Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: Best Buy
Sound — 8
This guitar suit's my style pretty well, as I play anything from classic rock to a little metal. I use a Roland Micro Cube (gimme a break, I'm broke,)and it gets the job done. It has a decent sound, a little empty, though. Pickups get a lot of feedback, and are noisy, but all single coils are noisy. (that's why the humbucker was invented- to get rid of the hum.) this guitar can make a decent variety of sounds. Best for classic rock.
Overall Impression — 7
I play anything from classic rock to metal, and it fit's pretty good. I have not been playing very long, maybe about a year. If this guitar was stolen or lost, I would be pissed, because as my first guitar, it holds sentimental value, than save up and buy the Epiphone SG G-400 that I've been looking at.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would withstand Live playing for about thirty minutes before haveing to retune, and the hardware (except for the strings)seems like it would last. The strap buttons are okay, altough you might want to get another strap, as the one that comes with the guitar does not stay attached. I have dropped this guitar a couple times, and it's still good. The finish is going to last a long time, as it is pretty thick.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action was fine when I got it, and the pick-ups were pretty good. A couple flaws, though, include: The frets; they need to be sanded or filed down before playing so you won't have to build caluses on the side of your fingers as well. Tuning pegs: the tuning pegs are slightly loose, and come out of tune easily. Inside cuts: I took a look inside the starcaster, and the cuts were poor quality, and there was still sawdust in it. (no problems at all with the outside cuts.) Other than these, the guitar is pretty good. The outside cuts are almost flawless, and the neck is shaped pretty well.
Features — 8
I have no idea the year it was made, but I know it was made in japan. It has 21 frets. The body is agathis, with a maple neck(I think.) It has a black finish. It looks and plays like a Stratocaster, and has three passive single coil pickups. There are three tone knobs: volume, and two tone knobs. The tone knobs do abosultly nothing. The tuners are crap, no idea what type. It came with: a guitar, (duh,) a Fender sp 10 amp, a cable, a guitar case, and an extra set of strings and picks. And a DVD. The amp and the cable sucked. I had to replace the amp, because of faulty electronics, after about three months. And the cable had loose connections somewhere in it, so I had to replace that too. The gig bag is decent, although it's a soft case, and when you carry the guitar around in the case, you have to be careful you don't accidently hit the tuners, as it will come out of tune easily. The extra strings are Fender, same as the stock, so I would recommend buying another pair of strings with this guitar, as the stock strings break very easily.