Price paid: $ 189
Purchased from: Local music store
Sound — 9
I play a variety of styles from metalcore to finger-style Acoustic work. The broad range of tone that you can get from this guitar is amazing, saying that the pickups are only single coil. It can handle heavy riffs as played in metalcore or hardcore. For Acoustic peices, the guitar's clean channel is bright and warm toned. I have to use a pedal to get very distorted riffs down, however it can get noisy with the gain set about 9, using bridge pickup. The twang of the clean channel is very exceptional for Acoustic songs with natural reverb and very rich sound given from the bridge pickup. Shredding has relatively well quality without extra fret noise when action is set low. The downside is the number of frets. Bending is clean and very easy, you can bend from 1/2 step to 1.5 step with ease. Stays in tune for the most part.
Overall Impression — 9
I would have to say that this guitar matches all of my music styles very well. I would like to have humbucking coils for the bridge pickup but that's only because it doesn't deliver the FULL punch for rhythm in the metalcore genre. I have been playing for a year as of December 24, 2010. If it were stolen I would definitely buy it again because of the low price of this great guitar. My favorite feature is switching between the bridge and lead pickups to play very high distorted, clean Slash style solos. I hate that it doesn't have any more frets. I used to hate Fender until I found this guitar. Now I absolutely love it. Other than that it's a very well crafted guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I would most definitely use this guitar in a gig and it is very durable. I've dropped it aleast 4 times and no signs of damage have yet to appear. The hardware is good quality as far as sound and maintenance for stock parts. The strap buttons have yet to fail me seeing as this being the only guitar I use, I would definitely recommend it from novice to seasoned players. My friend offered to trade his Schecter Omen for it... Until he realized what he was doing lol.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I have altered the action to 3mm because it was set too high for me and I have changed the strings. The pickups were set 2mm from pole piece to bottom of string and haven't been changed. I have set G and B strings 1 mm higher to avoid fretting out and bridge was properly set. The only flaws were a few nicks and scratches to the body and back neck plate.
Features — 8
I own a Cort model Affinity series Squier Stratocaster. It was crafted in Indonesia as 2003 model. This guitar has: contoured body, maple neck with 21 medium-jumbo frets, string-thru body Standard tremolo unit, laminated top with a solid black finish, white pick-guard, custom .9 -.52 gauge Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, 5-way selector switch, 2 tone knobs, 1 volume knob and 3 single coil pickups.