Price paid: £ 80
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
I've had this guitar just over 12 months. To start with I never used the coil tap. I found the tone OK but not fantatstic. The PUPs have plenty of power but maybe not the sweetest tone ever. Not as sweet as my son's Epiphone Les Paul. Probably good if you want tons of distortion (I don't). For the past three months I've been trying to play bluesy stuff and rollin stones and I've been using the coil-tap. This is a much cleaner tone but tends to buzz (as expected). Overall the tone is OK but not great.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm really into blues and R&B. This guitar is OK but maybe not the best for this style - hence I've just bought a MIM Telecaster. Haven't tried it yet so can't compare. I've been playing about 40 years BUT only accoustic until about a year ago so I'm not an expert on electrics. I'd say the quality is about as good as an Epiphone or Squier - i.e. perfectly playable instrument but maybe not a collectors item. Would I buy it again? - maybe. For me the great thing was the price. I took a chance on it as an eBay item (it was 2nd hand but sold "as new" - which it was). It was so cheap that I couldn't resist for a bit of fun and I'm totally knocked out by the value for money. However I'm just starting out with electric guitars and am keen to try out a few other types. I think that maybe it would be very difficult to better this as a first electric guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Yes - I would gig with this guitar - no worries. I've had no problems with any of the hardware except the locking nut on the jack comes loose occasionally. Seems to stay in tune. I suspect the control pot shafts are plastic but haven't had the knobs off. Finish seems pretty durable -I've not managed to scratch it yet but I'm fairly gentle with my guitars.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Set-up is OK. I've lowered the action a little just using the tune-o-matic bridge which is a breeze. It's now as low as I can get it without the tone starting to suffer through fret noise etc. Treble strings are fine but bass strings starting to buzz and the action is still quite high on the bass strings. It would benefit immensely from a pro-setup but this would probably cost more than I paid for the guitar. Overall pretty good quality neck. Finish is very nice - mine is a nice shade of blue. Nothing fancy. No flaws. I've been playing it for about a year now and it is just starting to feel comfortable ("played-in").
Features — 8
Strat style body with twin humbuckers (Mighty-mite motherbuckers). Coil tap. Volume/tone knobs. 24 fret maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Medium jumbo frets. Tune-O-matic bridge. Thru body stringing. No whammy bar. Snake-head style headstock. Mine was kinda 2nd hand so no extras. Versatile guitar. Made in 2008.