Price paid: $ 900
Purchased from: Zaks Electronics
Sound — 9
I bought this guitar to get some great rhythmn sounds in the style of The Smiths, Graham Coxon, The Killers etc, typical indie/alternative rock music. This Telecaster is perfect for this music and sounds wonderful. I am running it through a Laney MXD65 amp and using the amps inbuilt effects (great chorus) and also a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver pedal and also a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor pedal. The pickups hum a fair bit (as noticed by another reviewer for the Lite Ash Special Edition Tele) but I can live with it. Great for a clean bright sound and distortion can be added to beef things up a bit.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar makes me smile not only when I look at it (its gorgeous)but also when I play it, as it sounds fantastic. It suits my style of rock, blues, alternative and I imagine it would be perfect for anything other than metal. As a rhythmn guitar for my style this would be hard to beat. I also own a Yamaha AES820 which I also love and is which is perfect for heavier rock stuff. If it was nicked or lost I would want another one, and at these prices that would be achievable. The only thing I don't like is that when soloing my pick hits the pickguard as there is less gap between the strings and the guitar body compared to my Yamaha, but this is a personal thing and I would not want to end this review on a sour note. The Koa Telecaster is great. Well done Fender.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I would imagine that this guitar would withstand live playing, although it would not be my style to jump around like Billie Joe or swing the thing around my head. Everything seems solid enough although only time will tell. I would not gig with this alone, as that would be foolish, plus I would always have another guitar ready for heavier, lead stuff.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar came set up perfectly for me, apart from the 9 gauge strings which I immediately changed for a set of 10's. No adjustment was required after making this change. No fret buzz or anything. The finish is excellent and the hardware all perfect. No complaints at all.
Features — 9
The Special Edition Koa Telecaster guitar marks the first time that Fender has used exotic and highly sought-after koa wood outside our Custom Shop models. The instrument features a koa veneer atop a basswood body with a Light burst rosewood finish, modern C-shaped birds-eye maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro pickups, vintage-style bridge with three brass saddles, and pearl pickguard and dot inlays.