Price paid: $ 580
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 1
Awful. Plainly awful. It was like putting my amplifier into a mud pit and expecting to still find a good tone with this guitar. Whoever thought it'd be a good combination of basswood and a miniature scale was an imbecile. The best tone I got out of this was probably... wait, I never got one. Unless you like iron piping for strings and trying to bend steel girders with the tips of your fingers, this guitar is completely awful. The only way I could see getting a decent tone out of this guitar would be to use EMGs just because they won't take the sound characteristic of the woods. Even then, I believe that EMGs are worth more than this guitar as a whole.
Overall Impression — 1
Fender, fender, fender. What more could I say? This guitar is abominable. I think that the only reason any sensible person would buy this guitar would be to have a tribute to a legendary musician. Unless you're willing to put in lots of money to upgrade this guitar, you might not want to purchase this guitar. It seems almost though that every Fender guitar that I've played, there has not yet been one that I've been ecstatic about. Although I do highly recommend Fender basses, Fender guitars I could care less for. This guitar, however, is most likely the epitome of awful guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 1
Reliability suffers severely. With the style of tremolo Bridge that comes on this guitar, it makes tuning very unstable. The Bridge also makes stringing very confusing if you're not accustomed to those types of bridges. The guitar is also very bulky and the odd shape and placement of electronics makes live playing almost like a puzzle. As for durability, I have yet to test the durability of this guitar against the concrete of my porch. This thing is a burden enough as it is, I am trying to get rid of this thing in anyway possible.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The finish was the only part of this guitar that I enjoyed. The gloss was very thin and very smooth. It was easy to get to the frets that I desired. The neck shape was also comfortable, making for more relaxed play. But a 7.25" radius? How the heck did these guitarists from pre-9.5" radius era even play leads on that radius? If your bend is just the slightest bit more than a whole step bend then you lose all source of the note you had tried to play, making leads impossible. Rhythm playing was nice, but that's practically it.
Features — 3
Features: - Made in 1996, I believe. First year produced - Fiesta Red Finish - Basswood Body - Bolt-on Maple Neck - 22 medium frets - 24" Scale Length - 7.25" radius - Two 3-way switches (in series, out of phase, and off, I believe) - One Volume, One Tone - Mustang bridge - Humbucker and Single Coil pickups - Gotoh Vintage tuners (aftermarket) This guitar was bought pre-owned in a decent condition. The pickups had been replaced with what seemed to had been extra pickups that the previous owner had lying around. The tuners had been replaced with Gotoh tuners which happened to be the best part of this guitar. The switches also happened to be right in the way of my picking area. Your wrist practically rests on the rough tops of the switches, making picking very uncomfortable. I find them more obstructive than constructive. Fender could've considered a different placement for these switches. Just the overall construction of this guitar seemed doomed to fail and I decided not to waste my time trying to upgrade this guitar.