Price paid: £ 70
Sound — 9
This guitar will play quite a wide range of music. My style varies quite a lot and this guitar ALMOST meets that range. In my band at the moment we mainly play blink182, sum41, Bowling For Soup and Greenday covers (aswell as some other stuff but the above gives a good idea) and with a bit of tweaking to my amp and effects pedal it will do any of this perfectly well. Infact, the only stuff I'd say it didn't do well was anything drop tuned below Drop C#. It has a lovely full sound and the brightness adjusts with the tone knobs fairly well. I've played the guitar through friends amps and it'll squeal nicely when it's played through a high wattage amp with a bit of gain.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing almost a year and a half now and I've been using this guitar for about 12 weeks now. I own a Marshall Rocket Special (Strat copy), a Marshall MG15CDR practice amp, a Boss os2 overdrive / distortion pedal, and a DigiTech RP150 mutli effect processor. If this guitar was stolen I'd go and break the thief's legs and get it back. Failing that I'd have to settle for a cheaper guitar or hope for a good deal to come up again because I can't afford to buy one of these guitars new (around 200 from what I've seen).
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will most certainly withstand Live playing. The hardware all seems to be of a very good quality and will last (other than tuners, see above) The strap buttons seem solid enough but because of how the guitar sit's on the strap I use plastic strap locks (my Schaller ones would dig into me if I put them on here) I would probably use it at a gig without a backup due to the fact that my only other guitar is a Marshall Rocket Special which sounds terrible next to this guitar. The finish seems to be of a nice quality, the only problem is the 'buckle rash' on the back of it where somebody has played it with a belt with a big buckle on.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I have no idea how well the factory set the guitar up since I didn't get it from the factory. Same goes for the pickups. The Bridge is TOM and doesnt't require routing so I guess that question is obsolete. The finish is black on mine so I don't know how well the wood is matched up. I have however seen the cherry red version in two music shops and it appears the quality of the book match varies. One of them was matched up almost to perfectly to the point you could barely tell, and the other was just poor. everything on my guitar is satisfactory other than the tuners (see above) and there's something about the inlays that doesn't quite seem right, they don't seem to be as pearly as most inlays.
Features — 8
I don't know when or where this guitar was made (I'm the third owner) It has 22 Frets, and is a 24 3/4 scale. Both the neck and body are mahogany which gives the guitar a really nice sound but makes it slightly top heavy - this is easily fixed with a leather strap. The body is SG style with the '61 style pickguard that is only on one side. The guitar has 2 humbuckers - both wilkinson chrome covered. Both humbuckers have a volume and a tone control of their own. This means that the toggle Switch can be used like a killswitch (by setting one volume to 0 and the other anywhere above 0). The tuners seem to keep in tune fairly well (once they're in tune that is). They rattle a fair bit but I'll put this down to them being well used. They aren't that great for putting the guitar in tune.