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The original Fender Stratocaster was designed in 1954, and has since become one of the most well known guitars in the world and has featured on a number of iconic tracks at the hands of some of the most talented guitarists in music history.


Squier, a marque of Fender, have a lower cost version of the iconic guitar available for those looking for the classic style without the price tag, The Squier Stratocaster.


A standard Squier Stratocaster is usually made in Indonesia or China and uses local readily available wood for the body, such as agathis and basswood. It’s fairly durable and doesn’t break easily, though when considering buying a Squier Stratocaster, be sure to go for the affinity series as opposed to the bullet series. Although you will save money, the affinity is the superior quality guitar, and is less liable to break.


It is really beautiful both in looks and feel. Its tone is fair, as you would expect from a Squier. Stratocaster guitars like this are suitable for playing alternative and distorted rock although the single coils do let it down a bit. The pickups are Fender Squier stock pickups, and are some of the cheapest and inexpensive out there and provide no real boost to the tone of the guitar, and generate a fair amount of hum and buzz.


The bridge provides no help with staying in tune, especially when using the tremolo bar. The stock strings are Fender 3235’s, but this shouldn’t be taken into consideration if buying the guitar as these can be changed easily. Yet for the price, the Squier Stratocaster is one of the best starter guitars on the market, though the Floyd-Rose style bridge would give beginners a hard time on adjustments.


The Fender Squier Stratocaster is one of the most affordable guitars on the market, and I am sure Leo Fender would be glad to see so many people enjoying the pleasure of his designs, especially on a limited budget.

The Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet comes with a .460" bore. The red brass lead pipe is designed for easy tone production and projection. This trumpet also has a first-valve thumb saddle. There is also and an adjustable 3rd valve finger ring for easy intonation adjustment and to improve the player’s comfort.


The Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet, as you may expect is exceptionally easy to play which makes it perfect for those just starting out in brass.


Even for a cheap trumpet, the Etude ETR-100 offers beginners a lovely musical instrument at unbeatable value, the sound is of great quality despite its low price.


The Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet is best suited for those just starting out as beginners or students of brass, but can also be used as a great travel trumpet, as it’s pretty study for the pricetag.


There are however some drawbacks with the Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet. Whilst i’m very happy with the level of quality in the instrument itself, I was a little disappointed at the accompanying case as the case is simply not high quality, and would be less than useful should you drop it.


One other drawback that I personally haven’t found but there have been some reports of sticking valves, which can make playing infuriating.


Having said that, for the price the Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet has some great features.  A first-valve thumb saddle, for those notes that can get sharp that make use of the first valve, an adjustable third-valve finger ring and a red brass lead pipe. The Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet also comes with a mouthpiece included and a case (although you may want to buy a replacement).


Find the Etude ETR-100 Series Student Trumpet or other cheap trumpets at Instrumania, the musical instrument comparison website

My young son has been playing acoustic guitar for some time now and I knew it was only a matter of time before he wanted to progress onto electric.  That question came a couple of weeks ago so with his birthday in early December I decided to go with the Sunburst children’s electric guitar.  Very impressed with the build quality which is very robust and perfect for all those times the guitar gets dropped whilst getting to grips with how to hold this type of guitar. 

The body is made from solid wood and is exactly the same in design to an adult’s electric guitar which I thought was great. That’ll make it really easy to move onto a full-size one when he gets older.  He’s 10 now and growing at a rate of knots so I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s asking for a full-size model.  The one thing I wanted to avoid was a toy guitar and the Sunburst is anything but!  It’s a serious bit of kit for a 10 year old and he was so excited unwrapping it that he nearly fainted! 

We have already got an amplifier so I was interested to see how the sound would be when plugged in.

We did look at another cheaper guitar, but the guitar reviews on Amazon were pretty bad so we’re glad we went with the Sunburst in the end.  In terms of size, it’s just right and should be fine for my son for a few years yet.  All in all, delighted with this guitar and looking forward to hearing all the great tunes that start to flow from it as my son learns more at guitar lessons.

One thing I would say is to start with acoustic before getting into electric guitar.  It’s good to get to grips with the basic sounds of the guitar before messing with the mechanics and versatility of an electric guitar.  Thought this was great value for money and all in all we’re really happy with the choice we made. 

The D2 acoustic drum kit is a pretty nice drum kit all told.  If you’re a beginner like me then you’re probably not going to need anything else for quite a while.  The drum shells themselves look to be really well made and are really sturdy.  I made the mistake of buying a cheap drum kit a while ago and was quite unimpressed with the quality.  In fact, it’s in bits in my loft right now!  The colour on the shells is really just a plastic laminate that is glued onto the shells, but it does look awesome and anyway, it’s  the sound that counts!


The tom heads on this kit are a little on the thin side, but it doesn’t really matter.  The kick heads are better and so are the snares.  The cymbal stands are pretty perfect; not too heavy and each part is double-braced unlike other cheaper drum kits.  The only thing I would say about the cymbals is that they are a little thick and this can spoil the sound a little making it more metallic than it needs to be.  But saying that once you get into a good rhythm it doesn’t really notice.  I just needed to tell myself this was a beginner kit and bought to teach me techniques rather than appreciate really good sound.  Later when I’m good I’ll think about buying a more expensive kit.


The chair is okay, but might need a cushion after a while as it got a little uncomfortable.  It’s fine for shorter periods of practice though.  You also get 6 pairs of sticks and a stick bag which I wasn’t expecting so that was pretty cool.


Assembling the kit was pretty easy too and it was pretty obvious where everything needed to fit.  The Ddrum website also features a video on how to construct the kit.  I don’t think you can get a better drum kit of the price even if you were to buy a used kit.  The quality of the hardware and the drums themselves is good and whilst the cymbals might be a bit weak you’re simply not going to find a set of cymbals for this price.


Overall really really happy with this kit and I know it’s going to give me lots of great practicing time over the years. 


Whilst this is a review for the Marshall MG100HFX, I’d like to run through a little scenario that is becoming more and more common first.


You’ve gone to the trouble of buying a top of the range guitar. You’ve gone to the music shop and played it, before coming to Instrumania to compare guitar prices. You’ve ordered it, opened the box and strummed your first chord.


That’s the moment you realise, “this doesn’t sound like it did in the shop”. Now my friend, your top of the range guitar needs a sidekick in the shape of a quality electric guitar amplifier.


It goes without saying that Marshall make some of the best amplifiers around, solid state, combo or otherwise, so one option is the Marshall MG100HFX amplifier.


The Marshall MG100HFX amp comes with some great built in effects, which allow you to vary your sound across a wide range of genres. There is also a button which thickens the sound and replicates the same sound as a tube amp a perfect option for when you're playing loud.


The Marshall MG100HFX amplifier is incredibly versatile. You can play any type of music through this amp and still get a decent sound from it.


As for power, this cheap amplifier packs 100 watts of pure energy, giving it plenty of power, so if you ever are daring enough to turn it up to 10, you better hold on to something solid.


The amp’s clean setting can throw out anything from very calm smooth sound to a harsh rock and with the overdrive option you can really experiment and do pretty much anything.


So if you’re in the market for a new quality electric guitar amplifier, with a top of the range sound without the top of the range price tag to match, then look no further than the Marshall MG100HFX amplifier. You can compare musical instruments and amplifiers right here at Instrumania to ensure you are always getting the best deal.

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