Sound — 9
I had never tried a Telecaster prior to the day I bought one, but the main types of music I play are Indie, alternative and bits of classic rock here and there. and by judging what my favourite bands were, most of them used telecasters or used telecasters at some point. needless to say it sounds brilliant for me, besides the occasional times I play metal, but besides metal, it is a very versatile guitar, and on stage I only find the need to change guitars for alternative tuning songs, never for the need of a different sounding guitar. I'm using it through a Laney RB-3, because I'm primarily a bassist, but I'm paying also with a big muff pi, Boss DS-1, Holy Grail, Q-tron and more recently a bass big muff pi (Yes, I'm an ehx fan:P), this guitar sounds brilliant, perhaps a bit noisy if the tone is too high on the muff, but the pickups are probably the worst feature of this guitar, and I shall change them when I get money.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a perfect match for me, I have been playing guitar for about 2 years, but bass for 5, and I finally got round to upgrading from my hss Squier Strat, and it was worth it. If it were stolen or lost, I would possible save up for a highway 1 or american Standard, just for the better pickups and bridge etc, but hey, I'll get round to upgrading them eventually. My favourite feature of the tele's is the gorgeous twang you get from the bridge pickup, and it's masses of tonal variety. In the shop, I also played a Standard mim Stratocaster, and Epiphone les paul, I just prefer the telecasters sound and looks, and the les paul felt very strange... only thing I wish it had was better Standard pickups, they are a must to upgrade if you get a mim Fender. I don't regret buying it, and if you ply Indie, telecasters are the ones to get, and they sound brilliant in all genres, besides metal, don't get me wrong it can do it ok, but there are a lot better choices for metal. I'm not going to tell you to buy one, as it is all opinion, but I will suggest trying one, as they are a great value for money.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I replaced the strap buttons to straplocks after about 20 mins of playing, it's just a Standard for me, I just don't feel safe otherwise, although the ones on it did feel ok, I still recommend changing them, as it's really never wise to play without straplocks, especially on stage, to avoid embarresment. However, even if it did crash to the floor, I'm sure it would be ok, mine certainly has it's fair share of dings and scratches, but I'm really not careful with my gear, but I wouldn't be stupid enough to do anything that could damage it more than aesthetically. I've gigged with it before, as I mentioned, and it was fine, nothing went wrong with it. Very durable and reliable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
It was set up ok, there was some severe action problems and fret buzz, but the guy in the shop said it had been in for about 10 weeks before I had bought it, so there was probably people fiddling with it. There was no flaws that weren't easily fixed, and now it plays great.
Features — 8
2008 mexican Standard Telecaster, 21 frets, maple neck & ffretboard. Alder body. arctic white finish with white pickguard. Standard tele bridge, tuners, pickups and the lot. came with a Standard gig bag, two allan keys (one for action, one for truss rod), and a nice litte cloth to clean the guitar. Suppose it's fairly Standard, and I wouldn't really expect any more from it.