Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Private seller
Sound — 8
I play most variations of rock and roll... Muse, Weezer, Chili Peppers, and Blink-182 are some favorites, but also some classic rock/funk/anything that sounds fun to play. I can play most of them on this guitar. I was surprised at how the neck humbucker sounds... Very nice cleans, almost a single-coil sound, very bell-like. The bridge pickup is a bit... Muddy I guess for my tastes, so I usually leave it on the neck pickup or sometimes the middle position. The bridge PU would be good for rhythm stuff or probably some metal chugging though. I play this through my Behringer Firebird 15w SS amp. I know it's not exactly a nice amp (an AC-15 is on my wishlist) but I do enjoy the sound that this amp makes. And this guitar works well with it, it's not noisy or anything. I have the MM1 going into a Boss comp/sustain, a cheap Dano delay pedal, and then my trusty BD-2, and it sounds great all together. But don't get me wrong, I also like the unaltered tone of just the guitar and the amp. It really is a decent sounding guitar. And you can get a pretty big variety of sounds from it, there's a marked difference between the neck and bridge sounds and they're both perfectly usable. I'll put it this way; this guitar sounds way better than my other electric, an Oscar Schmidt Delta King ("way better" as in more clarity, better response, and less noise). I still like the Delta King for those semi-hollow tones though. But this MM1 has become my main axe. There is usually some buzz from a bad ground wire or something, one of these days I'll fiddle around on the insides and try to fix that. But touching the strings stops that, so not a big deal really.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for about 10 years, but I've been teaching myself slowly the whole time so I'm not as good as I should be, and I've been poor the whole time so I haven't had as much gear as I should have. That being said, this guitar fits me well and I like it. I definitely consider it an upgrade over my Delta King, though I paid less for this one (I got lucky on Craigslist). It has a good neck, nice frets, nice pickups, and decent quality hardware, and it's just a budget guitar. It's good for most things you'd play on an LP (though I don't think it has the sustain of an LP) and you can almost play single coil stuff on it. It sounds good with pedals, and I love the bite and snarl I get with some OD and the neck pickup (think "Slob" by Weezer). If I lost it, I'd be upset because I'll never get another one for as cheap as I did, but if I did find another I'd buy it again. I think it'll be the last HH guitar I buy. I'm not going to give it solid 10s just because I love it, but I do think it deserves at least an 8 overall... It's great value and I think it can hold its own against more expensive instruments. Overall, highly recommended.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar seems like it will last a while. I don't play very rough, and I've never had the chance to play live and I doubt I will, but I would trust this guitar with live playing. The hardware is all up to par, the finish is nice and seems durable (a few scratches on it, but I think most of them were there when I bought it), the strap buttons haven't failed me yet, the trem works well, and I like the tuners. It does seem to stray out of tune, but it's usually sharp so I don't think it's the tuners as much as it is humidity or the tremolo or something. But I tune my guitars before I play them usually anyway, so I'm not too upset about that. The 3-way switch isn't perfect, but it's not flimsy or anything and it does its job.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I set up the guitar to my liking after I bought it, as you should with any guitar you buy. I'm not sure how it came from the factory, but it was alright when I bought it. I just tweaked the pickup height, action height, and intonation screws a bit to get it where I wanted it. And slapped on some D'Addario XLs. The finish is honestly pretty nice; glossy black on the back, nice sunburst quilted photo top on the front. It doesn't look fake, but if you look closely you can tell it's not real. The neck and fretboard are unfinished maple, which I really like. Compared to the glossy neck and rosewood board on my Delta King, I again prefer the MM1 with its maple/maple combo. The hardware is all of decent quality, and there are no flaws that I can find on the guitar. I did have to buy a new trem arm, I guess the guy I bought the guitar from had lost it, but it was no problem to find a replacement.
Features — 7
Alright, I think I've had this guitar long enough now to be able to write a review about it. What we have here is an Officially Licensed Product (copy) of an EBMM guitar. I guess they made these copies before Sterling began making EBMM copies, which was in 2009. So this guitar was made sometime before then... It doesn't look too old, so I'd be willing to bet it was sometime around the end of their run. It's a pretty standard guitar... Two decent humbuckers, single volume knob, Fender-style tremolo, 3-way switch, jumbo frets (pretty well dressed too), sealed unbranded tuners (4+2), maple neck and board (unfinished, both), basswood body, and photo top. It's a solid combination that has proven to be very playable and versatile. Mine came with a nice gig bag and a MicroCube, but I don't know what it came with originally. It's so basic that I can't give it more than a 7, but it's not exactly lacking in features either, don't worry.