Price paid: £ 115
Purchased from: Thomann.ge
Sound — 10
The clean tone is great; ambient if you need it, but with enough punch to pull of clean rock tunes. However, it really comes to life when you kick in the overdrive. High gain effects and distortion suit this guitar to a T. This guitar is built for Rock - it sings beautifully for such a cheap guitar, and easily suits anything from classic rock to death metal with very few problems. A nice little feature to this guitar is the killswitch-tonepot, which kills off the sound with a tap and is great for machine-gun effects, etc. I'm not aware of any other guitars that have this. Really can't fault it in this area.
Overall Impression — 9
I am a bassist by nature, took up the guitar a while back to try and widen my musical horizen. I've played a lot of expensive Les Pauls, ESPs, Deans, etc. but this guitar can hold it's own against most of them. It is comfortable, beautifully made and is one of the best all-round guitars I've seen. If you're looking for a budget guitar as a beginner or for a back up, go for this one.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have not used this guitar live, I only use it to practice with at home. It's very, very light and sits on your lap easily, standing is also fine; but it feels like it wouldn't cope too well with live performance - the pickups don't feel up to it. However, due to the guitar being so cheap you could easily throw in a couple of EMGs to give the sound a boost (I intend to do this).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When the guitar arrived I was worried about factory defaults. I've ordered guitars online before and had terrible trouble with action and bridge set ups; however, when this arrived it felt as if it had just been set up. The action is really good, very low and comfortable, and the neck is one of the most comfortable I've played with (so smooth!). I did need to adjust the truss-rod slightly, just to reduce the bow a little - but that takes about 5 minutes and would probably have to be done on most guitars bought online, and even some bought in store.
Features — 8
As you may know, this is a newer, cheaper, smaller version of the classic explorer. It's prodominantly for beginners. - Made in Indoniesia - 22 frets - Mahogany body - Maple neck - 2 Humbucker pickups - Tune-O-Matic bridge - Faded black finish Do a search and you'll find out the specifics :P