Price paid: $ 603.9
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Sound — 9
This is very good through a Vox Valvetrnoix AD15T. It varies from the bridge pup being twangy to mellow sounds from the middle to neck. I do feel that it lacks a bit of the edge I hear from some other older style Strats but gives a wider variety, can't have it all.
Overall Impression — 9
I play all types of music and this suits a wide variety of styles, jazz to rock. I have been playing for over 30 years and have seen guitars get cheaper and better as the market has become wider and more competitive. The Net has added to that. Much more info is available to the buyer/player. Overall this is a great instrument for a beginner to a pro. Paying more for a Strat will simply give better furniture.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I always play live, unless I am dead at the time. Seriously the hardware is fine and would easily withstand gigs. The finish is fine but Who wants it to look perfect? This guitar like many Strats will age well with a bit of care. Obviously a good case and stand are basic that.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was set fine and low with no fret buzz. I had to adjust intonation though and now it is in tune everywhere. Pickups were set okay. The body wood has some blemishes but they are the character of wood. Birds-eye maple is nice but a bit spotty for my taste. All the bits fit well with nothing out of place. Not bad for the money.
Features — 9
Seems to have been made in 2006. Says Korea on the neck but some say elsewhere and assembled in Korea. However that's not important as long as it is made well. Has 22 med jumbo frets with a birds-eye maple neck. The neck uses a satin finish and so looks undressed. Body is two-piece Ash affair, the join is hard to see. It has a floating tremolo bridge which seems quite stable for tuning. Has Seymour Duncan pups with Standard Strat controls. No extras were present except for an extra spring (it uses two for the 9 gauge strings and would use the extra spring for say 10s).