Price paid: $ 128.082
Purchased from: Argos Catalogue
Sound — 3
Wouldnt suit any style as far as I'm concerned, I can play a wide range of sounds from shredding, metal to blues and maybe even slightly jazzy. The amp that came with it is awful, and you get an awful interfered sound on clean channel, and I suppose a quite gutsy overdrive if you whack the gain up to 10, but really I wouldn't recommend any clean playing with it at all. Guitar makes one sound, crunch. Believe me I tried to get something clean, never happened.
Overall Impression — 1
I play a generally metal/blues style, the crunch is ok I suppose but it's still not a good enough match for me. I've been playing for nearly 3 (maybe 4, can't remember) years and I have a guitar pack you can actually rely on, Strat Frontman pack, also bought a Zoom G2.1u effects pedal, which rules. As it wasn't my guitar, I can't really comment on asking anyone else, but I really wish theyd asked me before wasting 70 quid. If it were be stolen I'd hold a party to celebrate. I don't love anything about that guitar, and hate everything about it. My favourite feature is probably the neck, because if you sanded the frets and gave the fingerboard a proper finish it could go on a better junior guitar, but it would be cheaper to just buy a fingerboard on it's own. I compare it to my own Strat (another pack) and the Encore doesnt't deserve to be on the same planet as the Strat. I wish the Encore had been put together properly, then it might have made a half decent beginner guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 2
This guitar wouldn't withstand a practice in your room, let alone a live session. The hardware was falling apart when I got it, and the bottom strap button has fallen off. Yes you can depend on it to be an ornament, but I'd still keep an eye on it then. The finish needs constant cleaning so I wouldn't be surprised if it came off in the first week.
Action, Fit & Finish — 1
Was the guitar set up at the factory? This is a beginner guitar, and to be honest, you'd need a brain experienced with guitars to set this up when you got it home. I'll leave out the pickup, I think they just shoved into the body and left it. And now my real complaint: the action was too high, the strings and frets shredded your fingers, the tremolo was way too stiff, there was string buzz on nearly every string, you couldn't play chords with it, You couldnt shred with it, You could barely fret a note, The tuning keys were loose, It wouldn't stay in tune, it's just too bad for words.
Features — 3
To be honest I don't know when this guitar was made, but I do know it was made in China (the label fell of pretty quick), it was a guitar that my girlfriends little sister purchased in a guitar pack, and it's arguably the worst guitar I have ever set eyes on. it's got a bolt on neck, with 21 thin frets (this is a 7/8 size guitar by the way), the frets aren't finished either, so be careful you don't shred your fingers on them, Vintage style bridge with tremolo, the body is composite, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, the body type is a sort of stratty shape, with passive (definitely passive) pickups (when I say pickups I mean one rubbish humbucker), chrome tuning keys that came loose, only two controls, volume and tone (point please), this came with all the normal beginner stuff, and I think it was a 1 watt travel amp.