Sound — 9
This guitar is a tone machine, and will suit for rock, blues, R&B, and jazz. I have a Marshall MOSFET 100 half Stack, and a 60 Watt Crate combo w/ a 12" speaker. I use a DigiTech GNX3 with these amps on the clean channel. The Baja's sound is different because of the S1 switching system and Custom Shop '69 pickups, especially, the neck pickup. The blade switch has 4 positions, w/ positions 4 & 2 which are a combination of both pickups, and S1 switching these pu in and out of phase. In position 4 the pu are in series, parallel in position 2. There is also a more output in position 4, a kind of thin humbucker sound. Position 3 is the bridge pu only and it is a beast. It is the reason the guitar is above average. Position 1 is the Broadcaster pu. This pu can get the glass-like tone a tele is famous for. But with the position 2 and the S1 Switch engaged, I get a Strat bell tone sound. In position 3, I get a richer tone that I thought would not be possible with a single-coil. In position 1 there is a slight hum, but nothing that can't be handled.
Overall Impression — 10
I play blues, gospel, jazz, R&B, gospel, and Christian. I like this guitar because it doesn't feedback and you can play loud clear passages. The overall tone isn't overly bright. My favorite feature is the S-1 switch, which makes this guitar a tone generator. This switch allows for 6 different tones. It has a fatter tone than a Stratocaster, but less of fat tone in comparison to the Gibson. I would buy another in an instant if it got stolen.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will outlive me, and I play the guitar live in many venues, church and coffee houses, w/o a problem. The finish is polyurethane, and will last. The hardware is great. I hate changing strings during playing, so I always have a backup, either my Gibson ES-347 or my Strat Ultra. The strap buttons are Vintage type, but securely anchor the weighty guitar; the Gibson is really a heavy guitar compared to the Baja, and has straplocks. I bought a case for the Baja, cause I hate gig bags.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I paid for the Fender dealer to setup the guitar. I love the barrel style bridge because I like the arched arrangement of the strings. The guitar is a blonde ash body with a perfect translucent glossy appearance. The chrome Ping/Fender tuners add a retro look to the guitar, and stay in tune. The V-shaped maple neck is no problem to get around. The Black pickguard is single ply and came with a single nick on it; the guard is not flush(factory defects).
Features — 10
With their years of building experience, our Custom Shop craftsmen created a "dream list" of specs, and this customized '50s-style Telecaster guitardesigned by Master Builder Chris Fleminghas it all! Special features include a soft V-shaped neck, custom pickups with four-way switching, knurled chrome knobs and "Custom Shop Designed" neckplate.