First I would like to thank Henning Pauly who did a great job of reviewing this guitar on youtube. If you are considering buying one of these check out his video as well as reading owner reviews.
By way of background, I have owned and played professionally a 70's hardtail Fender Strat, a 90's Strat Ultra and a Tom Anderson hollow drop top Classic. I have sold all of these as I was leaving the UK to work abroad permanently and for the last fourteen years I have been using modelling guitars exclusively for work. Coming up to retirement I decided to build up a collection of guitars for self amusement and have picked up some amazing instruments, many at smile - inducing low prices. The only Strat I had was a Vintage V6 with maple fingerboard which is a worthy instrument but as all my expensive Strats had rosewood or Ebony boards I decided after seeing Henning's video and the pricetag to Give the HB a try. The bridge and Jack socket plate look cheapish and the scratch plate is sitting proud at the treble horn. The tremelo block looks very thin but I am keeping it hardtail so cannot comment on it's worth. Remember the price and read on. The rosewood board smells strange but I have this on another chinese guitar and once cleaned and oiled it should even out, however the board itself is one of the nicest pieces of rosewood I have seen on a guitar, It goes from dark brown to an almost Rickenbacker orange in a nice marbled style.
Out of the box the guitar plays beautifully and sounds like a Strat. The rosewood board is like an old friend to me already. The Wilkinson pickups look like they may be less expensive than the ones on the Vintage guitar but both sound great. The controls work well and I love the pickguard which is almost flame like and on arrival there was a double layer of protective plastic covering it! The neck is poly coated but still really smooth under your hand. I love the weight and at 3.3 Kg it is one of the lightest and most comfortable guitars I have played on a strap. It sounds and plays better than my 70's Strat, sounds more Strat like than my Ultra with Lace Sensors and while not as good or flexible as the Tom Anderson, it didn't cost two and a half Grand!!! I would be perfectly happy using this instrument live!
Summing up, anyone who plays guitar and is looking for a Strat-a-like has an incredible range af makes and prices to choose from but unless you are looking for a unit with a quality Tremolo Bridge for dive bombing you should give it a try and if you don't like it, at this price hang it on a wall as decoration.
All aspects of handling my order was really good considering it shipped from Germany to NY I was very pleased. I own a few Fender Strats and this product can hold it's own against any of them but the one thing I was very disappointed in was the fit and finish of the fret wire which was not smooth on either side of the fingerboard and actually rough to the touch and actually scratch or even cut hand with some fast hand movement up or down the neck. I will have to take some time and smooth all that out which is something you should not have to do on a new product especially when all other aspects hold up so well. I will be contacting Thoman and I'm sure they'll do something to make up for because they seem like a quality company. Otherwise happy with all other aspects of product and if Thoman meets my satisfaction I will buy more product from them.
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