Samick Avion AV-3 Electric Guitar Reviews 4

I bought this guitar because a guitar i had back ordered failed to show up because the manufacturer discontinued that line of guitar. This Samick Avion 3 model caught my eye. My brother has 2 top of the line Samicks ... a royale and an Avion 6. The Avion 6 or any top of the line guitar from samick come with Duncan Designed pickups which are half decent. The AV-3 (Avion 3) that i boguth did not have good pickups. It had the same Epiphone cheesy pickups in a good guitar syndrome. I paid 300.00 for the Samick AV-3 and it is worth the money. You have to keep in mind that you have to replace the pickups AND also the pots because the pots are the smaller pots and suck really. They bleed sound and also allow the pickups to whistle at louder volumes. Microphonic feedback is not a fun problem to have from cheap pickups. If you are willing to spend a few bucks after the purchase then you will be happy. it really is a great guitar even if you are a pro.

What I liked about the Avion 3 is that it felt like a quality instrument in my hands. I have owned Gibsons before, an SG, a V and an Explorer. This samick felt just like these guitars and more specifically like the neck on the SG. I have played guitar for 20 years or so and really, really like this guitar a bunch. I am very pleased and write this review after owning it for a month and have played it often.

What I did not like about this guitar was the cheap pickups in it. Garbage indeed !!! I even took the soldered chrome covers off and waxed the pickups myself to try and cut back the microphonic feedback ... it helped but the cheap pots were just as guilty. I decided to replace everything electronic in this guitar with good stuff and that did the trick nicely. The volume pots were terrible and very cheap as well. I noticed that the outline of the pickguard was poorly cut and really upon close inspection looked like it was cut by hand by a newbie factory worker ... which probably was the case. The finish chips easily also, I have a small unnoticable chip but really did not even do anything for it to be there . At least I would think i would have noticed that bang that made it. Like i said I have been playing for 20 years and have owned literally 2 dozen guitars and none of them got little chips for no reason. The ones that chipped had a legit drop or bang by accident. hey it happens to everyone but I feel I need to be careful with this guitar now. maybe that opinion will change as I have had it only for 1 month. The last thing I did not like was I had to set the intonation on the A string as it was off and not by a little bit. I asked the store guy who sold it to me about it and he explained that the guitars come from Korea or Indonesia after they are made and they are setup at a place in San Diego and then shipped to stores. it is a distro center of some sort. Well they messed this one up a little. Again i have played for a long time and know how to do this intonation set up myself so I did. Not a big deal, but if you are inexperienced and need to have it done it will cost you a few bucks and really should not even have to happen in the first place. One more thing I noticed was slight inperfections in the finish, if this were a Gibson or Jackson it would have been sent to the seconds area. 1 small bubble in the finish in the underside and a couple of what looks like a slight sag effect when held up so you can see a reflection in it. Again not a big deal and for a $300 guitar i should not even complain about it.

The fretboard is top notch and make no mistake about that. The hardware is not cheap chrome plated white metal either. It is good quality stuff and the tuners are Grover tuners and work very well. The guitar stays in tune even with wild assed over the top Zakk Wylde type bends and squeals. The body materials are very nice as well, the mahogany has a rich glow to it and a nice grain. This guitar also has a set neck and buying a guitar made with real mahogany and a set neck for this price is virtually unheard of. Definitely a great deal and a top notch guitar once you modify it with new pickups AND electronic wiring, pots etc. WORTH the money to spend extra and get it right. The binding on the neck is perfect as it the action on the guitar, the string height was easy to adjust and the frets feels like Gibson jumbo frets they are polished nicely and feel great. The inlays also look great and really help make the whole look. I hate nice Les Paul copies and they only use dot inlays, these have the full sized crown inlays. Nicely done indeed. The split maple top look was also very nicely done.

The bottom line is this is great guitar even if you play professionally once all of the modifications are done. It plays just as well as the 3 Gibsons I have owned. If you are a beginner this guitar is more than great for you and your wallet. I play this guitar often and really enjoy it and i am an experienced musician who has owned everything from fender Strats to Gretsches, this guitar is as good as those once you spend a little for good pickups and wiring. it goes to prove that you don`t have to pay $1,200 for a name because your favorite musician uses them and he has millions in the bank. you can make out just as well ... almost for only $300 bucks.

John Beaulieu rated this unit 4 on 2004-09-03.

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