Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: Canada DIY/ Squier Custom neck eBay
Sound — 7
After 50 years of playing and collecting guitars, I decided on this DIY project. I play rock, blues, jazz, some bluegrass and all points in between. I have a nice collection of guitars Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Epiphone, Martin but, none with a maple fretboard (all rosewood.) I wanted that 'wood' type sound you get from a maple Fender neck and boy did I get it! I use a 65 Fender Vibrolux, a Vox 30 AC and, rarely a Peavey w/5 inch speaker. Never been into a lot of effects but, I do use a phase/flange by DigiTech, Danelectro echo, Dunlop wah. This Squier DIY makes absolutely zero hum as I incased shielding in all cavities. The guitar gets a 'classic' Fender maple neck sound; great harmonics with pinch picking; and tapping is better on this guitar than any of my others. The Tele Squier DIY is limited to certain genre such as Stones, ZZ Top, Buddy Guy. Not very useful on Eagles (back to the Gibsons), Chuck Berry etc.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good match for certain types-genre I play (my wife would have me sleeping with my guitars if brought another guitar home) i.e. Stones, ZZ Top etc. After 50 years (40 married) there is a limit to how much musical equipment one can amass. Fender, Vox, Peavey amps; Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Epiphone, Martin guitars. If this Tele Style DIY were stolen I would feel badly due to the emotional bond involved (father-son). I can almost see an actual Fender Telecaster in my future (basement couch here I come). I looked at other DIY guitars (Carvin has a very nice albeit expensive DIY). Researched numerous websites and YouTube. This was best for my budget. A Bigsby vibrato bar might be nice but, not certain the basswood body and Squier neck could take the tension. Great project for father and son and a good learning experience regarding how guitars are made.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I will use this guitar as an occassional back up or, more likely, when recording. Pickups will be replaced. I installed the strap buttons and placed 'lockers' on the two buttons. The guitar feels solid without any 'sway' or give in the neck. I shall replace the volume and tone knobs as time goes on and money permits. A different colored pick gaurd is also in order (this one is white and seems to scratch easily.) As mentioned previously a re-lacquering is down the road, but, this is a "project" for father and son.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
As a DIY the cavities/cutouts were well done Tele style. The neck had to be replaced w/actual Tele Style Squier Custom neck. Once the neck was attached (minimal redrill of 4 holes for size not alignment) the guitar required minor bridge adjustment... No truss rod adjustment needed. I lacquered the body with clearcoat X3 but, will probably re-lacquer to get a hi-gloss look. Soldering was required and I had to repeat that task twice due to hurrying the project. Again a great project for father and child.
Features — 7
Made in 2013 and finished as a DIY project. Body made in Canada and bought almost new Tele Style Squier Custom Neck on eBay. The neck was made in Indonesia. The body is Canadian basswood which is not of high quality but, it is a DIY project useful for someone such as myself (played for 50 years) or a father son/daughter duo project. Needed a different neck so I chose the Squier Custom Tele Style w/22 medium frets on a maple neck w/maple fretboard. The neck is a hi-gloss satin type finish very well done, which, allows fast smooth hand finger movement. One of the nicer necks I have played. Bridge is Tele style w/3 saddles. One volume and tone w/3 way position switch. Since this is a DIY project the pickups are off label (I intend to replace the pickups), however, the Tele style 'vintage' pickup configuration gets terrific harmonics (Billy Gibbons here I come) but lack volume. The tuners are enclosed Fender style w/2 spring trees. No case with purchase but fits nicely in my Gibson SG Standard Gator case.