Price paid: $ 160
Purchased from: Guitar Center - Houston, TX
Sound — 8
I just had the whole thing gone over by a repair guy recently, and it sounds ok. I have been just playin tabs for alternative metal, punk rock, hard rock, metal, etc. I would say it fits my style because it has a good rang of sounds. Of these it is best for punk rock because the pickups generally get higher sound. You have to adjust distortion for really good low end, but they are still ok. These pickups are very noisy, however; and the fact that the frets tend to rattle if the action isnt high doesnt help. I have a Boss DS-1 Distortion petal, and if you set it right u can achieve some really good sound. Very nice for blink, sum 41, simple plan, as well as harder sound such as papa roach, boxcar racer, and some linkin park. I don't have experience but Im pretty sure it would work well for some styles that require a softer sound. It also has a nice clean sound, very clear and vibrant, and has a wide range because the pickup has 5 settings. The tone nobs are just for show. They do almost nothing.
Overall Impression — 8
I would not suggest this guitar for experienced players looking for a good gig guitar. But I would definitely recommend it for a first guitar or people who are just learning to play. It is perfect if you arent sure you will play forever and dont want to spend a fortune. It is a good guitar overall but not the best out there. So skip this model if you want the best out there, but it is a very good value for its low price.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't had any problems with breaking, etc. but I would definitely not recommend this guitar for live playing. Actually, any playing that is very hard would probably wear it out pretty fast. Its not a stretch to imagine something breaking if its abused for too long. That said, for my experience (that is, just playin for my own ears), it has held up very well. Despite the fact that I was an inexperience moron and bought the wrong strings and mistreated it for a few months nothing seems broken or out of place. Though it might not be perfect for gigs, it has done amazingly against my stupid mistakes. In total it is very solid but not the best material (or so I've heard).
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Like I said, recently I had the whole thing gone over at a repair place. The guy told me that the pickups were too high and he lowered the action, and maybe the tuning pegs were loose. I'm pretty sure that there were some other problems, but like I said, I'm not that experienced. My fretguard came with a cheap, peeling protective layer which was very difficult to get all the way off (there might still be some under the nobs). Maybe the shop shoulda taken that off, but they basically sold me the thing and sent me on my way without the slightest idea wat I was doin. The action must be high unless u want rattling, and if it is low there WILL BE rattling. In summary it didn't come from the factory very well set up but its not impossible to fix.
Features — 6
Now I am kinda a new player (self taught, about half a year), so this might not help anyone who is more serious... My Squire has a red stained wood body (what would that be called?), a white fretguard, a black Maplewood neck, and looks really good. It has 3 single coil frets which enjoy picking up noise. Mine came with a tremelo setup (but strangely without a handle thingy, a guitar center policy maybe) that I later had stabalized. It has one volume and two tone nobs (<-just for show).