Price paid: $ 119
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play mostly blues, gospel, reggae and heavy rock. I'm pretty much all over the place, but with a good pedal this can cover all that and more. I'm running through a Kustom 100 watt amp on a clean channel. Neck pickup is nice and warm, with distortion it gets a good bite, great for blues. The bridge can get a decent palm mute tone with the right pedal and tone. Top marks.
Overall Impression — 9
For my style of music, it's a perfect match. I've been playing guitar for roughly 2 years, and I also have a Mexican Strat. This Squier is just a hair below the Mexican if only because I prefer Maple Necks. If I lost it, I would go back and buy a new one right away. Do yourself a favor and pickup one of these. It's great with 10s to be a Eb Standard guitar for your favorite Metallica, Rise Against and Alice in Chains tunes!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've been playing this guitar live at my church for about 3 years now, and it's withheld 3 times a week for 2+ hours. No tuning problems at all, bridge is clamped to the body. I feel very comfortable using this as my main and only guitar, if need be. The finish chips a bit easy on the back, just be careful where you swing it when you move it into your case.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was setup perfect from the factory. No adjustments needed, except minor intonation and switching gauges. Pickups were good, nut was cut great...the only issue was a bit of a noisy pickup selector from the neck to the neck/middle position. Frets were excellent, none hanging over the edge at all.
Features — 8
2008 COB-China, 21 Medium Jumbo Frets, Maple Neck and Rosewood fingerboard. It has an Artic White finish, which is closer to a Banana Paste Yellow (looks really awesome though). Standard passive electronics, volume, two tone, 5 way selector. Non-locking tuners. The only accessories I got were some tools for adjusting the bridge and the truss rod.