Price paid: $ 280
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
Well lets see. When I first started and got the pack, I wanted to play nothing but punk (green day, anti-flag, ect.) and it worked beautifully. It gave me nice fat power chords when I needed them, and it kept up with the fast tempo very nicely. When I got bored with power chords and got into more complicated musical styles (Led Zeppelin, Metallica) the guitar performed quite nicely. This is a great starting guitar and is really really well adaptable to almost any style of music. Now the amp is another story. Don't get me wrong, I love this amp. It's my awesome little practice amp, and it doesnt let up if what you need is a practice amp. When I first got it, I really really loved it because it gave you a great great clean sound. The distortion was very good too. But remember, when I started all I was playing was punk more or less. This could give me anything from the overdriven growl of green day to the heavy gain of goldfinger. It was hard getting anything but punk or heavy(er) rock. It was a fun amp to fiddle around with for about a week, but got boring after about a week. Its a solid back though, so after about a day I lost all the picks that came with it cause I didnt have anywhere to put them. (they were crappy picks anyway) This amp is also SUPREMELY noisy! Turn up the gain past 5 and the "noiseless pickups" are useless. You get SO much feedback it isnt even funny! Also, theres a huge gap in volume when you Switch from clean to distortion. Still I gotta love the wonder that is the Strat Pack.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a wiiiide variety of music. now. and it fits perfectly into just about all of it, with the exception of maybe death metal. Well come to think of it, when I matched it with my Line 6 Spider II head (Drool) it handled death metal quite nicely but anyway! I wish I had asked for a distortion pedal because you can only get punk distortion, which is all well and good, but not all versatile. What I love about this guitar is how EASY it is to all around play, bending especially. I can bend the b string like 0192348908934 steps up. The main thing I don't like is that the volume knob is convienantly located right by the bridge, so when palm muting you will have a tenedency to turn down your guitar. Now, I saw four or five starter packs by various brands (Berhinger, Ibanez, ect.) and out of all of them the name "Fender" seemed to stick out more than others. If you are planning to get a starter pack and are looking at the berhinger or Silvertone pack or something, stop being cheap and shell out the extra 150 dollars and get a Fender Strat Pack or at the very least the Ibanez jumpstart pack. This Starter pack is simply the best, and you cant go wrong with Squier for a good old starter/budget guitar. Thanks for reading my long review, and please choose carefully. And keep your amp down at a lower volume if you are just starting out. Nobody likes bleeding ears.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I wouldent play this guitar at a live show because the strap buttons have a tendency to drop the strap. Straplocks a must. I've dropped this guitar at least 8 or 9 or 14 times, and except for a few detunings, this guitar stood up to them every single time! Its got a few scratches and a dent or two on the headstock, but it keeps going and going like the energizer bunny on speed. I wouldent use this probably as the backup for the gig, but still it will keep rocking and not detune or anything. The finish is flawless and doesnt scratch very easily.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Ok lemme break it down. Everything was perfect about this guitar, except for a loose input jack. Nothing a little thread glue didnt fix. Darn straight.
Features — 8
Prolly made in 2003, I just got it about a year ago, it was made in good old indonesia. 21 standard size frets. Nothin flashy, but hey, its a starter pack. It's got a pretty thin neck with a beauty rosewood fretboard. It's also a solid alder body, which has a so-so blue finish. It's a Strat style, since all it is is a budget Strat, and it got a average string-thru bridge. The thing came with a whole mess of stuff--Picks, extra strings, gig bag, cheap strap, a shwing whammy bar and a Pimpin Frontman amp. Just your basic starter pack stuff.