Price paid: € 100
Purchased from: audiofanzine
Features — 8
This guitar came to me 2nd hand but in very good condition. Made in China. Basswood top and back, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. 24 jumbo-frets. Finish is a very durable glossy black. the body style is... well... violin-like. it's very small indeed. Tuners are decent, pegs are small. Passive electronics with a single humbucker, one tone, one volume pot. Mine came with a gig bag that protects nothing.
Sound — 7
It suits my constraints, i.e. practicing wherever and whenever I can when I'm outside. The humbucker produces a pretty bright sound and it's quite hot. I play mainly through a Blackstar FLY 3-watt travel amp on batteries and occasionally via a Vox Ampeg with headphones. The sound is way better than I expected for this pricepoint! It can suit virtually every style but without any particular ambitions.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I found that the strap buttons were screwed at the wrong angle. I took off the bridge and it felt pretty unfinished too with some rough edges here and there. Nut is from some hard plastic so expect some string crackling. But it stays in tune quite well. The factory setup was pretty good. I had to readjust the truss rod but otherwise the guitar was very playable from the start. No fret buzz. Pickup height was ok too. Bending is not very comfortable as frets are unevenly finished. One big point on this guitar is the balance. If you're not using a strap, this thing noses down badly! When played from sitting, the body weight is insufficient to counterbalance the neck's weight. You'll need to support the neck with your fretting hand, which in the long run may be uncomfortable and can even impact your playing technique. To give you an idea, the gravity center is somewhere around the 15th fret, where on my Jazzmaster it's in the body somewhere 2 inches past the neck. I've yet to find a bood body position to play comfortably.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I could gig with no worries but for more serious stuff this wouldn't be my main axe. The finish is good, I don't think the paint would come off easily. Time will tell.
Overall Impression — 8
I own a MIM Strat, an Epi Dot, a MIM Jazzmaster and a X-series Cort. I only play since 2010 and mainly for my entertainment, sometimes gigging with my buddies. This guitar is meant to travel with you virtually anywhere. I mean, I bought it for exactly that and it does its job very well. I don't see the point in investing more money into a better quality guitar for something that takes up a lot of beating in between two trips. So for me the real value of it is the form factor and much less the quality/materials in it. If it was stolen or lost, I'd probably look into something else but I'd also consider buying the same considering the price point.