Price paid: C$ 220
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Sound — 8
I've used this guitar to play a lot of metal and hard rock (thrash metal if you care to know). Its actually not bad, and the humbuckers aren't bad either, they have high gain so it does pick up sliding from the strings, but I don't mind it when I'm playing something raw and heavy. The stock strings, I must say, are complete shit. I'm serious. They oxidized in two weeks. The .09 string broke the next week, and my little sister was the one Who broke it, and shes pretty weak. Needless to say, back when it broke I was very uneducated on how to change strings, so I left it that way. The bridge humbucker is nice for songs that have high gain, while the neck humbucker is nice for psychedelic stuff like "Purple Haze". But, the guitar is really only for beginners/early intermediate players.
Overall Impression — 7
I play Thrash or Death Metal mostly, and this guitar is quite good for down-tuning. I've gone to Drop A with this guitar, and it still sounds great. I've been playing about a year and a half now, but this guitar is where I learned MOST of my expertise. I also own (as previously mentioned) a Squier Bullet Stratocaster, a Line 6 Spider 3 120-Watt, a Boss DS-1 pedal (which I don't use/need anymore because my Line 6 has multiple customizable channels and multiple distortion settings), and the crappy 10W that came with the Yamaha. The Yamaha, though, sounds great on my Line 6. If it got lost/stolen, I'd look for it, but after a while I'd give up and go buy a Pacifica or something. I only wish it had a Floyd Rose licensed system. Great beginner guitar though.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Its pretty reliable, I'd say. It will definitely withstand live playing, but I personally wouldn't use it live. Instead, I would only use it for studio recording. The one piece of hardware that didn't last was the In-Jack, but you can always get that fixed. The strap buttons are solid, never had a problem with them. I'd play it without a backup, sure. The finish, wont last though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar was set up nice, except for one thing. The end of the bridge always stuck at a 15 degree angle in the air when tuned to E Standard. This was a problem because it raised the strings pretty high off the fretboard, requiring more strength than necessary to hold the note on the fret. When I tuned down the guitar, this problem was resolved. To this day, I still don't know what went wrong with it. The top tuning peg was and still is kind of loose. Doesn't bother me too much though.
Features — 7
Looking at the serial number on the back I can already tell it was made in Central Asia, sometime in '07. There are 22 frets on the guitar, which makes it decent for playing most songs (though I personally prefer 24 frets). The neck is maple, feels a little thin to me, but that's because I've been playing on my Bullet Strat recently. I can still play pretty well on this guitar, but I prefer my Strat to this guitar simply because it has 3 single coils making it nice for Baroque-style music. The wood is made from basswood, so it'll dent easier than higher quality guitars. The finish makes it feel like a toy, quite frankly. It chips and scratches easily, although I managed to keep it in alright shape since I got it. Its a Strat-style body, with a Strat-style bridge. The controls given are: Volume, Tone, and a 5-way selector switch. The pickups I currently have on the guitar are the factory pickups, but I plan on replacing them with something like Duncan Seymour or EMG. There is a single coil in the middle, and two humbuckers. The guitar comes with a strap, gig bag, cable (though its crap), a 10-Watt amp (thats also, very crap), extra strings, a string winder, and a tuner.