Price paid: $ 1100
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 10
It's pretty nice, but I play it through a Marshall MG15. It's only nice when I play it cranked up. Still, when I bought this guitar I tried it on one of the high end amps and I was amazed. It was so touch sensitive and the sound had alot of delicate crunch. This guitar has the Stevie Ray Vaughan sound on the bridge pickup, the Beach Boy's Wipeout guitar sound on the neck/mid pickup, and while the other 3 positions are nice, the humbucker really has a bite. It can play metal to rock or in between. With the right combination of settings on this guitar, you can get any sound, blues, rock, jazz, metal, And it plays each very well.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly rock and metal, and blues. This can fit all those styles very unerringly. I always wanted a les paul, but I only had money for this so I just stuck wiht this, and I think I got the better deal. It can play more styles than the les paul, it is lighter, 1/2 the price, alot prettier, and it feels like it has a soul to it when I play on it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Yes, it can probably withstand 50 years of my abuse. It can probably outlive me. I had this for over half a year now and I had no problems with it. I don't have any scratches on it, except when my cable whiplashed my neck and left a little dent. Still, it's built like a rock, so dont be fooled by its delicate looks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action is a little bit buzzy. I think it's my fault because I use 1.5 mm picks. But I don't think every Strat comes like this. The buzz actually complements the sound to make it more crunch though. I can't notice it when I'm playing it distorted, but it's noticeable when played on a clean channel. Still, the neck is smooth, the pickup positions are all versatile, and the controls actually make alot of difference.