Price paid: $ 159
Purchased from: e-bay
Sound — 7
I say this guitar sounds as good as half cooked Japan single coil pickups can sound. Like I said, apparently at one time this guitar cooked in a car of mobile home. I'm a novice and don't know much. But I'm wondering if the bottom tone knob should do something for the Bridge pickup, because it doesn't on this baby. Thing flat howls when you crank up the Middle and Reverb knobs.
Overall Impression — 10
Like I said, it's essentially Buddy Holly's guitar. And it's a solid piece of plywood. Anyone on here thinks their "Alder" electric is one piece is mistaken. And I don't think the neck is molded together splinters either - that might've been the case post 1984 but not on this one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I gotta go 10. As stated this is a very sturdy plywood, and its neck seems to know nothing but being straight. I've installed two more tremble springs and cranked it up to solid body it and tossed the whammy bar aside. Though when I was messing with the whammy it seemed to not take it out of tune.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The nut is a bit high, and I've put off trying to take it out. It's the Strat style nut in a slot in the neck, and I'm afraid I'll destroy it during removal. If that's the case, then bases on the height of the replacement nut I bought I'll be in for a lot of sanding. I really dig the Black/Yellow/Orange sunburst finish. So many corners are cut today and they've nixed the yellow in most cases.
Features — 10
What the heck I figure I scored me a Buddy Holly axe a few days after this baby appeared by FedEx at my door. It's a classic Japan made Strat copy. Weight 7.84 pounds. Doesn't sound mature of me, but heck after some down and dirty chores of setting it up I'm blown away. My neck was flat as a board when delivered with strings very played out loose as is proper. And the D'Addario.10 -.46 slinkies the cat sent it with didn't relieve the neck a bit. And that's cool when your fingerboard is apparently Precision sanded and radius and with no straggler frets sticking up. Yes it a tremble "whammy" bridge. And three pick-ups, 1 volume and 2 tone pots. And honestly the pots are quite dead until maybe 3 1/2 setting, and 7 setting is probably the same as 10. Strange that they hide the truss rod adjustment under the pick guard at the heel of neck. You can make the action what you want on this puppy. If the neck is indeed molded together and glued splinters, then maybe it would crack if you juiced that truss nut, who knows. Just mess with the 12 tiny allan nuts on the bridge. I love my "Buddy"! It's a nice sunburst, and it continues under the pick guard, and for that reason I'll be someday doing a Custom pick guard that will free up more of its finish for view. Somebody said it's a poly finish, and I'm not going to fight about that. But when I had it apart it didn't appear to be a near 1/16 inch dip job like I've seen on First Act electric and other cheapo Strat knockoffs. And keep in mind that there's not a single serial number of mention of H80 or H-80-T on this guitar. I've seen some on e-bay that still have the sticker on the neck/body bolt plate and that's the only time you'll see any evidence of what this is unless a worker freelanced wrote something in the pickup cavities. It is simply a dead ringer for Buddy Holly's 1958 sunburst Strat, except for the cheesy idiot round circle on the Strat's headstock. Sound Quality: I sounds great as a well made Japan Strat knock-off is going to get. I'll be interested in getting an upgrade in pots and pick-ups someday just for kicks. I'm sure if my crappy Ibanez 15 watt Tone Blaster didn't lock me out of not using Gain on the clean channel I'd be even more nuts over my new Buddy. And folks it's apparently a VERY good piece of plywood and "splinter" neck that this baby is crafted from. Mine has plenty on tonality feel to my body and hand when unplugged. Meaning I can feel this baby's neck resonate when unplugged, and hear it loud and clear when I put my ear to one of the horns while unplugged. And yes the wood is contoured just like a Strat. Reliable as all get out. Well I had to get rid of the pick-up covers because they were too tight in the opening. And because of warping in the pick guard I added 5 screws in addition to the 8 placements it had. I can only guess the poor thing had cooked in a car trunk at one time. You know what, the neck might be a tad bulky. But I guess one would be silly to sand on it and take the risk of exposing humidity to those "splinters", lol. And I will say that the nut is in a slot on the neck, and one would be advised to go to a Tech to get that baby knocked out and measured for your new one. Luckily I had no nut issues, other than mine not wanting to accept a coyboy.24 wound g string- hey I'm a hack, give me a break. You get one as solid as mine, then you've got a winner baby. Mess with peoples' minds and say you've got an "Outlaw Strat" from the Matsu factory in Japan. You won't be telling much of a whopper, either. Be glad that the snobs have thumbs down on this solid beauty while at the same time getting all crazy over Mustangs. Because of that mis read you and I can afford these fine H80 H-80-T guitars.