Price paid: $ 300
Sound — 10
I like playing everything from John Mayer to (poor attempts at) Herman Li. This guitar does most things surprisingly well. I really can't get John Mayer's glassy tone with these pickups, but I'm pretty sure that an upgrade could get me mighty close. Other than their slightly nasal sound that slightly lacks upper treble definition, the pickups are great, mainly because they're completely silent in terms of noise. No microphonics thanks to the nice wax-potting job they did. The guitar is definitely more of a "full" or "rich" sounding model, rather than a Fender-y bright sound. I love the downright raunchy distortion this guitar can wrench out of my cheap amps, but the clean tone is wonderful as well. This is a wonderful guitar for someone Who has an idea of what they're looking for in a guitar and knows what SGs sound like.
Overall Impression — 10
In short, I love this guitar. If it was lost or stolen, I would probably be brought to tears because I am really attached to it, plus I wouldn't be able to buy it again for a while. The only guitars I've really played extensively enough to compare with are two Squier strats, one better and one worse. The better one was one of the famed Japanese Squiers of years ago that have been known to be on par with American Strats, whereas the worse one was a modern (Indonesian) one, which frankly felt something like a poorly made imitation of a guitar after playing this for a couple minutes. My only problem is that I learned soon after buying this guitar that I love the sound of a Fender with single-coils, although I don't like the way they look. I still managed to find quite a lot to love with this guitar, and I think that it's more versatile anyway. I'm not sure I could be much happier.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I think this guitar will last me long into the future. I've already dropped it a couple times, including one really horrendous one when my strap popped off and I didn't react fast enough, letting it drop 3 or so feet and landing headstock-first onto another guitar. The other guitar sadly got a rather nasty scratch, but this one didn't even go out of tune. I love it! The hardware is great, the strap buttons would be better if they were a bit larger/held better, but they're OK as long as you're careful. I could, do, and will depend on this guitar for a while because I don't have enough money for another one, and I would absolutely gig with it without backup, not entirely because I don't have another electric. This finish is satin, so it's obviously thin, but since it's basically just a stain it will last forever as long as you take care of it, and if you're unhappy, you can sand it down and re-stain it however you want.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I've heard some complaints about the knobs coming off and the nut being low-quality, but I feel like my guitar is about as close to perfection as $300 can get me. The only things I can think of that I have issues with are that for a while the bridge had a burr that kept cutting the 3rd (G) string on mine, but an emery board and #2 pencil cleared that up. Other than that, this guitar is awesome. I can't stress enough how much this guitar's finish rocks. See it in person, because I have yet to see a picture that looks as good as the actual guitar, and I've tried myself with a high-end Nikon. Find it in a store.
Features — 9
I don't know exactly when this was made, but I got it new so it can't be that old. It has this funny "handcrafted in China" sticker I love to laugh at. Other than that, I love everything about this guitar. This color (mine is cherry) is downright beautiful. The whole thing is made of mahogany, making it light, but it sounds like heaven with the right pickups. You've probably read all the stats a couple times if you're reading this, so I'll stop now, aside from clearing up a couple things: this guitar definitely has good Grover tuners, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, and an angled headstock.