Good guitar kit for the money. I'll definitely get another one. 2 guys from work got on e-bay and bought 1 each after playing mine. I'm very happy with the way this guitar has turned out. Without putting in new pickups it was a good practice guitar. With new pickups it is now my main guitar for playing live. I can leave my "nice" guitars at home when playing in potentially hazzardous environments, and bring em out when the venue calls for it. For about $280.00 total I got a fun instrument that I don't have to worry about getting broke!
Model Year: 2001
Price: $109.00 (new)
Where Obtained: e-bay
Strat copy Basswood body,sealed and ready to paint. Vintage type tremolo. 21 fret Maple neck with rosewood fretboard. All the parts are there to put it together in about 1/2 hour. It does need a fret dressing after building it, and the nut needs to either be filed or replaced(it's plastic). The 3 single coil pickups are cheap ceramic type, those, the tone/volume, and selector switch are prewired to the pickguard. Nice first time kit guitar for a nice price.
After building it(extremely easy), I had to set it up(a lot harder). There was fret buzz at different places up and down the fretboard on all the strings. Thankfully there was a set of cheapo strings sent with the guitar that I didn't have to worry about destroying in the process of setting up. I set the truss rod to make the neck as straight as possible, set it on a jig I made at work and dressed the frets. I then filed the crowns back to round and replaced strings. I then put the strings on and filed the nut(havent replaced it yet). I reset a little relief in the neck and intonated it. I played out with it that weekend and it felt GOOD, sounded ok. Cheap pickups make a cheap sound when over driven, but sounded nice clean. The next week I bought new pickups and replaced cheapos. I am giving this a 5 because the stuff is there to get great playability, like any guitar it has to be properly set up.
I use a Zoom GFX-8 processor into the mixing board when playing live. The original pickups sounded nice clean but not that good overdriven. They were weak sounding. No problem though, I wanted to try a set of the vintage noiseless fender p/u's anyway, so I got them and installed them in this guitar. At first I was WAY underwhelmed with the sound of those pickups in this thing, I have a set of noiseless in my tele and remembered that I had to back off the pickups to get a good sound. I tried this and was still not pleased. I then went to the FDP website(for owners of fenders) and found out I was STILL too close to the strings. I backed off to the settings 12/64 bass and 10/64 treble for neck and middle and 8/64 both sides of bridge. It now compares to a high $ strat as far as playability and sound, without the high $'s. I'll give this a 3 for stock and 5 for modded.
It's basswood, soft stuff. I decided not to paint it for this reason. Dinged up paint looks good on an old fender strat, but not on a cheap copy. Besides I think it looks kinda cool with the dull natural finish, and definitely feels better than a painted finish IMHO. I ain't dropped it yet, so I don't know how it will hold up in that case. But my 2 year old daughter has walked all over the neck, and it didn't break.....so I guess that's something at least!