Price paid: $ 327.57
Purchased from: andertons, guildford
Sound — 9
I have the pickup selector on the humbucker setting, as it makes good distortion for a good rock sound. It suits my music style well from crunchy tones of Oasis, Stereophonics, Feeder to brighter tones of Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys etc, because this guitar is very versatile. This single coil pickups are good with a clear, fairly deep tone, and don't fizz and buzz like Squiers or some other beginners guitars, even at high volumes. I am using it with a Marshall MG15CDR, and it works well, especially on the clean setting. You can get a good Telecaster-ish bright sound with a high tone setting, and use of the humbucker. the distortion is OK, nothing special but this is mainly down to the amp because I hear other MG15CDR users have problems with distortion. I am hoping to get a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal which should improve things. For the money though, a great sounding guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I love this guitar, because it does everything you'd want it to do for small amount of money. I have tried out lots of different starter guitars (Squier Fat Strat, Squier Telecaster, bottom of the range Epi Les Pauls etc) and can easily say this is the best by far. It has great sound, great durablility and the proven Yamaha name (well, it's better then telling your friends you have a guitar made by a Fender rip off company). For the style I play, and for all styles, this guitar delivers. I have been playing for 2 years, and have an Encore PK40 bass, which is OK, but has gathered dust since I got this guitar. If it were stolen or lost I would buy another, defo. My favourite thing about it is the range of sounds you can get from it. For the price, the best guitar at the mo. If you are a beginner or need a cheap, solid guitar, buy this, you will not be disappointed.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would withstand live playing, and wouldn't sound terrible being played live. The pickups and bridge seem like they will last, the strap buttons are very solid. I am not very careful and have bashed this about a bit, but the headstock doesn't seem like breaking (although it chips quite easily). I would use this guitar as a backup for a gig probably, but for gigs I would probably use a guitar up the range. The finish is good enough to withstand all playing. For a Strat copy, it is very solid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar seems very well made for a guitar that costs about 160. The pickups were well adjusted and the bridge and headstock were all solid, well made and perfectly formed. In fact the only glitch with the fit and finish was a broken amp lead jack. Got it repaired without fuss by my local music shop. Apart from that it is almost as well made as some Fender guitars I've tried.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2001 in Europe. It has 21 medium frets and a solid top. It has a rosewood fingerboard, maple neck, alder body and is finished in Ice Blue Metallic. Strat body style, volume, tone, 5-way pickup selector, S/S/H Yamaha pickups, non-locking tuners, no accessories.