Price paid: $ 140
Purchased from: Gift
Sound — 9
I play punk and blues mostly, the single coils give a nice bright sound for "grungy" punk as well as of course a decent classic blues sound (more SRV than muddy waters). The pickups are alright and will be replaced when I customize it but are in general good, and hum cancel in pos2/4. I play with a 15 watt Behringer and Danelectro distortion and even at high gain the guitar is way quieter than many Fender Strats I've played.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good match for my blues/punk, I play through a behringer amp with Danelectro overdrive and also own a Telecaster and actually like this better because of its greater variety of tones. If stolen I'd def. buy another, the price can't be beat. I love the surprisingly stable whammy bar, but hate the pots. I got this guitar as a present and really did no comparisons, but I really wish it had hot rails in the bridge position!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Live - it has and will, I havn't gigged but during band practice I'm still pretty brutal. Hardware - maybe, pots are crap and due to taste I'll repalce the tuners but other than that its really good. Strap buttons - we don't need no shtinking buttons! I was introduced to DiMarzio cliplocks early and will never go back so I don't know squat about strap buttons.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Awesome action, everything is really good (ESP by Fender Standards).
Features — 8
This guitar was made in 2003, came with cheap gig bag and strap, and Standard Strat accoutrements, 3 single coils, 5-way switching, and a nice 21 fret neck, the volume control works nice but the tones only work pushed almost all the way one way or the other.