Price paid: $ 530.7
Purchased from: www.Imuso.co.uk
Sound — 7
Right, the pickups. You get what you pay for really. A low-end Fender, you don't expect USA Standard hardware. If you're rich enough, just go for a Highway One or a USA strat/tele. It's decent for rock and blues, clean is OK, just have to mess with the settings to get a nice tone as it's too bright. Noisy as anything! Bloody 'ell. Never heard anything like it on a 300 quid ($600) guitar. Not happy, will change them in the future. If you're patient, you can get a good array of sounds out of this.
Overall Impression — 8
I like to play a lot of stuff from Metal to Acoustic, and seeing as I don't own a proper acoustic (I own a Semi and a cheap-ass classical.) this fits it just fine. Metal is a bit weak and is noisy as f--k (pickup buzz, not metal in general). I've been playing for around 3-4 years, and this suits me fine. I've always wanted a Fender, and when I look at it and think 'That's MY Fender.', I smile and stare in bemusement at the fact I own a Fender (I own two so I'm a happy guy). If it was stolen/lost, I think I'd save for a Highway One Tele. I'm a mega Fender fan and I love Tele's, so I don't think I'd be happy without it. Even if it does sound a bit bad, I still love it, the shape, the history, the wonderful playing experience, it's all there. Especially the huge reputation it has gained over it's 50 year lifespan. We love you, Fender! Heh, and to think I was gonna choose a cheap-ass BC Rich Warlock over this, I'm mad. The cheap BC's are shit. I'm happy chappie.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It has withstood Live playing, I was happy with it. I may change the bridge to a 50's style one, and get some nice new pickups for it. Bottom strap button came loose within a month. I'd happily gig with it again, as the wiring is set-up second to none. Well done on that aspect, Fender. I'm hoping to keep this Fender for the rest of my life, even if it isn't up to Standard, but that's easily fixed. Have a lovely relic that's got my character. Lovely aged Wine Red, can't wait till I'm sitting in a rocking chair, aged 70 playing some lovely tunes on MY Fender. Will need a refret in about a year's time I think, I've had it two years now and they're wearing down fast. And that'll cost a lot if I want the maple fretboard refinished. Simply speaking, this guitar could survive the Hiroshima bombing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was a little too high for me (I like my action very low as I'm really picky =]). The pickups were fine, they just sound bad. All fitted very well, except the nut has a bit of overhang. All set-up well, except I had to lower the action, only to find fretbuzz! So I sent it to a luthier friend of mine and he sorted it. So now it's all good. Plays well. Noisy pickup selector, clicks really loudly. Weak-ass finish, it chipped through my padded softcase! Also scratches really easily. So it should age nicely.
Features — 6
Ladels and Gennermen, I present to you the Fender Standard Telecaster. Made in 2004, I got it Brand New at a fairly decent price. It's Mexican, which does put a lot of people off, including me after getting this and trying out some other Mexican stuff. I recommend sticking to your American and Japanese stuff. 21 frets, 22 please Fender! Quite a nice neck though! Nice and slim in every aspect, small frets (which I love) set on a maple neck (which ages and relics nicely). Solid Alder covered in Midnight Wine, which is lovely in a nice bright light. Just your regular Tele, nothing changed over 50odd years. So just your normal volume, tone and 3 way Switch. Two single coils, I'll talk about them later. Very good tuners, never want to go out of tune! Only when you slam it to the floor, I found that out at a gig. No case or anything included. Only the tags that say it's a real Fender.