Price paid: $ 425
Purchased from: Sweetwater
Features — 10
I bought this in 2012, you know all of the features but mine has the rosewood neck and the silver finish. I immediately took it to my guitar guy and he put Fender locking tuners, replaced the nut with a bone nut, replaced the saddles with brushed Deluxe Fender saddles, replaced the knobs with traditional Fender knobs, and had him flip the control panel back around to a standard layout. HOWEVER, he had to route out a little bit of the wood for this to work as this body is not a traditional Tele body, the cut out needs a little bit of modification. However, the for what you get, and the quality of the guitar... (AND I READ THE GRIPING ABOUT THE 10/10 COMMENTS) but this guitar gets a 10 for its price range.
Sound — 8
I play a lot of different types of music as my tastes change a lot. It's not a noisy guitar, the pickups aren't crazy hot and you can easily back the volume down to get a nice clean sound as the pickups are very dynamic. The pickups are a bit muddy and I will be replacing them, which is the ONLY reason I'm bumping it down to an 8. Again, this is a $425 guitar. Do you really think they'd have pickups in them that cost as much as the guitar! I don't think this is fair, so I'm only bumping it to an 8, which is a A- in my book!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I have a very similar American Telecaster HH that's from the mid 2000's. This MIM Tele is a much nicer neck. The curve of the neck is awesome, the roll onto the fretboard is just right, and the fretwork didn't need any adjustment, which is amazing for a MIM guitar. The action was a little high, so I did have it lowered when I had it set up, but it's perfect now. Very nice. FOR THE PRICE, this is a 10/10. Even for a $800 guitar, this would be a 10/10. Around the $1200-$1600, it would fall to an 8. And that says a LOT. Also, I love this Tele because of the shape of the body, it has the curve like a Strat. All Tele's should have this!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I did not like the tuners, and I don't like plastic nuts. I would not trust either. Other than that, it would be a great guitar to buy as is and to play with, as long as you have a backup. However, this is where they saved their money, and again, this is a $425 guitar! As for the finish, this is that plastic-type dipped crap so of course it's going to last, it's just not going to wear like a polyurethane painted guitar. There weren't any bubble marks, but there is a drip streak across the back that you can barely see. Again, $425 guitar!
Overall Impression — 10
This is an awesome guitar, I like it better than my $1200 American Telecaster HH with very similar setup. If it was stolen, I'd definitely buy another. I have about $800 into it with the cost of the guitar and the options, but it's worth it and it's exactly how I like it. The ONLY thing that I wish was different is the tone of the wood in the headstock and back of neck. It's got that lighter wood color that does kind of look cheap, and doesn't look like a lot of traditional standard Tele's. This is a dead giveaway as to it being a lesser than American Made guitar. But other than that, I love this thing.