Price paid: $ 130
Sound — 3
I play rock and metal mostly, but occasionally venture into blues, it does most of those things pretty well considering what it is. It has a 5 Switch setting, but to be completely honest most of them sound the same, and most of them are just as noisy and get a lot of static. The pick ups don't have a very full sound, kinda sounds like they emphasized on the bass to make up for that.
Overall Impression — 3
It'd be a good first purchase for a new rocker or metal head, but if you start taking music seriously, replace this guitar immediately, or you will hate it. I've been playing for a few years off and on, had to sell all my music equipment last time I quit and got this guitar along with a Peavey Vypyr 30 a few months back, now I have my les paul back that I sold to somebody, a Ibanez ART 300, and a Epiphone Explorer, and if there were one guitar I had to smash on stage, it'd be the GIO... For sure. If it were stolen or lost, I'd probably laugh at the guy for not stealing one of my other pieces of equipment instead and I would never even consider touching one these things again. One thing I do actually like about the guitar is it made me really good at pinch harmonics, because the pick ups are such crap half the time it won't even pick them up, so now I sound like a pro on all my guitars hahaha. I hate tuning this guitar, takes me like literally a minute to get from drop C to Standard on my les paul, and like 15 minutes on the GIO... I hate locking tuners with a passion but I almost kinda wish this guitar had them just so I didn't have to fool around with it. By the way, don't get me wrong, I'm not simply just hating on this guitar, I'm just really being honest, it's a cheap piece that would be a good first purchase for a new guitar player but if they decided to take it seriously, you'd probably want to get a new guitar rather quickly.
Reliability & Durability — 4
I would never dream of using this guitar Live. I would use it as a back up, for the back, for the back up and my only other option was to play a broken guitar, the hardware is crap, the strap buttons are poor, at best. The only thing I'd give it credit for, is that the wiring is actually pretty sound, never had problems with the pick ups cutting out, or the jack coming loose. Going back to the finish, it's pretty durable since it's just a cheap piece I carry it to band practice without a case and usually bumps into a few things on the trip there, and not to many dings dents and scratches to show for it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 2
This guitar straight up plays like absolute crap from the factory, and guess what, after you set it up, it still pretty much plays like crap. The strings are a good 1/4 inch of the fret board, and that's as good as it'll get. Had to do a little adjusting to the pick ups. When I got it the neck was a little more bowed that what I like, I use thicker gauged strings so I had to file the nut a little bit. The finish on the guitar actually looks pretty good though, it's black with some flake in the paint, making it sparkle a little, pretty cool actually. The tone knob spins freely. Oh and if you don't have locking tuners, good luck, this is the hardest guitar to tune I've ever owned in my entire life, once it's in tune, usually stay in tune for about 4 hours of playing.
Features — 4
Made in Indonesia, the body is made off basswood; agathis, the neck is made from maple and the fret board is rosewood. Solid body guitar, bolt on neck, Strat body style, floating tremelo, 24 frets, non-locking tuners, and basically just a budget guitar that replaced Cimar line. Comparable to the squire Strat. 1 volume knob 1 tone knob, 5-way selector. Passive pick ups.