Price paid: $ 138.6
Sound — 5
I usually play metal/rock/punk and sometimes several other styles. With it's "out of the box" strings it really didn't handle any of that pretty good. Especially droped down tuning made this guitar sound very noisy and, well you know. After I installed some "Rider dropped D-Stings" everything sounds fine, could still be better but it's far better than with the Standard strings. And as with most single coil pickups don't dare to get too close to your amp or any other magnetic source. On a clean channel it sounds really nice and warm, the dissortion however is somewhat noisy no matter what you do with your tune and volume controlls.
Overall Impression — 6
Well all in all it's a nice beginners and "have some fun without being afraid of breaking it" guitar. I really like how you can do a lot of nice stuff with it. Depending on what style of music you play you should consider changing it's strings. However it's no guitar for melodic, fast and or precise playing. The hardware just isn't good enough to handle every style of playing. If it would get stolen well I think I wouldn't buy it again. It's not good enough for that. If you can afford to spend a little more money, get yourself a cheap Epiphone that would give you far better hardware.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Well no matter how cheap it's price might be it sure can take a punch. I dropped it a few times and it still doesn't have any scratch. The tuning mechanics however do not look like they would last forever. The string strap also needed some adjustments (strap knobs were far too small). I usually use it for practise (you really can shred on it without being afraid of breaking something) and as a backup guitar. I doubt that I would use it as main guitar for gigs but I'm sure if I ever need a backup, that this guitar will do the job.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Okay the finish really looks tasty. Mine doesn't have any flaws. The pickups were adjusted just as good as you can expect and everything else was alright. I took it out of the box and after some fine tuning it was ready for some action (besides the crappy strings mentioned above). The neck allows for some good playing, not as fast as on an Ibanez and not as straight to the spot like on a SG but it does the job quite well.
Features — 6
Got this guitar nearly six months ago and played it since then almost every day. As already mentioned it has a Strat like body, 22 frets, 3 single coil pickups, a 5-way Switch, 2 tone and 1 volume control. The vintage tremolo works fine but as expected it detunes the guitar pretty fast. The tuning mechanics aren't very durable so you'll have to fine tune it very often. Unfortunately one of the tone controlls doesn't seem to work.