Sound — 3
It doesn't sound that bad but seems to hum a lot and compared to my Yamaha Pacifica 112 it sounds like crap. I guess it would suit my music style ok but then again all strats do. I used it with a Watson XL15 and a Squire SP-10 and it sounded ok on them. It is noisy on nearly all settings. As I said the guitar doesn't sound that bad and can create a decent variety of sounds with some effects but the amount of extra noise somewhat spoils it.
Overall Impression — 1
Don't touch this guitar with a bargepole! On youtube there are more videos of people smashing them than playing them, I think that says enough. I personally have been playing for 5 months and my friend Who owns the guitar has been playing for about 1 month and Fall Out Boy are his idols and he can't play smoke on the water so he doesn't realise how bad this guitar is and he only bought it because he liked the look of it. I wish I had told him encores were shit before he went out to buy a guitar. I hate everything about it but I quite like the look of it. The most annoying thing is that my friend thinks that his Encore is better than my Pacifica 112 when it's like comparing a Fender to a squire! He also could have got a black and white squire Strat with a maple neck instead but he chose the Encore instead because it looked cool. I wish I was there when he bought it, that's all I can say.
Reliability & Durability — 2
I guess this guitar is quite durable but I would never ever use it in a gig as it would probably go out of tune halfway through a song. The strap buttons are OK but I definitely couldn't depend on this guitar! The finish seems quite thick actually so it shouldn't wear off anytime soon, it would be a good thing if the finish wore off though, it would give it a bit of character.
Action, Fit & Finish — 1
The action was OK on the guitar I played. The pickups were on their default setting. The big weakness of this guitar is the quality of the bridge and the neck AND the tuners! The guitar constantly goes out of tune! I tune it and play it a little bit and then I come back to it and it's out of tune. Changing the strings helped this problem a bit but once I had broken the strings in it still had a tuning problem. The neck is horrible on it, when you do vibrato you can feel the strings grinding against the fretwire (poorly filed fretwire I believe) which is very disconcerting and on my pacifica it feels as smooth as silk. Also, so much as touching the whammy bar makes it go out of tune! The guitar also has many other flaws which I can't be bothered to mention. The finish is quite good though.
Features — 2
I don't actually own this guitar, I have just had the (dis)pleasure of spending a couple days with it and restringing it. It is your basic bog Standard stratocastor copy. I think it has a plywood body and a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. The pickguard is pearloid and the guitar is red and to be honest it is quite a nice looking guitar, generic but pleasant to look at. If only it were pleasant to play as well! The bridge is a Standard stratocastor bridge, I'm not sure what this is called. The electronics are passive and there are 4 controls in total, pickup selector, 2 tone nobs and a volume nob. The pickups configuration is S/S/S and they're bog Standard horrible pickups.