Price paid: $ 1100
Purchased from: guitarsandeffects.com
Features — 9
This is the guitar that should have stayed in Fender's lineup. It has the Nashville combination with three Fender Lace Sensors, 5-way switch, the center pickup is a strat pickup (from the factory) and you still have the traditional neck and bridge pickups. Standard modern tele controls. Mine is sunburst it's got a beautiful top and back. My only real complaint is that is it has the tummy cut, and for me a tele just isn't quite right to feel. 22 frets. The only thing I wish was different was if it had the three barrel bridge. I will be swapping it out.
Sound — 8
This guitar is used by both me for for blues, classic rock. Every once in a while I just go at it with leads, and it plays nice and fast. Comfortable neck. It's a very natural sparkle to it. The only thing I miss is not having the the neck and bridge pickup combination but with the center pickup you can get close enough. It goes mainly through my 1974x Marshall. And it is golden. Nice and fat while still having the tele twang. I will as an Orange Dual Terror with a Zendrive. It is very dynamic, the pots are very dynamic, it's nice you can just roll it off a little bit and clean it up, especially with the 1974x.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I cannot comment from the factory, but the way I have it setup now. .11's in Estd. The fit and finish is amazing. There is NO wear on this guitar, no fretwear, no scratches at all (I don't think the previous owned ever used it) everything from the tuners to the pots are obviously well made just by picking it up. This is top quality. Nice bookmatched top. The only thing that isn't perfect about this guitar is I like the old-school three barrel bridge I will be swapping it the 6 in a row aren't bad though.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Teles are one of the most durable guitars. One big chunk of wood bolted to another. what's fragile about that? Everything is solid and I can speak for it being a 1997 model and perfectly intact. I never gig without a backup, but if I wasn't like that I know this would guitar wold make it. Stays in tune for weeks going between the wall and being played frequently. I take good care of my gear, but I use it. I don't baby it. I will be putting strap locks on. I do on ALL keeper guitars. I use Schaller. I don't trust strap locks. The hardware is rock solid.
Overall Impression — 8
If you can get one scoop it up. There weren't a lot of them made, and they are stunning guitars. Have 22 electrics atm. I know a good guitar. This hold up to my standards or I would not buy it. I have everything for a JTM45 to a Mesa Tremoverb, a VHT to a Splawn. To an Orange to a 1974x, it works out great killer guitar. I have two other teles, one is a 2011 USA Std, and a 52AVRI, all three have a good use across the board. I have seven Gibsons a trio Prestige Ibanez guitars and this holds up. I love them all, but this isn't going anywhere any time soon.