TE-3 review by Custom Guitar Workshop

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 5.7 (15 votes)
Custom Guitar Workshop: TE-3

Price paid: A$ 260

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
I Love the sound. The pickups are clean and crisp, not as much depth to the tone as my Duncan Seymour's but pleasant to the ear just the same. I play on a Vox Pathfinder amp. Very bright sounding. Strings that are fitted are ok but guitar now has a greater tone and sustain since I put on D'Addario strings. Almost no buzzing; I would say there's no buzzing but if you hit a note on a bit of an angle or not close enough to the fret you get a buzz... Other guitars I've played are more forgiving. The neck pickup has that squawky, "ice pick in the ear" tele twang. Also its semi hollow, which makes it fun to play when not plugged in!

Overall Impression — 9
On the tele I tend to ply blues. I'm now learning chicken picking. If this guitar was stolen I would buy another, perhaps a TE-2. It's strange but I have an immense satisfaction in this guitar, mainly because I bought it at the price I did and received a quality guitar. I'd like to compare it to a squire tele, see which is better.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I've played this guitar several times at church now and no problems. The body is made of basswood so it will probably get dented over time. Since its an unfinished maple neck it gets dirty quickly. Its relatively light; easy to transport.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar was actually setup! Good intonation and ready to play out of the box:)I keep it in a case and it stays in tune. I like the action, not as low as a shredder guitar but not high enough to be annoying. On closer inspection the finish isn't a 10. The paint job around the f hole is a bit messy and the scratch plate is slightly bowing from the electronics pushing on it from underneath. Some of the Phillips head screws on the scratch plate look like they were attacked rather than just screwed in. The screws on the bridge cut up your palm if you do some sweeping; need to be sanded probably. Good quality unfinished maple neck, with a bit of thickness to it.

Features — 8
I lifted this info from Life music's eBay listing: RRP $590 by Custom Guitar Workshop Body: Semi hollow american basswood Neck: bolt on Hard Maple Fingerboard: Maple Inlays: MM Black Pearl Dot Bridge: Vintage Finish: blue/black Machines: Kluson Pickups: GW TC pickups Controls: Single Volume Single Tone, 3 way selector switch. Scale: 25 1/2"

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    And what's wrong with 1 pickup guitars. Van Halen used one and so did many guitarists in the 80s. I rarely need my neck pickup and I could cope without it. You just get more variety with 2 pickups. But if your style is hard rock, you only need a bridge pickup (and IMO the guitar looks cooler with only one pickup).
    Ketchil52 is basicly right, but, IMHO (and based on quite a long experience, which included a stage in a repair shop and modding a few axes as well), there is one thing wrong about this axe from the very beginning. It's the Basswood. A semi-hollowbody in Basswood? Where do you get the resonance, then? Basswood is tender and easy to carve. It has some depth and a very short, muddy resonance. The reasons it is so much used in guitars nowadays have nothing to do with music: 1) it's a constantly mediocre wood, so you don't run the risk of having really bad guitars (vital for Far East mass production), and 2) it's cheap. The review is quite elusive about these aspects. I've also laughed at the comparison between this axe's pickups and Seymour Duncans. A pair of SDs probably cost as much as this guitar in its entirety!
    Basswood is a tremendous tone wood with incredible midrange detail. It is cheap and easy to work with too. Leo Fender chose Ash and Alder in the '50s because it was cheap and available. Nothing wrong with bass at all. Jeff Beck's number 1 Strat has a Japanese basswood body. Tonewood debates and tonewood purity are for people stuck behind their computers. I'm interested in playing music.