Price paid: $ 237
Purchased from: Guitar World
Sound — 10
This guitar suits my music style just fine right now, I really have not yet found my niche for what I love to play, I really love picking out the clean intros to metallica but I also love playing the hard riffs of pennywise and Rage and I even play some acoustic songs on this guitar. After tossing that shitty 10W squire amp out my window I got my hands on a Marshall MG30DFX and it ROCKS! this guitar is a dream through this amp, there is no hum at all from the guitar when on the clean channel but on OD I get some hum when using only the bridge or only the neck pickups. the sound can alter so much by just messing with your volume and pickup controls, I can go from a low mellow clean sound to a ripping high metal distortion sound without touching my amp! I really love the sound of this guitar. 5 for sound, no doubt there.
Overall Impression — 10
I play tons of shit, a lot of Rage, Audioslave (Tom Morello is the man!) but also some Creed, Switchfoot, Metallica...etc. I've been playing for about a year, self taught, so I'm not an amazing guitar player. I'm sure that later on I will need a better guitar but for now this one matches me well. I wish that I had really played on the amp before I got this or else I may have said the screw the amp and just gotten a better one right away but you can't go back in time. I dont' think I would rebuy this exact guitar if it was stolen or I lost it, I would really just want this one back since I've customized it. I really love this guitar for it's variety in sounds and Strat looks, it's a sweet starter guitar, and also you can keep it and it will keep sounding better as you get better. 5 overall no doubt.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think that this guitar would take a live gig, the strap buttons are a must replace no doubt, but I play this guitar damn hard and it takes it like a beast. I depend on this guitar completely as it is my only one, though I would definitely not play a gig without a backup since shit happens. I think this guitar will last a good long time, the hardware has not yet broken and I've done some dumb stuff with it including tearing it down and repainting, even after the reassembly it sounded the same, so I have great faith in this guitar. 4 for this, it is low quality overall.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The set up from the factory was decent, other than the pickguard cover which I already mentioned. I did a few minor adjustments on the pickups just for height. The bridge routing is a little off..but nothing that bothers me. The action on the neck is decently fast, I cant complain about it but it's nothing special. As for the body finish, I didn't mind it from the factory, but now I have completely stripped it down and repainted it and now I LOVE IT! Go here for pics: http://bradgoldring.com/mike/ I'll give it a 4 based on factory set up only, cuz now it's a 10!
Features — 10
I got this guitar in the beginners pack with a gig bag, strap, tuner, book, picks and the WORST amp imaginable. The guitar itself is a decent guitar though. It was made in china and has 21 frets. the neck is maple, the fingerboard is rosewood and the body is agathis. It's got a volume and two tone knobs. the five way Switch controls which of the 3 single coils are givin you the sound. The finish from the shop was nice except for the peeling laminating on the pickguard (which I just got finally got all of it off after a year!) The tuners tend to go out of tune decently easy but with the electronic tuner provided, I don't mind tuning it back up again. The stock strap buttons sucked but I just tossed some locking ones on there for 20 bucks and now I'll never drop her again. Giving a 5 based on guitar alone.