Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Croatian distributor
Sound — 10
My guitar stile: easy-picking clear tones of brit-pop, and heavy riffs of Audislave. For the latter I suggest wider set of strings (from .10 or .11). I am using this almost exclusively with virtual amps (VSTs): JCM900 and Twin emulators, Native Instruments Plexi and FreeAmpSE, and a set of emulated stompboxes (SD1, TS1, PS1). I also seldom use the Zoom GFX 707 effects unit. This guitar sounds really convincing. Sustain is amazing, this is a heavy, well balanced guitar. A little more muscle and roundness than a Standard Telecaster, but very tone-aware, even when rocking with heavy distorsion. Neck pickup is softer, more bluesy, while bridge pickup rips it like nobodys business. Tone control actually works making a subtle difference in cleaner settings. I was afraid I wouldn't get enough groan without the humbuckers, but belive me, it's there. I'm not tuning it to D or lower anyway, so I couldn't get that kind of sub-roar. My computer set-up enables me to control the noise level quite well, but generaly the noise never gets in my way. I'm very satisfied with the sound of this guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I am a singer-songwriter and a sporadic guitar player. I play it for 15 years but never as a dedicated player. I previously owned a custom made soapbar Stratocaster copy, and a basic acoustic guitar. I compose using PC and program most of the stuff, except the guitar. I was quite unimpressed with this guitar when I got in the shop, mainly because of cherryburst colour and pearl pickguard. But, Telecaster fan as I was, I plugged it in and was stunned. After that it didn't matter that they didn't have it in another colour. I didn't wan't to miss this one, even if it was twice the price of some Ibanezes I was checking out. I only wish I had bigger hands/fingers, since the standard Fender-sized neck makes some grips very hard for me. But Morello made that 'jazzy' hold popular again, so. This guitar really got to me, and I'm playing a lot more than before, the sound and the overall feeling forces me to. I would buy it again, OK, maybe in more "alternative" colours. It's a Tele with a unique character, and I love it!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think it will last me a long, long time. It is only used in a studio, for now, and after 3 months I cannot complain much. It holds a tune, Switch works well, nobs are in place, and are mostly smooth, (volume knob does sometimes make a click in a very high amped settings). The finish looks like it could outlast ME (I'm 33). Strap buttons look sturdy and rigid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up well, just a little fuzzing on 5th and 6th string, but some of it due to the fact that I am not that cleana player. Finish is flawless. No comparison with most Ibanez guitars I saw in the shop. Wood seems to be of the top quality. Hardware IS crome. The jack-in slot seems to get unscrewed quite easily (after two weeks use). Other than that, this is built like a tank.
Features — 9
Made 2004 in Korea. Telecaster re-worked in G&L style. It's heavy. 22 frets 9" neck with jumbo frets, ash body in cherryburst finish, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Pearl pickguard. Bridge: G&L designed Saddle Lock with nickel plated die-cast saddles. Pickups: 2 large rectangluar Fullerton-made G&L Magnetic Field Design high output single coil pickups. Two knobs, and a 3-way lever for pickups. Usually comes with a gig-bag, but here in Croatia it wasn't so. I just got the tuning kit. Not that disturbing, but it makes the price almost double the one in the American stores.