Price paid: $ 97
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Sound — 8
I play metal so the single coils are not really the best to use for what I do but none the less the single coils are actually better than I expected them to be. Even at just position 5 with high gain I do not get much noise and when Switch to position 4 it is without any hissing, buzzing, or humming. Volume and tone knobs as well as the pickups selector are quiet. This can do everything from some light jazz and blues to heavy rock and yes even metal. I ran this guitar through Amplitube and a Fender Frontman 25R. Sounded great through both.
Overall Impression — 8
I play metal and this is not the best thing for the job but it can still play metal just fine if you know what your doing. I have been playing 2 years now and I actually sold my Douglas Flying V to buy this and I have absolutely no regrets for doing that. If it were stolen or lost I would absolutely get a new one. I have compared it with some squiers and I have to say its about on par with the CV series. The only things I wish it had has really is just a string through bridge but blocking the trem works almost as good. If you want a Strat and don't want to spend $300 - $400 then buy this, you will love it.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar will withstand live playing just fine though I would never do it without a backup no matter what guitar I was using. The hardware is cheap but it does its job just fine, the only things that I feel need be upgraded are the tuners and the plastic nut. The finish is flawless and is thick so I have no worries that the finish would wear away very much over a long period of time. Again I want to give it a 10 but the tuners and plastic nut stop me from doing that.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This is where the guitar really shines, literally. The pictures shown on rondomusic site do not this guitar any justice. The finish is darker than shown on the site and has a metal flake in it that you cannot see in the pictures on the site. I intended to strip the coloring off of the neck due to it appearing to be completely orange but it actually has more of a brown tint to it. When it arrived I inspected every single inch of this guitar looking for flaws and I only found 1 flaw and that was a back bow in the neck. After giving the neck some relief I realized that the frets are done very well and that this guitar was all ready perfectly intonated and set up with a comfortable action with very little fret buzz. I want to give it a 10 but the tuners on it are not the best, they hold tuning rather well except the low E which slides out of tuning a little bit after a hour or so of playing.
Features — 8
Made in China 21 Frets 25.5" Scale Maple Neck and Fretboard Alder Body Body color is Candy Apple Red. Strat style body. Fulcrum 6 point tremolo. 3 Single Coil Pickups 1 Volume, 2 Tone, 5 Way pickups selector. Fender style 6 in line chrome tuners. Comes with a nicely padded gig bag and 2 allen wrenches for Truss Rod and Saddle height adjustments. I would have preferred 22 frets rather than 21 but this is no big deal.