Sound — 8
I haven't played many other guitars, except a very nice 2000 guitar which is my teacher's. He played both my guitar and his own and made mine sound almost as good as his, showing that the sounds for this guitar is good if you're a good player. I use it with MG15CDR Marshall amp which came with the guitar and it sounds very nice, I don't use any effects. I mostly played rock/metal like Metallica, Slipknot, Guns N' Roses etc. It sounds pretty good. The guitar has a nice clean tone and a heavy ditortion which sound nice.
Overall Impression — 8
It plays well, I play metal and it does it reasonably, if I had the moeny I would buy a better guitars but this was a good cheap guitar and I'm happy with it. For 230 (around $370 USD I think) I got the guitar, a strap, a crappy lead, a very nice amp, a good bag, a tuner. Everything I need, oh and also some picks. If it where stolen I would hire a hitman 'cause it's the only guitar and my first guitar. I couldn't afford another one so I doubt I could afford a hitman but still, I would severly hurt the offender. I compare it too the Squier pack which is cheaper but not as good, I prefer my guitar to the Squier except I prefer the Squier's action. The Marshall amp is better made and has a reverb which the Fender doesn't have. What I like about the guitar is the look, the mother of pearl plate is extremely nice.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've seen a completley destroyed Squier Strat play a song live and come of in one piece so I don't see why this couldn't stand a bit of live playing, may come out of tune a bit though. I would take it too a gig without a backup, it's my only guitar but if I had another I would definately bring it just in case. The strap buttons are good but the strap comes of now and again because the strap goes backwards ans slips out. It seems like it will last yes.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I haven't changed the pickups or action and that simply because I don't know how, but from the factory it sounds pretty damn good. It's pretty sturdy, I've dropped it a few times and it has a few small cracks here and there from hitting corners of tables but that to be expected, all the hardware was fitted well, the only thing I've had problems with is the input which come lose and is in an awkward place to tighten, apart form that it's all good.
Features — 8
"Made in China" adorns the bottom of the neck. It's a Strat shape with a few changes. There is 3 controls, 2 tone and 1 volume, the tones don't change the tone much but if ure looking very finely for a sounds it mite make a difference for you. On distortion I found the volume around 1-3 cuts out a lot of distortion making it have a cleaner distortion tone. It generally keeps in tune until my guitar teacher sees it and tells me how badly out of tune it is. It is a nice glassy black colour with a mother of pearl scratchplate which make it look very nice and my parents think "expensive." It has 21 frets, it is full size and has good action although I would prefer slightly thinner neck. It has 2 single coil and 1 very nice humbucker.