Price paid: $ 150
Sound — 8
This thing sounds great (when it stays in tune) when plugged into my Crate amp. I use a Black Label chorus pedal and a Boss distortion pedal with it and it sounds amazing. Of my 4 electric guitars, this one gives the less feedback. I can do pinch harmonics on it pretty easily.
Overall Impression — 7
This is an ok guitar for a beginner, but it drove me crazy not staying in tune. I did find that it did better when I took the tremolo bar off. I've been playing almost 4 years, and this is definately better than the First Act I have (though the amp the First Act came with is actually good). I keep it mostly for sentimental value, so I would hate it if it were stolen, but I would not buy another one.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Aside from coming out of tune real easy, this is a pretty reliable guitar. I haven't really banged it up much (yet). The hardware seems to me that it will last a while, I haven't had a problem with it. The strap buttons are solid, but the strap that comes with the guitar is shit. I would use it at a gig if I changed the tuners.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I haven't modified the action at all, I've played it as is since I got it, and it does pretty good. The frets are rough, but it'll lessen in time. No flaws in the finish or anything that I can see, it doesn't suffer from poor construction, just poor hardware. A guy at church recommended I change the Bridge and tuners and I'm seriously looking into doing that.
Features — 6
My dad bought this for me for Christmas one year to keep it at his house. It has 21 frets, Strat body style, 2 tone controls, one volume control, 5 way selector switch, and three single coil pickups. It also has a removable tremolo bar. I don't know if it was me or if the thing is a piece of shit, but my tremolo bar is stripped out. The tuners on this guitar are awful. Sometimes the damn thing won't stay tuned for five minutes. I play a lot of classic rock and metal and if I bend the strings too much the G will go out. I used it at church on 2/20/2011 and it did fine, but I was terrified it'd go sharp on me during one of my solos. The kit came with the guitar, a gig bag, a SP-10 amp, some picks, a 1/4 cable, a strap, tuner, and a dvd (I didn't even bother opening). The amp is horrible on overdrive, but sounds pretty good on a clean tone. The strap broke, the tuner is horrible too, the gStrings app on my phone does a better job.