Price paid: £ 90
Sound — 8
I play a range of music from heavy metal, death metal, nu metal, blues and classic rock, and this guitar is a decent hold up to much more expensive models, especially in the metal area. The pickups are very good for the kind of cheap Standard you would expect, the bridge is very clear for metal, while the neck pickup, coupled with the sustain given by the body shape, is decent for calmer, more rocky or bluesy material. Recently I replaced the pickups with a pair of hex poled humbuckers which are REALLY good and bring out the best of the metal nature of this guitar. I play mainly through Line 6 amps and overall tha guitar gives a good sound for many styles.
Overall Impression — 8
I have been playing for several years, and own many other guitars including a Gibson SG, an Ibanez SAS36, Vintage VR100 and others. In total my Cruiser holds its own against the sound of the Ibanez and the playability of the Gibson. Obviously it is not up to their build quality or overall tone, but for the price range it is fantastic. My first guitar, so it clearly has special importance, but even despite that, I think its a great low end guitar, perfect for customising as well.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This was my first guitar, bought several years ago, I haven't ever gigged it because when time came that I was confident enough to play in front of other people I had moved on to my next. I have kept playing it though, and have thrown it around a lot, so I think that now I would be comfortable gigging it. There have never been issues with the durability of any of the hardware, and in terms of the finish, in years of playing it has developed one ding and a tiny bit of wear to the horn, so I can applaud the durability of the finish.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I got this guitar second hand but in tip top condition, absolutely blemish free. When I got it the tone pot was crackly, and after messing around with the wiring connections for five minutes I just decided to replace it, that kind of thing can happen with even the highest level guitars anyway, and I wasn't fussed at all. Apart from that there were no problems, the action is low with no fret buzz at all, clearly the owner before me had kept good care of it and it was very playable. The neck in particular is a talking point. It is thin and pretty much as fast as the kind of neck you would expect to find on a Jackson Randy Rhodes. The fretboard is gently radiused and smooth which makes playability very good, meaning you really can get the most of it. The finish is a metalic black, even, and looks great. I have recently replaced all the harware: tuners, bridge, control knobs etc, with black equivalents, but that was purely a cosmetic thing.
Features — 7
22 fret bolt on maple neck, large frets and rosewood fingerboard. It has a solid basswood body, thin metal shape, two huncucking pickups with master volume and tone dials and a three way switch, and a Standard tune-o-matic bridge with stop bar. The tuners are non locking, but good, and as normal for a guitar in this price range, it is all non branded hardware.