I've had mine almost one week now and it just grows and grows on me, despite my very high first impression. It just amazed me how much instrument I'm getting for around $200.
The only downside was the wait for delivery, in all about 6 weeks, during the COVID lockdown, not bad. It was well worth the wait. This is my first order from Thomann and I am quite happy.
The frets feel great, no work required. They are a bit rough, could sand them, but nothing that a few days play will not break in nicely. The action is great and the tone is fine for now. If I were gigging, I might swap the pickups for something more professional, but they sounds nice through my Roland cube and through my PA. I'm having fun with it into a DigiTech RP-360xp, looping, etc. The 8 strings really give me the range for more looping options, no need to swap guitar and bass for the different loops. Exactly what I was looking for. The fan frets require a little effort to get accustomed to, but not as bad as I thought. I find holding it more vertical really helps get the bass notes and the highs as well. Holding it at about 45° seems to be the sweet spot, and the fan really helps access both the highs and lows in that position. The pickups play nice with my FX unit and bypassed as well. They clean up nice and overdrive if pushed. The natural distorted sounds are not really my thing, but I haven't tried it in my tube amp yet, where it might matter more. I'm just really enjoying it through the cube for now. It's a bit heavier than some of my guitars, but similar to my Les Paul, which seems fine, considering the additional two bass strings. I was looking for an affordable Chapman Stick alternative and I'm extremely happy. I may buy another without the fan frets and restring it for a more bass version. At this price, experimentation isn't difficult.
If you're on the fence, jump. I think any "bigger" curious guitarist will be quite happy with this investment as a jumping off point into the 8-string world. I had a 7-string before that I could never grasp, but this is easy to visualize with two more strings. In its standard timing, G is just one fret up from the open bass string, which is my primary key on guitar. That makes it a natural extension for me. I play mainly pop, rock, and light jazz and usually solo these days, but I have played in bands a lot over the years. I can see this instrument as a real asset to the one man band gig, or duo/trio gigs, where you often need to fill a lot of range, and for composing songs, where you might be writing and arranging for more than just standard guitar range.
And if course head bangers in the various sub-genres will enjoy the range on this instrument.
It came detuned and I have done nothing other than letting the box sit for two hours in the house to acclimate, and then tune it up. It might need minor intonation, but it seems pretty close to perfect to me so far. It also stays in tune quite well. As you can tell, nothing to complain about from my end. The finish is even quite good on the body and neck. Probably the only thing I might change would be the tuners, just to get locking ones and ones with a bit stiffer feel. But these stay in tune and are very easy to tune. A good bag or case would also be nice. I am going to show this one off to my musician friends.
None I could find, especially considering the price and quality.
Bottom line, get one. I'm loving this one.