Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: www.guitarguitar.co.uk
Features — 8
An Epiphone G400 SG in worn cherry made in China with a set neck (slim taper D profile) that gives it more sustain. It comes stock with Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers. The body and neck are mahogany and a rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl trapezoid inlay and a 12" radius. It has locking grover tuners with a LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbbar tailpiece. 2 volume and 2 tone knobs. If you do put in a bit more money to buy the G400 Pro, you'll get a lacquered body and coil tap. Guitarguitar.co.uk included an Akai Drive3 Overdrive pedal (RRP £60 give or take) as a promotional item. This offer is still available.
Sound — 7
I mostly play grunge and hard rock, sometimes even metal at times (although not too often) and this guitar has good looks and sound for those genres. I play it through a Line 6 Spider IV 15 watt practice amplifier (I know, very budget rig but this is my first guitar... But still take notice of my review as I have a lot to compare it too) and use an Akai Drive3 (previously mentioned). It sounds quite good with the stock pickups through my amp with moderate gain. The cleans are meh but what the hell are you buying an SG for if your going to spend most of your time on the clean channel! Bridge pickup is nice and bright (and a lot louder volume than the neck one too!) and the neck pickup has a nice warm tone. With too much gain the guitar can sound more muddy but that's the case with many guitars and my amp/pedal could be to blame aswell.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
Now here's the worse part of my review:
The pickup height is just fine but the action is a few mm too high. Lowering the action causes even more fret buzz on the top two strings than it already has (which is a lot). I have tried adjusting the truss rod and fiddling with the action, I've tried gauges 9, 8, 10 and 11 strings but to no avail. Still, the buzz isn't picked up at all on the amp and the action is fine for chords and some single string riff stuff just not shredding (which I do not do at all). Another thing which affects me and pretty much everyone greatly is that it is extremely neck heavy which is a real downer (literally). There have been times where I have let go of my guitar to pick up a plectrum of something of that sort and the guitar has dived straight to the floor and on occasion hit the headstock!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar build quality is outstanding! I've played USA Fenders, Gibson Les Paul's and even the Gibson SG counterpart and the quality of the actual guitar is almost up to par with those. Upgrade the pickups, counter balance the neck dive and you'll have a "fine 'n' dandy gitar" that will easily handle small-medium gigs without the need of a backup although you should still have one no matter what guitar you're using! And of course there's no lacquer to be worn away, it's already worn! I have banged the body on multiple occasions (it happens) and there are no marks to show that it has been dinged... Except a minute one on the top of the headstock where it dived to the floor.
Overall Impression — 8
A very good starter guitar (first or second guitar), good for low to medium gain without sounding muddy, cheap, extremely good build quality. You could fix the action at a guitar shop if you took it into them but I haven't had a chance to do that. If your looking for your first guitar or looking to upgrade from those sh-tty starter pack guitar in one plain black colour, go for this one! Despite the few flaws (few even though they maybe be substantial), this guitar is a must have. I've owned this guitar for about 3 months (got it for Christmas!) and my skills have vastly improved without the need of lessons (before I was lent a Squier Affinity Start which was absolute dog sh-t!)