Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Brooks Mays Music
Sound — 9
I play mostly '70s hard rock and a bit of 80's hair metal, and it works just fine for that. If you know how to turn the knobs just right, you can get Clapton's woman tone to play Cream if you want to. As long as you know what you're doing, you can get pretty much any sound you want out of it. I'm not using it with any top shelf amps of fancy effects pedals either. All I've got is the guitar and the amp that came with it.
Overall Impression — 8
Works fine for pretty much any rock, though you might want to get something else if you're playing thrash or death metal. I've been playing about 4 months, and this is the first and only guitar I've ever owned, but I've played plenty of others. I'd take it over a Gibson or Epiphone any day, but that could just be because I hate the bridges on Gibsons. The only other thing it's missing is a humbucker.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't play in a band or anything, just at home or jammin with friends. Works fine as a practice guitar. Strap buttons will hold up, but you need a new strap because the stock one is a piece of crap. I wouldn't gig a $3000 Gibson without a backup, so the same goes for this one. The paint is holding up fine, so I wouldn't be too worried about that.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything was fine, straight out of the box, aside from the low quality strings. The pickups worked, the knobs worked, the selector was fine. All systems go.
Features — 7
Guitar: 21 fret solid body Squier Strat. Nothing special here. 3 single-coil pickups, 5-way pickup selector, master volume knob, with bass and treble tone knobs. Rosewood neck, black body with white pick guard. The guitar plays fine, haven't had any wiring issues yet and I've had it for a year. The strings that come on it are pretty crappy, so it's a good idea to buy some good Ernie Ball's or something and just replace them as soon as you buy it. Amp: Squier SP-10. Little 10 watt practice amp. The distortion Switch is a button, so you have to rely on your pickup selector and creative use of tone knobs to get any variation with it. Has a master volume knob, and bass and treble tone knobs. Has quite a kick for a little guy. Strap: mine broke. The first time I used it. If you're going to use a strap, please buy a third party brand, cause the included one is trash. Gig bag: trash. Just a pleather case, with a zipper in the bottom. you have to slide it up into the bag from the bottom, and it's almost guaranteed you will knock it out of tune every time. If you plan on taking it anywhere, buy a hard case. Tuner: true to my piano, so I'd say it works just fine. But sometimes the high E isn't responsive, but you can just click down to the low E to solve that problem.