Price paid: $ 900
Purchased from: Amazon
Sound — 10
I play rock'n'roll, blues and songwriting stuff so this guitar is perfect. I use single units. Jim Dunlop GCB 95 Wah Wah, Boss Blues Driver, Tech 21 boost RVB, MXR/CAE line driver, Voodoo Lab Tremolo, Roger Mayer Voodoo Blues. But rarely all of these together. Maybe 2-3 pedals max at a time though a Roland Blues Cube 60 amp. The guitar sounds best without any pedals. But with pedals on its awesome too. The Drive kicks the noise from pickups a little bit, nothing devastating though. The neck pick up is nice and buttery warm and the Bridge pickup snarls like a good Telecaster should. The middle position is pretty cool too for those muddy waters type of sounds with slide. You can get nice tones if you fool around with the tone pot, the range is MASSIVE. Normally I don't care that much though the possibility is there if you want.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a great match for me and the style I play - rock'n'roll, blues and stuff like that. I had a Les Paul (which is my real love) but this one is a close second. Infact, now I love both equally! I have played for 11 years in 2 bands. Writing/composing/jamming /singing/playing solo after solo. I have an ES-339 Gibson which is a pretty insane guitar too, but this Tele is now my main guitar. I would get this guitar again though I really wish it has a rosewood fingerboard option! It's definitely much better than the highway series telecasters and in my opinion better than some of the Fender Standard Telecaster models I tried out before getting this. Just to Drive home the point... I REALLY WISH IT HAD A ROSEWOOD FINGERBOARD OPTION!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is my 2nd Tele, (first one was a MIM) nothing happens to these made-for-war guitars, besides a beaten Tele looks way cooler than a shiny new one. The brass saddles are changing colour with oxidization but it looks cool and dosent affect the guitar. I think I can depend on it though its wiser to always have a back up guitar (my Gibson ES-339 is always there) poly urethane finish is slightly depressing to hear. I wish it was nitro-cellulose but in aint. The body changed colour since I got it, its become yellower, which I like! (very little sunlight needed for that).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was perfect when I got it. No need to do anything. The big problem was it came with these wimpy 9's and I immediately got rid of them. With 10's this guitar sounds great. Everything was in place. Intonation is great. Couldn't see any flaws really and was pretty happy about that! I gave it 9 and not 10 cos I had to change the strings immediately. These should come with 10's.
Features — 9
American made guitar. 22 frets fat neck. C type maple. Jumbo frets. Wouldn't mind if the neck was a little thinner but its not that big a problem. Alder body - don't know what its specialty is... But its not bad sounding at all. Poly urethane finish-sounds a little crappy but is not bad looking. Has a nice traditional type Bridge saddle. I've had no problems so far, supposedly they are supposed to be difficult customers. Its been with me around 8 months with regular to heavy use. Nice Bridge pickup sounds, fat-twangy and ballsy. The middle position is a little on the thinner side though no complains. The neck pickup I think is a little softer than the bridge. You can lift the pickup to solve that problem if needed. The tuners are great. Strings stay in tune for a long time. THE CASE IS SUPER UGLY! Very cheap but I don't really care about a case.