Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom
Pablotweaks, on january 23, 2013 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 280
Purchased from: Dawsons Music Store, Liverpool UK
Features: I bought this brand new. This is an Indonesian made, 21 fret model. It has a chunky modern "C" shaped one piece bolt on maple neck with 9.50 radius and a 25 1/2 inch scale length. This is finished in a Tobacco Sunburst. The body is Basswood. It has a string through design. It has a Fender Wide Range humbucker at the neck and a Duncan Designed single coil at the bridge controlled by a 3 way selector. It has 2 tone and 2 volume controls. The guitar comes with a set of small "kidney" style Vintage tuners, and 2 of those little tree things on the headstock to aid stability. // 3
Sound: Lets start with the bridge Duncan Designed single coil... This is the noisiest piece of rubbish I have ever used. I have tried 3 different noise gates, several different leads and I've even moved rooms in case it was my electricity supply that was to blame, but no. It's not even the buzz, there is a wind like effect every time you strum or pick in the background hissing away. Terrible, I have removed the scratch plate to see if it was a shielding problem, this guitar has NO shielding that I can see, really really bad! I shielded it and guess what? Nothing happened, still the same. The electronics are terrible on this guitar. Sorry Fender!
The neck pickup is a Fender Wide Range humbucker (this is not the same as the Vintage Wide Range! This is just a generic Humbucker with Fender engraved on it) This is just about adequate, but like most bog standard Humbuckers it's very muddy. This guitar is permanently set in the middle pickup selector position as this is the only usable one. With a bag load of effects you can get a reasonable sound out of it but that is all. You could upgrade the pups but there is a reason why this isn't worth it which I'll get to later...
You just simply can't rock out on this guitar because it simply won't give you the sound you want. I love the Rolling Stones and this is copy of the 72 Telecaster that Keith uses sometimes, I just wish it had half the tone of that. Very disappointed. // 3
Action, Fit & Finish: The action on the guitar was terrible, very very high. So high that it changed the note to out of tune when I fretted it! The pickups were way too high, and volume varied wildly form the neck to the bridge (this is due to the higher output of the bucker)but this is easily adjusted. The nut grooves are cut totally wrong, the low E is way to shallow so the string rides far too high. This will need to be fixed, and it's can be expensive if you can't do it yourself. It's like they just stuck any nut on to it? And put it down the production line.
Now to the worst part... I think that this guitar is impossible to set up. The Vintage style 3 saddle bridge is terrible, you cannot intonate the guitar because 2 strings share a saddle, this can be replaced, I have ordered a 6 saddle bridge and will attach that when it arrives.
The truss rod seems to do absolutely NOTHING! There is fret buzz everywhere that I cannot get rid of (I am very experienced at setting up guitars and own PRS, Fender Strats and Ibanez with Floyd Roses etc). The action can be either too low with loads of string buzz or miles high with quite a lot of string buzz, as I said before the neck relief seems to not move at all with truss rod adjustments. Oh and it NEVER stays in tune. The finish though is great, it really looks the part and I think this is what they want you to buy this guitar for. I really could not recommend this guitar. // 1
Reliability & Durability: I would use this in a live situation as I believe the electronics are truly suspect. The noise is just too much of an issue. The external hardware seems adequate. The electronics hasn't failed yet but I always feel like it might. The hardware is solid and definitely wont let ya down though. The finish seems OK and I can't see it showing any premature signs of wear. If I were to gig with this (laughs out loud while typing) I would take a backup and prey that this broke so I cold use the backup. I feel like I have wasted 280. // 2
Overall Impression: I play all kinds of music and teach guitar regularly so I have to keep up with my students! This guitar should be versatile with that pickup config to handle anything except metal. I have been playing, performing and settin up/maintaining guitars for 25 years. I run this guitar through a Marshall Haze 40, a Line 6 Spider iv, a Laney Pro Linebacker and a little 30w Bugera valve amp. I use a Boss ME50 multiFX and the built in effects on the amps as well as a load of stomp boxes of all types.
This guitar is a shame, with just a few improvements it would be great. If you buy a guitar and immediately want to change the bridge, the nut, the pickups and the neck then this is not a good instrument. The only redeeming factor is the look of it. The neck us super glossy and could be very fast it not for the numerous faults.
If I were anyone wanting a cheap Tele, I would go for the Fender Modern Player Telecaster. This guitar has all the improvements this one needs. I know the thing is only 280 but at this price bracket there are a hell of a lot of better guitars, this one is now just an expensive ornament on my guitar rack. I would even feel guilty selling this to someone!
Video from YouTube: