Sound — 10
A closet GN'R fan I started learning some of Slash's licks but decided with my chunky hands that rhythm was the way for me. A jazz guitar by nature, the Dot appeared on paper to be ideal for my blues/jazz/acoustic favourings. I initially played predominantly acoustic based songs and so purchased a Marshall AS50-R acoustic amp in the spring. It appears that by sheer dumb-luck I had bought the perfect amp for the Dot. The Marshall really displays the full potential of the rhythm pick-ups up this guitar. Unbelieveably bassy and mellow toned, I've only heard a Riviera that can match it. It still cuts muster with treble settings but the rhythm will rock your socks off. For a relitively low-priced guitar it will make a mockery of 10w amp. It shines through larger and richer toned amps and never stumbles into crackling hisses like other guitars can. Perfect for jazz/blues rock/country/acoustic (apparently more acoustic sounding than a takamine semi) and even when the distortion is cranked up this guitar can still handle it. Granted there are better guitars for this but the Dot will not upset.
Overall Impression — 8
After being addicted to impulse buying of several "cheap and good-looking" guitars from online I soon decided to save up for a change and buy quality. I wasn't disappointed either. This is one of few guitars that you can finger-pick, strum, have disorted or play in a coffee shop. A true all-rounder for a fraction of the price of a Gibson ES-335. If it was stolen or lost I would buy another but only after playing it first (I would also probably get a red one). With much competition in the hollow-body market and a revival in popularity, the Dot still stands out as an affordable guitar that wills till put a smile on your face. I would give it a 5 but nothing's perfect.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I was surprised at how good the action was on my guitar. Strings here (as always are essential). I suggest 10's and a relitavely low action for easy accessability to the frets nearer the nut. The pick-ups are as good as Gibson equivalents in my opinion. There were some minor dinks in the finish and the binding was excellent apart from one minor defect. The finish is also prone to chipping and as it is a hollow-body it is slightly less forgiving to brash treatment and won't bounce if dropped. I can already see the "E" logo starting to peel off the scratchplate but that can be glued on. A plastic nut may also prove tricky with time but can be cheaply replaced. The neck is very good and comfortable and all the tone knobs and the pickup selctor were in fine working order although I have played some with clunky pickup selectors so try-before-you-buy. I wasn't a fan of the Vintage Sunburst finish but I was won over by the sound. It grows on you anyway, but I would have prefered a red or ebony one. Although the wood is visible and looks impressive.