Price paid: £ 110
Purchased from: ASM Music
Sound — 7
It's not a Gibson, that's for sure but it does growl when asked to and plays nice cleans, I would say an Epiphone is better but if I were to buy one I would rather save and buy a Gibson that being said I play classic rock and progressive metal through a Peavey Trans Tube Solo, no effects used as I like to hear what an amp and guitar can do on their own, it does the job and as it's only a bedroom guitar the sounds I get are decent enough for what I can play. It is a quiet guitar and handles most things ok so no problems there.
Overall Impression — 7
Well classic rock its good for, bad company, zeppelin, free. I like prog as well so it will do that but I am not that good to really tell if it will stand up to all sorts genres, I play a Brunswick BF200 acoustic that I mainly practice on and if that were stolen I would definitely get another but if the Encore was trashed or stolen it wouldn't break my heart, I was looking for a cheap guitar with humbuckers which is what this is, it sounds nice and I don't dislike it in fact I would keep just to look at it but I already want a better guitar because I'm getting better and although it's not holding me back we all want that taste of what a better guitar and amp has to offer.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Can't say about live playing but I am going to a studio soon to let rip but to be honest if I were any better than I am now I would not gig with it, the strap buttons seem ok and I do sway about when playing but I just don't think it would cut it soundwise, its an ok guitar and the finish is very nice and I hope it's durable but only time will tell.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action is spot on, no fret buzz anywhere, the pick ups I left alone but I may raise one a bit the bridge pick up seems a little down, not a lot but the volume is not as loud as the neck, the rest of the guitar is nice for the price paid, the only drawback being the input jack was a bit loose but once tightened it seems ok.
Features — 7
2010 made in China probably but not sure, pick ups designed by Trev Wilkinson so might cause confusion for some as to where is's made. As AmongForgtten1 has mentioned it's a Les Paul affair with all the standard hardwear, mine being a nice sunburst finish which is rather fetching. Rosewood fretboard, pearl dot inlays, fake binding but no neck binding. Mine came with gig bag and strap that the owner of the shop threw in for free.