EVO XM review by Dean

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 6.8 (78 votes)
Dean: EVO XM

Price paid: $ 274.5

Purchased from: Noteworthy Music

Sound — 7
The tone of the guitar is good, and it plays nicely. The neck is smooth and comfortable to play, something very useful when first learning guitar. I see it as a great advantage, playing electric guitar for the first time with a guitar such as this one, as it plays well, but needs some work to produce it's best tone (that isn't to say it doesn't sound good). This means that you can learn to make a good sound with an entry-level guitar before moving onto a pro-Standard one, making you that much better a player.

Overall Impression — 8
I have had this guitar for just over 3 years now, and am highly impressed with it. I bought this guitar from a local retailer for 150, and think it is fantastic value for money at that price, let alone the 89 Dolphin want for it, and would cost at least 250-300 if it was manufactured in the USA or Europe. Although the build quality may sound extremely bad from my testimony, these defects are all easily curable, for extremely little or no money, and as long as you take proper care of it, these things will not happen to you. it's simple design and layout make it a great guitar to play and will encourage you to keep at it. It produces a good, versatile, pleasing sound, although you do have to work and learn to get it to sound it's best, making this a great option for learning on. To go with this guitar, I would recommend one of the cheaper models of the Roland Cube Series amps, a low-end Vox amp, or an Orange Crush for a similar price. Whatever you do, do not buy one of the 'all-in-one' unknown brand beginners' packages, as although they are dirt cheap, they are absolutely horrible and will prevent you learning. Ones from an established brand such as Marshall or Epiphone may not be too bad, but I have no experience of them. Also stay way clear of the 'BB Blaster' amp, as it is truly awful. As an alternative, you could look at a Squier Standard Stratocaster, although I wouldn't recommend getting any with words such as 'Bullet' or 'affinity' in the name; keep to the 'Standard' model. The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is also a very good entry-level option. Essentially this guitar is brilliant for a beginner, although an advanced player would probably want more, which is why I am about to upgrade my guitar. Proof that I respect the quality of this guitar though is that I am certain that I will keep it rather than sell it, even though I am struggling to afford a new guitar! I am very glad I chose this guitar starting out; I'm sure it has helped me advance quickly, and I hope it can help you learn guitar too.

Reliability & Durability — 5
The other issue is build quality. My guitar has taken a few bumps, but hasn't been excessively bashed about, yet I've had to get out the soldering iron to fix it twice. The problem on mine is the screws holding the input jack, as they loosened and the jack fell out, making the connection between the jack and one of the wires from the pickups break, but the second time it happened, I replaced the screws with some larger, more durable ones, and that has sorted out that problem. If it happens to you, I would recommend doing that! I would also recommend tightening the screws on the strap hooks reasonably regularly, as they can loosen quite easily. The lacquer also scratches and chips reasonably easily, so be careful with the guitar in order to retain the perfect factory-new look.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The tuners could be better quality, although they do the job, and I admit that only noticed their lack of sensitivity after 3 years playing the guitar. Setting intonation is also hard due to the positioning of the screws beneath the strings, and although the intonation is sufficient, on a couple of the strings the saddle reaches it's limit before the intonation is perfectly set. It's all about personal preference, but I also dislike the fact that the knobs have no numbers or marks to gauge the level they are set to. Although they look good aesthetically, it makes life difficult for me as I play in a Jazz Band where a sound check for the guitar is not an option. I have actually drawn some markings on my guitar so I can gauge what the volume level is set to, to get around the problem!

Features — 8
Straight away you will notice how striking the guitar is visually. The cherry wood is a wonderful colour, and it works well with the matte black headstock. Good competition for the Standard Stratocaster replica design employed in most guitars aimed at beginners. Other features that make this perfect for the beginner are the Gibson-style floating bridge, without a tremolo bar, as a new player will rarely be able to use the tremolo, and doesn't usually want to (most people starting guitar I know have removed the whammy bar from their Strat-imitations). This also makes changing strings a much easier and less daunting prospect for a novice.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I jst bought dis as my 1st guitar...if u thnk it sux dn tell me a better guitar in d same price range...
    i Really Hate this Guitar... I was gonna get a Dimebag but NOOO i got a fringin Gay guitar and a gay amp too... It didn't even have like pickups cause they were so bad... Just to sum that up: DON"T BUY THIS GUITAR
    i really don't know y peepole think this things awesome... once you buy a fender Strat with hot rails and sh*t... you'll know you will regret buying a peice of s*it that copyinh the almighty les paul...
    This a very low end guitar.Many reviews I've read are claiming it a wonderful guitar.Many nust either have just started taking lessons or never had a quality guitar in thier hands.This guitar from the start is poor quality camaflarged with estictics. The body is not that of solid mahogany like Darrell Young's reveiw but of cheap asian wood stained.It also has the poorest quality fret wire used which will rust in time.Tuner keys may look good but are also of poor gear mechs.All the pickups and control pods are in need of replacing.This guitar is marketed to catch your eye but after you spend money on all its up grades you could have gotten a better guitar for the money!! Made in china and this product is push on other companies to sell like 'DEAN GUITARS'' tHIS Is one that should have it's wings clipped.....bad
    This is my first electic guitar. One thing I like about it is, that if it get stolen or lost... I will dance on my own grave till the rest of my life. I really hate this guitar. I bought it because it looked like a Les Paul... well at least now I know that outlook is not the first priority.
    i own this guitar, it's good if ur a beginner becoz its cheap and the neck is quite comfortable. but its not good for a long term basis, not even good for gigs. easily goes out of tune and the input jack easily gets loose. after sometime, the action really gets very low. not a versatile guitar, but if ur a noob like me then i think its good to go