Price paid: $ 375
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
I bought the guitar mainly for the Jaguar pickups myself. Great for getting some straight up Indie rock. I also bought it with the intention of trying out some shoegaze, which it does well. The clean sound is definately Jaguar. People say you can listen to "Under The Bridge" by RCHP to get a good idea. I like the way each individual note sounds out. Listen to "Ode to Street Hassle" by Spacemen 3. Distorted, it performs about as well as my old tele. I'm know it is different, but I can't describe what exactly it is. I play through a Vox AD50VT and a USA Big Muff Pi.
Overall Impression — 9
I am actually pretty happy I got the guitar. It was much cheaper than a CIJ or American Jaguar, which was my alternative. I had just gotten bored with my tele, sad as it may be. Teles are great, but they don't have a distinct enough voice for me personally. I think the Cyclone II has that interesting sound that not as many artists use. The pickup switching is probobly my favorite feature about it. I don't know many other 3 pickup guitars where you can play just the neck and bridge together. Makes it very easy to fine tune the sound. I don't think this guitar is entirely easy to find, but it's the kind of thing that warrants a good search, I think.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I replaced the strap buttons with locking ones so I don't have to worry about dropping it. It seems about as solid as any other mexican Fender. Which would be decently solid, by my accounts. I would and have gigged without a backup. And I have had no problems doing so.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I can't say as to the factory quality of the guitar, since I got it secondhand off of ebay. And it was slightly poor when I first received it. It seemed like it was in a really damp basement for a long time. Many of the parts were dirty and slightly rusty. But I spiffed it up, adjusted all I could, and polished the fretboard and frets with lemon oil. Now it plays quite well. One gripe is that strings aren't perfectly spaced in my view. It isn't something I can't work around easily, but I noticed it at least.
Features — 8
This guitar is like the mutt of the Fenders, features from a bunch. It has a short scale neck a la jazzmaster or Jaguar, switching system similar to Jaguar (you can individually switch each pickup on and off), 3 american Jaguar pickups, and a Stratocaster whammy bar. All together, it works out well, I think. The downside is that some components, at least on mine, are a little poor quality. I definately want to upgrade to locking tuners as the current ones detune a little every time I whammy.