Sound — 6
I got this guitar from a friend who never played it. I had never played guitar before and for a beginner I can't really recommend it. It comes with high action, weak pickup sustain and crap strings. The best thing is the accessories which include a guitar strap and an excellent Park 10W amp. With distorion there is a bit of background noise as well. This guitar suits my music style as I play classic rock and the cutaway neck makes soloing easy. It also has a whammy bar so you can play all Hendrix improvisation stuff on it too. It's really good for all styles much like a proper Fender Strat just more affordable. I now play it with a Marshall DFX15 and Korg AX100G and it playes a million times better because for rock/hard rock/metal I don't have to strain to get sound out of the weak pickups because my effects pedal compensates for it.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I'd give this guitar a 4. For a beginner I'd say don't get this because it might put you off playing for life, but if your an intermediate to high level player then this guitar really is a bargain if you can be bothered to make a few adjustments to it. The best bit is the contours and the weight of the guitar. It feels really sturdy and reliable and the neck is suprisingly quick. With the right adjustments it can play better than a more expensive Fender.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have used this guitar live and it stands up to the test. The hardware has lasted me 2 years although I am considering changing the pickups for DiMarzio or Seymour Duncans for that extra sustain needed for certain solo's. The strap buttons are solid, although you may want to change the strap it comes with for one with tighter holes. I beleive I could depend on it when gigging as it has never failed me yet. The finish is truly awesome for a cheaper guitar which this one obviously was at time of purchase. It has a mirror black finish better than anything you'll find on a real Fender.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
When I first got this guitar the action was way too high and the bridge was too springy. The high action is scary when your a beginner and if I could have afforded it I would have got a guitar tech to adjust it for me. Instead I adjusted the bridge tension at the back and lowered the strings individually at the bridge. Once that was sorted it plays suprisingly quickly. I can play stuff like Led Zep - Rock And Roll and Stairway easily on it now. The pickups are unbranded, the neck pickup is good on clean and with distortion gives a Black Sabbath Toni Iommi kinda deep smooth sound, good for rhythm. The middle pickup is useless it sounds sqeeky and awful. The bridge pickup is ok with overdrive but doesnt really give the sustain needed for leads and soloing in my opinion. The machine heads are also liable to need replacing as after a while 3 of the 6 I had began to seaze up. I purchased some similar ones and their fine now. The strings it comes with are also very cheap and I would recommend replacing them with D'Addario's or Slinky's. Also the fret could prob do with filing down if your a slow player to improve speed.
Features — 8
- Year - around 2001-2002 (I think) - Frets - 22 - Laminated top (I think) - Body Material: Made from plywood I reckon - Body Style: Strat style - Body Finish: Mirror black - Bridge style: Tremolo + Whammy Bar - Controls: 1 Volume knob, 2 Tone knobs, 5-way selector - Pickups: S/S/S, make unknown - Tuners: Non-locking - Accessories: Included an excellent 10W Park Amp and 'how to play' video.