Price paid: A$ 229
Purchased from: Rajen Music
Sound — 8
For a beginner, it suits all playing styles. I was very suprised on how versatile the pickups are. It does clean very well and it can do distortion quite well. However it can get quite muddy especially on the neck pickup. This would be inaudible to a novice guitarist however. The humbuckers produce a thicker tone that provides more natural gain than a single coil guitar such as a Fender Stratocaster. It is a very versatile guitar for beginners. Only downside is that it can sound fairly muddy on the neck pickup.
Overall Impression — 9
For a beginners guitar, this is a standout amongst the crowd. It is very well constructed, has a great tone and will see out a beginner for many years. I have been playing for 4 years now and until recently, I have been using that solely. I recently upgraded to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard which has become my primary instrument. I still play the AV-1 every now and then and it plays really well. It screams simplicity, its all you need for learning the ropes of guitar playing. Compared to all the other beginners guitars out there below and above the RRP of this guitar, it really shines above them. It has served me well and holds huge sentimental value, I have so many memories with this guitar, I'll never let it go! Get your Samick AV-1 now.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I gigged with this guitar as soon as I bought it. It is a fairly solid guitar. It has withstood constant going back and forth from over 100 guitar lessons and from band practice to my mates house to band practice to home over and over again. It is a great beginners guitar and will last for a fair while. The strap buttons are screwed in really tightly so you won't have to worry about it falling on stage. If I was to gig with it, I wouldn't need back up. I have played it very intensively for the past years and it has remained in good quality. By around four years of playing, you will feel the need to upgrade if you plan to get serious. But this guitar has seen me through the years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
From what I remember, the first time I played the guitar, there was a slight fret buzz on the 3rd string. As time marched on, the guitar has maintained its intonation very well. My Epiphone Les Paul Standard is much newer and has much newer strings and I also treat the les paul better and the Samick still has retained the intonation much better. It is a very well built guitar for something that costs such little money.
Features — 8
This guitar was made in 2006 at the Samick factory in Indonesia. This is a very Standard and simple guitar. 22 frets, 24" scale. It is a solid top constructed out of Nato wood. Nato wood is a cheaper version of Mahogany wood. It shares many of the same characteristics as Mahogany but is much cheaper. It has a bolt on neck. The neck is made of maple strangely enough with a rosewood fretboard. The body is constructed like a les paul body, a little bit different though. The guitar features a tune-o-matic saddle with a tailpiece. Because of this the sustain is really strong. It had passive pickups. I believe they are duncan designed too. There is a master volume control and a master tone control. Simplicity is this guitars game. It utilises Grover tuners which are renowned for their strength and ability to stay in tune. Overall the features on this guitar are great for beginners.