Purchased from: RockStuff Guitars
Sound — 5
To quote fictional character Crow, "Rock 'n' roll, baby!" If you don't get that, play more Grand Theft Auto. Anyways, this guitar comes with the options of clean (distorted), distorted (also distorted) and overdrive (really distorted). The MVG-1BK has almost a natural 'metal' feeling to it. However, due to the pickups, the sound cames across underwater-ey. This gets a 5 out of 10, namely because nobody wants a guitar that would sound better when not even played. I suppose changing the pickups would give this a 7, maybe even an 8. If you can be bothered. But if Monterey couldn't be bothered putting pickups on that weren't made of bottle caps, then why should you be the one to put in the effort?
Overall Impression — 6
Truthfully, this should be a 6 point 5. This guitar is up the higher scale of the mediocre list. It's not well known, but if your looking for a guitar that could kick your ass, steal your wallet and sleep with your girlfriend, you've got it, in another guitar. This guitar, on the other hand, will probably do all the above mentioned things, but only when it has no strings and is suspended on your wall. I'm going to stop playing, and reviewing, all Monterey products. True, my Monterey acoustic is brilliant. But 2 truthfully shoddy guitars is enough. What kinda' name is Monterey, anyway? It sounds close to Mr. Burns' middle name, doesn't it? And nobody wants a guitar which reminds people of a yellow old geezer.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Well, in a hypothetical situation where the pickups don't look like too much pressure would make them spontaneously combust, this guitar is really, really good. Great. Fantastic. Spectacular. The neck is on so well that you could use the guitar as a pogo stick. The body will easily halt any stray bullets that may pass your way, and though this guitar has less treble and more bass to it, I can't imagine having to use a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Flawless. Though I will catch a lot of flak for this, it was. Everything down to the last square inch of this guitar was perfect. The action was great, the hardware was great, the body was a synonym of great, oh, wait, I forgot. The pickups that could probably be pulled off the guitar and thrown at people. My mistake.
Features — 6
I had the honour of reviewing the MLP-5SKB the other day. God, the glory of reviewing a guitar seemingly made of aluminium. Anyhoo, after a request to do the other Monterey I gots, I thought, why not? The MVG-1BK is a paradox. To some, it looks rock, sounds rock, and tastes rock to others, things like these are just plain crappy. I must say that guitars like these usually sound pretty bad. The first flaw: the '2 humbucker pickups' might as well be made of lego. Really ineffective. The otherwise, this chroming hardware was fine. The 3-way selector switch actually worked well, and this is the first Monterey I've ever had that doesn't have tuners that were seemingly made without intention of ever actually tuning. But the main problem, as with many Monterey guitars, is can seem as though the makers built the body and neck, then threw some 50 cent equipment on it. While it's hardware works with this guitar, is isn't at the Standard that many other mainstream guitars are at. Oh, and 24 frets. What has 24 frets? Plus the bubble wrap it came in had been pre-popped. Those little.