Sound — 4
I've been playing for just over a year, and I play a lot of classic rock. I've replaced my neck pickup as I've already said, and I play through a Zoom G2.1u multifx pedal, and either a Peavey Backstage 10w, or a Laney transvalve 100w. If I crank up the gain on either the amp, or my pedal the guitar buzzes like anything, so I play with a noise gate. The sound is tinny, and very thin. There isn't a lot of the brightness you'd expect from a Strat. The guitar is best suited to playing punchy stuff, that stays quite clean. The guitar sounds really muddy once the Drive kicks in.
Overall Impression — 4
I suppose it suits my style of playing reasonably well. I will soon become the proud owner of an Epihone LP custom, which completely outclasses this Strat. If it was stolen or lost, I'd laugh at the idiot Who stole a Squier rather than anything of value. I'd then go and buy an Epiphone. I don't really like anything about it, other than the fact that I can abuse it without feeling bad. Oh yeah, I love the way it bounces when I throw it at the floor. I hate everthing else about it. If I had to go for a first guitar again, I would definately consider splashing out a bit more cash for a better guitar. It's a decent backup guitar, but it leaves me wanting so much more from it. It's a good price and it's playable if you're not fussy. So if that's what you want, this is the perfect guitar. In the incredibly likely event that you have an ounce of taste don't buy it!
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar is built to last and has withstood numerous falls, including dropping it on the road. Don't ask. There are so many dents and chips in the finish now, but it's built like a brick so I guess it will hold together. The strap buttons aren't bad actually, so I didn't bother investing in strap locks. At the moment if I were to gig with it, I wouldn't have the luxury of a backup. But I guess it seems fairly reliable so I wouldn't be too worried.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The guitar doesn't have a great set up, but I adjusted the pickups and it seems a bit better. The action is pretty poor, and there's fret buzz on the E and A strings for the first few frets, and the fretwork seems pretty poor. Actually the whole neck is poor as it bends alarmingly. The tuners were okay to begin with but now come loose very easily. My pickguard has developed a warp in it, and tends to devour picks which is mildly annoying. A touch on the tremelo will send the guitar straight out of tune so there's not a lot of point having it. The pickup selector is quiet, and works pretty well.
Features — 5
I think mines a 2004 model "crafted" in China. 21 frets, and a maple fingerboard. Alder body with a Standard blue Strat finish. *yawn*. Normal Strat style body with a white pickguard, and 60s style headstock. One of those crappy tremelo bridges, crappy noname die cast tuners. One volume which kinda works, and two tone controls that do absolutely nothing. Three single coils. Really horrible pickups. I've spent 60 replacing my neck one with a Seymour Duncan cool rails. They sound so tinny, not single coil punchy, but just weak. Nothing special really.