Sound — 10
When I got it, I had never played guitar before and knew nothing about them. At first I thought it was a peice of crap and I treated it that way, throwing it around and kicking it and stuff. Treating it like this caused some of the paint to come off, which gave me the bright idea to remove all of the paint. After doing these 'modifications', the guitar has taken on a whole new life and really does sound good. When I knew nothing about guitars I thought it wasnt very good, and then I played some Squires and a Mexican Strat, and I was appalled. This guitar is great for that SRV kind of jazzy/bluesy sound he gets, and with overdrive you can do a convincing Hendrix impression.
Overall Impression — 9
With '60s-'70s rock its as good as anything else. I believe that if you play this enough then youll really like this guitar, I've used it solidly for 4 years now, and although I got a Gibson SG to replace it, its just too hard to make the transition, and so I still use this as my primary instrument.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar will certainly withstand live playing, I've used it a few times and its bloody solid, except for the strap buttons, which are garbage. The stock finish isnt bulletproof though, so I removed mine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
As I said before, the Factory set up left alot to be desired, but my personal experience from just playing has gotten me to figure out my personal setup. As someone said in another review of this guitar, the pickups really are excellent, rivalling anything up to a US Fender or Gibson. Apart from minor ajustments, it was okay. One small issue is that the neck has quite a large radius (about 14") which is great for bends but a little sus on barre chords.
Features — 8
My guitar is 2002 Vintage, made in China. It was black on black, with a dark rosewood neck. It has 21 small Fender-style frets. The body is poplar with a maple neck. When I got it, it was finished with the gloss black paint that is standard. It is your run-of-the-mill srat shape, the pickups are in a H/S/S format, with standard Fender controls. The tuners a crap bargain bin ones, and the guitar came with everything you need, amp, lead, strap etc.