This guitar has done me proud for years, and i'll probably use it for years to come. The major flaw was the pick-ups, but that just acts as an encouragement for experimentation. Its very satisfying to completely re-wire the insides of a guitar, and have it sound so much better. A good reason for buying relatively cheap, but mechanically sound guitars that you won't feel guilty about dismantling
Price: $130.00 Pounds, Sterling (new)
Where Obtained: Sound Control, Glasgow, UK
This is a S/S/H super-strat style guitar with a floating trem and locking nut. Additional controls are a coil tap, 5-way selector, volume and two tone knobs. This is a budget entry-level guitar, so the pick-ups are unknown, and i have no clue about the woods etc. Cheap, i expect.
Considering the price-range this is a surpisingly easy guitar to play. The neck is 'chunky', but not in a bad way, and feels pretty good. It has an adjustable truss rod, and you can vary the height of the entire tremelo, and individual strings, as well as their intonation. That all means that it can be set up pretty well. The original shop set-up was pretty ropey, but now i've got a nice low action with no fret-buzz.
I'll rate this very-good, but realise that its very-good for a guitar of this price...
Now, this is where any low budget guitar falls down. Cheap pick-ups are terrible. However, new pick-ups aren't expensive, and having a cheap guitar means that you don't feel as bad messing around with it. Firstly, i reverse wired the centre single coil to get some out of phase sounds. Then i replaced the humbucker with a Seymour Duncan JB model. THis is coil tapped through one of the tone knobs, so that i can dial in any or all of one of the coils. That left the coil-tap switch spare, so i wired that as an on/off switch (cool for messing around with, just listen to Tom Morello to hear what you can achieve). That lot has turned the guitar into a VERY versatile beast, with every position of the switches giving very different sounds. I can't wait to replace the single coils...
I'll rate the sound as poor for the original set-up, but its amazing how much you can improve on that.
This is a solid piece of wood, and so-far it has held up well under pressure. Its my back-up for live work (never go without a back up!), and fulfills that role well. The Trem is stable, and you don't have to re-tune very often. One thing that did go was one of the strap buttons. It just pulled clean out of the wood. I replaced the originals with some schaller strap-locks, and so-far so-good.