Price paid: $ 226.8
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 8
This guitar suits my styles quite well. I play rock (all types - classic, hard, alternate) and grunge mostly with some blues and metal too. Most of the time I use the humbucker which is very good for a guitar of this price. It gives it a nice rock tone. I only use the single coils for slow quiet music really, where I want the sound to be very clean. I'm using it with the amp it came with, Marshall MG15CDR and a Behringer X V amp. With the X V amp I am able to play anything I want. The clean channel of the amp is adaquote but the distortion channel is hardly usable, that's why I bought the Behringer. With the humbucker, I am able to get a very rich and full rock sound, even with no gain. The single coils weren't as bright as some other guitars but still did the job. The volume control really does its job and with it you can get the good rock tone but with less gain. The pickups weren't that noisy, average. The sustain is good for such a cheap guitar, changing the strings helped this.
Overall Impression — 8
this is a good mathc to what I play - rock, grunge, alternate rock hard rock, classic rock and some of metal. This is a very good guitar to start on and if you get a new amp it will sound better. If it were lost or stolen I would probably get an Epiphone SG or Les Paul as I'm quite good now. I love the looks and the humbucker and don't hate anything except the fret buzz on this guitar. I compared it to a squire Strat but this guitar beat it by far on the overdrive channel, whearas the squire was better on the cleans. I chose this over the Squier because I use overdrive more than clean. I wish it had another pickup like the bridge one at the neck.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm sure this guitar will withstand the rigors of playing live, certainly looks like it. No problems with the hardware so I think it will last. The strap buttons are fine, but the strap it is supplied with slips of regularly, changing this solved the problem. I would depend on this guitar, no reason not to. I would use it withought backup as it's my only guitar but when I get a new one I'll use this as backup just in case. The finish seems fine. The only other problem is that the bolt on the plug often comes loose. To solve this I took of the metal guard around the plug and loosend the bolt inside, giving more room for the outside bolt to attach to. I've had no problems since, just make sure when you plug in to tighten it if its loose.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar wasn't set up that well at the factory, although the action was good at the top of the neck, it was far to high at the other end. I think this is because of the tuss rod not being adjusted correctly. Because of the this there is a lot of fret buzz which can get quite annoying. This was the only fault I could find with the guitar, everything else top notch for a guitar of this price.
Features — 8
Made in China. 2005 model I think. It has 21 frets and a nice shiny black finish. This guitar looks amazing, especially for the price. It features one volume and 2 tone controls. Also has a standard 5 way pickup selector. The pickups are 2 single coils and one very high output humbucker. All three are height adjustable. It is based on a fat Strat body made out of alder. with a Stratocaster style bridge. The neck is black rosewood with pearloid dots. The head is unique to this guitar, looks very nice. The tuners are non locking but seem to do an okay job of keeping it in tune. Everything on this guitar is black besides the back of the neck and the white outline on the pick guard.