Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
I play in a style all my own, inovation is my target. But the sound is everywhere between a Vintage clean tone to all out metal and everything in between. I use a crate combo with it and a Boss MD-2 distortion pedal mostly, but for recording I use my DigiTech GNX3 processor fed straight to my pc. Great tone. Switching pickups gives you wide varieties of tones with each and every setting, it's so great to have such drastic changes in tone simply by switching pickups. Stocked pickups sound great, very versatile sound, you can use this thing for any sound you want. Flip in the neck humbucker or neck humbucker/single coil for a great clean tone, good for using with chorus or delay, with distortion these setups are deep and dark, sound just punches you in the gut. In the bridge postion you get crunchy twangy overtones with straight forward metal distortion, excellent palm mutes. Though I rarely use it, the bridge/single coil gives you a good tex/mex sound, it sounds very natural. Overall good tone and pretty good sustain, especially for a Squier.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I couldn't have picked a better guitar. I wouldn't trade this back and get one twice as expensive, I've had people put down ESP's and Gibsons to wail on this baby, and I paid half the price. Very versatile. If I lost this guitar or it got stolen I'd be really pissed off, definately hunt down another one. I just wish they would have had an available fixed bridge for it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
If this makes sense, this guitar could be more durable, but couldn't be more reliable. The input nut comes loose occasionally, over the past few years there's a little noise in the volume knob while I'm adjusting, but when I'm not then its quiet as a mouse. The only real problem was my floyd rose and thats a matter of opinion, it's held up nice, but it requires a little checkup/tuneup every now and again. Setup just takes a while. Never had a problem with the toughness, I've had a strap slip off before I had my straplocks on and it smashed the floor, played fine, didn't even detune. I'd gig with this thing without a backup without a care in my head.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up nicely at the factory, arrived pretty much ready to play. Being that it had a floyd rose, it took a while to get the tuning just right. The action was a little off and thats very frustrating to adjust on a floyd rose, so after setting that up (about another 30 minutes of patiently dicking with my guitar) I got to jam.
Features — 10
I bought mine a few years back, just before they stopped selling the Stagemasters and made them Showmasters. It's a Deluxe version, one piece construction. Has a Strat style body, a little more streamlined, reversed headstock, no pickguard for a darker look, one piece construction, 24 frets, floyd rose tremolo, hum/sing/hum pickup layout. Came with tools to tweak the bridge and the locking nuts. 1 volume control knob, 1 tone. Metallic black finish, blacked out hardware. Smooth as silk through and through, I love slides on this thing, it just feels right when you're playing. The deep cut neck, one piece contruction and super smooth finish make those solos a breeze.