Price paid: C$ 50
Purchased from: Local Pawn Shop
Sound — 4
My music style is pretty varied, but I mainly like to play alternative/indie rock, some jazz, punk rock, and when I really feel like it, some hard rock/light metal with distortion, but I like to play anything that really sounds good. The guitar sounds like crap in clean, there is a lot of fret buzz inside the first 12 frets of any string (minus the 1st string) because of its low action. But its not entirely that bad, playing barred chords gives you a pretty bright and funky sound, and after the 12th fret, finger picking and soloing on this guitar actually sounds half-decent. On distortion, it sounds a lot better in my opinion, it has a very crunchy tone, a little bright, but i like it that way, especially on the humbucker by itself, cause its on the bridge, and when on the single coils closer to the neck, it gives a good rhythm guitar sound, but obviously, compared to really good quality guitars with good pickups, this guitar is outclassed in every direction. I use a cheap but pretty good ranged Typhoon PGA10 guitar amp, I would say a great amp for practicing, and it even did well in a live performance with another guitar of mine. I have a DigiTech bass modeling processor which makes pretty good effects for guitars as well, plus a Behringer DR100, which makes an ok sounding reverb. The tuning of this guitar is something i really like when I use the tremolo bar, as it actually stays in tune unlike other guitars at its (retail) new price. Because of its crappy clean, fretbuzz, and bad pickup quality, I'd give it a 2 or 3, but because of its distortion and the funky barred chords I get from it, I'll put it at a 4.5, but since there is no 4.5, ill lower it to 4.
Overall Impression — 7
This is my first electric guitar, I have been playing for almost 2 years on a Fender CD60-ce Acoustic Electric which is much better than this guitar overall in most categories. I also have a Silvertone Revolver bass, which again seems to be a little better than this guitar. I am an amateur guitar player, for surely wouldn't call myself a beginner nor a professional, although I Have a large amount of knowledge for guitars. I like to take care of my guitars, so I don't drop them or hit them against objects much, and I regularly clean them up to get a better sound out of them. I wish to have been with my dad when he bought the guitar so that we would have bought a much better one for most likely only a slightly higher price, and besides, I think he underestimates my guitar playing ability. However, the guitar is not the worst thing in the world, but its no where near from the best, and for the price, its ok. I'd rather have better electronics, but the overall feel of the guitar is something I really like, not heavy, not light, a V-contoured neck, I would say a very fast playing neck (though I can't really play that fast), the combination of an HSS pickup arrangement plus a maple fretboard, the two things I almost just had to have for my first electric guitar, and finally the not so bad tuners which actually hold their tuning for a while. The whammy bar is a great feature since the tuning stays even if I use it excessively. Overall, I would say my impressions, since it is my first guitar and its not the worst thing in the world, would make this category get a 7, no higher, due to the bad quality electronics.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar is cheap, so I wouldn't really want to play live on it. It seems sturdy enough to survive a live gig easily, but the quality would have me thrown off the stage before I even finish a song. The hardware is cheap, so I don't think it will last, and that'll be good for me, cause then I can replace it with some quality seymour duncans or something like that. The strings are stock ( I believe) and the 1st string is bronze while the rest are lower gauged nickel, so I'll replace these strings very soon. The strap buttons are pretty solid, but I did have to tighten the screw of the one in the upper bout. I think I can depend on this guitar, but again, the quality would kill a song, so if I had no other choice but to bring this guitar for a gig, I would most definitely bring a back up, even though I would always do that anyways. The finish doesn't seem bad, so I would say it'll last a while, again, not like I really care too much about the look of the guitar. A 6 for its durability in terms of averaging out the hardware with the finish.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was bought at a pawn shop so it was obviously used. When I got it however, it looked pretty brand new, except for some barely visible dings and scratches, but I don't care too much for the look of the guitar, but rather the sound and quality. The pickups are low, and if I were to heighten them, they would hit the strings very soon because of the low action of the guitar. I'm no electronics guy, but I did open up the guitar to have a look inside to see any flaws, and it wasn't bad at all, everything seemed wired properly, though of course I cleaned away some of the left over wood dust cause it had obviously never been opened before, and I also tightened all the screws around the guitar, cause I read somewhere that doing that will give the guitar better sustain (if only slightly). I haven't changed the guitar in anyway so its pretty much its pure factory self, minus me tightening the screws a bit. An 8 for the finish, a 7 for the action, and I quite honestly like the guitar cause it feels good, I like playing on it, so an 8 is my verdict here.
Features — 5
This guiar is a cheapo Stratocaster copy, more specifically, it looks like an Ibanez RG copy. My father bought this guitar used after he heard a truly professional guitarist making this guitar sound like heaven...at least, that's what he said. It features: - Made in China (like everything is these days) but it I forgot where I read that off of this guitar, so I assume I'm right about where it's made - 22 frets - Solid Top, i guess - Maple Neck and Fretboard with black dot inlays - Plywood (most likely)or basswood body, if the body is actually made of one type of wood... - Satin finish - As said before, Strat, more speficically, Ibanez RG body style copy - String-thru body bridge with tremolo system - Passive electronics, crappy pick-ups in all - HSS pickup configuration - 1 Volume, two tone controls for the two single coil pickups - I don't know much about tuner brands, but my best guess would be non-locking F-tuner style copies with the Rocker 'R' logo instead of the Fender 'F' logo Nothing else included, my dad just bought it from the pawn shop as a gift because I wanted my first electric guitar. If this guitar had more quality electronics, I'd give it a pretty high rating, but I think a 5 is good enough for what I got for just 50 bucks.