Most helpful critical review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fairly good guitar, but came with some issues
on January 9, 2014
I bought this guitar because I wanted a lefty Strat look-alike that I didn't have to baby like my other nicer ones. This one suited well for the price, which was $109.99 ($99.99 after a $10 discount I had waiting for me). I had read almost all the reviews and figured that most of the complaints I could tolerate or even fix. Some of course seemed a bit unreasonable.
I have an Amazon Prime account and received it within 2 days, and I was charged the correct price. It did not come with a packing invoice, which would have been nice. It did come with a 3 paged book detailing how to set it up and take care of it. The guitar was braced at the neck and had foam and plastic wrapping around it.
First inspection, the guitar was in pretty good condition. No scratches, dings, or anything major. Like a Strat, the finish is glossy and all the body contours are there. I read a few complaints about the weight, but I consider it to be "medium weighted".
After closer inspection for cracks in the body, as some had complained about, I did find three veining out from the sides of the screw plate on the back. They all seemed to be from one main crack. After very careful inspection, I believe that the cracks are only in the FINISH and NOT the body. The cracks likely came from when the screws went in too tightly into the body during assembly. Since the cracks aren't in the body, I can overlook it and eventually buff them out and fix them. For the common person, this is not an attractive option as not all are capable or willing to go through such tedious rework. However, the cracks don't affect the guitar structure and one has to be looking to see them.
Some complained about the frets being sharp. Mine was no exception. Along both sides of the neck, all the way up and down, the edges were fairly jagged. They didn't seem so bad at first, but after about 10 minutes of jamming, my fingers were fairly chewed up in the middle (palm side). I took a file and smoothed off the edges. That improved things drastically, and made it playable. I still get a bit of chew on my fingers, so I'll have to file over them again. In my honest opinion, not a great selling point.
I purchased a Fender Jag-Stang back in 1999. The company that I bought it from was courteous enough to intonate it for me. This one was NOT intonated, and I understand why. The strings are shipped loose (very loose) so no damage can occur during shipping.
I read quite a lot of reviews about this guitar not staying in tune. I would be willing to bet that most didn't know to have their guitar intonated, and perhaps that's why it's not "staying in tune". And they won't when they aren't intonated. Otherwise, you'll tune each string perfectly, only to play a chord and hear it sound out of tune. Intonation should correct for this.
I personally intonated it, and it holds a tune. If you don't know how to do this, the book gives instructions. Be aware that they are rudimentary, and you may need to have a professional intonate it. It may cost about $50, so I recommend looking up "how-to's" on the Internet. There are a few videos that show how to do it on your own.
The strings aren't too bad, as some have said, and the pickups still give a Strat-like sound. Tuners are fluid when turned.
Overall, I rate this 3 stars. It's average for the price. I got pretty much what I expected. Intonate it when you get it, and it should be okay. Watch the frets to be sure that they don't chew up, or even cut, your fingers.
UPDATE: After a month of playing this guitar, the frets are still chewing up my fingers. I have now had to do file work on them three times. In my opinion, this simply isn't acceptable and I'm changing my review from 3 stars to 2. The only reason I'm not giving it 1 single star is because it's staying in tune. I agree with Jim - get a Squire Strat. They aren't that much more money and are well put together.