Price paid: $ 219.6
Sound — 9
Over the 5 years that I've had this guitar, I've been through several different playing styles. At first, I played mostly pop-punk style stuff; Blink 182, Green Day, The Offspring etc. Then I moved onto Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Santana, Led Zepplin etc. After this, I moved onto some emo/screamo stuff; Funeral For A Friend, Alexisonfire, Dead Poetic. After that I moved onto metal, and thats pretty much all I play now. Metallica, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, God Forbid, Bullet For My Valentine, 6 Crazyfists, Pantera. And I have to say, this guitar has performed better than I ever thought it would. It manages all these styles well. My amp is a stupidly small Fender Squire 15 practice amp (I've never needed to gig), and I also use a Digitech RP100. The sound is fine for me. A lot of depth is missing from the sound, but I've tried this guitar on a couple different amps, and it was much better then. Perfectly good sound, suited a lot of different styles.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I would say this guitar is great for beginners. It suits a wide range of styles, and is amazingly easy to play. If it were stolen or lost, I probably wouldnt buy a new one, but thats only because I've had it for so long and I'm getting a new guitar in a couple of weeks anyway (ESP LTD EX-50). My main problem with it is the look. Although I liked the natural look at first, the Strat style has really started to bore me. Plus I'm sure that my new EX-50 will have a much better sound quality, as well as looking a hell of a lot cooler. But this guitar is definately great for beginners, and is quite a bargain at the price at which I bought it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've never played with this live, but I would feel fairly comfortable with doing so. My only worry is that my strap falls off fairly easily, but I'm sure this is down to my poor quality strap rather than the strap buttons. I've had the guitar for 5 years now, and over that time it has picked up quite a few dents and scratches, and one of the screws holding the double coil pickup in place has fallen out and been lost for a few months now (although this doesnt make much difference unless you tip the guitar forward a bit whilst playing). But overall, I think the guitar has done real well to last me this long.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was perfectly set up. Everything was adjusted fine. The guitar had a couple of minor scratches when I got it, but these were hardly noticeable.
Features — 8
This was my first electric guitar. I'm not sure what year this was made in or where it was made. It has 22 frets, a maple bolt-on neck, a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, and a mahogony body. It has a Strat syle, with 1 double coil and 2 single coil Wilkinson pickups. It has a volume control, a tone control and a five way selector. I didnt get any extra stuff with the guitar, no strap or bag or anything like that. Theres nothing real flashy about the guitar, but I think the look is fairly cool, and I thought this was the perfect beginners guitar.