Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: local dealer
Sound — 8
This is a really versatile guitar. I play pretty much every style of rock ranging from Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix to the Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys... It's an excellent substitute for a Les Paul shaped guitar in terms of tone and can sustain for quite a while. Pretty deep but not as tight as an SG (or fenders, obviously), so not the best choice for funk or similar styles. Unplug it and you get yourself an acoustic at lower volume, be careful though when plugged to loud amps as this will feedback your brains out. I use it with a Blackstar HT-5 and a Fender Mustang III so I can still get away with the feedback.
Overall Impression — 9
I needed something versatile, and I got it. It was quite search though but in the end it fits my style perfectly. It had its few moments when it gave up on me (pots) but it wasn't a big deal since I don't gig. I have owned it for 3 years now and I don't think I will sell it any time soon if at all. It's big, it's simple and it's different, that why I like it so much. The only thing that I don't really like is the shape of the headstock but that's only a personal preference. Overall its my favorite and I use it more than my Epi SG or Fender HH Tele.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Well, the sound is a monster but the original electronics were horrible. All the pots failed after some time and replacing them on this type of guitar is a headache. The pups are fine though and I still use them, don't plan on changing them either. I think people at Hamer accidentally put their top secret indestructible finish on mine, it has survived quite few drops and bangs without a dent or a scratch.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came pretty much well set-up, the action was a bit to low for my tastes but that was easily fixed. There was a little dent/cut on the 15th and 16th fret below the b string but it doesn't really affect playing except that bending in that area needed some getting used to. The wood and finish are beautifully done on both the body and the neck (which is also sunburst). Also the binding around the whole guitar, fingerboard and f-holes is excellent. The tuners can hold tune for days with constant playing.
Features — 9
The EchoTone is a 335 style semi-hollow made in Indonesia, I can't figure out the year it was made. Fat maple neck with bound rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. Maple body (not laminated) with a mahogany center block. The "horns" are slightly sharper than the classic ES-335. Tune-O-Matic bridge, Tulip tuners, Duncan Designed pickups, 3-way switch, 2 volume, 2 tone controls. The standard dual pickup configuration.