Price paid: £ 90
Sound — 6
I'm into playing metal and rock, both lead and rhythm, and if I'm honest, I do feel this guitar is better suited to a cleaner, more bluesy style of music. I use a Line 6 spider iii amp, and overall I can get a decent sound from the guitar, especially on the clean setting. I find it to be ok when I add some distortion, and it is particulary good for playing pinch harmonics. For a beginner's guitar, it is a competent all-rounder.
Overall Impression — 9
As I have said, I don't think this guitar matches my metal/rock style very well, although as a beginner I didn't really have a style, so this wont be a problem if this is your first guitar. I've been playing now for almost four years, and I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this guitar. Yes, I know it's only a lump of wood with metal strings attached, but there's just something about it that brings it to life, and I'd be devastated if I were ever to lose it. However, I wouldn't buy it again, because I believe I'm at a more advanced level of ability, and would benefit from a more expensive guitar. Overall, I'd say it was a faithful companion, that has been there whenever I feel the need to rock out.
Reliability & Durability — 5
Personally, I wouldn't use this guitar if I was playing Live. Sure, it looks good and makes a nice clean sound, but I would be concerned that the strap would keep becoming detatched. Also, I have had a few problems with the electronics in the past, and have needed to have the guitar fixed. Also, the volume dial isnt particulary effective; it has the numbers 1-10 on it, but really there are only three levels of volume - silent, quiet, loud. After playing this guitar regulary for nearly four years, I would say the finish is still in a decent condition, and overall, thi guitar is a good beginner's guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The biggest problem I've had with the guitar was that the strap which came with it kept randomly detaching itself, which was annoying to say the least. Otherwise, the guitar was in a very good condition when I recieved it. My only slight concern is that the strings are quite high from the fret board, making intricate solos quite fiddly. However, as a beginner when I got this guitar, I didn't find this to be a problem. Also, the single coil pickups can suffer an irritating amount of trebly interference, and sometimes I even managed to listen in on the neighbour's television. However, it works fine on most settings.
Features — 9
I've had it since november 05, and I'm not sure where it was made. It has 21 frets, three pickups (single coil) and a whammy bar, as well as a strap and a few picks. It is basically styled like a Stratocaster and has a bolt-on neck. You have two tone controls and a volume control as well. Overall I would say it is a very good set-up for something this price.