KC3 Review

manufacturer: Encore date: 05/03/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Encore: KC3
Guitar for beginners with major tuning problems. 21 frets, solid bodied, with volume and two tone controls; 5-way selector switch and 3 single coil pickups.
 Sound: 5.6
 Overall Impression: 5.9
 Reliability & Durability: 5.2
 Action, Fit & Finish: 4.8
 Features: 5.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (19) pictures (2) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.2
KC3 Reviewed by: Dead_Guitarist, on december 23, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 219.6

Purchased from: ebay seller

Features: I got this, my first electric, on ebay, for about 120, with bag, amp, leads, tremolo bar etc. included. It's blue with a really nice finish, and a really sweet marbled scratchplate. It's a Strat body style, so the top frets (of which there are 22) are easily accessible. Non locking bridge, so it goes totally out of tune if you try any crazy stuff with the whammy bar. I play it through a BB Blaster amp (which came with it) and a Zoom 505 II effects pedal. // 7

Sound: This suits my style fairly well, I've played for just under a year now, but since I play between 1 and 4 hours a day am not too bad. I play 70's rock, stuff like Motorhead, The Clash, Deep Purple etc. and some modern stuff, and it's not bad for these. Obviously this is a pretty damn cheap guitar, so no magic tone or sustain, but through the right pedals n stuff it sounds pretty good! Has a coupla big(-ish) problems tho, the hum from the amp on the bridge and neck pickup settings is dire, and the sustain is pretty weak. Apart from that though, it lets me play whatever I want to. Tapping and harmonics arent easy on this guitar tho, and you have to tune it before every use. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Worked fine straight out of the box, fairly low action, nice thin, gauge strings, and perfect bodywork. The lead connection was dodgy (though it coulda been the cheap-ass lead), but we took it apart, fixed the connections and it worked fine. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Not played any gigs (yet), but its really reliable for what I do play (home and for friends), straps have a tendency to fall off tho. Would definetely use it at a gig without a backup, as have no other choice, but I reckon it would be reliable enough. The finish is great on this guitar, dented it repeatedly (one scissor kick too many) and it's hardly noticeable, it doesn't chip at all. The hardware might need a tigtening up every so often, and when I got it I had to take it apart to get the damn plastic crap offa it, it got stuck under the buttons. // 8

Overall Impression: A great gutiar for beginners, overall. Doesnt really do justice if you have brilliant technique, but it sounds pretty solid and is easy to play. I have been playing for about a year, and I am thinking of getting a better guitar fairly soon - maybe an Ibanez? This Encore looks the business though, very cool Strat-like exterior, with some really nice paint options. Hate the fuzz on some of the pickups, and would be nice if it had a few more frets, a locking bridge and a little better tonal control on the knobs. I think people exaggerate the tuning problems with this guitar, the only real problem is with the whammy bar. But its a comfortable, easy guitar to play, and ideal for beginners with not much money. // 8

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overall: 7.2
KC3 Reviewed by: Flowerpot, on october 22, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Music Room

Features: This is basically a cheap Strat copy, a starter guitar but a good starter guitar. It's got a five-way selector Switch, two tone pots and a volume pot. There's also a tremolo arm and 21 frets, I think the fretboard is Rosewood. The body is highly polished and the grain of the wood really shows through which is a classy touch, I'm not sure what the wood is though. My model is purple and hasn't chipped yet, although I am careful with it. There are three single-coil pick-ups. The tuning pegs are the worst part - they slip, especially on the g and b strings, which is annoying to say the least. I got this with a BB Blaster amp, quite a good little 10 watt practice amp with a distortion button, and I can get nice tones out of it. // 6

Sound: I play a lot of Chili Peppers and Muse, but the single-coil pickups can't really get that crunchy distorted sound for the heavier Muse songs. I sometimes play Sum 41 and other punk rock stuff just for fun, and I can't really get a reasonable punk tone either. But it's good at the funk tones, I can play very nice sounding Chili Peppers, and the range of the guitar is good for its price. My amp helps a lot in the sound area. The worst thing about the guitar is the input - the connection isn't good and the wire often crackles. This is very irritating. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up seemed ok. The action is a little low but I'm not fussy. I couldn't find any flaws when I set it up, but I'm not experienced in this area. The worst thing as I have said is the crackly input, but this has only just begun to happen after about four months of use. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is NOT a guitar for live playing! I have only used it once, at a school concert and I was the one that let it down by dropping it. However, the huge crash it made didn't actually make it go out of tune and the paintwork didn't chip at all. Very impressed. The finish is thick and well polished. // 8

Overall Impression: For the styles I play, this is a good guitar. I could probably have done with a more advanced guitar, since I've been playing about two years, but this one was given to me with staff discount so that suited me fine. I don't play heavy metal or anything so the single-coil pickups are good for me. If it were stolen I wouldn't buy it again, simply because there are better cheap guitars out there. The best thing is the finish, and the selector Switch which I find very handy. The worst thing is the crackly input. Obviously it doesn't quite compare with an Ibanez, but it does the job. // 8

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overall: 3.2
KC3 Reviewed by: Blompcube, on december 04, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't actually own one of these, they have about 5 of them in college (I'm a student sound engineer). These Strat copies have the Standard features of a Fender Stratocaster, minus the quality. These are entry level guitars and I really don't see why anyone would buy one when you can get an entry level Squier for the same price. I wouldn't recommend these to anyone even beginners. // 4

Sound: The sound is actually okay. I managed to get a some great sounds through a Behringer V-Amp, but it wasn't without noise. The unwanted hum is actually louder than the guitar, what more can I say. It sounds similar to a real Strat except without the power. The low output level and high noise level ruins the fact that it can sound good through the right equipment. // 3

Action, Fit & Finish: I have no idea what the factory setup is like, the guitars at my college are there for students to practice setup on, but they just don't get any better than having half-decent intonation. The action is impossible to get right, it's either really high or it buzzes against frets. The controls are very noisy too. // 2

Reliability & Durability: I very much doubt these guitars would withstand Live playing. They are entry level guitars designed for people to learn on, not serious instruments. I wouldn't even use an Encore on stage let alone without a backup. Maybe this could be a backup for a backup, or some kind of showpiece, a guitar to smash at the end of the set? Fair play they have withstood the ultimate test, educational use, we have some very destructive people in college and none of them are dead yet (only an Encore bass). // 4

Overall Impression: For someone Who is learning this guitar could be okay, but I seriously think anyone would be better off getting a Squier Special Strat, as it costs the same amount and is much nicer, they can stay in tune at least. I think my college has it correct, these guitars are for taking apart and learning about not for actually playing. // 3

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overall: 1.8
KC3 Reviewed by: Ghopki02, on december 28, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 2

Sound: 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. // 3

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 1

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 2

Overall Impression: 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. // 1

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overall: 4.6
KC3 Reviewed by: Grim_eats_jebus, on march 18, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 89.99

Purchased from: Amazon.co.uk

Features: Made in 2008, didn't say were it was made but by the way it was put together Korea or China or somefing.22 frets, 3 knobs, Volume and 2 tone .Came with amp, bag, tuner, lead(broke about 1 month later.) Nice black finish Strat Style Body. Whammy Bar causes major tuning problems, but what do expect foe 90 quid. // 7

Sound: I play mainly rock and this kinda suits it. I play lot of LP, Guns n Roses, white stripes, oasis a mix of stuff. I play it through 2 amps at home the one it came with and an unbraded 15watt 1. I use a 100 watt Acoustic soultions amp for gigging but never ever with this guitar. The selector Switch works fine had to adjust the pickups to get them 2 not buzz. Its ok I guess for a first guitar. // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: When it came it was poorly set up. Had to adjust and change about everthing. And there was a chip in the finish which I had 2 paint over. Not happy with that.The bridge needed to be adjusted and I absolutely hate the neck moe than anything in the world it is horrible I've changed it now. // 2

Reliability & Durability: I would gig with this ever. I wouldn't even patice with the band I'm dat ashamed. The strap buttons work brill never encountered any problems with it. Finish wouldn't wear off for a long time I hope, it looks thick. I've hit it on the ceiling and the floor kicked and it still survived if it was bout not breakin it would be 10 but its not. The factory strings almost all snapped within first month. Now has some Rotosound Roto Yellows. // 5

Overall Impression: This is not a great guitar. I've Played Lea pauls, Strats, Ibanez, Epiphones, Sgs, Deans. This dosent compare. It almost suits the music. I really want a new guitar and I check some out at the moment. If someone stole it I wouldn't care. Well I wouldn't be happy if I was robbed but still. I would buy a better guiater immediatly. I play for about a year an had this like 4 months. I wish it was better in everthing. I'm burnin this guitar soon... // 5

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overall: 6
KC3 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 09, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Argos

Features: Probably made between 1999 and 2000, no exact date, as it wasn't supplied with one! 21 frets, solid bodied, and has volume, and two tone controls. 5way selector Switch and 3 single coil pick ups also present (Encore pickups). 'Maple' neck (sure as hell doesnt feel like one, more like cardboard), with rosewood fretboard. Styled in an identical fashion to a Strat, but noticeable isnt as body-hugging as a Strat. The example I got was part of a starter pack, complete with all the gear, strap, cable, gig bag, pitch pipe, video, and a superb Kustom 6.5 watt amp. The amp makes the package worth it. // 6

Sound: The Encore site claims that the guitar is 'hugely versatile', but I hasten to disagree. The guitar is poor in styles of funk and blues etc, and is only really intended for Hendrix/modern rock wannabes. As I mentioned previously, the amplifier that came with the package is superb, and basically forces the guitar to sound excellent. I've managed to rip everything from Alien Ant Farm and Papa Roach to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix from the guitar, with all credit to the amplifier. If the correct amount of gain is applied, and the pickups set to second/fourth (depending on the desired sound) the guitar sings beautifully on reaching the 12th fret on most of the higher strings. However, it is prone to the deeper strings getting lost in heavier distortion. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I'm sure the factory workers have no concept of how to set up a guitar. It took at least two hours of intial tuning and adjustment just to achieve standard tuning. The basics are done well, and the guitar comes very well prepared, but it is terribly prone to slipping out of tune. // 4

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is intended to be a beginners guitar, sad to say. However, in the correct hands, adjustments could be made to make the guitar last longer than intended with more success. The guitar itself is made to last, but is nastily let down by its horrible nut, which results in dropping out of tune. Ive seen one of these guitars drop out of tune dramatically after a single string bend. To this end, a backup would probably need to be your first guitar. Interestingly, the guitar itself is incredibly resilient, apart from the scratchplate, which weathers at an alarming rate, leaving hideous black scratches as a reminder to you to stop playing power chords... // 4

Overall Impression: Although I've only been playing two years, Ive been lucky enough to try several Fender Strats, and this guitar is not even a shadow of that guitar. However, all comparisons aside, the guitar itself is excellent for beginners, and even pro guitar repairers who may want to hack off the awful neck and make use of the superb resonance of the body. Despite the neck being easy to negotiate, the nut ruins all chance of staying in tune consistently. The guitar sounds fantastic when played through the accompanying amplifier though, and possibly with the addition of a pedal, would sound not much different to a Fender. A commendable effort for a budget model, but there are better out there. // 6

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overall: 8
KC3 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 11, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Ron's Music, Toledo, Ohio

Features: This guitar has 21 frets, a solid body, with volume, and two tone controls, a 5-way selector Switch and 3 single coils pick ups. The neck is maple and C-shaped, with rosewood fretboard. The body is Strat shaped, but a little less contoured in the back. The tremlo is like that of a stock, Standard Strat, but crappier. I put a block of wood behind the tremlo and put 5 springs in 'cause I don't use it anyway. It likes to go out of tune when used. the tuners can also be replace for better tuning stability as the stock tuners are non-locking metal lumps. Mine came with a gigbag only, butit was only 100 bucks. // 6

Sound: I play almost all styles of music on this thing and it suits me fine. Like all guitars and amps, you have to know where all the sweet spots are. I can get really nick jazz and blues out of it, and rock tones tick and thin. I use a Digitech genisis 1 anda Fender princeton 1X12 model amp. Some of the pickups can be noisy, mainly the bride pickup, and when there's alot of gain and/or volume in use. my genisis has a noise gate that I use. The guitar can get any tone you want with the right gear. Basically, anything you can do with a Strat, you can do with this, just not to the same extent. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When i got the guitar, thee action was about 3/4" above thue board, so that might need adjusting. No guitar under 500 bucks is gonna be perfect. After about a year of having the guitar I stripped off the sunburst finish and repainted it, the guitar didn't change tone at all. I also sanded the back varnish off the fretboard and now the tone is more rounded and warm, very smooth and nice. None of the controls were loose or flawed, but the selector is a little noisy. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very durable as far as playing goes. I won't run it over with a car to see how much it can withstand, but it is tough. The hardware will last, except fot the 5-way Switch. The finish will last unless you do like me and take sandpaper to it, of course, if it does show wear and nicks, it gives it the Vintage look, which is cool. I replaced the strap button scres and put in ones that bit into the wood a little beter. It is a rather dependable and strong axe, and even if it does break, they're cheap. // 8

Overall Impression: Pretty good. An electric guitar without an amp is only half and instument, with a bad amp, comes a bad guitar. Use a decent amp like I did and the guitar shows what it can really do. I suggest a Marshal stack or Vox combo. // 10

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overall: 6.4
KC3 Reviewed by: Blueherm, on june 16, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 137.25

Features: 3 single coil pickups, 2 tone knobs and 1 volume knob, and a 5-way selector Switch. Let's just think of it as a Strat. // 6

Sound: Well, Encore isn't exactly a Fender, but it ain't exactly something that is deserved to be put in a trash can. The moment you hear the sound from the amp, you realise that this ain't a piece of junk. Sure, the Fender sound is lacking, but who the hell cares? It's an Encore. You just gotta be satisfied with it. End of story. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Another half-impressive thing about this is the finish. The paint on the body is thick. Very thick. And the polish on this is ridiculous. It's so thick that you can fully see your face on it. The huge flaw on this guitar is the frets. The frets are so high up that it annoys you like mad. Just touching the strings and playing would do. Thankfully, that is the only major flaw. Encore, by a margin, proves it self that it ain't a cheapo-reapo. // 6

Reliability & Durability: It's quite durable. Just the unavoidable rust here and there, nothing serious. But I wouldn't really use it in a gig. That 'live' feeling simply isn't there. It's one of those guitars that is made to just mess about with when you're bored. Honestly, avoid using this in a gig unless all you're other guitars are useless. // 6

Overall Impression: It's an Encore but a reasonable one. It doesn't amaze you, but the little thing does surprise you. It is not a brilliant guitar, but a good one. If you're a beginner, this guitar is for you, but honestly, there are better choices out there. In the end, it's up to you. // 6

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overall: 8.7
KC3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 27, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I play mostly rock and blues, with a bit of metal and jazz thrown into the mix. The guitar can handle them all pretty well, except for heavier metal where the single-coils sometimes sound too light. I've been thinking of replacing one of the pickups with a humbucker, but haven't gotten around to it. I use a small Hohner CD100 amp at home, and a Behringer V-AMPIRE LX1200H in rehearsals. Onstage I've played with a variety of Marshall, Behringer and Fender amps, and so far I've managed to get a decent sound out of them all. I don't use many effects, only a Line6 Crunchtone overdrive pedal. It also has a noise gate, so any noise the pickups make (and they do make some, though not more than any other single coils) is blocked. Since I'm not into playing covers, I cannot comment on how easy it is to mimick other people's sounds. But the tonal range of the guitar is excellent. The pickup selector allows you to Switch between different tone flavours quickly, although I sometimes tend to accidentally hit it when playing. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Reading through the list of flaws above the text box that I'm typing into right now, I must say I didn't notice any of these with my guitar. I could play it right out-of-the-box. It might be that the local reseller had done some tweaking to it, though, they sometimes do. The action was, and still is, pretty good. I haven't played many top-of-the-line guitars, but I've played a few. This guitar, naturally, cannot compare to a Fender or Gibson, but it isn't meant to. For the price it delivers excellent performance, though. The guitar stays in tune solidly, even after extensive string bending, and the tuning pegs are very responsive and easy to handle. // 8

Overall Impression: The overall impression is, well, impressive. After almost five years of playing this guitar, and having tried a number of others (Hohner, Ibanez, Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Apollo, you name it) I haven't experienced anything I'd sorely need, that'd make me want to Switch guitars. During this time I've become so used to this guitar that I couldn't imagine what I'd do if it were stolen. I'd naturally buy a new one, but I doubt it'd be the same. There's a kind of affection that I feel towards this instrument. What I love most about it is that it suits me exactly. The neck is just as thin as I like it, the frets are at a perfect height, it weighs just enough that I can handle it with ease. The only thing right now that slightly annoys me is the strap - it's too short (I have grown a bit since buying it). I did compare it to other guitars (Apollo and Rockwood, if I recall correctly, most other brands were way out of my price range), although not too extensively, mostly out of ignorance as to what exactly I should compare. Overall, I chose it because it was a good middle ground, being able to handle most music styles. Plus I dig Strats (and Teles, but there weren't any of those for sale at the time). Overall, I truly think I hit the bullseye with this guitar. Being a poor student I couldn't possibly afford a "real" Strat, but this has proven to be the next best thing. For the price it packs more than its fair share of punch, without having any of the unnecessary (for me, of course) and expensive features like a floyd rose bridge or what not. // 10

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overall: 7.2
KC3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 20, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 219.6

Purchased from: eBay

Features: My first ever guitar and it did the job really, I got the KC3 starter Strat Pack with Kuston amp, gig bag, tuner, and everything you need really. The pack overall wasn't bad value for money imo. The guitar itself is the thru red (dark red and you can see the wood grain through it, looks pretty cool) and has a pearlescent plate. 22 frets, enough for me. Thin neck which I like, easier to use. The ordinary 3 pickups. Volume and tone controls, 3-way selector. // 8

Sound: I started off mainly playing punk rock kinda stuff, started with easier bands and this guitar totally suited them, then I slowly tried harder things and it was fine with them. The sound wasn't the best I've heard, but good enough for a beginner's guitar. I use it with a Kustom KGA10FX amp, which isn't too bad a combination. With the amp the guitar can make a wide range of sounds reasonably well, just takes a bit of fiddling with some knobs. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came in good condition, the only problems I had are that the strap nut needed tightening and the scratch plate had a slight up-peeling at the bottom of the jack plate, but nothing major so it was fine. The rest was good and worked well when tuned etc. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar has lasted well for the last 7 months or so, but I've only ever used it for practicing. I doubt it would be great for live playing, I would consider buying a new guitar before starting live playing, but for just practicing as a beginner I found it lasted and worked well. It seems like it would last, as it has, but I would just like a nicer guitar before starting to play live. // 6

Overall Impression: This was my first guitar and I got it last christmas, so I've only been playing about half a year, but yeah, I found this guitar fine for starting up on, it did the job I suppose you could say. But if I wanted to start playing at gigs and stuff I would rather get a better guitar. The main thing I liked was the look of it, the thru red and pearl' plate do look pretty cool. If it were lost I would probably get a better guitar, kind of obvious because I'm considering doing so anyway. But as a beginner just starting up, this guitar with the pack I got would be just fine for them, an overall good beginners (possibly intermediate too) guitar really. // 8

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overall: 5.6
KC3 Reviewed by: Abnormal_Omish, on january 03, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 128.1

Purchased from: Some internet shop

Features: You are seriously considering buying this guitar? Ok then lets get on with the review. Features, 21 frets, medium c shape bolt on neck made of maple with a rosewood fretting board. Standard Strat features I guess. Thick red gloss finish. Body made of incredibly cheap solid wood. 1 volume and 2 tone pots. 3 single coils. Cheap tuners. Came with gig bag and lead. // 7

Sound: The sustain crumbles away pretty much after you strike the strings. The tone pots are pretty much useless as the guitar is toneless. Feedback by the bucket loads and the cheap cheap single coils are very noisy when put under any distortion. Back when I used this guitar I ran it through a Marshall MG10. When run through higher quality amps you can squeeze some life out of this guitar though. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory set up on this guitar was poor. Action was about 5 milimeters high and the guitar was not in tune. The tuners were also loose and falling off the headstock. The strings were hitting the pickup poles. Came with two springs for the tremelo, God knows why. The thick finish can survive a herd of moose charging into it. 3ply white scratchplate was cut nicely and the frets were smooth. That's about it. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Not a very reliable guitar, ud have to be pretty much insane to use this guitar for a gig as the feedback that would be produced would be disturbing. The strap buttons are pretty solid. This guitar wouldn't even be worthy as a backup. The finish is nice and doesn't how buckle rash or wear of any sort. // 4

Overall Impression: I play mostly rock and melodic metal, but when I had this guitar I was pretty much learning the basics instead of learning any good music. I've been playing for around 3 years and own Les Paul copies and a Strat. This was my first guitar and was much harder to play than my other copies and Fender. Wouldn't care much if it was stolen as you can find Strat copies 3 times as good for another 50quid. My Fender kicks this Encores arse. You should check out a Shine or Stagg if you are looking for a first guitar. This Encore isn't worth the trouble or the money. // 6

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overall: 4.5
KC3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 03, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 237.9

Purchased from: Steel City Guitars

Sound: This is a begginner guitar through and through. For the first month it sounded great but when the second and third months came around I started to notice a number of flaws. Firstly, when distorted and played through the bridge pickup, the low E string simply gets lost when played open. This makes the guitar poor for punk style music. Naturally this dissapointed me, since I basically bought the guitar to play Green Day songs. Secondly, the strings buzz so much it is absolutly unreal. At first I thought this was something present on all electic guitars, but I've since found otherwise. Because of the problem with the top string, on the whole the guitar will not sound right when attempting alternative tunings (drop D or C or something), with the exception of flat, which works fine. // 2

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is hard to play. The action is very high. Bar chords can be done, but you'll find that you may actually pierce your flesh when you finger one on new strings. Athetically, the guitar was faultless. I have been a little clumsy with it at times, but even taking this into consideration the guitar looks almost new. It is a nice solid instrument. The volume knob is fading a little, but I expect that this happens with even the most expensive guitars. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would not stand up to a live show because of the sound flaws I have already mentioned. No reason why it couldn't leave a gig in one piece if you really had to play it though. Either way, I'd recommend playing sitting down because the strap buttons are to small meaning that the strap ends will unthread themselves frequently. The finish will not wear off through play alone, you'd have to go out of your way to damage it. // 3

Overall Impression: I play punk mainly, and this is not a punk guitar. I've been playing nearly a year and was my first guitar. If I was a begginner again, I'd pay the extra 50quid for a Fender Squier. The sound quality is so much better. I don't really like this guitar and I only play it because I cannot afford anything better right now. It's well made and looks good but sounds very dissapointing. If this guitar where stolen, I'd send the theif a bunch of flowers and use the insurance money to buy something a lot better. // 5

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overall: 6.8
KC3 Reviewed by: Stevie B, on april 20, 2006
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Purchased from: Ebay

Features: I got this new from a shop closing down so it was cheaper. It was made I geuss in 2005 which is when I got it. 22 frets, solid body, made of cheap wood, red finish, Strat body shape, 3 single coil pickups, a volume control and 2 tone controls. The tuners, well it can stay in tune for about 5 mins so you can at least get through a song before tuning it again. It came with a BB Blaster 10 watt amp which isnt actually that bad. // 7

Sound: When I first started playing all I played was Blink 182 and other punk-pop as it was fairly easy and to be honest this guitar, when played through an Boss MT-2, was quite a good beginner guitar. It makes a hell of a lot of noise when not playing and on the bridge pickup it hums constantly no matter what your doing. It does not have variety at all it is purely for pop-punk and distorted music because otherwise you will notice its lack of tone or sustain. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was incredibly high at first which I changed and the pickups were wobbled a lot. However the finish was quite nice and made me think it was a good guitar at first (I knew nothing about guitars really). // 6

Reliability & Durability: Apart from the tuning problem it doesnt really have and reliability problems. Its made of very tough wood and will not break from being dropped. It would withstand live playing however its only good as a backup live and I have never needed it. The strap buttons arent great but with strap locks its fine. The finish is the best part of the guitar as it is thick and will never wear off. // 9

Overall Impression: I now play more metal and hard rock so this guitar is no good at all and I am trying to sell it. I own a Vintage VS6 so I no longer need this guitar at all, other than for backup, and if it was stolen I would not care that much really. If I knew how limited it was before I got it I still would have bought it just because its so cheap and the amp isnt that bad. I wish this guitar had tuners that didnt suck and had sustain. // 7

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overall: 6.6
KC3 Reviewed by: sofubar, on november 20, 2006
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Price paid: $ 201.3

Purchased from: iMuso

Features: I have owned this guitar for a year and have recently replaced it, but still own it. I don't know when or where it was made. This is a Strat copy, mine was in black. It has a maple bolt on neck with a heavily laminated body, I'm not sure if it even has a body wood as it's so damn heavy, I got used to the weight though and only noticed when comparing it to friends guitars. It has 3 single coil pickups and a 5 way selector. Has 1 master volume and 2 tones. Has a traditional tremolo bridge, chrome hardware, rosewood fretboard which isn't half bad to the touch. Came as a pack (obviously) which included: a Kustom 10watt amp with effects, a basic adjustable nylon strap, whammy bar, an electric tuner, an instrument cable, a guitar stand, a set of Encore strings, 2 Encore picks (.75) and a basic guitar bag (not padded in any way and with no pocket but does the job for carrying about, I use a different one anyway). Money worth here. // 7

Sound: Well the Kustom amp it came with isn't half bad and is still my only amp until I get my Marshall DSL401, clean is okayish it looses that clean sound when turned up a lot. iMuso must have kindly put decent strings on mine, because when I replaced the low E with one of the Encore ones it sounded terrible it buzzed and made some strange murky muddy mess of a sound when played clean and loud. Get some ernie balls on it and the sound quality increases considerably. This guitar sounds better distorted than clean, the distortion out of the amp was generally a loud crunchy sound. notes can sometimes be lost in it but it's not bad. I play a wide variety, Indie, alternative, emo, punk, rock, metal. and it's not too bad as an all rounder, it's noteably bad at metal. Master Of Puppets could sound better to say the least. And you sure won't get any of the really heavy sounds like Pantera out of it nicely. It can still do them to a limited extent. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Well after reading the other reviews, I got lucky or iMuso sprinkle their guitars in magical dust. This guitar holds it's tune INCREDIBLY, but most others seem to be terrible. I put it throught a lot of serious bending, shredding, loads of whammying (dimebag fan) etc, checked the tuning and still fine. more luck/magical dust, the action came spot on and never needed adjusting. Pickups were fine and never needed adjusting either. Careful when getting the plastic film of the pickguard, I still have some stuck under the pots and in the gap between the neck pickup and the fretboard. This helped the pots to stay in position though. The body is a tough heavy thing. mine has a few dents and scratches but you seriously cannot notice them. The body on this thing is tough as hell, someone could challenge you to a game of 'smash guitars together until one breaks' and you could safely bet your mother you would be victorious. Unless they have one of these as well, then you'd have to call it a tie. Anyway back on topic, The chrome finish although cheap, has not chipped over the year I've had this. As mentioned it's all as tough as hell. I have bent the pickup selecter somehow once but it bent back to shape easily and has been fine since. Noteably after a year of use the whammy bar does not swing around smoothly like it used too, when you take it out of it's hole it seems to bring some of the guitar with it in a dust form so I'd advise you not too remove it too much. A tough finish, but a cheap looking and feeling one. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I have never gigged with it and do not intend too, This guitar would survive Live playing though and any attempts at trashing all the gear up. But I would strongly advise against gigging with it due to quality of sound and any guitarists in the crowd would likely shout, 'Encore,' before throwing something solid at you. You could gig without a backup if you really coulden't get a better guitar but I think this is more of a backup guitar itself, it is for me. As already mentioned after a year of playing the finish is fine with all damage unoticeable. // 7

Overall Impression: I was a young vunerable inexperienced guitarist when I got this. It was cheap and came with everything, badda-bing badda-bom. Not a bad choice actually, could have done worse for a Starter Kit. Possibly could have done better (Squire or low end Epiphone). But I don't know, my friends Squire really dosen't seem different too this at all. If your starting out guitar I would advise this quite strongly actually. It is designed with beginners in mind. This seems to be the best in the Encore range. I have been playing for a year now and have an Epiphone G400 now. If this guitar was stolen I would believe it or not be pretty damn sad about it, it was my first electric after all and what I learn't guitar on (never was one for acoustics) I still use it now due to it's thinnish neck and whammy bar. It is my gigging backup. Wish it had? it's got everything you should expect for the price. Could do with a little less weight I suppose but oh well. // 7

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overall: 4.6
KC3 Reviewed by: untitled039, on january 04, 2007
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Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Ioannou Music Center

Features: I got this guitar in 2003 and it was bought with a Kustom KGA10 amp, gig bag, cable, picks, strap and a tuner. I have no idea where it was made, but because it is so rubbish, it was probably made by slaves in the Amazon. I think it's made of mahogany that's been laminated and has a string-thru body. It's a Strat style guitar, with all the Standard features of an SSS Stratocaster, 1 volume knob, 2 tone knobs and a 5-way pickup switch. It has a single coil pick-up at the bridge, middle and neck position. The tuners seem ok, but that's probably because I haven't played many other electric guitars. // 5

Sound: I had this guitar just to mess about on for about a 2 years, but over the last 18 months, I've been playing this to max because of my sudden growth of interest in punk, Indie and rock music and my band. I used to just use this with a Kustom KGA10 amp that I got with the guitar, then I got a Marshall MG15 CDR amp, then I got a Zoom G1X, which has made the sound a bit better. Over the last 8 months, a really bad buzzing sound has started happening when I play (it's loud enough to cancel out my playing) and I have to jam a piece of paper or something under the volume knob to stop it. Despite the bad quality of sound, it can produce both warm and clean sounds with ease. All I have to do is flick the pickup switch or adjust one of the tone knobs. Now my musical taste is growing, I'm getting and Epiphone Les Paul to suit my other musical tastes. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I can't remember how good the factory setup was when I got it because I was only 10 and I hardly knew anything about guitars then. I do know that I haven't changed it that much since I got it, but there's horrible fret buzz on the 6th, 5th and 4th strings on the 12th fret and above. The guitar came in sunburst finish and the volume knob was slightly loose. // 3

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand Live playing, but it's wearing out now and I don't think it will last much longer. The strap buttons are practically falling off now, so I wouldn't use this guitar without a backup anymore (I was pretty lucky not to be caught out by it previously). I have dropped it quite a lot in it's life, and it only has a few dents that are not too big. // 4

Overall Impression: I play punk, indie and alternative rock (and a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers) so it's great for punk and RHCP but not so great for other stuff. I would never buy this guitar again unless it was the last guitar left on earth. I like the distorted sound on this a lot more than other Strat copies, but the clean sound isn't very good. I didn't really get a choice in choosing this guitar because it was the only guitar for a decent price and it was one of the only one that came with and amp. I would strongly advise you not to buy this guitar, even if you are a beginner if you are going to take guitar playing seriously. // 4

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overall: 4.4
KC3 Reviewed by: ich-komme, on april 16, 2007
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Price paid: $ 181.17

Purchased from: www.music-king.com

Features: The KC3 is a 22-fret Stratocaster copy, 3 single coil pickups with 5-way switching. 2 tone controls and 1 volume control and a tremolo (which can ruin your tuning if you use it too much). Tuning is a real problem on this guitar because the non-locking tuners mean it can go out half way through a song (mine has done this before)and as I have said the tremolo really affects the tuning. I bought this guitar as part of a beginners pack, so it came with a BB Blaster amp (10 watt) leads, tuner, pick, stand, gig bag and spare strings, but when the pack arrived the e string had snapped so the dealer offered to send some more spare strings and a set of Venom cables. // 5

Sound: It suits my music style pretty well, but I don't need many effects to get a good sound so any guitar would I suppose. I use it with my BB Blaster and occasionally I borrow a Marshall amp from a friend (not sure which model) just to give it a bit more kick. If you want a cheap guitar and want to play music like The Libertines, The View and other Indie music this guitar will be fine for you, but if you like heavier sounds you will need a good amp because it can't be achieved on the Blaster. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The only real complaint I have about the build of the guitar is that the jack fitted is too deep, so cables tend to fall out of it. I don't really think it's worth getting it replaced though, I could just put the money towards a better guitar. Other than that the manufacturer has turned out a decent guitar, not fantastic but it does its job as a cheap student guitar. // 3

Reliability & Durability: I haven't tried playing Live with the KC3 yet, and I'm rather worried because I don't think it can withstand Live playing. I had to take the tremolo arm off as a friend went rather mental with it and almost ripped the bridge clean off, and I don't want that to happen (rather obviously). I would prefer to have a backup when gigging with my band, but at the moment that's not easy to do. // 3

Overall Impression: I play Indie rock music and this axe does the job, just. The only real reason I chose this one was because it was the cheapest pack I could find. If it went missing I would get something else because pretty much everything out there is better, however I am becoming attached to it, it being my first guitar. I would have liked it if it came with some better pickups because the Encore ones aren't very good, but I might do that myself when I get a bit more money. // 6

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overall: 5.8
KC3 Reviewed by: Metalbush, on june 01, 2007
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Price paid: $ 219.6

Purchased from: Argos

Features: I am not sure when or where this model was made maybe China or somewhere like that. This guitar is quite playable with a Strat style body, 21 frets on a maple neck and a Rosewood fretboard. There's a standard tremolo unit but I don't use it because it sends it badly out of tune. As for controls you get two tone and one volume knob and a five-way selector switch for the 3 single coil pickups. The hardware looks to be die-cast and the finish is just black with a white stratch-plate. This guitar came in a package with a Kustom 10 Watt amp, strap, pick and a video. Not bad for beginners nice package. // 8

Sound: For the price there is some OK tone here but nothing to write home about, I mean it is a beginner's guitar. The single coils are cheap and tacky and make quite a loud hiss through a distorted amp. Flicking the pickup switch up a notch weilds a much bluesey and classic rock tone witch I think this guitar would suite (If anything). The sound of the bridge pickup is too muddy and I don't use it, while the middle is OK but still a slight hiss though. I am not a big fan of single coils at best although this is the only example I have ever had. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar I don't think it was set up well as I remmember, the action was too high and the jack output was loose. No biggy I know but it was my first guitar so I thought it was at the time. The pickups were adequately setup when I got it although later on I hightened them up a bit. // 4

Reliability & Durability: The paintwork is now looking old (I've had it 6 years) and tattered. I havn't really looked after this guitar well to be honest but I do think the paintwork is a little cheap, but again what do you expect. I wouldn't play this thing live but I would consider it as a backup if I customised it with a humbucker of some kind. The neck, frets and fingerboard are all fine so carn't be all bad as well as the electronics. // 6

Overall Impression: I now own a Jackson Warrior but before I had that I had this and an acoustic and BB Blaster amp. I am gonna keep this one as it was my first guitar. I play anything from classic rock to some death metal and this guitar cannot cover everything but it does have some nice tones in there. For a beginner on a buget I recommend this model or something simmilar, but don't expect it to sound like a real Fender. // 6

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overall: 1.8
KC3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 09, 2009
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Price paid: € 200

Purchased from: Local music store

Features: I bought this as my first guitar. That was 2 years ago though and I've bought 2 guitars since then which are a Squier Jagmaster and an Ibanez RG370DX. Before this though, I played my friends Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The guitar has a rosewood fretboard, maple neck, black finish, white pickgaurd, 5 way selector Switch, 3 single coil pickups, tremolo, 2 tone pots, 1 volume pot and also came with a bag, strap, lead and picks. it's ok for a starter, but not for someone more experianced. The pot were lose and made a scratching sound when I turned them and the selector Switch was noisy when played through an amp. It didn't come with a whammy bar, so I had to buy one. // 3

Sound: I play everything from grundge to metal and this guitar suits some of the types of music I play. it's not good for playing metal as you can imagine with single coil pickups. This guitar does give off a lot of hum though and I find that very annoying which was why I gave this such a low rating. I play it through a Fender frontman 212 and the Drive channel in it gave me an alright sound for punk and grundge sounds. Nothing special though. The pickups on it are crap though and couldn't be going to all the trouble of changing them as it is only a starters guitar. Not a very good or powerful sound off of it overall. // 2

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up in the most chronic way possible. I've never seen a guitar set up as bad. All the pickups were lobsided terribly, the action was way too high and there was still fretbuzz, the strings were rusty and the frets were clogged with dirt. I cleaned the frets and changed the strings, but I couldnt lower the action anymore without getting fret buzz and I couldnt level out the pickups because there was something wrong with the threads of the screw, so I had to remove the pickgaurd and get new screws so I could level out the pickups. So after a matter of days the pickups were level. Gone to way much trouble though. Absoloutely terrible. // 1

Reliability & Durability: I do play gigs, but I would never ever use this guitar to play Live. I play in a hardcore punk band and I usually use my Ibanez for gigs with my Jagmaster as backup. I can never trust this guitar for playing Live. it's to hard to play with the high action and we play a lot of fast riffs in the band I'm in and I would just look crap struggling to reach them chords. The strap buttons are not very solid and the strap fell off sometimes so I got strap locks. I was gonna give this 1, but I'll give it 2 because the finish on this still kept it's shape after 3 years and I lost count how many knocks I gave it and it didn't even dent. // 2

Overall Impression: I have been playing for 3 years now and I can truely say don't buy this guitar, even if you are a starter. I never play this guitar anymore because I am fed up with it. I bought this guitar as a first guitar, and it doesnt't even fit into that category. For looks, it would suit the look of someone playing punk or blues. But just because I said that and you are a person Who plays that type of music Who is reading this I still wouldn't recommend this guitar as it is a bad guitar. If this guitar was stolen or lost, I wouldn't particularly care. I'd just get a Fender. // 1

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overall: 4.2
KC3 Reviewed by: WelshKes, on may 03, 2012
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Price paid: £ 120

Purchased from: Internet

Features: The KC3 is a Strat style electric guitar, this is my brothers first guitar he had in the year 2000 in which he hasn't used in years, it has three unbranded single coil pickups, a neck that was set up badly with 22 fat frets and cheap as hell machine heads, one volume and two tone controls, a five way selector switch, a Floyd Rose vibrato and a body that I believe is basswood but solid as a brick sh-thouse. The electrics didn't last long as at certain angles, the electrics cut out. I took this guitar apart to find frayed wires, it is like Encore's factory in China did not care for the safety of the player or not. The pots are 500k with Green Polyester Film Capacitors which is rated at 47000pf which was unnecessary, I was expecting to find 250k pots since it is a SSS equipped guitar. The body itself was routed in a HSH configuration and there was a broken piece of plastic in the neck pocket for some reason (this caused the strings to have an extremely low action at the bottom of the neck that caused freat buzzes). The guitar itself came with a bag, cable and an average solid state amp by "Kustom". // 4

Sound: To be fair, this guitar has good sustain, the strings are of a low quality. The amp is just about ok but nothing special. My main complaint is the large hum coming from the amp, and it worsens when it is on overdrive mode and when it is attached to the instrument, there is little in the way of shielding in this guitar so no wonder there is so much hum. My style of music is classical, blues, rock and metal and it can do some blues, Brit pop and just about make Hard Rock, and the pickups are fuzzy. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: I am disappointed in the set up, the action was too low, the truss rod was too tight, I had to adjust everything before I was satisfied, but these should have been done before going out of the factory. Despite this, the guitar body finish itself looks respectable on the outside but my disappointment lowers the score considerably. // 3

Reliability & Durability: The hardware has not lasted, the electrics cut off when the instrument is held at certain angles which shows the shoddy quality of the electrics. But as I said earlier, this guitar is near as indestructible as guitars go, I accidentally dropped it when taking it upstairs and it survived, if the electrics were of a better quality and the electronics workmanship was better, I would take it on a gig, but not with the amp it came with. // 4

Overall Impression: In conclusion, I would only recommend this instrument for beginners who are learning to find out what is wrong with the guitar and how to set it up correctly. I have been playing for four years now and to be honest this guitar was close to being a complete joke if it weren't for the solid as hell basswood body and that it has good sustain. I would not know if I would be upset or not if it was stolen (being that it is the first electric guitar in the household) but I would not get it again, and it is not being made anymore (as the model in Encore's range has been replaced by the E6 Blaster for good reason). The guitar is a great base for practicing modding, in the past week of the time of writing, it has been modded with DiMarzio Air Classic (neck), X2N (bridge) humbuckers and Seymour Duncan SSL-7 (mid) I got on the cheap on e-bay along with other mod cons and I am now satisfied with it. So get it if you want to practice on setting up a guitar, learning to mod or need a cheap mod base but if you are an absolute beginner, avoid and go with Encore's Blaster series (I heard from someone that they are a decent beginners guitar). // 5

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