So, I was contacted recently regarding reviewing this guitar, the Glarry GTL Semi-Hollow T-Style and I chose Transparent Wine Red. Glarry sells it direct for $119.99 and that includes free shipping.
The spec is:
So, the first thing I want to get out of the way is this: I spent 6 years working in musical instrument retail for two fairly high-volume retailers and the rarity of a guitar being set up well out of the box is astounding, so I'm always frustrated when reviews knock brand new guitars for not being perfectly set up out of the box. You're shipping a stick made out of a few pieces of wood in a cardboard box on boats, trains, plains, and trucks. I've unboxed and displayed thousands of guitars, ranging in price from $100 to $5000, myself. Most of them needed at least a minor tweak if not a full-blown setup.
This guitar was no exception, so I gave it a setup. It got new strings (D'Addario EXL120), a trussrod tweak, intonation, action adjusted, some steel wool love to the frets, and some oil for the fretboard. I also found the finish on the back of the neck felt a touch rough, so I barely touched it with some steel wool giving it the perfect satin finish. I popped off the pickguard and control plate and found that the cavities were routed much cleaner than some much more expensive guitars that I've taken apart.
My first impressions upon opening the box were that it was a nice looking guitar. While it's clearly a T-style guitar the pickguard reminds me of the G&L ASATs and is a nice looking piece of pearloid plastic. The body is basswood and has some interesting grain going on. Sure, it's not symmetrical and is clearly a few pieces of wood but it's not jarringly mismatched. With it being a thinline the the back and sides are one part with the top being a thinner piece glued on. The finish is mostly nice but there were a couple spots where it was a touch rough, but nothing you'd really notice unless you're really looking everything over looking for it.
The neck isn't a baseball bat but is chunkier than some. The fretwork is actually pretty decent considering how low I got the action. My fretboard radius gauge has a tiny gap on the 16" side but rocks on the 20" side, so I think it's something metric closer to the 16" end of things. It's flatter than I'm used to (the flattest fretboard I have in my collection is my Peavey Wolfgang Special at 15") but it's not uncomfortable and didn't really take any time to get used to. As far as the fretboard itself, the spec says it's rosewood but... The grain is different than what I'm used to. It's tighter. Once I oiled it up it felt quite nice and, whatever species it may actually be, it looks good and feels nice. The edges aren't rolled, but that's not a feature I expect to see until we get into higher price ranges.
When I plugged it into my modified Jet City Amelia (the amp used for the demo track below) and my Keeley D&M Drive (the Dan side was used in parts of the demo) I found that the neck pickup (a full-sized, covered humbucker) was surprisingly low output and mellow, but not in a bad way. Of the two pickups, I actually found it to be more usable.
The bridge pickup was surprisingly higher output even after playing with pickup heights (maybe not actual output mV wise, but definitely to my ear) and what I would call brash and spiky. That kind of comes with the territory of budget, steel-pole/ceramic magnet single coils, though. Throwing on the Dan side of the D&M Drive tamed some of the spikiness and made it usable but it wasn't the same Gilmour-esque sweetness (he did once have a double-bound Tele Custom with a neck humbucker) played clean as the neck pickup.
On the hardware end of things everything is quite serviceable and any issues I have there are really down to my own personal preferences and quirks. The bridge is sort of like Fender's '70s six-saddle ashtray but with brass saddles like the G&L iteration. A lot of people like that style bridge but I find that the saddles shift when I hit the strings hard and I tend to do that often. That's the exact reason why I replaced the factory bridge on my '96 Fender Tex Mex Telecaster with a three-saddle ashtray. Also, I just don't like dome-top knobs. That's all me, though, and there's really nothing wrong with them. They're actually made of metal and manufactured to push onto knurled pots, so they're quality pieces.
Let's get to the crux of the matter here, though. This is a budget guitar on the low end of the pricing spectrum for just about any brand.
If you're looking at this guitar as a beginner, get a proper setup done on it and you've got a killer guitar to learn on. It'll grow with you and as you become more experienced you could move onto my next point. We're living in a golden age of guitars where $120 actually gets you something nice and absolutely none of the "complaints" I listed above don't also apply to guitars for more than double the price.
If you're a couple decades in like me, this guitar isn't a bad mod platform. I've definitely seen much more expensive guitars described as such. The bones are good, with a nice neck and a good unplugged tone. All the parts are standard stuff, so you can swap whatever you want in and make the guitar yours.
Besides (obviously) the guitar itself, the below demo was recorded with:
Keeley D&M Drive (Dan side) for the distorted portions
TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb (set to plate)
Jet City Amelia (Epic blackface clean channel mod, Epic loop mod, Epic three-channel footswitch mod)
Two Notes Torpedo Captor
Behringer UMC404HD interface
GGD Studio Cabs Zilla with the settings in the screen cap below
GGD Modern & Massive Drums (Dry'n'Natural kit) with ReaXComp multiband compression
iZotope DDLY Dynamic Delay and everything below 120Hz shelved on the guitar bus
Sterling by EBBM SUB Ray 4 with a Seymour Duncan SMB-4A into ReaComp into Line6 PodFarm Rock Classic
Full disclosure: Glarry provided this guitar to me for review purposes.