Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: www.lacemusic.com
Sound — 10
This is by far the best feature. This is, without a doubt (according to Guitar World's (copyrighted) December 2003 issue) the best sounding guitar for under $500. It challenges guitars between $500 and $1000. It even beats some >$1000 guitars. The Lace humbuckers sound incredible. It has a nice, light, bluesy feel to it but it can put out some power too. It is definitely not a 'metal' guitar, but you know that just by looking at it. The sound blows people away, simply because there is NO buzzing sound and everything (everything) is picked up by those aweomse US made pickups. Absolutely mindblowing sound, made all the better by the $250 price tag.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar rocks, plain and simple. It sounds incredible, looks amazing (it really does), and it's just too bad no one has heard of this company. I hope they catch on big, because they are on to something. Great pickups, gorgeous guitars, and all for $250? Unbelievable. Check them out now dude! This guitar is seriously insane.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Considering this is a $250, this is very good. Considering the question, I would not want to play this without a backup. And the reason is very simply because if I'm rocking out on stage, which is invariably very hard, I don't want my guitar to come apart. And as unlikely as that is whith this thing, this just simply wasn't meant for it. It is not manufactured to be abused on stage, it was made to be a beautiful (in every sense, visually and aurally) instrument. And it excels at that. You will blow minds while playing this, no matter where. But you are far better to pay more to get a truly stage-worthy guitar (if for nothing other than sturdiness). Would you play a $3500 1962 Strat on stage? No. For the same reason.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The fit and finish are all very good, if not great. It was set up perfectly by the factory, everything was in perfect balance and tune (not necessarily the string, s but that's not the company's fault). Don Lace Jr. overlooks the manufacturing of every single guitar which comes out of the Huntington California factory, and it shows. They are awesome to look at. The woodgrain (true woodgrain, not artificial) will make jaws drop. The paint job (available in 4 colors: blue, red, black and natural woodgrain) looks fantastic. The build quality is TONS better than you'd expect for a $250 guitar. It never feels unstable and never feels flimsy or cheap. My only complaints are that the pickups are somewhat loose (you can wiggle them a tad bit, but not much) and the paint is very prone to chipping. If you take care of it though, this thing will last a very long time.
Features — 9
These have been made since 2003, and they feature the only affordable USA made humbucking pickups. Fender has used Lace pickups for more than 30 years, and now Lace makes their own guitar. It is solid alder body with bolt-on rosewood fretboard. It has a transparent blue paint, such that the woodgrain shows through. This is awesome looking. It is Strat style. It has two Lace humbuckers, which are some of the best pickups you can possibly buy under $200. It has the normal beels and whistles, with no extra accessories.