Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: CONNcert Music World
Sound — 7
In my style of playing, I dabble around in everything to some degree, whether it's rock, jazz, or bluegrass, and the Stratocaster is one of the most versatile electrics around. I have a Line 6 Spider 2 amp with built-in effects and distortion, and the Strat makes good use of those effects. I've had one problem though, which is the buzzing it creates on the amp when plugged in, though I'm not sure if that's a problem in the guitar or amp, though it stops when you begin playing. The pickup selector allow to choose a bright or mellow sound to compliment whatever genre you play.
Overall Impression — 7
I think it's a good guitar for any beginner, really, regardless of your style. I've been playing for about three years, and I also own an Epiphone Les Paul that I occasionally play, though I prefer the Strat on stage, because it is lighter than the Paul, though both fit well in any genre. If I lost this guitar, I doubt I'd buy another one, because I have a back-up guitar already, and would likely buy a higher quality. My favorite feature would have to be the pickups, which give your sound the harshness of metal or the mellow tones you'd expect in blues.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I'd say that his guitar could withstand live playing, but a lot of folks would be ashamed playing a Squier on stage. Again, I recommend it for starting musicians on a budget. The hardware has lasted me for about a year, and I can't tell any difference in the playing over that time. Strap buttons were, and still are in good shape. The finish has also lasted, and I've never had any of it scratched off, although I'm not the gentlest person with my guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
When I first recieved the guitar, it was in good shape; no dings or missing parts. The solid wood neck is very smooth and makes for quickness, unlike some finished guitars, which tend to slow me down a bit. The only flaws are really in the appearance, because at some patterns in the wood are slightly distorted, but it doesn't affect the playing and it doesn't stand out dramatically.
Features — 5
This guitar was made in 2005 in Indonesia by the Squier-Fender company there, and it came with a gig bad and a cable. The fretboard is rosewood and I believe that the body itself is maple, with a transparent sunburst finish. It has the general Strat cutaway, which allows for high-note access, as well as a five way pickup selector for combinations of up to two of the three pickups at once.