Price paid: $ 114
Purchased from: used on ebay
Sound — 9
The G string sounds a little rusty but my friend says that's how all G's sound. The tone is nice, I use a Peavey Rage 158 15W, amp is perfect for practice. Neck is nice and bassy with warmth. Bridge is nice for leads and higher stuff. If you turn bass up on amp and set to neck or neck/mid, you can use it as a decent bass if played with thumbs. Sounds awesome! I haven't tried it with an pedals cept my 7 band EQ. Works nicely. The distortion is nice too! Very crunchy and dry but muddy and messy if you want, all with amp settings. It really is perfect for the begiinner. I play lots of stuff, from rock to blues to jazz to bass on guitar material. Does awesome for RATM/Audioslave stuff as well as something like Kryptonite. Awesome cleans as well as decent distortion, you really have to fiddle with amp and an EQ if you have one to get something spesh from a SSS Strat like this. I gave 9 because I can't quite make it scream hahaha, but hopefully in near future.
Overall Impression — 9
I plays lots of stuff, anything that sounds good and isn't impossible to play. Anything but metal, just not my go. Compared to Squier I say yes, to Yamaha Pacifica, I say par but since that has a hum, maybe it wins, but this is much much cheaper and better value. Yamaha just exploit the big name. I did wish I spent $80 more and bought a new one maybe so it was mine and not used mine but I'm still more than happy. It's perfect for me. Stays in tune, won't fall apart in next 2-3 years, nice cleans, good distortion, plays well, what more does Mr. Beginner need?
Reliability & Durability — 8
Live playing no idea, hardware is fine, but the bridge is the only thing that is a tad weird like I said. Sound fine though, fixing or replacing would make no difference so I'm not gonna bother. I've been playing for about 4 months, can't say I'm a budding musician yet but I can still entertain you with the little skills I have.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action is ok, not low but decent. Having it just a tad above superlow is good for me and all beginners. A friend has his superlow, can't play much after 15th fret, just no sustain at all, it's horrible! All the bits and pieces are fine, no flaws but since mine is used, the bridge is a tad crocked. I think the guy Who had before lowered action, didn't play well so return to original. Knobs, strap locks, jack and selector are awesome. I've heard people complain about these things with their cheapos. There aren't many things that seperate good cheap strats from Fender Strats. lots of people will disagree, but if you have a decent body and neck, rest is easy! If you spend some money you can make something awesome of it and to your taste too. I don't recommend this but in my case, poor man, can't afford like $500 now nor do I plan on spending that in near future, so I'm going to change bridge pickup and some other bits, mainly cosmetic like pickguard, knobs, pickup covers. Just a bit of holiday fun!
Features — 9
It features a 21 fret rosewood neck, it's black Strat looking thing, very nice stuff. Neck is made of maple. 2 tone and 1 volume, 5-way selector, S/S/S setup however I will smack some hotrails in soon. I gave 9 only cause it's used. Otherwise no flaws at all.