Stratocaster review by Samick

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (29 votes)
Samick: Stratocaster

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Local Pawn Shop

Sound — 10
Well, when I got it, the input jack wasn't working, so that was pretty much my priority. I originally bought this guitar to rip apart anyways, so I put a HS-3 into the bridge. With this pickup, this guitar really takes off. When it's all wired in and everything, the guitar sounds incredible. Even the stock, cheap, chinese pickups sound great. They're a really deep, somewhat dark tone to them, which is good, because they contrast the smooth, crisp tones of the HS-3.

Overall Impression — 9
Since I got this guitar, I've gotten a lot more into the sort of Neoclassical/classical sort of genre, and with the HS-3 it fits it perfectly. The neck feels great, and the body is light enough to withstand hours of standing with it. If It were lost, I'd probably buy one again, and replace the bridge pickup again. I love this guitar, and I would put it up against my Fender Strat anyday.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar will not die. I've dropped it down a set of stairs, and it didn't damage the finish. No, the strap buttons aren't solid at all, hence the reason I dropped it down the stairs. Replace the strap buttons with some strap locks as soon as you can, but don't put them in the same place, move elsewhere, because the holes drilled in by the factory are too large. I would gig without a backup with this guitar, yes, it seems very solid, and it's electronics haven't failed once since the output jack change.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guy at the Pawnshop seemed like he knew what he was doing, so it was already set up and everything. The action on this is fine, nothing really wrong with any of this. One thing I have to say, is that the neck on this guitar is incredible. Not as thin as a Wizard, but still thinner than a Fender neck. The finish on it is incredible too, and the grain is stunning. The way it feels is what one might expect from guitars 10 times it's price range.

Features — 7
21 frets, bolt on neck, 3 single coils, probably made within the last 5 years, I got this guitar at a local shop, so I don't really know that much about it's history. It's body wood is probably some form of plywood. Mine's painted solid red, so I've got no clue as to what it is. A knockoff Strat trem, which I like more than my Stratocaster's actual trem. The tuners on this are locking, and never lose tune, which is good, because I usually go insane with the trem on this one.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Marcel Veltman
    I'm not so much of a guitarist as I am a guitar technician. As such I am taking care of the Samick Strat we have in our studio and I must say it is quite incredible considering it is one of the cheapest guitars on the market. I have worked on other cheap guitars, but this one has a lot less basic flaws then I've seen on the Vintages, Johnsons and Staggs of this world. The geometry is almost spot on Perhaps the bridge could have been placed a little bit further from the neck. Now I had to leave out the coil spring from the saddle supporting the low E to get the string length right. Otherwise there is nothing wrong with it. The top nut is low enough, the strings run nicely parallel to the edges of the fretboard, the frets are spot on. Only the bridge pick up seems a little bit too wide to have the strings running right over the poles. It did have some problems with strings breaking on the saddle pieces. After some vain attempts to rework the originals I replaced them with cheap No Name aftermarket parts and now it works fine. The only major modification I did was hardtailing the tremelo. The original did exactly what one would expect of this weird design; untuning the strings and eating up sustain. Jamming the whole device with some clogs of wood made a completely different guitar out of it. No more tuning problems, no more strings breaking and a fat sustainfull tone that belies the plywood it comes from. About the reliability I can be short; apart from before mentioned string breaking problems and the obligatory output jack problems (which are common to even the most expensive instruments, so that doesn't count)nothing ever broke down, even though it was played extensively enough to beg for some fresh lower frets. The one piece maple neck/fretboard with no binding kept the effort I had to put into that job to a bare minimum. About the sound I only know what I hear from people playing it. It plays like a decent strat and through the original Samick amp that once came with it in a sort of starter pack deal it also sounds like a decent strat. Switches and dials are not just there for decoration, but really give access to many distinctive tonal variations, just like the real thing. All together I would recomment every musician shopping on an extremely tight budget to seriously consider the Samick. They're unassuming little toasters, but up to the job.
    I've been playing 6 years and i own one of these. It sounds great. I don't need anything more expensive as i just play stuff at home. My friend has a Squier Strat and i think that there isn't any difference in the sound quality.
    My folks gave me some money to buy a guitar, most of which I spent on drinks and so eventually I had only enough dough to buy the Samic strat(Goodbye Floyd Rose). Even then, This is one reliable workhorse. They amazing thing is that it can withstand severe tremolo abuse, and is light, easy to play ,and cheap, not like those ridiculously expensive Gibsons and Fenders. Ideal for a player of any level, the sound is also damn good. Someone told me that all the Samics come with Seymour Duncan designed pickups, is it true? Because that can explain the sweet sound.