Price paid: $ 70
Sound — 6
I play lots of Classic Rock style original music, as well as original Blues.I can't say "It nails that (whoever) sound", because I primarily play original music. The electronics are cheap and sound that way, so I replaced them with another loaded pickguard as soon as I got it home.Having said that, remember that this guitar sells new for $119.00 shipped on Ebay, so you can't expect much.So IN RELATION TO THE PRICE PAID USED $70.00, I'll still give it a 6 for sound. If I had paid $250.00 for it I'd give it a 3. I loaded it with a calibrated set of GFS Lil Killer pickups and all American electronics (except for the jack)and now I love the way it sounds. It sustained well on it's own (unplugged) but with the new pickups, it's even better. With the new pickups, I'd give it a 9 1/2. I also made a HardTail out of it, and I think that improved the sound/sustain as well.(The little trem block is worthless) I'm probably going to get another one of these and post a youtube video showing how to make a completely reversable HardTail out of it.I had a engineer friend who is self taught in lutherie, make a bone nut for it, which brightened it up slightly.
Overall Impression — 9
Ok guys, if you like to tinker. If you really enjoy doing a little or a lot of upgrades, and you're looking for a REASONABLE base on which to start, THIS guitar is the one to do it with.Remember, I've never even done a fret leveling on this guitar.I paid $ 70.00 for the guitar, $85.00 for the pickguard and electronics, $40.00 used for the Sperzels, and $30.00 for the nut install (I don't have nut slotting files) That's a total of $215.00 in a Killer strat. A Killer Strat at an entry level price. You simply can't beat it if you don't mind doing the work yourself. If I had to pay someone else to do all the work, it would be cost prohibitive. I gotta go now. I just found another one on Craigslist for $75.00, and I gotta build another.I have 3 "E Serial Strats, 3 Protones, and 7 custom builds. These bullets are THE CHEAPEST WAY to a neat custom build.I love the guitar. Can't say I hated but SURELY didn't care for the tuners and electronics. With the mods I did I wish they had a 9 1/2.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The neck and body woods are fine just as they are and will withstand anything I can dish out. I added Sperzel tuners, so I would and DO play live with it. I get a guitar snob every once in a while who from a distance thinks the guitar sounds great, but gets up close only to ask why I would play such a cheap guitar. You know the guys I'm talking about. They buy a $600.00 Strat, then do a $400.00 overhaul on it with "Boutique" upgrades, only to end up with a guitar that doesn't look, sound, any better than mine, and MIGHT play just a TINY, TINY bit better? I'll give a 9 in this catagory.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Now, here's the category I was waiting for.I was looking for a Sunburst body to build on.This girl had it listed on Craigslist for $90.00, I offered her $70.00 over the phone before I ever touched it, because a decent Sunburst body is worth $70.00 to me.When I got there I was surprised at how good the neck played. I was actually hoping it was a little lighter in weight. Not that it's heavy, but I build featherweight guitars when ever possible. I have MANY custom builds made from primarily American, Japanese, and to a much lesser extent, other overseas sources. I'm an Allparts dealer, but still I can't touch a new body anywhere for $70.00.I decided to keep the neck and body, and to replace the tuners, loaded pickguard, and plastic nut. The action, after a little adjustment was fine and easily rivals ANY Mexi Standard I've EVER put my hands on, and I've checked out LOTS of them.I absolutely LOVE the Sunburst finish.The neck sits tight in the pocket, the action is fine, and the finish is SUPERB. So in this catagory REGAURDLESS OF THE PRICE PAID, I'll give it a 9 because it can hang with a lot of $500.00 guitars in this catagory alone.
Features — 6
This is the newer Chinese made Squier Bullet Strat. Solid, thinner 1 5/8"(42mm) body made of Basswood with a great looking sunburst finish (better than on a typical Mexi Standard)21 frets .103 X .046 med sized. Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Typical Strat style guitar with 3 single coils, volume, tone, tone controls, 5 way switch, thin single ply white pickguard.Narrow 2 1/16 string spaced Tremelo with a Steel base plate and Steel block saddles, and a TINY pot metal tremelo block. Cheap bottom of the barrel tuners.It came with a NICE heavy duty Levi's Gig Bag, all for 70 bucks.The electronics and tuners are the ONLY reason I give this portion rating a 6.