Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Jim Laabs Music
Sound — 10
I play rock, punk, ska, swing and surf and this guitar fits well with all of those genres. The bridge pickup is the twangiest humbucker I've ever heard, while the neck pickup has a fantastic smooth sound without being muddy. There are quite a few sounds you can make with the tone controls, however it sounds best with the tone at 10. I doubt this guitar would go over well with a shredder or metalhead, however I can get some (not many) good shredding solo sounds from the bridge pickup. The biggest complaint many other Toronado owners have is that the pickups produce a lot of feedback, however that makes a lot of feedback tricks possible without having to stand 6 inches away from your amp, and you can eliminate the feedback entirely by turning your volume down a tiny bit on the guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar definitely matches what I play, from punk rhythms to Brian Setzer-style swing solos to ska upstrokes to EVH-style guitar licks to heavy-reverbed-extremely-fast-right-hand-picking surf leads. I have been playing for five years and the Toronado fits everything I do like a glove. I would have appreciated a single coil bridge pickup, however the humbucker does just fine. If it was stolen or lost I'd definitely buy another one, in fact I might just buy another one even if it wasn't stolen. I'd hold in in the same respects as a Highway 1 Strat (another guitar I think is awesome), and would love to see it advertised as one of Fender's front line guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would hopefully take a real beating, however I am not sure how time will affect it. I would definitely depend on it while gigging. Occasionally some strings will slip out of tune when I tune other ones, but this is a rare occurance and only happens when I do a LOT of changes to the tuning of a string (this never happens when I can tune quickly with an electronic tuner).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar is beautiful, with a Vintage look and loud colors. The action was a bit high for my tastes, however I was still able to play very well with its original setup. The pickups were very low, yet very sensitive (hence the twangy single-coil-esque tone). There were no other flaws with the guitar.
Features — 10
The Toronado I purchased was made in Mexico in 2003, Graffiti Yellow (my favorite color) with 22 frets. It has two Fender Atomic Humbuckers that sound incredible - I didn't buy it for the pickups, yet now I'd probably use Fender Atomics if I needed replacements on any of my other guitars. It was a string-thru body setup and the tuners are similar to (yet smaller than) a P Bass.