Price paid: $ 615
Purchased from: BestBuy
Sound — 10
Suits my musical stylings perfectly, which is why I bought it. It rips blues apart, does punk extremely well, and if you roll off teh tone knob to almost nothing, you can get a fairly good metal tone out of it (not as good as my JEM, but that is a given). On the neck pickup, chords are just to die for. They are so smooth and clean, but still have that lingering tele twang in the background. This guitar literally gave me chills the first time I plugged it in, its that good. The pickups suprisingly aren't noisy at all, granted I am playing through a Peavey Vypyr 60, which has a built in noise gate. But yeah, the tone on this thing is to die for, which is the reason anyone gets a tele in the first place, its just got that aura to its sound that no other guitar can match.
Overall Impression — 10
I play blues, punk, hard rock, and metal..and this thing does all of them wonderfully, but as previously stated, I prefer my Ibanez JEM for metal (obviously). I've been playing for about 4 years, and also own my JEM, an Epiphone Les Paul Special II (ugh), a Fender CD-60 (great guitar for the money), and a no name classical guitar that was handed down to me. I play through a Peavey Vypyr 60 and occasionally my friends Carvin Legacy 100w with matching cab. If this was stolen or lost, I would most definitely get a new one, I prefer it to the American Standard as it is just a little bit hotter, but not so much it can't handle calmer music, it definitely still has that tele spank to it. I love everything about this guitar, when I picked it up I knew it was the one, everything just felt right. My favorite feature is definitely the neck pickup for chords, its the bee's knees. I kind of wish this guitar had the 5 way selector with parallel/series styling, but I am more than content with the guitar as is. Definitely try one out, you will not be dissapointed.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would have no problem using this life, in fact, I do frequently. The hardware seems fine, definitely not of the highest quality, but definitely reliable. I replaced the strap buttons for Ernie Ball locks, but that's only because I don't trust anything but locks on anything. I would definitely use this guitar without a backup, but I do not as we use multiple tunings throughout our shows. The finish is beautiful, and mine has shown know signs of chipping or falling off as others have said, but I am also very careful with my instruments. The finish is definitely thin, but that is the point on this guitar, it is MEANT to relic, so that cannot really be seen as a bad point on this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought it from bestbuy the guy set everything up for free, and did an immaculate job. Action is really low, but doesn't buzz at all. Intonation is perfect, pickups needed to be raised just a hair for my personal tastes. Only flaw in the guitar was a small scratch on the back that isnt even noticable as previously stated, but I got a good chunk of money off the price for it. Fretwork was perfect. The finish on this guitar is beautiful. Very matte, and the grain shows through very nicely. I look over to the other side of my bedroom and smile looking at how classy this thing looks.
Features — 9
Not sure what year this is, made in America. 22 jumbo frets, 9.5" fretboard radius, not nearly as chunky of a neck as been said, just fills the hand, feels very comfortable. Maple neck and fretboard, Alder body. Midnight wine nitro finish (beautiful). Was a small scratch in the finish when I bought it, bairly visible I had to search for a good 10 minutes to find it, but I got 10% off my purchase for it. 3 saddle bridge, 3 pickup selector... greasebucket circutry. Good tuners, really only have to fine tune every other day, if that depending on how hard I play it.