Price paid: $ 99.99
Purchased from: www.Rondomusic.com
Sound — 6
The sound out of this guitar is rather nice. I play Mainly Jazz fusion, Blues, Classic rock, and some light Metal and this guitar can cover each one well. The sound is very bright, but the pick-ups are very weak. It's hard to get a decent pinch, natural, or artificial harmonic out of this guitar. They're mainly too muffled or "hollow" sounding. I play this through a Roland Cube 60 and normally leave reverb up a lot and with minimal chorus. The cleans on this guitar are phenomenal to me. You can get the airy or warm tone with some fiddling around. My biggest complaint is that the guitar gets a tad noisy with the pick-up selector in the 1, 3, and 5 positions. Distortion/Drive work well, but once again harmonics are hard to make sound right. It is also hard to play distorted and not get a lot of extra noise from the other strings. Replacing the pickups will get you s very nice guitar.
Overall Impression — 7
This guitar matches my style perfectly. I've been playing for over a year. I own an Epiphone G-400 and a Squier Affinity Strat, and I prefer this guitar over both of them. If this was lost or stolen I'd be terribly sad and maybe buy another, but probably with a stop tail and a different color. This guitar easily beats out Squier strats, and with some upgrading it may become on par with a MIM Strat. I wish this guitar had just a little better quality of materials. It's a nice guitar that can be worlds better with some extra work and money.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar feels very durable. I've accidentally banged it around a bit and it's fine. The hardware feels kind of cheap though, but that's expected of a cheap guitar. The strap buttons feel solid, solid enough for me to walk around without strap locks. I would take this guitar to a gig, but with backups just in case. It feels reliable, but not 100% reliable. The gloss on the neck is tough, as in if you dent the neck, the gloss will actually dent with it other than chip off. The paint on the body seems tough, but not invincible. That's sort of an upside for strats though if you like relicing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Out of the box, the guitar was playable, but not well set up. The strings were a little rusted, and the tremolo bridge was very loose. Literally placing your finger on the bar and push the bar down a bit. The pickups will most likely need to be completely replaced rather than just adjusted on this guitar. The bridge on my guitar is not very good. Even after adjusting the truss rod and bridge, the bridge is actually pulled slightly off of the body with Standard .10 strings. The neck has a beautiful gloss finish that is perfectly applied. It even looks a little quilted. Even frets that are nicely filed, but it looks like there is some glue around each fret on the side of the neck, giving an ugly dark yellow stain underneath the gloss. The body feels a bit "chunkier" than average strats and Strat copies. The fretboard is also mostly flat and with what I would call a wide Fender "D" neck. The nut wasn't cut perfectly. There's a "chip" in it on the side of the fretboard. The tuners are low quality and need to be replaced though, especially if you plan on using the tremolo. Another complaint is that my guitar had a very tiny dent in the first fret near the B string.
Features — 7
I'm not sure what year this was made, most likely 2007-2008. Made in China with an Alder body, 21 fret bolted on Maple with gloss finish. Average finish and paint on it; the site calls it Posder blue but it is really more Aqua. This guitar is based off of early Fender Stratocasters in terms of overall build. The bridge is a normal tremolo bridge that isn't great, but not terrible. 3 Single Coils, 1 Vol, 2 Tone knobs, 5 way Switch. The pickups and knobs are a Vintage cream color as opposed to the white pickguard. Generic SX tuners. It's really a typical Strat copy.