Price paid: $ 366
Purchased from: Peterborough Music
Sound — 10
I play music of all differet styles from The White Stripes to Guns N' Roses and this guitar suits all of them. The single coils provide a nice rich bluesy tone that rivals my Epiphone Les Paul (except for the humming) and the humbucker works very well with the Boss MT-2 effects pedal which means that if you want you can do anything from Zeppelin to Slipknot. Unplugged this guitar is also better than many other electrics and doesn't rattle. The is a bit of noise as you change from one pickup to another whilst playing but this is't a major problem as all the pickups are really flexable in the sounds that they can produce so you don't need to Switch often.
Overall Impression — 10
Basically I love this guitar, it was my first so I'm biased, but I now have an Epiphone Les Paul which is great. But I still play with the showmaster a lot perhaps even more that the Les Paul. If it were stolen or lost I would buy another one or save up more money and buy a Fender one with Seymor Duncan pickups. I compared this product to the Strat and this is a far better guitar pretty much beter in every way and definately much more individual. I also tried a Les Paul Copy that was a similar price and this was apalling. This is an excellent starter guitar that is pretty well priced. Be careful though this is a good example but some others I've seen have terrible build quality and sound bad so make sure that you try before you buy. Also don't buy a yellow one.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Yeah I think it would withstand live playing as it seems pretty solid, I've dropped it a few times and it's still fine. I have played it live but now I would use my Epiphone, however I would have a problem with using it. A couple of weeks after I had it the wiring broke in the output but that was solved with a good dose of solder and its not gone wrong since.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This guitar was perfectly set up from the factory with a perfect action that wasn't to high or to low which meant that it was perfect for lead and rhythm. Of course I had to play with the setup but that just messed it up so I put it back as it was. The only flaw in the finish is around the headstock where you can see the edges of the material covering the body but it tok a long time for me to notice these. There was also a small amount of rust on the pickup adjustment screws but I just changed them. One more thing it was very dusty inside!
Features — 8
I haven't got a clue when it was made it just says "crafted in Indonesia" I'm not sure that "crafted" is the right word. The 24 fret neck is excellent and very comfortable to use, perfect for slides! Its basically a Strat style body without a scratch plate and a reverse headstock which is quite individual. I have no idea of the make of the pickups but they're pretty good. The single coils do hum quite a bit. It's finished in satin black which means that slthough you don't rally see the scratches (it does scrach easily) finger marks spread like the plauge!