Price paid: $ 76
Purchased from: local store
Sound — 7
I play all kinds of stuff but focus mostly on heavy metal and rock (Metallica, Zeppelin etc) and it handles these styles well. I run it through a DigiTech RP80 and mainly use it for its noise gate which stops that really annoying humming that the pickups make. The humming is more noticeable on positions 1, 3 and 5 and this humming was giving me nightmares at a gig a cuple of months ago. when I used it with a Marshall stack the sound was great. Ok sustain but the high gain powerchords were what sounded the best. The pickups offer tones from very bright to really warm. Good all round guitar which will suit most styles (not great for Lamb Of God style metal tho). great sound, annoying humming. I'd recommend a noise gate.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall it's a great, well priced, easy-to-play guitar for a beginner. It offers tones for most styles of music. If it were stolen then the burglar would be pretty disapponted when they take it to a cash converters and I would get a Les Paul. But overall: good tone, light, has an annoying buzzing, easy to play, flexibility for diffrent styles of music, bit of a tuning problem and could have better sustain.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I've only played Live a cuple of times and there haven't been any major problems with reliability. I've only chipped the paint in 2 little spots but besides that it looks the same as the day I bought it. Thing is when you really thrash it and go wild with the bends the strings can lose their tuning pretty quickly. Same thing happens with the whammy bar (maybe it's not properly set up) would I use it at a gig without a backup only because I don't have another guitar. I would not feel confident that it would keep it's tuning after a few long solos. Apart from the tuning problem, it's a fairly tough cookie.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Factory setup was good and I could start playing straight away without needing to change anything. Whammy bar and thrashing bends altered the tuning (not sure if it's a setup issue tho). It is extremely easy to play. I've been playing it for two years now and it's really really really easy to vibrato and bend the shit out of the strings it came with.
Features — 7
This has a 5-way selector, 2 tone and volume controls. It's a Strat style body and is dark blue. It came in a plastic wrapping that got stuck under the screws, but is impossible to see unless you're within half a metre of it. It has 21 frets (I think jumbo) and a whammy bar. The neck is really fast and the body is light, so it's easy to swing around and is comfortable to play. it also came with some piks!