Purchased from: eBay new
Features: Rating this a "9" because of the value. A well finished and fitted Tele with pretty good hardware, good pickups, well shot in a nice blackburst scheme and no pickguard with flamed maple cap is seldom seen. An $100 delivered, new in a decent gig bag.
Cozart Tele in ash body, maple cap and no pickguard. Color is much like a "Blackburst" (no reddish middle color).Possibly made in Viwet Nam and shipped through MS, USA. Neck is maple on maple with medium jumbo frets. Gloss body appears to be poly and neck is completely unfinished.
Bridge is nicely chromed with 3 saddles, but each is well chromed smooth and has 2 grooves each. 2 passive pickups are pretty good... no; they are not Fralins but are getting close to Wilkinson or GFS caliber. 3-way switch needs a smaller tip. Tuners are Kluson style and are remarkabley smooth and precise. A bit stiff, but a toothpick and very light oil (like Kroil) can be very lightly applied to help. // 9
Sound: Rated "9" since it is a standard Tele and does most of what we need as delivered, if set up. A Telecaster and LP are two of the most versatile and stable guitars. And this one is about the best inexpensive one I have seen. Used Squiers are not cheap to buy and this is an alternative to a Squier Standard. I think it is a lot more guitar than an Affinity line Squier. I found that the pickups are both good (into my '73 Princeton Reverb with Celestion 10" speaker upgrade) and an ultra-clean Fender amp will reveal a Tele or Strat tone quickly. A 4-way switch and probably a good .047 capacitor on the tone pot will be easy and effective upgrades. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Rated "8" because an offshore and VERY inexpensive Tele can only be viewed as a starting platform to guys who can play But it is playable as received. Nut slots, neck relief, and pickup adjustment should be done. I like .009-.046 D'Addario (the slightly lighter trebles makes easier playing and is more "airy" than .010-.046 regular light). Fret ends need just a light touch of a fret end (3 side) file and shine the frets with a shield and very fine abrasive paper. All the chrome was clean and nice and the body finish was unusually well done (cosmetically and color choice). No pickguard for a guy who can play is nice and it means the neck pickup is loaded direct to the body with springs around the 2 screws. I brought the neck treble side up closer and dropped the bass side a bit for balance. Bridge pickup is good, but I tilt the front down a bit to "scoop it" and reduce some piercing midrange. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Rated "9" since it is a very solid feeling and a bit heavy Tele. I do not consider that a problem, but it is heavier than an alder or basswood body. And there is no 'tummy cut' on the rear top edge. It's a solid guitar with a substantial neck profile. Nothing about it is "skinny," if you get the drift. Finish is quite nice and looks very good; on stage it will draw attention since no one else will have one! I use a broomstraw and carpenter's yellow glue to dampen each hole a screw goes in and replace screws the next day. The wood needs to be reinforced for the strap buttons, no matter what... and this guitar is fairly heavy for a Tele. // 9
Overall Impression: Easy to rate "9" because it is so remarkably easy to buy ($100 to my door!) and is well made and finished with pretty good hardware and "good enough" pickups. I have played GFS, Kent Armstrongs, Fralins, Duncans, DiMarzios and you will not get the good stuff in an offshore budget guitar. But a Tele that is well made and has good 'ring' in its sustain and easily adjustable pickups and capacitor and switch can be improved a lot for cheap! The neck will be raw wood, so be aware of that. I gently went over it with 800 grit paper, wiped it off, very lightly wiped it with a damp paper towel and then overnight let it set to raise the grain. Next day very light sand again and wipe with a Tee-shirt and then a coat of poly sealer. Very light paper in 800 grit again when dry and then 2 coats of gloss poly wiped on with a small soft rag or very small brush. Let it dry overnight between coats to be sure. It is not hard to do and a guy who can paint furniture or a house/windows can do it. And when guitar sales guys at Sam Ash are stunned at what I got for $100 delivered, you know they are not just being polite.
We laughed long ago at Japan guitar, then later we laughed at Korean and then Indonesian makes. And then Epiphones and Gibsons and even Fenders got too expensive every year and not better. There is a place for well-made and very cheap guitars for a DIY guy. And Cozart fills the bill for me after 25 years of having most stuff on the market and keeping the nice Ibanez electrics and Takamine acoustics and Breedlove or Taylor A/E guitars. // 9