Price paid: $ 190
Purchased from: American Musical
Sound — 4
This guitar is good for basics. Beyond that, it is almost useless. The pickups do not actually "pick up" much of the sound. The amp included (Smart III) doesn't dish out enough power and clarity for any soft playing. The amp comes with an overdrive button which is okay considering the price of the setup. On the clean setting and with the front pickup settings, you can get a pretty nice sound out of it though.
Overall Impression — 6
I have been playing for a few years (3) and I can honestly say that this guitar has taken me a long way even considering it's flaws. I play a large variety of music, mostly my own style of rock/industrial. I love the fact that it says exactly what it is; a practice setup. There is no mention of this guitar ever being used on any stage, nor should it be. Compared to many other guitars I have played, the price gap is comparable, but this is a pretty good deal. If it were stolen or lost, I would not buy this same model again, I would move onto something better, but I wont forget that this guitar got me through a few years of hard playing.
Reliability & Durability — 3
This is a great guitar for the first few weeks of playing, until your skill goes beyond the capabilities of the guitar. Any advanced techniques aren't able to be picked up on the guitar. This guitar package couldn't be used in a gig without it being in your living room entertaining your immediate family.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action was extremely high, the pickups were located well enough (though the knobs which control the tone are completely useless because they don't do anything). Everything other than that, the guitar was very nice looking. No flaws in the finish, no rust, everything was great to begin with. To the untrained musician, this guitar was perfect.
Features — 6
Keep in mind, this is a Starter Kit, so my ratings are being truly generous. Classic "S" type body with a chrome tremolo, a 25-1/2 in. scale maple neck with a 24 fret rosewood fretboard, a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, two single-coil pickups, a 5-way selector Switch, and one volume/two tone controls (The tone knobs don't do a bloody thing). Comes with: Smart IIIS (10 watts, actually) 20 watt peak performance amplifier, Silvertone electronic tuner (useless, doesn't work), Silvertone gig bag (sketchy at best), Silvertone strings (these have never broken on me though), guitar picks (pretty average), Silvertone guitar strap (once again, average), guitar to amp connection cable (and guess on this one, average), Silvertone instructional DVD (this was also useless).