Pre-schoolers, stoned students and superfan Liam Gallagher might be the obvious demographic for this new pack, but dig beneath the goofy graphics and you’ll find a grown-up doublecut based on the E6, and a BB Blaster with two channels.
Respect to Encore for pricing it at a pocket-money £159, but would you seriously choose this over the Squier? Encore has always been a safe pair of hands with an entry-level guitar, and this doublecut is one of the better Strat-o-likes out there, albeit with cheap timbers, a neck that might be too chunky for young players and less pickup versatility than some of the ‘mixand- match’ contenders.
Run it through the amp and you’ll get a decent clean voice, twist the gain for a useful fat-bottomed 70s roar, but go too loud or filthy and the 10-watt Blaster starts coughing and spluttering like Slash after a heavy night on the Marlboros.
Nice axe, and we suspect that running it through a better amp would make it sing, but that’d be breaking the starter pack rules, innit?