Price paid: $ 650
Sound — 10
My musical style ranges. I play alot of textures and atmospherics -- along the lines of post punk meets electronica (likes: radiohead, flaming lips, the notwist, the pixies, the doves, elliott smith, joy division, the cure, shudder to think). This guitar really captures how I always wanted my guitar to sound like -- bright (in the neck pick up), powerful and crunchy at times, and clean almost ambient at times. DEFINITELY NOT a metal head guitar. My rig: Telecaster Deluxe --> Boss TU2 --> cry baby wah --> Proco Rat --> Electro Harmonix Worm --> Boss RV3 --> Line 6 DL4 --> Fender Deluxe Amp. I went through a period of play through a massive stomp box rig, but after getting this guitar, I decided to phase out most of my pedals in favor of a more natural guitar sound. My present setup is definitely my most favorite. Tele Deluxe's are such expressive sounding guitars and they just soar over the rest of the instruments in the bands I have been playing with, without turning the volume all the way up. Really crystal and glassy when played clean through the neck pickup and crisp in the other settings.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for about 12 years and this guitar is my favorite out of the bunch. I started off playing hollowbodies and continued to do so for a long time until I finally picked up a tele and have been in love ever since. If this guitar were stolen I would immediately go on the search for another. At the same time, I got such an amazing deal on this guitar -- $650 shipped across the country. I have seen these guitars go for $1500 at shops and through ebay. Despite the guitar having been refinished, knock a few hundred dollars off, and (if I had the money) I would still pay $1300 for it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have had absolutely no problems with this guitar since I bought it... I would indeed gig without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar is nearly 30 years old, so the quality is there. There are so much complaints about the post CBS quality in fenders, and to be honest, the 70s Fenders have some really great quality despite being factory produced. My only complaint with my particular guitar was that it was refinished. The paint was stripped at one point. But aesthetically I still think it looks great. The tuners, bridge and pickup covers have survived wonderfully. But probably my favorite thing is the neck -- it is the most comfortable and fastest neck I have ever played, and I really can just sit there for hours playing it.
Features — 10
Mine is a 1977 Telecaster Deluxe USA. My Deluxe had been refinished at some point, most likely the original color was mocha. Now it is a medium dark natural wood. Most people look at this guitar and immediately think Stratocaster, that is until they see the Tele body. It's a good weight -- I used to have a 90s Telecaster Plus Deluxe (Lace sensors), but the thing was so freaking heavy, I just couldn't stand playing it for over an hour... I really love the look of Tele's always loved the Strat headstock.