on September 10, 2013
I have had this guitar mistaken for a Fender Squire when it gets the first glance. Of course, when they actually look they do notice that it is not a Fender. But, it sure feels like a Fender, sounds like a Fender.. I can not say smell like one, haven't smelled a brand new off the shelves one yet ;). It was shipped with a lot of care, it did come with the cord and instructions in case you are new to where things go. The color is magnificent, and this is a very heavy guitar, nothing lightweight or cheaply done with this guitar. No, I am not that great and awesometastical with playing the guitar yet, but I do know a good guitar. Probably is the best for beginners to get since it is in the lower price range.
on December 7, 2014
Been playing for 40 years (good god that sounds terrifying), so my opinion is well-seasoned. I had to return the first one - a screw missing on the pickguard and there was damage to the fretboard. Either quality control is off or this was a return at some point. Anyway, that would get zero stars. BUT, Amazon took the guitar back and I tried another one. MUCH MUCH better (though the paint job wasn't as good as the first one. BUT BUT BUT - if you are new to guitars, you have to consider a few things.
Like most guitars you'll get online, especially cheap ones, it will have issues. If you're new to guitars, don't just return it without considering my experience. My second one, although vastly better than the first one, still needed work. It had a fair amount of fret sprout - meaning that both edges of a number of frets were poking out from the sides of the fret board. The guitar neck was not set correctly. The nut was grabbing the strings and it would not stay in tune. If the guitar is fairly sound, THESE ARE ALL CORRECTABLE.
If yours has fret sprout, let it sit for a few days. Sometimes, if the factory it's shipped from it COLD, the metal will expand, making the frets push out the sides. I allowed mine a few days and with each passing day, the frets contracted to where I only have one space that I had to carefully file down - and even then, it wasn't necessary.
Your guitar will probably NOT stay in tune, especially when you bend strings or use the whammy bar. That is due to four things:
1) the plastic nut at the top of the fretboard. Go to guitar Center and get a graphite replacement nut - cost me six bucks. They have them cut and slotted for strats. Loosen the strings and gently tap the side of the installed nut with a screwdriver - it will pop out.
2) the strings have probably been on the guitar for weeks/months/years. CHANGE THEM.
3) Once you do these two things, check youtube for videos on how to use the truss rod and carefully adjust the bow on the neck. Yours may not need it, but it is a common issue for ANY new guitar, regardless of price.
4) adjust the intonation. again, youtube is your friend. You need a tuner that has a meter instead of a letter readout (and you NEED one anyway).
Once you have these four issues addressed, you're going to have a remarkably nice neck (assuming you don't have fret height and damage issues like my first one did). This is a seriously fine neck! 9.5 inch radius, a hard, even rosewood and a smooth finish on the back of the neck. If you don't know how to do this work and don't want to learn, this guitar is worth bringing to a place to adjust everything (again, Guitar center can help). An alder body and a great neck for $80-100 bucks is a terrific deal.
The pickups aren't bad, but nothing you would buy aftermarket. Certainly fine for a beginner, even for an old geezer like me who likes to have cheap tones once in a while. That said, I changed them out.
Beyond that, if you wish to take things further, pay attention: this is NOT standard strat size. I put a replacement strat pickguard on it (black pearloid to compliment the metallic red finish - sah-WEET). and I have to file it down quite a bit where the neck meets the body and drill new holes into the wood to accommodate the replacement pickguard. I was a little sloppy, but the thing looks really, really good. Also, I was thinking of putting a maple fretboard Fender Squire neck on it, but the body pocket is too deep. HOWEVER, the neck this comes with is as good as the Squire.
So to sum up, this guitar, IF YOU GET A GOOD ONE, is a HUGE bargain. If you are new to this and you have a friend who has played for awhile, or are near a trustworthy guitar repair person, get their opinion before returning this for a refund. After working on it, I'm really, really happy with it.
on March 30, 2014
Guitar arrived extremely well packaged,and in PERFECT condition! Upon unpacking the guitar I was pleasantly surprised to find that it even included and amp cable, and allen wrenches for fine tuning. The red metallic finish it beautiful and flawless. After tuning and plugging in the guitar it sounded AMAZING! I plan to adjust the intonation slightly to improve the sound ( if you aren't sure how to do so you can find a bunch on tutorials on online ) This guitar is an absolute steal at this price!! It actually looks and sounds better then a 600.00 Schecter guitar that I previously owed! Don't let the price scare you this is an amazing guitar!
on January 10, 2014
I'm just a novice but I really enjoy playing this guitar. I got it during a sale, with free shipping (thanks Amazon Prime!) to bridge the gap so I can tear down my other electric to refinish and upgrade hardware. This more than fills the gap, it plays, sounds, and looks amazing.
on June 11, 2014
I ordered the telecaster version and received this strat version by mistake BUT I liked this so much I decided to keep this one, reorder the telecaster version so I can have that too. The body is very solid, beautiful finish (mine is a sunburst color). For $79.95 this is a must buy. You will not be sorry. I have 3 fender type strats and this one is now my favorite. It's great for recording. I just bought a Zoom G5 and it works great with that. The tones are rich and warm. I agree with others that the quality is similar to strats costing $399 and more. It fits so well in my hands and feels great. I love this guitar!!
on July 24, 2014
It just can't be beat for the price! Great guitar for new players! (Also, very sharp color... it has been very loved in our house. Bought for Christmas and it still looks brand new. I'm sadly no judge of sound quality, but it _sounds_ like a guitar to me ;D).