Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Guitar Center, Nashua NH
Sound — 10
When I first picked up this guitar, I fell in love with the sound. I was hesitant at first because of only one tone knob, but I learned that was all that was necessary! The Seymour Duncan SP-90's are nothing short of amazing when it comes to tone. Playing around with the toggle Switch and the tone knob, you can get almost any sound you want out of this guitar; I've made it sound like (and in some cases better) than a Les Paul and I have set it up to sound like a Stratocaster or Telecaster. I cannot praise the flexibility of these pickups enough. I found there to be no feedback and no buzz on the loudest volumes through a 120watt Spyder Line 6 amp from the semi-hollow body. It also suits the kind of music I play; I'm fairly eccletic and play all sorts, (jazz, rock, blues, metal, punk) and this guitar can handle it all. It has a very rich, warm tone, when played clean, and could easily almost pass for an acoustic; When you crank the distortion, this baby screams. Simply amazing. I played it through a variety of amps at Guitar Center, (Fender, Crate, Marshall, and Behringer), and the only one I didnt like was Marshall, but that may only be because I didn't get to experiment with the effect setting enough.
Overall Impression — 10
I play alot of punk, classic rock, blues, and jazz, and this guitar handles them all superbly. I don't know what I'd do without this guitar; If it were stolen or lost, I would immediately go and buy another one if I could. My favorite part about this guitar would definetly have to be the Pickups; I would like to experiment with them on other guitars and I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a change for a humbucker-style guitar. The only thing better than the sound of this guitar was the price I found it for; given a choice between a Les Paul or a Stratocaster (unless they were Vintage 15years+) I would choose this guitar over and over again. My only wish for this guitar would be medium frets, as opposed to medium-jumbo. It's a stretch for my fingers sometimes in the lower frets, but it makes the higher ones more easily and cleanly accesable.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As for playing Gig's, this guitar can easily handle it. The hardware is very durable, and very stable. If you don't like the preconfigured action on the guitar, it is easily changed through the adjustomatic bridge. The strap buttons are completely solid; I've owned this guitar for almost 6 months now and they havent budged; it is the quite of quality I'd expect from Fender. The strap buttons can be easily switched to locking if you are paranoid about your strap, however I opted to go without with no problems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar used through Guitar Center, as I said, so they did the set up job. It had D'Addario 9's when I first played it, and the action was perfect; I switched the strings to Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky's after I broke a string. Pickups (as I said before) were/are amazing. No complaints for the first setup. Even after being used, all the controls/wiring/hardware were properly attached and saudered. My only problem with the guitar is that the input screw loosens occasionally, but it happens rather infrequently, and I just tighten it. I may swap the input completely to fix this problem, but this was the only flaw I could find.
Features — 8
This guitar was new for 2004, American made, and it has Telecaster style body, with a double-cut body, as opposed to single. It has 22 medium-jumbo frets (I would have preffered medium frets, but that is my only complaint for features), and all are easily accesable. The body is a semi-hollow ash, and the neck is set maple with a rosewood fingerboard. It has an adjusto-matic bridge with an anchored tailpiece (much like a Les Paul), and Fender tuners/machine heads. This guitar has one volume control, one tone control, and a toggle Switch. All the hardware (controls, switched, bridge, tuners, etc) is smoked chrome, and it has Abalone dot inlays on the fingerboard. It has two Seymour Duncan SP-90-1NRWRP pickups; a Vintage P90 in the neck position, and a 3B Custom SP-90 in the bridge position. I picked up this guitar used, but in mint condition; the previous owner had traded it in for a Stratocaster, because he complained that the semi-hollow body had given him feedback on louder volumes.