Price paid: $ 69
Purchased from: Springfield Music, Springfield, Mo.
Sound — 8
This guitar allowed me to have sort of a P-90 factor. Quite by happy accident, one of the first effects I got for it ('72)was an Electro Harmonix Muff Fuzz - the tiny inline box (not the big muff pi - which I think of as a completely different effect) that when the pickups were set in middle, or neck, positions created a singing rounded tone that I've never quite matched with any other equipment. I played through an old tube '69 Ampeg B-25B (Ampeg's 55 watt version of the SVT, with the Standard 2 x 15" Eminence drivers). Believe it or not, I had to mike this rig through the PA in the mid '70's when in a band doing a good deal of Ted Nugent covers, as the rhythm guitarist played an LP goldtop through an Ampeg V4, and bass player was going thru an Acoustic folded horn system... Between the mic and PA I ran a Crybaby wah, which was weird but effective in giving me some additional volume and tone control. We're talking low-buck '70's situations here, folks!
Overall Impression — 9
While this guitar can be made very playable again, it cannot be reasonably restored back to "original". It was not original when I bought it 40 years ago. I have seen "concours condition" 270's that have whet my thoughts of buying, but I don't think I would necessarily do this as such a guitar would remain virtually unplayed by me and kept in the case as a collector... I believe these guitars require some modifications such as fret dressing, etc., to make them a true player's instrument. HOWEVER, I credit my 270 for having provided me such a buttery and "easy" action that allowed me the means and incentive to have been a very fast and "showboat" player back in the day, when things like that seemed to be a very important thing.
Reliability & Durability — 9
After sooo many years playing this as a main instrument, the pots, switches, and jack became literally worn out. While I babied those filed frets with the lightest strings, they too have seen better days. The neck is straight as an arrow, and remains a better neck (for me) than that of my very "nice player" Hamer Chaparral Sustainiac, Mexican Strat, and Epiphone Sheraton guitars. The finish is as nice as ever. However, any which way you look at it, it is very much a relic in it's current condition, and has been hanging on the rack for five years, still awaiting an electronics restoration. The ground wire, alone, has been replaced twice during it's life so far. And why wouldn't it? This thing has been through hell and back!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
All throughout jr. high and high school and way beyond it was my guitar of choice. A sort of poor boy's Strat that had more Fenderish feel than Gibson. A "perfect" neck for my particular hand structure. My friends wondered how I played the thing, it was like butter compared to the elephantine actions on their axes. I NEVER used anything more than 009's, and for several years actually used 008's; it was a bending machine for a very light touch. Within about ten years the original whammy Bridge turned into rusted, unadjustable trash - how could it not, after umpteen keggers, and years of practices in attic-like humidity. I had to make a profound decision at that point, and decided to bite the Bullet and tap out the body for a Schaller fine tune solid tailpiece, covering the resulting "whammy hole" with a black lucite cover. It was, none the less, a $69 guitar. It bastardized the poor thing, but made it much more player-friendly as far as a means of compensation for the relatively crude open tuners this guitar came with. Neither did it look too bad, either. Remember, these were the days before doing such things as radical as this were frowned upon.
Features — 7
I purchased this in 1971, 40 years ago when I was 12; it was 6 months old at the time. It is just like the previous pictures in this thread, a wonderful transparent red finish. However, I believe mine is one of the earlier 270's as it has a laminated (layered black/white/black) pickguard instead of the solid black, and did not have the "E" logo in the middle of the pickguard. It has the same pickups as those pictured. This guitar came modified by the previous owner who had it 6 months; the frets were filed heavily, but was done with care as far as fretting out correctly. In my very subjective opinion, it's what made this guitar so exceptionally fast and "playable" for my kid fingers at the time.