Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Guitar Center Special Order
Sound — 9
I play rock, metal, post-hardcore and hardcore punk, and it does a fantastic job with high gain and lows thanks to the bridge humbucker. I primarily play on a Line 6 Spider IV with high Drive and Gain. Thanks to the SSH setup, it is capable a great variety of sound.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing 2 years, and its a fairly good match, though my playstyle would benefit from a 24 fret guitar with a floating bridge. If it was lost or stolen, I would hope to get another one, but may opt for something that would better suit me as I mentioned earlier. I absolutely love the action, its so quick to play, even when playing much "nicer" guitars, they just don't compare. I dislike the Tremolo, and how badly it abuses the tune, but its nothing new for synchronous tremolos, especially on squires. My favorite feature would have to be the bridge humbucker. Its a very unique sound for a Strat, and stands far above any other squire. Some people who have played it prefer it over their Standard Fender Strats.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would absolutely withstand live play, I've had it for nearly a year now and drag it with me everywhere, and its stayed solid. The strap buttons are standard, but as with any guitar, I recommended strap locks. I wouldn't ever gig without a backup, but I wouldn't be too concerned about having to use one with this as a primary. The finish is fairly think, but has worn in some areas. Probably though, that has more to do with studded belts and bumping into things.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
From the factory, the action was superb - It plays Ultra fast. The Pickups were not well adjusted, flat at a moderate hight, but they were easy enough to work with. The intonation was good right off. The overall construction is great, though I feel the tuning pegs are sub-par. Excessive bending or even mild tremolo use can bring it out of tune quickly, I would recommended finding quality locking pegs right off.
Features — 8
Made in China. - 21 medium-jumbo frets, dot inlay - Maple neck, rosewood frets, polyurethane neck finish, large 60's style headstock - Chrome hardware, synchronous tremolo - Multiple finishes available (I got the Montego Black Metallic) - Strat body, Alder - 1 Volume, 2 Tone, 5 way selector blade - Non-Locking 6 in line tuners