Price paid: A$ 259
Purchased from: Billy Hyde
Sound — 2
I play all different styles and this guitar suits it 'well'. It's been a while since I replaced the stock pickups with the ones from my Mexican Strat but I can still remember the cheap, dead sound. I'm not exactly picky when it comes to a good clean-clean sound but this one sounded horrible. The pickups were noisy, in all positions. On this guitar, you can either have a dull bassy sound or a dull trebly sound. That's it. I use it with a Legend LE10D which is a crap amp I know, but replacing the pickups did wonders.
Overall Impression — 7
I play whatever sounds good to me (almost all styles except post-hardcore, screamo etc), I'm using this right now because my Strat 'got killed' and my Jackson isn't 'the one' (cause I love Strats, wherever it be the real deal or a copy). If it were lost/stolen, I'd probably go with a Squier as a backup (mainly because Squiers have a better sound in my opinion). I love that it's a Strat copy, nice solid finish, nice tuners, hate the electronics, tremolo. Didn't compare it with anything when I bought it, I walked in, pointed at the box and bought it. Wish it had better pickups!
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar definitely would survive live playing (personally, I think every guitar would if you didn't spend half the show grabbing it by the headstock and banging it on the ground). Strap buttons were alright, were a bit loose but I replaced them with Dunlop straploks. I wouldn't use it a gig unless I got the nut replaced, string spacing setup and the whole thing setup. Whatever the finish is, it's tougher than my Mexican Strat.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I was a beginner when I got this guitar so I can't remember if it was setup well or not, but I know it wasn't impossible to play. I've had it for about two and a half years, been from super light gauge all the way to extra heavy strings and never adjusted the truss rod or anything and it plays fine. Could be setup better, but I wouldn't know and I don't think it's worth the cost. Some issues, buzzing on the G string around the 5th fret, possibly because of the low action (that I've adjusted), again, could be fixed. And the high e string nut slot wasn't cut properly, the spacing was a bit too wide, so that's caused some issues with tapping. The tremolo is real rusty too and makes an annoying squeaking noise when I use it.
Features — 6
22 Frets, rosewood fretboard, maple neck, made in China, the neck is a slightly thinner C-shape with some sort of thin finish on it (definitely not satin or gloss). Wood is obviously some cheap but heavy wood. The finish is lacquer, Stratocaster style body and electronics, 3 single coil pickups. Some sturdy tuners.