OK, its Eu111 (£79) so its not going to be a Fender CS Strat but it IS surprisingly good for the money. Clearly styled around the early 60's Strats, its a good looking instrument. Straight out of the box it presented no cosmetic faults whatsoever. It comes with an 'accessory pack' of truss rod and bridge adusting allen keys, a "throwaway" short, cheap and nasty 1/4" mono jack lead, and the tremolo (vibrato) arm. This model is called "Vintage White" but is really light cream, just as Oly White might become after many years. Its a thick plastic paint coat which hopefully will wear well. So I expected quite a dull body tone acoustically but the Basswood body is quite reasonably resonant. It's fitted with branded Wilkinson 60's style single coil Alnico pickups, standard Strat controls and 5 way switch. Lifting the scratchplate reveals fairly cheap pots and blade switch (what do you expect for Eu111?) but for the moment everything works as it should with little "noise" - and I work right in front of the monitor. The bridge is a mock-60's no-name with pressed steel saddles. As supplied, its hard-tailed - flat to the body - but it's only a few minutes work to loosen the claw and bridge screws sufficiently to give a 2.5 to 3mm float. The 3 springs supplied do allow tuning to return to normal after use. Serious dive-bombing does knock the tuning out however. The worst thing about the bridge, and about the guitar in total is the positively awful zinc trem block. It's small and the internal screw thread for the arm is SO slack that it actually rattles unless it is wound in tight, which defeats the object. Whatever tolerance it has been tapped to is a very poor one. Time to get out the PTFE tape! The scratchplate is a 3 ply 11 screw mock-tortoiseshell one. 3 ply torty on a 62 Strat? Dont think so! The edge finish was very good and I thought it was very pretty. Neck pocket wasnt a 'precision fit' but wasn't at all bad and I've seen worse on 'real' Fenders.
The neck is 22 frets (excellent idea) Canadian Maple (that's Pine to you and me) with a rosewood topping and medium jumbo frets. No skunk stripe so the adjustable truss rod was inserted prior to being capped. Kluson type no name tuners keep tune reasonably well. Two string trees which I may experiment with the removal of to remove friction points. Fret dressing was good, no sharp edges or loose frets etc. The neck is a C profile and 13.75" radius fretboard so quite flat compared to some but very playable. Not hugely struck on the poly varnished neck (prefer satin myself) but it does not get sticky so its a personal thing.
Came with 9's D'Addario's which sounded OK but were like playing elastic so were replaced with Elixir 11's.
Sounds? For Eu111 ((£79) it gives a good account of itself IMO. (Tested through a Vox AC30 twin cab). ALL the pickups are a little 'brighter' than I expected, the Bridge having quite some 'bite' that I had to tone down with amp EQ. Neck pickup is nicely rounded but to my ears didn't quite have the depth on the top 3 strings. Roll off the tone, run a bit, or even a lot, of Overdrive and its an instant Blues guitar. Very impressive for a cheap Axe. Middle is a good general purpose pickup, quite warm and also good when driven into a compressor and OD pedal for some crunch. Bridge is wonderfully twangy at the bottom end but a bit brittle on the top two strings, especially if you're working above 12th fret. I'm sure I will find an amp setting that helps in this regard. Its great for RocknRoll. The in between 'quack' settings can give you Tele type tones or Mark Knopfler too.
Apart from the terrible zinc trem block in the obviously low spec bridge unit, the general and overall quality level, playability and the sounds you can get from this guitar exceeded my expectations. By a LOT!! How Thomann can do it for the money beats me!