Purchased from: Family Music Center
Features — 8
From last I remember, the guitar was made somewhere between 2006-2008 in the Eastern US. 22 frets on a maple neck built decently well, but could have been built with a bit more caution towards the strings being so close to the nut that tuning is strange to do. There's a fear that just slight mistunings can result in snapped strings quickly. Body is hollowed mahogany. The finish is a nice glossy blue. Active electronics. I was given Volume and Tone from what I can remember. No whammy bar, though. In terms of accessories, the amp and tuner was part of the packaged deal, which is why the guitar itself costed so much.
Sound — 9
My style of playing is simply covers, not so much crafting my own music. Particularly, music from rock, blues, metal, or punk. This guitar offers that and much more with playability. It is quite nice to jam with and get to learn technical parts on. For an amp, I have the small Dean10 Guitar Amp, which, for a little amp, provides plenty of sound. The guitar is awesome for playing with gusto and oomph. Loud even on low settings. Harmonious and crafty. Without a whammy bar, it does surprisingly well on solos that would require it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar, at the beginning, had basic, standard strings that one feared would snap at only slight bending. The guitar itself was built rather shoddily and loosely on features. When I went to get it all fixed up at the local pawn shop, the owner stated the bridge and pickups were so outrageously loose on the guitar. The moment he tightened it all back up, it was amazing the difference in quality. The wood is rather cheap, but does its job well. Bridge has not been rusty all this time. Tuning pegs may be a bit too strong, but it works for the guitar. Overall, a good take on a poorly-built guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar is amazingly durable. Even with the same strings on for 3 years in a row, it lasted quite well. It is only when trying to go for different tuning that it seems to fall apart. If I had to place all my faith on it for a huge event, I would. The guitar is very nice for durability and majorly reliable. With new strings on it, it will probably last another 3-4 years more on these strings even with constant wear and tear. The finish itself could probably go for an upgrade, though. Buzzing for the strings now and then.
Overall Impression — 9
For 8 years of guitar altogether, and 3-4 on this one, I'd say the guitar is, overall, a safe bet for both beginners and experts. I mostly play any genre that works well with guitar and even some that don't. Rock and metal are my main focus, and this guitar does its service well here. I own a Fender Dreadnaught acoustic of all 8 years I've been playing guitar. If I could ask the music store I got this Cruiser from something about it, I would inquire about possible looseness in the guitar. If I lost this guitar, it'd be a pure and horrible shame. I got this guitar because I had never had a guitar other than my acoustic before and wanted to try something new. I definitely got what I asked for in terms of another guitar. I love the fact this guitar is so similar to my acoustic that I can play acoustic patterns on it. The bad parts of the guitar were taken care of with fixing it up and retuning. The only thing I advise is not to try switching tunings all the time, or the nut and bridge will scrap the guitar to uselessness. I solely wish it had the whammy bar implemented into it.