Price paid: £ 160
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 9
I use this guitar for many styles, but based mainly around hard rock and blues. I play it through a Roland Cube 60 and a jim Dunlop crybaby and am very impressed by the tones I get from it. The bridge pickup cuts like a razor and is perfect for AC/DC style distorted tones, and sounds very good when clean. The neck pickup is great for thick, creamy Clapton style blues, and with the gain backed off delivers some lovely sounds. One point I must make is that this guitar is not really suited for sparklingly clean arpeggios or funky, Strat style sounds, but humbuckers usually don't Shine here anyway. This guitar is versitile, dealing with almost anything I throw at it, but is geared mainly toward blues and hard rock. I don't think it would be great for super distorted death metal, but mind you, how many death metallers do you see using SGs?
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar has to be one of the best guitars in this price bracket (0-200) and I feel I will be playing it for years to come. I have been playing for about a year and a half now and havn't owned too many guitars, but think it is something special. I considered buying an Epiphone g400, but on all fronts this guitar has it beaten. Looks, price and sound. If it was lost or stolen I would definately buy another one, and reccomend it to any beginner/intermediate players looking for an axe for rock and blues.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have had this guitar for nearly two months now and despited being played at least once a day it is still in the same condition it came to me in. I'd definitly gig with it, but wouldn't recommend it without backup. The hardware is great, but I'm thinking of replacing the plastic tuners with some metal ones. This guitar, with proper care (For example, not smashing it on the floor after your set) looks like it'll last donkeys years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar arrived in brilliant condition, with no scratches or marks whatsoever. I picked it up and had a play, and other than being slightly out of tune it played like a dream. The neck was fast and allowed much better upper fret access than my previous guitar (a no-name Les Paul Copy). When I plugged it in the pickups worked well, and the tone and volume pots were fine. One problem I have with it is that the pickup selector makes a hell of a lot of noise when flicked. This is the only thing that brings the rating down, other than that it would have been at least an eight.
Features — 8
This is an SG copy, with 22 frets, a set mahogany neck (great on a guitar at this price point) with a rosewood fretboard and mahogany body. It has a Tune-o-Matic bridge with a stopbar tailpiece and Wilkison tuners. It has two double coil passive wilkison pickups that are controlled by a 3-way pickup selector. The features are brilliant for the price point of the guitar, but obviously don't match those of a higher priced guitar such as a Gibson.