. There is no corrosion, etc. This thing is built like a tank, but that is really its main strength, which isn't such a good thing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
I bought this guitar pack with the intention of giving to my young son to start learning to play. I had read some reviews gushing about how great this was as a beginner's pack, etc. I honestly can't understand what the people giving these positive reviews were thinking. I ended up giving my son an Epiphone G400 I had laying around in my den, and put this Metalien in the corner, where it mostly stays. The Behringer Metalien arrived with a poorly adjusted neck, sharp frets, the strings were actually splintered, there was sawdust in all the cracks of the guitar and the pickups were dropped down as low as they would go. I had to do some Precision filing on the nut, where the strings (small guage 9-42) were binding. I had to remove the neck and re-attach so that it was sitting flush in the pocket. I had to rub steel wool along the edge of the fret wires for a long time to smooth out the sharp fretwire. I had to immediately change the strings, and I had to blow the sawdust out of the cracks of the guitar with canned air. I had to raise the pickups substantially to get the best signal I could get without getting a muddy sound. The intonation was off so bad that I messed with it probably an hour before I got so frustrated that I took it to a friend and paid him to do it. The guitar wasn't really playable out of the box, especially not with the strings on it splintering. Even after all of my work on this guitar, the action still doesn't get very low, and the neck just isn't comfortable. The tremolo is actually okay. It isn't great, but you can use it a little without going out of tune. Of course, I didn't try it before filing the nut, so keep that in mind. I also didn't do anything too drastic (i.e. no divebombs). The neck on this guitar is a disappointment. This guitar is named combining the words Metal and Alien and has the wicked shaped pickguard, etc. it makes you think it was intended for shred and metal playing. The neck is chunky in a bad way. The neck feels unwieldy and almost blocky. The shark's tooth inlays look like a cheap knock off of the Ibanez shark's tooth inlays. The inlays are not attractive, they make the guitar look cheesy as a side note, I don't have a problem with Shark tooth inlays on Ibanez guitars - they just look very bad and cheap on the Behringer Metalien.

Features — 10
The Behringer Metalien has 24 Jumbo Frets, a bolt-on neck, the body is made of Aspen and the neck is Maple with a Rosewood Fretboard. You have a humbucker in the bridge position and then two single coils, the middle and neck position. This has a 5 way pickup selector and a single volume and single tone knob. This has a tremolo bridge. This guitar does not have a USB hookup. This guitar pack also came with a 10 watt practice amp, a canvas gig bag, a tuner (not chromatic), a canvas strap, an instrument cable, a tremolo arm (whammy bar), and some picks. Also included is a DVD and some paperwork. This has everything that you would expect and want from a beginner's guitar package.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EFGuitar
    these are sad sad guitars. A friend had one, and it really was a terrible sound and neck. sorry about the loss there mate.
    katalyzt13
    rv_phoenix wrote: My question is: if we mark a 6,2 a guitar which is virtually unplayable, how much would we rate some more/ really decent starter packages, such as those from Yamaha or Ibanez? A 14? Products like Behringer's should be banned from the GUITAR section anyway. They've banned themselves when making some more decent amps: they've christened them Bugera, instead of Behringer...
    The problem here is the sections are all weighted evenly. In all honesty, the features and included accessories deserved a high score, as did the reliability and durability. I think if you look at the rating for overall impression you are getting a better idea of the reviewer's "impression" of the guitar as a whole.
    rv_phoenix
    I kinda agree with you, but, once again: a guitar is not a stick you pass your fingers on, from time to time. It is something that should deliver sounds, musical sounds, to be more precise. Reliable? OK. Features? OK again. But what are they good for, if you cannot gig and make records with the axe? And let me tell you straight: if you have good ears and a good amp, you cannot even practice on it, because it just doesn't sound the right way. I have nothing against low-costs. My passion would be upgrading a low-cost guitar. But, in order to do so, you need a guitar suitable to be upgraded. Which means good wood, carefully crafted. All the rest - pickups, harware - can be replaced with relatively low expenses. But I've never encountered a Behringer (and I've tested quite a few: a live in a poor country, where Behringer is very popular) to sound like a guitar. Just firewood. My advice, after 30 years of playing, would be: don't buy cheap guitars. The only real gems can be found in the slightly more expensive area of middle-priced guitars (from 250 euros to 400). Get a Vintage VS6 for 250 euros, for instance, replace the tuning pegs by some original GIbson Grovers (that is about 80 euros), and with 330 euros you got yourself an axe that worths 6 times more. You can gig and make professional records on it. Not to mention the pleasure of practising on a real guitar and the subsequent motivation.
    rv_phoenix
    x021tony021x wrote: Although a lot of these comments are true, I bought myself a Behringer MetAlien myself. It's not that bad. Of course, there are better guitars than this one. But I wouldn't trade mine for anything. I've put 11's on this thing and tuned to Drop A and it stayed in tune perfectly fine for a week or more. Pickups (IMO) are alright but replacements are recommended for it.
    There is no such thing as a guitar who stays in tune for a week, my friend. Not even the best locking systems cannot hold a guitar in tune this long, and in fact they are not designed to! If you say a Behringer can stay in tune for a week, either your digital tuner is a bad joke, either you have no idea of what TUNING means. For your information, you should tune your guitar every time you play. Tuning doesn't mean only strumming it once and looking if your crappy Behringer "digital tuner" shows E-A-D-G-B-e. You have to pitch the guitar to frequency, on a real tuner, and try the notes on the fretboard until the last fret. An do it every day, until you learn by heart your guitar's nasty habits, then you can relax and do a regular tuning job. My question is: if we mark a 6,2 a guitar which is virtually unplayable, how much would we rate some more/ really decent starter packages, such as those from Yamaha or Ibanez? A 14? Products like Behringer's should be banned from the GUITAR section anyway. They've banned themselves when making some more decent amps: they've christened them Bugera, instead of Behringer...
    Duality Ninja
    danny_unleashed wrote: i started out with a behringer also. The action was ridiculously high but i didn't know any better at the time so i just played through it. only good thing this guitar did for me was help my finger strength.
    This. Still stuck on a Behringer until I can afford a new guitar hahaha
    ZA58
    ah sweet memories of my first eletric starter pack. Oh the sweet BOOMS and ERRES of the amp and the guitar frets sticking like glue
    x021tony021x
    Although a lot of these comments are true, I bought myself a Behringer MetAlien myself. It's not that bad. Of course, there are better guitars than this one. But I wouldn't trade mine for anything. I've put 11's on this thing and tuned to Drop A and it stayed in tune perfectly fine for a week or more. Pickups (IMO) are alright but replacements are recommended for it.
    SEANOmd
    a tone chaser is rarely looking for a starter guitar anyway. i didn't have an amplifier until i was well into my early guitar playing days- that kind of stuff just isn't required. a package needs a guitar, a strap, picks, and whatever passes for adequate instructional material. (because a pamphlet and an esteban DVD are the makings of a guitar hero)
    MT in Austin
    I've used Behringer effects and rack tuner and have been mostly pleased. I would never buy a guitar from a company that only offers one in a starter pack. A Squire starter pack is a much better option though it, too, will need some set-up.
    drmcclainphd
    Behringer is falling prey to the Cheap Chinese Crap syndrome, probably because they think they need to compete. Why anyone would want to compete for this market is beyond me. Brand recognition is still worth something, and hopefully they'll remember the value in their name and start selling better than this third rate knock off instrument.
    DarthTyrannus83
    I have a Yamaha starter kit, it was around 250$ when i bought it. Its much better than a lot of the lowest-end cheap guitars out there, teh action isnt ****ed up, the fret wiring is nice and flat, bridge and neck humbuckers are quite good for teh price, teh trem couldve been better, but thats so uch you could ask vor the price. And judging from this review, i think its better than this Behringer crap, so id suggest getting other brands for starters. The only advantage i see with this guitar is that it has 24 frets, but thats it.
    metalelite7
    a behringer was my first guitar. i still use it today because it sounds pretty decent and helps me play a little better because of the action
    danny_unleashed
    i started out with a behringer also. The action was ridiculously high but i didn't know any better at the time so i just played through it. only good thing this guitar did for me was help my finger strength.
    HoddiDarko
    My first guitar was a Behringer from a starter pack. Shitty thing and it didnt look as good as this one. But my advice... Don't buy guitars from companies that are not guitar companies.
    Jeranium
    It's true. Most started pack guitars are going to be sub par so good job on the review. The only starter package guitar I've played that was actually pretty decent was the Ibanez Gio guitar. It's a fat bodied double cutaway with glittery black paint haha. The action surprised the hell out of me.