Price paid: $ 720
Purchased from: Slovenia
Features — 10
Corona CST500FR made 2012 in South Korea. This is a start style guitar with 24 frets, Basswood body, maple neck with birds eye maple top. This version of guitar is HSH pick up configuration, which means is a bit fater sounded as SSS PUs set. Pickups are Seymour Duncan JB, SSL4 and '59. Neck is modern radius and not too fat. It's elegant and fast enough. Body is in Transparent amber colour with gold hardware which comes out very nice. Bridge on FR is Floyd Rose (original) which does not go out of tune. On top are Grover tuners. Also got to mention guitar is very stabile and keeps in tune for days of playing. It has 1 volume, 1 tone and split coil switch with 5 way pickups selector. It comes with gig bag or case if extra payed.
Sound — 10
I mostly use it for rock and funk/rock. Middle and neck pickup i use for rhythm parts with a lot of power on bridge pickup for soloing. Split coil enables even funkier sound … more like start sound. Is guitar that can be used for many styles - pop, rock, funk and many more. I can use it with my Marshal JCM2000 or AC30 and on both it sounds awesome. Guitar doesn't produce any nose what so ever. If u split coils u can hear the difference of "good" noise and level of it. But thats normal, as if you would switch to fender single coil from some humbucking sure.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Factory settings were made perfect can't complain about it, is still set up as it was the day arrived, even by change of string brand - but not dimension (0.009), I didn't change octaves is perfectly in tune. As far as PUs is concerned I did a little adjustment of pole pieces hight with controlling string level. It was a minimum adjustment just 'cause they were not trembuckers but they were for smaller radius. Everything is hand made even frets. It seems they have good Quality control. Good materials that they use make this guitars also comparable to hi end custom shop guitars, and in the way this is some kind of a costume shop I guess.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Guitar is still like new and is my main axe now. Didn't have any issues with it. Paint is durable and seems flexible enough. It doesn't have broken paint or anything like that. Colour on hardware is ok. On handy side of Floyd is a bit brighter "gold" plated (I'm not really a good cleaner or anything like that), but you can't really see it. Corona guitars are well worth price/value. I use it as my only guitar on gigs. I might buy another one with SSS pickups just to try their new Answer pickups for which I heard are comparable with Texas special… So let's try their CST700 or CST750 (about 550$).
Overall Impression — 10
Been playing for 25 years in different music bands and also music styles in past years. Rock, hard rock, funk/rock, funk, pop. Other guitars I use are Gibson Les Paul ('98), Ibanez S540 ('89), Fender AM Strat (USA) - I still do use them but rarely since I can use Corona most of the time for live and studio. This guitar is worth at least twice as much compare to other well known brands. I can compare it to 1.5 or 2k Fender Stratocaster. It's great guitar not known in western world yet… can't say anything else than 10.