Price paid: C$ 495
Purchased from: Keen Kraft Music
Sound — 10
I like classic rock and rock blues and this baby fits me and the style of music I like to play. I can plug it into any amp and it's great. But a Marshall is where it really sings. It works well on blues and rock. I don't do country anymore but it has that ability. All of my son's friends that play and try it always play old Zep to see if it cuts it and they usually just stop because it's right in there. That Page sound is there and they never played anything that had it before. It is a very versatile instrument. Covers so many styles of music.
Overall Impression — 10
I don't think it would matter what style of music you play, this instrument will fit and it won't let you down. I have been playing for about 40 years mostly just for fun. I have owned 2 S.G. Gibson's which I really didn't care for and I own a '74 Les Paul Pro. It's way too heavy on the strap. Great sound, easy to play but way too heavy. If I were ever to lose this guitar I would seek out another one. I have tried the remakes and they are pretty close. The only thing I don't like about this guitar is the muddy Humbucker. Maybe I will swap it out one day. As Frank Zappa said "if you play a guitar and it talks to you buy it" That's what I did, and it was long before I read Zappa's book. My advice to anyone too. Keep going back to the store and try the guitar many times. Let the excitement wear off before you buy.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is great to play live. It is light and comfortable in the strap. As usual with a Tele (as said by Andy Summers) the harder you hammer it the better it sounds. A great rock guitar! After 36 years it still holds up on stage. Never a doubt about using this guitar. The finish is showing some signs of wear but it is 36 years old. The wear showed up pretty early from after I bought it. Polymer based finish is not as hard a lacquer but it has not cracked. Good thing considering it gets cold in Canada in the winter. Cold car, warm hall and all.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up perfect when I got it and I have not adjusted or had it adjusted for any action issues. My bridge pickup fell out once, and I don't really know why. I re-assembled it and set up both pickups as per Fender specs from their site. It's been fine since (6 years). Because it has been used at gigs and some drunken practices one of the keys on the tuning pegs has been bent. A little rough tuning that one but really a non issue. The pickup switch tends to drop back to both pickups. I must have bumped too hard once.
Features — 9
I have a 1976 Tele Custom, black, rosewood neck, neck humbucker, unchanged hardware. I don't know lot's about guitars but this one talked to me when I tried it out so I bought it. Came with a hard case. It was used, actually the kid that bought it couldn't keep up the payments so he returned it. It is my favorite electric guitar I own. I have and have had other guitars that I have lent to friends for extended periods of time, "including my Les Paul" but this baby comes home with me when ever I go out with it. Killer action, easy to palm mute. I can get ear splitting treble out of it. Great sound with both pickups hummer turned down one number lower than the bridge. I find the Humbucker a bit muddy. It's the only thing I don't like about the guitar. Front strap post screw stripped out of the wood. Not impressed. Better workmanship over all from my '74 Les Paul. I have dropped this instrument, my basement flooded and the case had water in it, I have moved clear across Canada twice and it's as solid as a rock. Intonation with standard 3 piece bridge is perfect. I think I got a good one!