Electric-TL review by Gear4Music

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.8 Decent
  • Users' score: 3.9 (10 votes)
Gear4Music: Electric-TL
3

Price paid: £ 80

Purchased from: Gear4Music

Sound — 6
It sounds like a Telecaster. Now this may offend you. How can it possibly! Its so cheap! I look at it this way: It cost less than 10% of a Telecaster. Does it sound 10% Telecaster? No. It sounds at least 50% Telecaster. If you know your axes to the point you can identify types on sound alone, on hearing this beast you would instantly say its a Telecaster, perhaps not a fabulous one, but a Tele non the less. On the bridge pick-up it has a bright and trebbily quality with a cut through tone, with loads of low mids and a jangly melodic quality on the bridge. Volume and tone controls are responsive. Tone cut on the bridge gives it that 'ding dong' 50's melodic bell tone, Full tone at the bridge and it goes 'bum chicka bum chicka' a familiar rhythmical stabbing sound. Plenty of gain on the bridge and those low mids come out to play with a bluesy, muted sort of sound. Did I say this thing sounds like a Telecaster? :) I play through a variety of amps and effects, so to be fair to the instrument I'm describing what it sounds like 'dry' through a 100 watt all tube head of my own design and a Marshall 2X12 cab. Its a fairly clean head with lots of high mids, a bit like a Vox but it boosts its bottom and goes a bit orange-ish on the button. Anyway, the guitar. As I said, It sounds like a Telecaster. Not a good one by any means. But It was 80! That makes me laugh. Man this thing was cheap! ridiculously cheap! and for a copy Tele it sounds O.K. Not great. But for 80, 'O.K' is a flipping bargain!

Overall Impression — 6
I play all sorts of different genres in different bands and at some gigs I don't want to take my 1000+ guitars. So I'm collecting 'Sounds like a..' guitars. For this purpose it is spot on. A very, very cheap guitar with a reasonable sound and play-abilty. At this price it is a delight of an instrument.

Reliability & Durability — 6
Telecaster type guitars are mighty simple. There really isn't that much to go wrong. The hardware on this cheapo seems pretty sound and everything is screwed down properly. The solder joints are done properly and nothing looks like its going to combust/fly off or fail in the near future. Time will tell with this ridiculously cheap instrument but due to the price paid, it would have to fail pretty spectacularly to upset me. I doubt it will. It will be gigged where the sound is required and doubtless laughed at, but I'll just remind them: 'Dude,..80! and listen to it! Who's laughing now!

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This one was the showroom demo. That's a deliberate trick I've come up with in regards to Gear4music. Normally you go into a guitar shop and if you buy one, it will be the one you tried right? Not with Gear4' on their budget lines. They might just send you to the warehouse with a ticket and they will get you one from stock. Gear4Music sell most of their stuff through internet orders. You should never buy a guitar sight and sound unknown, not even one that's so cheap. The last guitar I bought from them was not the one I played in the showroom and it wasn't set up properly at all. This time I deliberately requested the demo model I had in my hand. It is in their interests to make sure this is a good one that's set up properly. I could see that someone had been at those frets. Familiar dressing marks, not something you see on a brand new Asian guitar of such low cost. I even made them give me a discount because it was 'ex-demo'. They payed ME to set it up properly. He he . .suckers ;) So the action was spot on and it is a reasonably set up guitar. It does have its flaws, of course! its so cheap. The nut isn't great, it doesn't fit 'right' and one pot is faster than the other. The tape around the bridge pick-up isn't very neat and there was a big blob of wax protruding out (at least it means its potted!). You could perhaps pick little insignificant faults all day with it, as you could with many guitars. My answer would always be: "It cost 80!" For that, it is really rather good! It looks good. Its fair quality. The finish on the body is very good. For the price its astonishing! The neck and fretboard are neat and tidy and fit well. Heck Just to lacquer a bare wood Tele body to this standard I would ask for more then the price of this whole guitar! They know what they are doing these Koreans/Chinese you know. and my God its cheap!

Features — 5
Well I've done it again. Purchased a very inexpensive guitar from Gear4Music because I liked it. These beasts are so cheap they are almost disposable! But ya know what? They ain't bad at all! This time I came out of their York showroom with no less than 3 examples of industrious Asian luthierism. All three for less than 250! ($400 USD at the time of writing, my American Friends ). So. This one is obviously a Telecaster copy/replica/fake? :p Lets have a butchers, as we say. Here's the spec lifted from Gear4Music's website as usual: Features/Specifications: Body: * Body: Solid Alder * Pickguard: 3-ply Black * Finish: Natural Alder Neck: * Neck: Maple * Scale: 648mm / 22 frets * Neck Joint: Bolt-on * Fingerboard: Maple Pickups & Hardware: * Machine Heads: Chrome die-cast * Pickups: 1 x single coil 1 x T-style * Controls: 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone * Pickup selector: 3-way ........................................................... Came with a free gig bag, strap and a short lead.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    algordo83
    He he. Thanks for for the feedback guys. I was in a good mood when I wrote the review and I didn't feel like being horrid about the thing. You easily could be I suppose but there is no point when talking about such inexpensive instruments. I tried to base the review on it's merits, rather than its flaws. You expect them at this level. But as I said, It plays and it looks good so It is just fine for what it is B.T.W, mine is a natural finish, not a black one. The body is 2 lumps of alder spliced together and reasonably skillfully lacquered (Likely sprayed on a line with poly). earthisearthis: Yea, the 'ST' Gear4Music strat is a poor guitar by any standard. Even the demos are poo. Vabolo: My head is built on the bare inner metal chassis of a Peavey Windsor. The boards are gone, its all hard wired now to a very different configuration which incorporates nearly all different components. The ruby power tubes are still used but the pre amp and phase tubes are different. I used most of the peavey's pots but they ain't wired the same and used the transformer. Then peavey was just a cheap way of getting a load of components and a chassis for the build. Its in its own box now that I built which has a mesh front so you can see it glow.
    Banjocal
    You bang on about the price a bit, but at least it's not all 8's or 9's. Good review, and the ratings are much more down to earth.
    morbidtom
    Good, solid review. Nice to see an accurate one that doesn't polarise the ratings into all 10's/0's
    Xelested
    Nice, joyful and down to earth. The guitar may not be good but the review is.
    Davy755
    It would look a lot more convincing if the bridge was string thru! A nice review though.
    earthisearthis
    A mate of mine bought a G4M guitar to learn with. Strat copy - 60, including an amp and accessories! Obviously the woods were ridiculously poor, and it sounded awful, and it was even bad to play, let alone listen to. But you can't help repeat the price in your head and laugh. Over and over. (although, it sounds like they've stepped up the quality recently.) Awesome review.
    redshift21
    I picked one up (Strat) for 15 second hand, but I didn't buy it for the guitar but for the gig bag that came with it and was still in the plastic, I got bored and upgraded the guitar with some spares I had about the place and now it plays nice, not great but nice all the same, it's my beater guitar.
    MT_Obsidian
    Why can't more reviews be written this way? It's so frank and honest about everything! And kinda funny too!
    Vabolo
    I'd be very interested in learning more about your homemade tube head, just out of curiosity.
    rv_phoenix
    algordo83 wrote: He he. Thanks for for the feedback guys. I was in a good mood when I wrote the review and I didn't feel like being horrid about the thing. You easily could be I suppose but there is no point when talking about such inexpensive instruments. I tried to base the review on it's merits, rather than its flaws. You expect them at this level. But as I said, It plays and it looks good so It is just fine for what it is B.T.W, mine is a natural finish, not a black one. The body is 2 lumps of alder spliced together and reasonably skillfully lacquered (Likely sprayed on a line with poly). earthisearthis: Yea, the 'ST' Gear4Music strat is a poor guitar by any standard. Even the demos are poo. Vabolo: My head is built on the bare inner metal chassis of a Peavey Windsor. The boards are gone, its all hard wired now to a very different configuration which incorporates nearly all different components. The ruby power tubes are still used but the pre amp and phase tubes are different. I used most of the peavey's pots but they ain't wired the same and used the transformer. Then peavey was just a cheap way of getting a load of components and a chassis for the build. Its in its own box now that I built which has a mesh front so you can see it glow.
    Hello, Al, I would have been very suprised if you weren't here, with your weird habit of giving a chance to just about any Far-East made guitar. Your reviews are great, why don't you write about the real guitars you hide in your secret vault, too?