This is my first review on Amazon. Before I get into it, let me say that I play Rock Band once a week and have been doing so for several years. I felt compelled to write this because I wanted to make sure others would have the information I wish I had before making this purchase. I have used many video game guitars over the past few years, beginning with Guitar Hero 1 for the PS2. When I bought RB2, I got a guitar bundled with it at Game Stop. This was a wireless Rock Band guitar with the tan neck and no automatic sync. The fret buttons were noticeably louder than my friends RB2-branded guitar with the dark brown neck. Over the course of a few months, my guitar's yellow button became difficult to press down until it became unplayable. I went online and found how to fix it but once I got the button off, I found that any fix would only be a temporary one. I went on here to find a new, more superior guitar controller.
My friend's RB2 guitar works pretty well as long as you don't use the lower/smaller fret buttons. I came on here and found the RB3-branded guitar and read a few reviews. It seemed that it was the same guitar as RB2 but just re-branded.
The first thing I noticed with this new guitar was that the fret buttons were quiet and worked well. The strum bar is typical of a RB-branded controller. That's about it for the good things. I found that Overdrive is deployed with even the slightest movement of the guitar. This made some of the RB3 in-game challenges quite difficult because you need to hold your overdrive until the meter is full to complete some of them. Also, using an XBOX 360 wired headset with this guitar is nearly impossible. I have 3 separate headsets and each one had the same issues. Poor sound quality, distorted, high-pitched noises on the other end, and loss of audio communications altogether. My headsets work fine with standard wired and wireless controllers.
As of now, the only RB guitar controller that I can recommend to anyone is the MAD CATZ Bass replica controller for RB2. It has the best fret buttons by far. It has absolutely no tendency to deploy over drive unless you really want to use it. It has knobs instead of a typical whammy bar, which eliminates any chance of hitting the start, back, and XBOX guide buttons accidentally. The only downside to that guitar is that the batteries need to be yanked once in a while because it will freeze.
To sum it up:
Works fairly well as a guitar controller (except overdrive)
Quiet, accurate fret buttons
Overdrive deploys with slightest movement
Wired Xbox headset unusable with this controller