Price paid: C$ 1200
Purchased from: Avenue Guitars
Sound — 10
I play everything from Blues, R&B, funk, rock and grunge to classic rock and sometimes things like techno inspired alt-rock a la NiN. It suits all of these styles and would do metal if I played it. I am running it through a Modded Boss DS-1 and a Biyang OD-7 into a Boss GT-8 into an Orange Tiny Terror. Straight into the TT it sounds great going from clean to Overdrive but it really shines when I've got it set up with a nice pre-amp and a smooth OD and reverb on the GT-8. I also use the GT-8 for crazy Muse-esque sound effects (like the stutter in Map of the Problematique) and it all sounds fantastic. If it ever sounds bad, it's because of the settings I'm using not the guitar. It only ever gets noisy If I'm cranking it with say fuzz or lots of FX going on, but I must say these are the quietest single coils I've ever heard. When I first got it I let my guitar tutor at Uni play it and straight away his jaw dropped and said "man this is a nice guitar" He ended up playing it for about ten minutes after the lesson and kept staring at it during saying "man that's a nice guitar". Everyone Who's seen it or heard me play it has commented on what a gem it is. All in all, floored through a decent tube amp, this thing sounds like a million bucks. It even sounded great going straight into the clean channel of my crappy Crate solid state amp.
Overall Impression — 10
This matches my styles of music perfectly especially blues and funk and rock. I have been playing 8-9 years and I also have a custom made POS Strat with a fat-ass neck, an Epiphone LP100, a Crate GT212, Boss GT-8 distortion pedals and a Tiny Terror. If it were stolen I would definitely use the insurance to get another, although I wouldn't be able to get one exactly like it, especially since the black ones don't come with the same color pick-guards anymore. I love the look, sound, playability and all-round awesomeness of the guitar. I only hate that it's previous owner Who was a collector and had it on display it's whole life put the pickups back badly and I'll need to get this fixed. My favourite features are the cream binding and noiseless pickups which make it look and sound like a million bucks. I compared it to an American Standard Telecaster and a Highway 1 Telecaster, which are both good guitars but none of them had that amazing quality guitar feel to them. When you pick up this guitar you can feel it's greatness before you even play it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've gigged this thing a few times, and always get comments on it. It's Ultra reliable, I have gigged without a backup but I usually have backups anyway for alternate tunings and humbucker guitars etc. The hardware is solid and should last forever. It came with strap-locks on so I'm not sure the Standard strap buttons were like, I'd imagine Fender Standard. The finish will last but this is the ind of guitar you keep forever so I'd imagine in 10 or so years the finish may wear a little bit, which is cool, I like a weathered look. I've heard stories of people throwing Telecasters down stairs and aside from a few bumps, they looked the same and stayed in tune! Needless to say I'm not gonna be throwing this down any stairs in a hurry but you know you can depend on the first mass-produced electric guitar in history when it comes to durability, considering Keith Richards is still playing the first Teles he ever bought
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was setup by the lads at Avenue guitars and the action is amazing, super low but absolutely no fret-buzz, plays like a dream. Hardware and construction-wise this things perfect, it's basically the top line of Telecaster you can get unless you go custom-shop so needless to say everything is perfect except for the pickup issue I mentioned which is not the factory fault. The finish and binding are perfect and I cringe whenever I bump this baby into anything or when I dinged the side a wee bit on a chair. The only tiny thing was the master volume is a wee bit loose but not at all affecting the guitar it just moves around a little bit. For a 7 year old guitar, it seems like it's Brand New, most people can't tell the difference.
Features — 9
This thing is a glorious beast! Made in 2001 in USA. 22 medium jumbo frets with a beautifully smooth and fast C-shape maple neck with rosewood fretboard. A solid alder body finished in a rich almost shiny black color. Comes with modern double pin Fender saddles which are supposed to be really easy to adjust intonation, I haven't had to yet. Passive electronics this axe comes with two Samarium Cobalt Noiseless single coils. They sound great and unless you really crank the gain or have a lot in your signal path they really are noiseless, no hum at all. A master volume master tone knob work wonders for rolling off overdrive to clean sounds without losing too much volume, and rolling off the high end when using the bridge pickup If it is too trebly and a Standard 3 way Telecaster Switch. Fender/Schaller deluxe tuners and all chrome hardware. Comes with a molded case, owners booklet, and a cloth for getting rid of the dust and grime. Also has nice tortoiseshell binding on the top of the guitar which looks really sexy. I only rated a nine because my bridge pickup is slightly weak and lacks bass compared to the neck but this is because it was second hand and the previous owner took it apart and apparently rewired the pickups badly I just haven't got round to taking it in for a check up yet. I really should this babe is the best guitar I have ever played. Note: this is an older 2001 model so it does not have the S-1 switching feature the newer models have.