Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: Anderton's
Sound — 7
The cheap Chinese humbucker was surprisingly loud and chunky, but the high e and b strings tend to get lost like that end of the pickup is somewhat weaker. The single coils aren't very HOT at all, but they sing well and aren't muddy so they are useful. Not too much noise from the single coils, the humbucker was dead quiet. The coil tap doesn't appear to do anything, there is no noticeable change in tone when it is engaged. The kill switch volume pot is unique and unexpected in a low-price guitar. Has a fairly loud sound when unplugged, I wasn't expecting that since this thing weighs about a metric ton.
Overall Impression — 8
I play blues, rock, and metal (terribly) and the guitar handles all styles well. She's not a beauty queen, but she isn't ugly either. She's not the most expensive guitar in the shop, but she has some expensive touches. If this guitar had a nice DiMarzio in the Bridge and swapped the money for the kill switch and coil splitter for some better single coils this guitar would be a major contender. Whether or not you like YouTube personality Rob Chapman, you have to admit he delivered a pretty decent guitar for a pretty small price here. I'm stuck between an overall score of 7 or 8, since there's not a 7.5 option I'm going to be generous and give it an 8.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Overall this guitar could be a monster of a work horse with a better set of pickups and some minor setup done. It's insane weight is a bit of an issue for long gigs, but the guitar feels solid enough to be used as a weapon during the zombie apocalypse. The finish won't last super long, but neither will the nitro finish on a guitar that costs 10 times as much. The hardware is excellent and well mounted, the strap buttons are firmly attached and heavy duty, the tuners are top notch. The only real downside of the guitar is the pickups - and from what I hear from other owners I likely just got a bad set.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Although the finish is super thin, it's just a tad too dark and hides the nice looking mahogany body. Mine had a couple flaws on the back that someone tried to cover up with a black Sharpie. The frets were ok, but some of the ends were exceptionally sharp and the 17th-21st frets seemed a tad tall. After a nice fret job the neck was quite nice. The guitar shipped with action set up for either tight-rope walking or slide playing - but a couple twists of the truss rod sorted that minor issue. The tuners work well, but the string trees needed to be loosened quite a bit to get the strings to stop snagging, I thing a single, long retainer would have worked better than the little tree versions. Like any guitar, a little tweaking and set up was needed, but the guitar was in fairly decent shape for something in it's price range.
Features — 8
Basic Hum/Single/Single Strat clone:
Body Wood: 3 Piece Mahogany
Body Colour/Finish: See-Thru Black Satin
Neck Wood: Maple with Thin Lacquer
Neck Profile: Thin 'C' Contour
Neck Join: Bolt On
Fingerboard Inlays: "Infinity" Logo on 12th Fret
Headstock: Reverse Tele Style
Nut: Bone Scale; 25.5"
Machineheads: Grover Rotomatic - 18:1 Ratio. (black)
Bridge: Wilkinson Trem (silver)
1 volume (Shadow Kill Pot)
1 tone (push/pull coil tap)
1 Scratch plate (uninstalled, in the gig bag)
2 hex keys for truss rod and trem adjustments
1 mahogany trem block with strange symbols on it
1 instrument cable (cheap, but usable in an emergency)
Monkeylord padded gig bag included