Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Sam Ash Music
Sound — 9
This guitar suits my music style simply because you can pretty much make it sound like anything. At first, I used it with the original amplifier and a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal and it sounded ok, but it was really loud and messy. Now, I run it straight through a Line 6 Spider III amplifier and it sounds really good. I play mostly hard rock and metal and I can't complain. Even though it has some amplifier buzz when the guitar is idle, it's not something you can't get used to. The sound is a little bit thin, but it is full as well. You can make this guitar sound like ANYTHING as long as you have the effects to do it.
Overall Impression — 8
So overall, this guitar suits my hard-rock or metal guitar style because I can make it sound like anything. I have been playing guitar since I bought this guitar (4 years) and I am looking into buying a Jackson because of my satisfaction with Fender's quality. Fender advertised this product as their best starter pack and I stand by this. It it were stolen, I would be angry, but I would probably buy a new guitar because I have outgrown this guitar. I love the quality of this guitar and its sound, but I hate the tuning. My favorite feature is that it looks just like a Fender Strat does, and performs pretty close to it (regardless of the cheap price).
Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar will not withstand Live playing, simply because it cannot hold a tune for long enough, not even through one song. The hardware, for the most part, seems to last, but the bridge is not good. The strap buttons are ok, but the strap is terrible so I recommend getting a better one. I would use it at a gig for a backup, but never for a starter. It is good enough to last though because I have had this guitar for 4 years as my only guitar, and it still works well (regardless of the tuning). The only reason I would buy a new one is to move on to bigger and better things.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up pretty well at the factory, and I was able to go without changing my strings once for over 6 months. The pickups were adjusted perfectly and the action was low. I'd have to say that out of all the guitars that I have played, I can't shred as well as I can on this guitar. The neck is thin and easy to move around. The only problem is that the bridge cannot keep a tune for too long. As you go through the life of the guitar, the tuning gets worse and worse, and the tremolo only makes it worse. I cannot bend the guitar once with the whammy bar without having the guitar go terribly out of tune. I'd have to say that I am an expert tuner because of this guitar (by ear).
Features — 9
This is a Japanese-made Squier Stratocaster which has 21 jumbo frets on a rosewood fingerboard. The guitar itself is maple with a laminated, solid black top. It's body type is of course, that of a Strat, and it has 3 single-coil Fender pickups. It has one master volume control, and 2 tone controls (which do almost nothing what'soever). The tone controls might as well as not be there at all because they do almost nothing. The bridge is pretty sturdy, and has a tremolo, but it only bends down. The tuners are Standard Squier tuners and they don't lock, but they aren't terrible. The guitar also comes with a Squier SP-10 Amplifier (10 watt), a gig-bag which is terrible, a horrible strap, a cable, picks, and a tuner. This is a great kit for a beginner because it has everything needed to start.