Price paid: $ 600
Sound — 8
It sort of fits my style, which is a heavier rock. When I feel like it, it has a nice clean or bluesy sound, which is good, but it can't really deliver any metal or real hard rock. It has a good RHCP sound, and you can pump out of Zep or Jimi just fine on it, but If you are looking for something that can really deliver for a similar price, look into the F 400FM from ESP. I use it with the Spyder Valve 112, and they fit well, the amp delivers a lot of different sounds and the versatility of the pickups compliment it well.
Overall Impression — 9
Once again, it sort of matches my style, but is still a great guitar for building up skills. If you can make sure you are getting the real thing and save up the money, go for it. I really don't have any questions with it, besides maybe why the bridge can be constructed to only fit '9s and why they can't fit a single humbucker in. My favorite feature would just have to be it's general playability, but I really don't like how I lose sound on my higher frets. This was the first real electric guitar I got, and voerally, it is a good buy for some young guitarist to build skills upon.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This has to be one of the best guitars for reliability and durability. I trust it very very much. I've never played it Live, but I'm sure it would do fine. Everything seems sturdy and well put together. The strap buttons are fine, though I mainly play sitting. I can depend on it and it has a nice finish that should last a good long time. I don't have much to say here besides that this is the category that this guitar excels at most.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I got this guitar and it was extremely sturdy. It doesn't handle big changes in humidity too well, but neither do most guitars. The action is nice and low, just the way it should be. I get a little buzz against the frets hitting open notes too hard, but that's not a big problem. I never had any issue with the way the pickups were adjusted. The bridge had to be taken to the shop to be readjusted to '8s or '10s, but 9's work well for practice, and '8s just don't have enough tone. Not really that many flaws, but one big thing is that from about frets 12 to 19 on most strings I can't bend up or down too far (no shit I can't bend down on high E, and I can't hit it too hard either or it slips of the fretboard). It might be a manufacturing issue, but I some sound in a medium sized bend, and I cannot make big bends.
Features — 9
This is a great starting guitar if you can afford it to start, luckily I got mine through connections, the 600 is a guess to what you should spend. I won't go wasting time describing specific features, because if you know all about features and what brands are good and what you prefer, then I recommend you save a little and wait to pick out a more improved one. Anyway, mine is in a very cool red, with the Strat shape, very easy to hold sitting and it isn't very heavy standing. I have 21 frets, which is a bit of a dissapointment, because it limits me from certain solos and such, but really it doesn't make a huge difference. The neck is nice and thin, making it easy to move around the guitar. Some spots are a little tough to reach, but for the most part you can do a lot with this guitar. The pickups deliver a wide range of sounds, though a humbucker would be nice. If you can get this guitar for around 300 or so, don't! Copies are made, so try your best to make sure you get either a Mexican or American Strat, don't fall for a cheap Chinese or Korean made version.