Price paid: £ 230
Purchased from: Musik Productiv
Sound — 8
I was expecting the guitar to be a little on the nasty tinny side being so small and inexpensive, but was pleasantly surprised, perhaps the result of the neck-through construction. The three pickups (HSH on the Deluxe, HSS on the Standard) are passive all have very distinct sounds. The bridge is good for mostly rocky stuff, the neck is good for thicker solo sounds while the middle pickup was surprising. Very, very good cleans though the output is almost nonexistent compared to the two humbuckers. Sounds unexpectedly good with some reverb and chorus. I'm running this through an ancient Pocket POD, and no problems at all.
Overall Impression — 8
I most enjoy improvisation as a way to unwind, and looked into travel guitars to be able to play something during the breaks at university. I don't think I could really ask more of a travel guitar for the price. Certainly all the features are there. The build quality could do with a little refinement. I was also looking at the Hofner Shorty, and found this to be a better alternative due to its lack of a fragile headstock, no annoying volute, and smaller body with more features. Great guitar for the non-serious guitarist.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I wouldn't bet on this guitar lasting forever or even a long time. It clearly had some corners cut to get it out the door at the price of admission, but more than worth it. It's a great guitar for travelling not only because of its tiny size, but in that it's not excessively expensive so you aren't constantly worrying about breaking it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
Ah... Now we get to the slightly iffy bit. There were numerous fit and finish problems right out of the box. The screws on the kickstand are slightly bigger than they should be and catch on the kickstand when opened, which has brought the thin black paint off them. The trem lock is slightly too wide meaning the trem has slight play when locked, enough for audible detune. If I leave the whammy bar in, it actually resonates. The fret dots down the side of the neck are sloppy, barely circular, not well aligned and where the white finish ends here is not very straight - it wavers a little. Having just been flown from mainland Europe, it took a few hours before the guitar settled and it didn't buzz and would stay in tune. However, when it did settle, it became rock solid stable for such a little guitar, often talking a week between tunings with regular travelling. It drifts out of tune with other things but the strings stay perfectly in tune with one another. I had to adjust the intonation, which is a little odd on this guitar. There's a tiny hex screw on the side of the bridge which clamps the bridge down on the bridge pieces. Releasing this makes it possible to push them back and forth fairly easily. Finally, the black paint on the screws is coming off, but not on the hardware.
Features — 10
This is a budget travel guitar, made from maple without a neck joint. (I think it's neck-through) 24 frets, all easy to get to. The bridge is not a trans-trem, (it does not bend in tune) but has the Steinberger locking mechanism so it's stable. The rest position is adjustable with a big knob, while the tuners are small and also feature on the bridge. They're quite stiff and small. I like the white finish, a lot more than I expected to. Almost milky. The kickstand on this thing is ingenious. Makes it possible to play what's essentially a V, comfortably, on your lap. Came with a thin but so far reliable cable, some hex keys for the hardware and a solid, padded gig bag. Lots for the cash.