Price paid: £ 100
Purchased from: Harrow music shop
Sound — 5
Loads of people give this a high sound rating, but I really disagree. If you have a solid state amp like a Marshall DGFX100 or a modeling amp like a Line 6 Spider III, this guitar sounds great, but, imo, so does every other guitar. If you place this in a tube amp setup, the pickups leave something to desire. TO be fair I think they still have a very good presence for clean playing, but when used in high gain stuff (which is what the guitar looks to be designed for) the pickups give off a harsh and treble sound that can only be described as a wah-wah pedal on full forward.
Overall Impression — 8
I play heavy/thrash/melodic death/death metal and I have to say this guitar is excellent. It doesn't come with the best stock pick ups, neither do the strap buttons live long. But considering I got it for 100 it's amazing and I prefer it to some of my Ibanez guitars which are 300. What's amazing is the way this body was routed, no scuff marks or anything. Definitely an amazing guitar, but if it was stolen I wouldn't buy another because only this guitar reminds me of my first gigs and practices. Plus, I wouldn't let this guitar be stolen.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is SOLID for a beginners guitar and I'd reccommended it to anyone as a backup. I've dropped it and hit it so many times and it's still as hard as rocks. The hardware has all lasted and so has the electronics (even though I'm going to change them soon). The only problem I've had is with the strap-locks, they've come out and left a massive hole behind, so I'm going to have to fill them with epoxy resin. Another minor problem I've had is the finish, it wears off very easily because it is matt and a lot of the corners are now bare wood.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This is where the guitar really shines, I love the feel of it and although I've adjusted it myself several times in the past, the factory setup was great. The best thing is that the string height can be placed ridiculously low, so sweep picking becomes even easier. There is one problem, however, the high E string gets dampened by the poorly cut nut underneath the headstock. It's easily amended, but annoying as hell.
Features — 8
This was the second guitar I ever bought, I still use it as a backup guitar 4 years on and I still love it. The tuners are amazing considering it was 100, they stay in tune longer then some guitars with a liscenced Floyd Rose bridge that I've used. The neck is great for beginners as it's small radius and low string height make it great for speed playing. I got mine in a matte black finish and people are still blown away by it. For me, the coolest thing is the electronics, it lasts for years (unlike many of the other cheaper branded guitars) and the input jack is stereo (great for active pickups).