Price paid: € 209
Purchased from: Musikmarkt - Plauen
Features — 8
It was made in 2014 in China. Features 24 jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard. Entire body is just basswood - no tops or veneers. Has a maple Wizard III neck - very flat. The body is glossy white as is the pickguard and the neck is a satin transparent finish. It is is shaped like a strat but with pointier edges. Standard Ibanez pointy headstock. Has a FAT-10 bridge - very similar to a Fender American tremolo. Has 2 passive single coil pickups and one bridge humbucker. Has one master volume and one master tone and a 5-way switch. Non-locking tuners. Came with a cable and an Allen key.
Sound — 6
I mostly play instrumental metal and the guitar keeps up just fine. I use it with my DigiTech RP360XP multi-effects processor, which I totally love, and the versatility of a HSS configuration is unmatched. From crystal clear tones on the middle pickup to the distortion heavy sound I use with my bridge pickup, this guitar covers it just fine. I love mucking about with the whammy bar. For a €200 guitar, the pickups sound fine, but the bridge pickup is a bit too harsh in my opinion. I usually love the neck/middle combination on strats but on this guitar it's quite muddy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The guitar was set up at the shop. One thing that annoys me is that the volume pot is very noisy at 6, don't know why. There was fret buzz on the 10th fret and I fixed it by turning the truss rod to the concave way. Then the frets are slightly sticking out of the neck, not too much to become a problem but enough to be noticed with the hand. The tuning pegs are quite jumpy (I.e. hard to turn then really easy to turn etc.) and the tremolo springs made lots of crackling noises but that was fixed with a quick spring rearrangement and a screwing in of the claw.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I would definitely use it on a gig, but I prefer my LTD EC, mostly because of tuning stability. I have to tune this guitar several times a day, especially after heavy trem use. The strap buttons are pretty reliable, never dropped my guitar because of them. Finish is very simple and I'm not scared of it wearing off anytime soon. I would never gig without a backup especially with this trem, breaking a string detuned all the other strings. And again, the tuning is very unstable! I mean how much of a bummer would it be when your friend wants to jam and you're like, "dude my e is a g."
Overall Impression — 7
As I said before, I play instrumental metal - solos and all that jazz. This guitar fits perfectly for my practicing needs. I've been playing for a year and I have an LTD EC and two Orange amps and a DigiTech ME processor. If it were lost or stolen I'd be pretty p-ssed off! Then, I'd have to cope with some old acoustic... My favorite part about this guitar is the neck, let's me play much faster than the LTD, and the fact that the neck is satin is just awesome! The only thing I wish for here is a locking nut.