Price paid: A$ 500
Purchased from: Allans music
Sound — 7
This was my first electric guitar and I started playing mainly AC/DC, Led Zeppelin. I now play mainly heavy metal, like Metallica and Iron Maiden and sometimes hevier stuff. I play now through a DigiTech RP80 effects pedal and a Fender FM 212R. I am very pleasede with the sound I get out of it though the pickups lack definition. The neck pickup is too muddy and the bridge is too tinny so I can only use both. I still much prefer the sound to any single coil pickups, though more expensive (EMG) humbuckers would be a lot better. I occaisionally play blues and jazz, which this guitar does really well when coupled with the right amp settings.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this is one of the best first guitars and I would recommend it for anyone starting out for it's great value for money. If it was lost, stolen or damaged I would not buy it again because over time I would need a better sounding guitar, preferably with a thru-neck. I think this guitar would look a hell of a lot better with binding, better inlays and pickup covers, I suppose that'd make it a Les Paul Standard. Overall, I'm very pleased that I got it, but am now saving for a new one.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have had a few problems with the electronics in this guitar. Firstly the pickup selector didn't work properly, I think there was a loose connection to the bridge pickup. I'm not sure whether the volume controls work or not; they just seem to change the tone until it cuts out. This is okay for me because I use a volume control on my pedal. The strap button was loose before but I screwed it back in and haven't had any troubles. The tuners are okay; the guitar will go out every couple of days. Giging with temperature changes would be a worry. I would gig without a backup simply because I can't afford one but when I get a new guitar this would be very handy as a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Being my first guitar I didn't know anything about setup and action, but I find it comfortable to play with. There wern't any factory defects when I first got it. I recently tweaked the pickup height and am not sure whether it was better before.
Features — 8
Purchased in 2005, made in China. Bolt on neck, with 22 frets. Two open coil humbuckers, cream bevels and pickguard. Tune-o-matic bridge. 2 volume, 2 tone controls with 3-way selector. Cherry sunburst finish. No binding. Overall look is okay but nothing special. I got bored of the look quite quickly. Bolt on neck is annoying when playing in the highest frets.