Sound — 9
I bought the Laguna for Strat sounds from shimmering cleans to SRV overdriven Texas blues. The Bridge bucker holds up well for metal with a lot more output than a Mexican Fatstrats' bucker. But overall it has a thinner more trebly tone compared to a Les Paul for maximum gain and distortion setting. Bottom line you could get away with this as you're only axe and still play good sounding metal. But that's not why I bought it, step on the clean channel and this guitar rings like a bell, the 2 singles give a shockingly good tone for the price paid. The out of phase position 4 between the 2 singles sounded as well as an American std Strat and the neck alone gives classic Strat tones. The humbucker doesnt't clean up as well when coil tapped to a single, but what do you expect it's an overwound high output bucker. What I like is the swamp Ash gives a much grittier tone than alder or basswood, the low E when twanged open SRV style in a riff just goes lower while the G/B/E strings shimmer with more treble all at the same time, it gives that convincing SRV tone.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal/blues/jazz/classical and it fits the screaming blues to a tee. I've been playing 24 years I've owned Am strats, LP Studio, MIJ Ibanez RG's/S's(still own), Aria Pros, Washburns, LTDs/still own (another great bang for the buck brand), Kramers, Charvels / Jacksons (fretboards too wide especially above the 15th fret for me), Hamers, BC Riches, a lot thru the years. If it were lost/stolen I'd pick another up, like I said it's cheap the Indonesian labor helps out but it's put together as well as the 200 and below series LTDs from Indonesia. My fav feature is the Wikinson, the tone from the singles, the playable neck.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Seems like this will last it's got bulk not Les Paul heavy but solid. No unusual feedback or squeels while playing loud. It would be just as reliable as a Strat for playing out, you know the routine. Knobs/switch/trem seem very solid. Strap buttons seem solid in the swamp Ash. Finish isnt the nitrocelulous so it will last a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup was less than desireable, strings too high for my taste but the sales man and I lowered the pivot screws on the trem and introduced some bow into the neck with a tweak on the truss rod (it actually looked like it had a reverse bow. After adjusting intonation was set and the action is as low as I like it now without buzz. The wilkinson sits on top of the body Strat style but floats like the 2 point Am Strat and lets you pull up about a whole note, but it dives all the way down smoothly without creaks. The feel of the trem is what sold me, it's light to the touch and you can go from EVH dive bombs to subtle Riviera Paradise type vibrato for chording. I like the Wilky better than std Am. Strat or a PRS unit. Neck/body finish flawless, neck very smooth no frets sticking out.
Features — 10
Made in 2008, 22 frets, 25.5" scale neck that isnt Ibanez thin but not as wide across the fretboard, thinner than a Standard Mex Strat with a nice rounded feel on the 1st 3 frets for comfortable open chording, compound radius I guess. It has jumbo fretwire which you can dig into pretty well a lot bigger than a Mexistrat and the rosewood is twice as thick as a mexistrat, it is a 1 piece maple neck (I don't even see any seams on the headstock, it looks like all 1 piece). It has a solid top with a nice carved arch top, body is 3 piece swamp Ash, finish is crimson burst w/wood grain showing thru. Strat shape with Wilkinson trem and Laguna made locking tuners which work well and they don't have the screw on piece on the back that you can loose, you just loosen the top of the peghead with a coin and you're good to go, it blows a std Strat tuning stability away. High output bridge humbucker w/coil tap and singles for the neck and middle, all 3 have Alinco 5 magnets. 5-way toggle, 1 vol/1 tone w/brige pickup tap.