Price paid: $ 915
Sound — 9
As I said, this guitar is a blues guitar machine with a lot of soul, I highly recommend this for blues guitarists. But it also handles rock and metal very well as well, thanks to the seymour duncan Bridge humbucker, which is very fat. The pickups make this guitar so very versatile that there really isn't much it can't do, although I wouldn't recommend this for shredding. It can sound jazzy, funky, rocky, bluesy, whilst being able to handle serious distortion if you want as well. The clean tone is absolutely amazing, and playing it through my Fender Deluxe 90 amp - its really clear - can't fault the clean tone here. I also use a Boss 0S-2 Distortion/Overdrive pedal and a Boss PH-3 Phaser, both work excellent with the guitar. The single coil pickups are slightly noisy in certain places, but that's almost always the case with single coils, it doesn't bother me.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a very wide range of music, jazz, classic rock, blues, reggae, psychadelia, funk, occasionally metal, grunge, alternative rock, Indie, even a little country from time to time, but this guitar handles all the mentioned genres excellently, its versatility is its best feature. I've been playing just over 2 years, I own a Yamaha Pacifica, and I have owned a PRS Santana SE, however this guitar completely out plays both of them. If this guitar was stolen, I would definetly purchase it again, for me no other guitar suits me better. I don't hate anything about this guitar, if there was anything I would change it would be the colour, but even that I like, its candy apple red, I probably would've purchased it in white if I was to buy it new. When buying it I compared it to many, many guitars, including the Epiphone les pauls, the budget PRS series, some Ibanez's under 500, and other fenders, including a Nashville Telecaster, and a Japanese Jazzmaster, the versatility of this guitar is what made me buy it, absolutely no regrets. I highly recommend this guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has withstood live playing very well, and I feel it will for a very long time as well. The hardware is very well fitted and constructed and gives me a very positive feeling that it will last for years and years to come. The strap buttons are completely solid, and I will completely depend on this guitar - however I am the sort of person not to take chances, so I will always have a backup guitar with me, just in case.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I purchased the guitar, it was set up perfectly, with nice low action. I'm not sure if this was factory set up though, or it was set up by the previous owner. The pickups were also perfectly adjusted when I purchased it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the guitar when I purchased it, however I will give it an 8, because I am not sure whether the previous owner fixed it up before selling it to me.
Features — 9
This beauty was made in the U.S and is an absolute blues machine. It is part of the 'Hot Rodded Series' which can be found via this link.It's got 22 medium frets and a one-piece maple bolt-on neck. It comes with an option of either a maple or rosewood fingerboard, mine has rosewood and it suits me well. The body is made from 'Non veneered alder or ash' because I bought mine second hand i'm not sure which mine is unfortunetly. The bridge is a '2-point synchronized tremolo with stainless saddles', and stays in tune very well, no complaints here at all. It has the standard 2 tone pots and 1 volume pot that appears on most Fender strats. The pickguard on mine is white shell, and looks awesome. The tuners are 'Deluxe staggered cast/sealed' and aren't locking but they get the job done nicely, and they look great to as well. Its got one Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Plus Humbucker at the bridge and 2 custom staggered Texas Specials in the middle and neck positions. It came with a Hard shell case, cable, strap, straplocks, polishing cloth; truss rod adjustment wrench and a saddle height adjustment wrench. Also it came with Fender Super Bullet strings, which unfortunetly I never got to play but i've heard good things. I use the Ernie Ball 'Skinny Top, Heavy bottom' (10 13 17 30 42 52) strings and they really suit my playing.