Price paid: $ 512.4
Purchased from: A Good Friend
Sound — 9
Where to start! Well, being a guitarist who has been self taught for about a year and a half, now I can say that when I first picked up this guitar, the tone that I received from the hot Seymour Duncan on the neck, drove me to play and play this guitar in every spare minute for weeks, (much to the annoyance of my flatmates). I've been simply using it with a Standard Marshall 15w practice amp, and the tone received is immense, I can only begin to imagine how this baby will throw out some warm chunky blues tones through a valve amp with some effects. In comparison I must say I was slightly disappointed with the sound of the bridge pickup in comparison to the neck, although I don't tend to play rhythm that much so have never really needed a more chimey or bright song, which this gives out by the shed-load. All in all the variety of tones available are enough for most guitarists, and I particularly recommend the neck pick-up which surprisingly I rate more expressive tones than I was able to achieve from my friend's 87 Strat which I borrowed for a short while.
Overall Impression — 9
Importantly, by purchasing this guitar my playing went stratospheric (in comparison to where it was before with the old Epiphone Les Paul) and although in the future I will like to look at other tones that could be available to me, (maybe get hold of some p90s). I do see the Lite Ash Telecaster staying with me for a long time, or at-least until I feel I need to have american written across the headstock anyway. And for the price you can pick one of these babies up for these days, it's well worth a look, for even the most discering guitarists!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Owning this guitar second-hand I can vouch for it's durability, it may have been around for up to a decade, and there are only very very minor flaws with it, such as the aforementioned tuning ring. I feel that I wouldn't need a back up when gigging this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As I received this second-hand, (it was previously used for studio work)I'm unable to really comment on it's factory condition, however the way it can be set up allows for an awesome action, seeing my fingers flying up and down the frets has never been so easy. The one thing that can be said for it was that I found that very small issues with workmanship became apparent, like a small ring protect the wood from the strings at the back of the guitar cam out when I changed the strings, but was simply glued back in with no other issues.