Tele Semi-Hollow review by Cozart

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Cozart: Tele Semi-Hollow

Price paid: $ 135

Purchased from:

Features — 10
Cozart semi-hollow Tele style with flamed yellowed top and a light brownish body and top binding. Tele setup but for no pickguard (neck pup in the body and no control plate... controls through the top plywood veneer). A 2nd rate guitar all over, but don't jump to conclusions! There is a place for neatly made and workable cheap guitars for 1) guys who are broke 2) guys who want to tinker and practice upgrade skills 3) guys who tweak and adjust and the flip an attractive guitar locally for a profit.

Solid chromed bridge; top loader for strings and chromed knobs and jack plate and strap buttons are the old conical ones and are adequate. 3-way switch works with no noise and no crackling. 1 volume and 1 tone. Cheap tuners are good enough and I loosen the screw of each knob lightly to get a bit of light oil for smoothness. Came is a black Cozart cordura bag with 2 straps and a cheap guitar cable. go look at the price again! I rate it "10" because the value is so high to the cost.

Sound — 8
"8" is my rating since the pickups and capacitor are likely cheapies. But go and look at the cost again... You don't get Fralin or even GFS caliber pickups in very affordable guitars. I can really test a Tele because I play into a silverface '73 Princeton Reverb with Celestion speaker. My rig is ultra-clean and pure... any shortcoming of the guitar is revealed. The pickups are a bit thin, but you can set tone and volume to minimize that and adjust the amp or even go through pedals (most guys have soe pedal type). The guitar is NOT noisy, so that is nice. It's a bright, clear, and clean Tele sound that is too thin and good enough for most players. A good amp will make up for a lot of mediocre guitar (and this one is strictly average). Repeat: go look at the cost.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Rated "9" here, which is a surprise. No finish flaws and the neck pocket was clean. The F cuts in the top need an emery board to remove burrs, which takes maybe 30 seconds and the same for the nut front corners. The frets need to be polished and the fret ends are almost OK. I took the 3-corner file and smoothed all of them and it takes maybe 5 minutes. See? Raise the saddles until the Allen screws just sink below the saddle top and then check the action at fret 12 (fret top to string bottom about 1/16" is good). Shim the neck pocket rear 1/3 if needed (likely a single piece of trimmed business card). Tighten all the hex nuts on the tuners. Tuners are decent but ordinary.

The nut is pretty well cut and the fretboard is neat (frets, wood) and at a budget price, quite usable. I smoothed the neck and rear headstock with 800 grit paper lightly and followed w. 2 light poly semi-gloss wiped on. That is about all that is needed to dress it up and make it stay clean. Rosewood fretboard can use a light wipe of "F-One" fretboard oil.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think a semi-hollow Tele style with a pluywood top and likely back is going to be sturdy. This is not a shabby guitar. It is cheap to buy and uses 2nd rate hardware. But go back an look at the cost delivered again... see where this is going ? I see and hear nothing to suggest a failure or real problem coming. Strap buttons are snug and good enough. The chrome is not top notch (G&L Tribute and better is top notch), but is neat and shiny. Tuners are positive and smooth working, so that is nice.

Overall Impression — 9
"9" is my rating for a VERY inexpensive, well finished and built guitar from Asia and sold through Mississippi. Remember: a fellow in the South is making income with these and some fellows want a semi-hollow Tele with NO PICKGUARD and no control plate and that looks cool and can be adjusted to be a decent axe. And this is it! At $135 to my door, I have a well shot body and headstock and adequate pickups for a budget class guitar. It can be set up and lightly tweaked by any hobbyist to be a cool guitar that caneasily be sold for $150 cash in the fabric case. You cannot lose! So, to me it is a good example of "good enough." Every guitar under $150 is going to be used or a second rate guitar (or both). That is an opportunity to learn tweaking skills and have a cool looking open-mic-night Tele to attract women... and there is value is that!

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The semi-hollow Strat type for under $100 delivered is plenty good. Decent pickups, but needs better tuners and adjustment. If you can set up a guitar, you can have a pretty nice guitar for under $150. Add a tone for the bridge pup by a jumper from the bridge connection to the neck pickup tone control (neck and bridge are never on together).
    ...there is another simple mod that uses a push/pull pot on the volume control to demand 'on' the neck pickup, which means : all 3 pickups 'on' using switch position 2 and neck+bridge pickups 'on' at position 1. Same thing can be done with a Strat to get that bridge+neck pickup sound, which can be a nice one. And the guitar becomes easier to sell !