Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 9
When I am playing metal, this is one of my many go to guitars. It sustains fairly well and has a very deep bassy tone when droptuned (for me that is drop C#) I use it with my Splawn Nitro with KT88's, Splawn Pro Mod, Ampeg Lee Jackson, with no effects other than an occasionaly boost or reverb. The sound is very bassy and full and it is a quiet and exceptionally well insulated (electronically) guitar. I would say there isn't a ton of variety for this guitar, because only a single humbucker can get you so far. I will only use it on songs that have no solos, because I use the neck pickup for leads, and this doesn't have one.
Overall Impression — 10
This is one of the best new buys I have ever had. I think they sold around triple that price before they were clearanced out when I got mine. I play metal and blues, and this is a go to metal guitar for me, however, blues, not so much. I have Gibsons, and Strats for that. I would like to find an identical twin to this guitar, but they are few and far between, and people often try to get way too much money for them used.
Reliability & Durability — 5
This guitar has handled all sorts of use and abuse and will take plenty more. My only issue is that the black chrome eroded very quikly (within the first year) I like how it looks, but Fender said that was a common problem. So the Celtic loses a few points for that. The hardware is still solid and uncompromised. The strap buttons are still solid as ever, and they are positioned in a way where I do not feel does not necessitate straplocks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Despite being a Korean guitar, the action, fit, and finish is exceptional, I honestly do not remember how it came set up from the factory, because it is eight years old now and I have had so many guitars come and go since I have had it, how they arive in the box is jumbled.
Features — 8
I believe this guitar was made in 2003, and it wasn't a success for Fender at all, although it really should have been. It was made in Korea of excellent build quality. it is a 25.5" 24 fret set neck superstrat with a Standard Fender non tremolo bridge, and non branded tuners. I believe that the Celtic models were only available in silver with the Celtic inlay at the twelth fret. It is a single pickup single, volume knob, metal machine. The pickup that came in stock was a Fender Atomic 2, but has since had an EMG 81, EMG 85, a JB, and now and most likely perminantly a Gibson 490t. Rating is 8 due to the not so amazing stock pickup.