Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Guitar-Center
Sound — 8
Overall the sound is decent. The humbuckers and 2 single coils give it a nice varety of tones although as the pick-ups go closer to the bridge the tone decreases in clarity (mostly on distortion) for the most part I find my self mainly useing the humbucker pickup. It has a great distortion with it, although when palm-muting even with full distortion on my amp. The sound could be a bit chunkier sounding, so heavy metal palm muting is lacking, although it is still not a terrible sound. Harmonics are pretty easy to pull-off. However there is one thing that really bothers me, when you try to play more than one note at time (not chords, but individual notes one after the other) the notes start to run into each other and it sounds muddy. You can prevent this by muting the strings very lightlyy with your pick hand pretty easily, but it is still a minor annoyance.
Overall Impression — 8
I play mostly rock and metal, and so far it has been pretty reliable. I realize since that this is my first guitar that I really can't say that it is an amazing instrument, or that it is the best guitar ever, even though I have heard many people say this about Squire Strats and outher begginer level guitars, overall it is nice instrument and an excellent Begginer guitar (the best begginer that I have played).
Reliability & Durability — 8
So far it has held together pretty well althought the wammy bar is sort of lose.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action is very low on this guitar, it makes it very easy to play fast with out much preassure, there is however a problem with this. If you buy this guitar and expect to be tuning down to ZBACDQ or whatever the ridiculously low tuning that all you new metalers use, think again. Of course you can do it, but there is a serious fret buzz problem with lower tunings. Even in Drop D there is a slight issue if you strum too hard but it is easy to just strum a little lighter. Overall the action is not a problem when distortion is on, as long as you don't tune down too much. A Final warning: if you use the wammy bar it will through the guitar so out of tune that you you'll swear that you are not even playing a guitar!
Features — 6
Strat-style body, 5-way pick-up selector, 1 volume knob and one tone knob, 2 single coils and a humbucker. Non-locking tuners. 21 frets, solid. No accesories.