Price paid: $ 158
Purchased from: Avenue Guitars
Sound — 7
The humbucker is really sharp, which is ok for some things. The neck pickup is alot warmer, and sounds awesome on clean or with a little bit of distortion, but gets really buzzy with tons of it. With the distortion up, you can bring the buzz down by mixing it with the the bridge pickup, split or not. The bridge pickup split is really twangy and is great for country and stuff. The pickups aren't the top of the line, but the guitar was fairly inexpensive, so thats what you would expect.
Overall Impression — 7
I play mostly lite to normal rock, and some folkier stuff, too, and this suits it pretty well, it being as versetile as it is. If it were lost or stolen I would buy a Fender or PRS, but I don't buying this and havn't had any major trouble with it yet and have had it for almost a year. I had alot of fun with it, and it is a good guitar for the price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think it would withstand live playing, and seeing that I don't have another guitar I would have to play it without a backup. The strap buttons seem solid enough, and the finish is quite good though it will dent. Really my only concern is that the tuners go out of tune real easy, so that could be a bit of a problem if you do alot of major bends.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action is pretty good. What was really annoying is that the pickup selector knob pulls right off! I had to glue gun it on so it wouldn't. Also the screws on that hold the input in place keep striping out so I had to put bigger screws in every once in a while, but hasn't lately so I'm hoping it's done doing that. One other thing is that the base which the knobs are mounted on came loose, so once the knobs are all the way up or down, it will still turn a bit, but thats not a big deal.
Features — 8
It's pretty cool, it has a Strat body and single-coil neck pickup, humbucker at the bridge, Tele neck (maple with maple fretboard) and control plate, 21 frets, and a basswood body (mine has a black finish). It also has a push/coil tap on the the volume knob for the humbucker, which is sweet. One thing I don't perticularly like is that instead of a tone knob it has a rotary pickup selector, but whatever.