Price paid: £ 80
Purchased from: amazon.co.uk
Sound — 3
The pickups are weak and the low density of the basswood used in the body work together to ensure this guitar has a feeble sound at best. I bought it because I had 80 floating around and I knew I'd only fritter it away on unhealthy food and because it looks rather pretty... I usually play 80s style hard rock/metal, but with this I've tried expanding into 60s/70s rock, in particular, jimi hendrix. Combined with my very basic Hiwatt amp, I can get decent clean and distorted practice tones out of it which make playing hendrix covers to myself pretty damned cool. However, turn up the volume, and add a bit of gain (Line 6 Spider IV 75watts), and the results are tragic. It really needs some new pickups, but with the low quality woods used, and the bolt on neck, I fear I'll never get a sufficiently great tone.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'm impressed with this guitar. For 80, it looks great, (especially if maple fingerboards are your sort of thing... ) and for strumming to yourself in your bedroom, its great. Before buying this product, I would have liked to have asked "can you guarentee it will arrive in one piece?" but as always, buying online is a risk. If someone stole it, I'd be pretty damned annoyed but I don't think I'd buy a new one. If you have 80 to spend, and you fancy a new guitar which looks good and plays alright, or if you're just beginning and are looking for a beginners guitar which looks better than most other beginner guitars, then this guitar is worth considering. If your looking for something relatively cheap with a bit more than looks, then you'd be better off looking at squiers or low end fenders. However, for 80, I'm pleased with what I got.
Reliability & Durability — 5
This guitar wouldn't last regular live playing. I get the impression it is relatively fragile, but maybe that's due to the fact the first one was pretty badly badly damaged in the post. Either way, if you want this guitar to keep its good looks, treat it gently. However, having said that, I would consider bringing it as a back up since it does look fine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar arrived with the tone control and the scratchplate smashed. Amazon sent a replacement the next day, which was in much better condition. It was out of tune when it arrived, but it only took a moment to retune it, which was a relief. The action was set quite high, so I used the allen key provided to lower the strings at the bridge, this was relatively simple and now I can say I've got a pretty easy to play guitar. The replacement guitar was absoultely fine when it arrived, but as common sense would normally tell you, be careful when buying online, and always check the company's returns policy. I'd have been so pissed if I'd not been able to get it replaced, the first guitar was completely beyond use.
Features — 7
The Strat style body is made of basswood, the neck is made of maple. This guitar is finished in opal white, and comes with "aged" tone controls and scratchplate. The neck is a bolt on with 22 frets, with a maple fingerboard. It has an Vintage Tremolo style bridge and comes with basic pickups. Overall, this guitar lacks any seriously cool features, other than its looks, which, for 80, are certainly not at all bad. Its really a basic Strat style guitar at a very low price.