Purchased from: Riccardo's Music And Arts Center
Sound — 10
It fits rock, classic rock, punk, and has a great RHCP sound. I use it with a peavy amp. A little noisy, especially on the bridge pickup, has a full bright sound. Great variety of sounds can be made can go from very mellow with the neck pickup and tone controls set to 0, and very bright on the bridge pickup. Probably couldn't do metal that great, but I dont play metal, so I don't care.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly RHCP and Nirvana. This guitar is a great match. Turn up the gain really high, use the bridge pickup, and turn the trebble up on the amp EQ and it sounds just like Kurt. As for RHCP I like to use about the same QE settings, but no gain and the neck and middle pickups. This sounds really good. As I said, this is my first and only guitar. I started playing about half a year ago, when I bought this guitar. I own a peavy amp that sounds great with my guitar. If it were stolen, I would be crying for weeks on end, and definately buy the exact same guitar if I could find it again. Money would not be a problem, I wouldn't care about price. I love the whole thing. I have no favorite feature, it is all great. The only ting I don't think is top quality is how the whammy bar brings it out of tune, but I dont even play with the whammy bar, in fact it gets annoying and I just leave it out. I prefer it that way and would play like that on any guitar. Also, the loose input jack gets on my nerves, but normally it stays tight for a week or two, and is effortless to tighten, I dont even have to take the cover off. I didn't compare it to any other products, I just saw a Fender Strat for $200 new, and realized what a great deal it was. The people working at the store couldn't believe the price on it. They said if I didn't get they would buy it at the end of the day. When I got home I came to realize that it was the Classic '70s style and Fender's list price was about $850. The only thing I wish my guitar had was noisless Strat pickups. They would get rid of the extra static. the static doesn't get on my nerves too too much when it is clean, but is louder and a bit more annoying when the gain is up. I don't even notice this problem half the time, but once in a while it gets annoying. Great product, I would highly recomend it to anyone and I would be willing to buy it at $850 new after seeing how great it is and how well it is holding up. I have played it for about 2 hours a day for the last half year, and I haven't even had to get the strings changed. If you have the chance buy this guitar before someone else does it won't let you down.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar should withstand live playing. The only think I would be worried about would be the input jack. That loosens up slowly once in a while and it gets annoying, but other than that it is very durable. I've bumped the headstock god knows how many times and all that shows is a small dent about the width of my fingernail on one of the edges of it. I would have to do a gig without a backup because it is my first and only guitar, but I don't care, it has held up really well for half a year. The finish seems thick and should last a long time. The hardware is solid. The whammy bar puts it out of tune, but I don't even use it. Otherwise, I never have to check the tuning for weeks, and I play this thing alot. Solid strap buttons, before now, I wasn't even aware that strap buttons could/would loosen.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory set up was decent. Action is good, just a little bit of buzz on the G string. I had to fine tune the intonation, but that wasn't even much of a problem, it was pretty good to start with. Haven't adjusted the pickups, they seem fine. Finish has a few minor hard to see scratches, and fingerprints show easily on it, but nothing that can't be wiped away.
Features — 10
I got a great deal on this guitar. Even though it was made in Mexico, I could still get double what I paid for it on ebay. 21 frets, standard for Strat. Ash body, rosewood fretbord. 1 volume control, 2 tone, and a 5-way selector for pickups. 3 single coil. No included accessories, but hey, $200, I could but a gig bag for an extra $30, so I don't care. U shaped neck and Bullet truss rod. Has fat headstock, and 3 screws that hold on the neck. Non locking tuners.