Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: BJ's
Sound — 7
I play a more metal, punk rock style and it suits it fine, though I do need to move my pickups. I use the amp that was included with it, a Squier sp-10, I believe although I may be wrong about that, and the amp comes with an overdrive setting, I use that most of the time. It is very noisy around electronics that are either on or plugged in, and this is on almost all settings except the neck and mid pickups(probably because neither of those are a distortioned pickup). The sound can be rich and full but it can also sound like my friend's firstact that was a very hollow sound, and depending on the pickup selection it can sound very bright, or it can sound very dark and depressing(I prefer dark and depressing for my style of music). Also you can make it sound a little like a bass, you Switch it to the mid and neck pickups and turn the tone knobs to 0 and Switch the equalization to 0 for treble, 5 for mids( I don't have a mids knobe on the amp that came with it but my friend did) and the bass up to 10.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a metal, punk rock mix, it is a pretty good match, even without adjusments to the pickups. I've only been playing a few months, most of which were on an acoustic. I don't own any other except strings and the sccesories that came with it. I honestly don't wish I had asked any questions before buying this, it is a beginner's set(a very good one in my opinion, although the Epiphone set I saw would be a better begginer's set). If it wa stolen I wouldn't but it again, only because it wa a set, but if I found the guitar separate I would buy it again(as long as I can't afford a better guitar). I love that it can sound like a bass under certain settings, and that it sounds very dark when played with a heavy hand. I hat that it makes lots of noise when around electronics because I play while on my computer so I can tab out what I make as I play it. My favorite part is the set of 3 single-coil pickups, it gives me a broader range for my style of music. I have compared it to my freinds' guitars, and most times it is better, I compared it to my freind's firstact, I'm not sure which model it is, but it was a Strat style guitar with one double-ciol pickup at the bridge. I also compared it to my other friend's jay turser(not sure on spelling so I spelled it phenetically) and it even out performs his. I wish it had a distortion pedal and maybe a fuzz box.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played this live ay at a gig yet, but I have played it through one of my friends' other amps and I think it would do a good job at a live show. The hardware does seem like it will last, except of course the tuners, if you want to replace anything, replace the tunres first. The strap buttons are pretty solid, my strap hasn't fallen off yet, and I punish my strap a lot. I would depend on it, but I wouldn't do a gig without a back up(if I have one). The finish is pretty good, I'd say it'll last me a while, but that's because I don't plan on whacking it against the stage after the last song of a gig. The finish doesn't seem too thin, it migh wear off with 5-6 hours of playing a day for the rest of your life, but I don't think many people will play that for that long.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was set up pretty nicely, I hevnt changed anythign yet because I'm not sure how and what to do. The pickups were adjusted fairly well, I'm thinking of moving the bridge to a slanted postion, and moving the neck one up a little bit, other than the adjustments I'm making for my music style I wouldn't change much except the tuners and maybe the bridge. The bridge seems routed right, but this is my first guitar so I can't be sure. There were flaws right out of the package, not with the finish, I have whacked this thing many many times and the finish hasn't even scratched, the tuners are the only thing thta I saw as a flaw, they were very loose and it took a while to tighten them, plus they don't stay tuned for very long, every other day or so I have to retune it. I'm pretty sure the wood is basswood, but I'm not sure, it does have a rich sound like basswood guitars. Other than that it was fine about 20-30 dollars can fix the tuners so I'm not worried right now.
Features — 8
It didn't specify the year it was made in, but I can assume that it was recently made. It was made in china. It has 21 frets. It's a solid body, in a Strat style, with a faded cherry sunburst finish. The bridge is a thru body style, but I think it might need a few adjustments. I'm not sure about the electronics, they seem to be active, but the packaging and mauals didn't specify. There is one volume control, 2 tone knobs, and a 5-way selector. There are a neck and mid Standard pickups along with a bridge distortion pickup, I'm not sure about the make of them, but I'm sure that they are fenders, and they are single-cioled. It came with a gig bag, an amp, a strap, cable, picks, and a tuner.