Price paid: £ 659
Features — 9
My Union Jack Sheraton was made in China, 2014. It has 22 Medium Jumbo frets, set in rosewood with Pearloid/Abalone Block and Triangle inlays. It has a 1960s slim taper neck, and a scale length of 24.75". It is a 5 layer laminated maple-top guitar. The body is maple, with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard. It has a union jack style finish with an ivory-white back and neck, along with the traditional Sheraton-patterned head. It is a hollow-body Sheraton body style. It has a (Locktune) Tune-o-matic bridge. It has a 2 volume controls and 2 tone controls (not Coil tapping): one of each for each pickup as with the majority of guitars. It has a 3-way selector switch - rhythm, treble and both. The guitar has two Gibson USA Mini-Humbuckers, and Grover tuners. It came with a '60s style grey hardcase (With blue lining) and a certificate of authenticity.
Sound — 7
This guitar perfectly suits my music style, as I play Oasis and similar bands covers (Paul Weller, Suede, Pink Floyd etc) as well as a few heavier bands (such as Muse and AC/DC). As is very obvious, this guitar is based on that played by Noel Gallagher at Maine Road '96, and so I can successfully get the right Oasis "wall of sound" style, as well as the mellow, blues like styles that are occasionally used by Weller and The Style Council. I play my guitar through a Fender Champion 40, usually on the Metal/British setting. I like to have a very rich and bright sound, as I play both rhythm and lead, and this guitar is very adaptable to many styles. However, I don't know whether it is my amps sound, or the guitar, but I sometimes struggle to get the warm, resonating sound that is used in songs such as "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" by Pink Floyd, but I can achieve it with the assistance of effects pedals.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action when I bought the guitar was amazing, it was set comfortably low, but not so low that it buzzed at all. The pickups, however, I had to lower as the sound was very sharp, but that was purely to suit my personal music style, and heavy rockers may find this setup perfect. Th top was perfectly finished, and was perfectly bookmatched. The bridge was properly routed, and has not given me any problems so far. I have not had any problems with it yet, and I cannot foresee any major problems that aren't caused by me!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I play live frequently, and so far it has withstood it fine. Although, it doesn't sound as good through a PA system, but my experience with guitars has proved to me that very few guitars sound as good through sound systems anyway. The hardware seems very strong and reliable, but I have only restrung it once, as I prefer Super Slinkys to the D'Addario 10s that it came with. The strap buttons seem solid, although I put the dunlop rings on just in case. I would happily use it at a gig without backup as it is very versatile and easy to set up for a variety of styles, and for both rhythm and lead. The finish seems good quality, and hasn't worn off yet with playing.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, the guitar is a perfect match for both gigging and jamming, and suits all of my music styles. I have played for 3-4 years and own a Faith Naked Neptune acoustic, Epiphone Les Paul and Firebird and a Vintage Les Paul. I can't think of anything that I wished that I had asked, but If I have any problems I would have researched them. If I lost it I would buy it again absolutely, and also be very upset! I love the rich-bright sounds that it creates, and the union jack finish - also I am an Oasis superfan, and It was my dream to own one! My favourite feature is the gold hardware that really compliments the finish of the guitar - much more than silver would. When I bought it, I looked at the earlier versions of Gallagher's guitar - the Supernova and the Noel Gallagher Union Jack model, but this one is the most true the original, and had better sound when I tried it. I do wish, however, that it had coil tapping, or came with a (preferably Bigsby) tremolo (not fitted, just came with optionally to fit), but I can see that this makes the guitar not true to the iconic original, and I am happy without these features. The best purchase I have ever made, buying the most iconic British guitar played by one of my favourite (if not, then absolute favourite) musicians, who I happened to see live this March!