Purchased from: Stagebeat
Sound — 8
I prefer to play hard rock like Guns N' Roses and I like to play Rage Against The Machine. My band plays blues rock. It suits all these styles great. I'm currently using it with my Marshall MG15CD, but I have plugged it into my mates 80w Fender. It sounds great in the Fender, and great in the Marshall when the toggle Switch is set to "treble". It sounds a bit too fat on "rhythm" but that its not only down to the guitar. The "rhythm" setting gives a great solo sound on my mates Fender amp, but is still too thick for riffing. Both settings sound lacking in depth, but for 179, you would expect the stock pickups to be poor. For the price they are good. You can get a variety of sounds out of this guitar but the pickups tend to struggle with solo's. The sound tends to break up when playing on the "E, G and B" strings whilst a note from the "E, A or D" strings is still vibrating. I would replace the pickups if I had money. I have used my friends Gibson Les Paul through my amp so I can compare it to the Gibson. Obviously it doesnt come close but it is a very good effort for the people at Vintage guitars.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar does suit my style well, and is nice to play. The neck is nice and it is attractive. The sound could be better, but stock pickups on a 179 guitar are never going to be that good. My Brother has a Telecaster, my best friend has a PRS Soapbar and I have another friend who has a Gibson Les Paul. I prefer the feel and the way this guitar plays to the PRS and the Telecaster, but the PRS sounds a lot better and the Telecaster doesn't suit my style. Obviously the Gibson wins hands down but for 179 this guitar is great. You could buy some Gibson humbuckers and buy this and fit them on this for less than a third of the price of the Gibson, although the Gibson feels nicer to play. Most people looking at this review will not be able to afford a Gibson and I think this beats any guitar in the 0-250 price range. If it were lost of stolen I would get the insurance money and a bit more of my own and probably buy a Fender Stratocaster as I'm suffering from mike mccready syndrome at the moment, but don't get me wrong, I love this guitar. My only mistake was getting the black, I wish I had bought the tobacco. It is a dust magnet so it needs a lot of care. With the minor damage and a slightly weak sound, I can only give this an overall rating of 4, but I highly recommend it to any1 as a starter guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would happily gig with this guitar. It is solid and will last me. I changed the strap buttons to get strap locks because the buttons were a bit small and my strap kept on coming off. I would gig it without a backup. I have a buzz on the 19th fret but that only came as I started stringing it myself. The only faults with the guitar were caused by me. It is solid and reliable and worth the money.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I got the guitar out of the box, I needed to file down the 8th and 13th frets and they had minor damage and bending the strings would have just broken them. This annoyed me a little but it sounded fine afterwards. Apart from that, I could play it straight from the box (I needed to tune it obviously). The finish was perfect although now I've had it for a year and a bit, it has so many fingerprints that are un-removable (obviously my fault). I would rather that I got the tobacco sunburst now, but colours, dents and the general appearance of a guitar doesnt bother me. Except for the fret damage, it was perfect when I got it.
Features — 10
Not sure when it was made, look up the "John Hornby Skewes" website for the features. It has 22 frets with trapeziod inlays. Mine has a gloss black finish with a Tune-O-Matic bridge with 2 volume and 2 tone controls for the 2 humbuckers. It came with no accessories.