Price paid: $ 399
Sound — 10
I play almsot strictly originals, sort of a mix between Bruce Hornsby (without the piano) and Tom Petty (without the whine). I use it with all V and T knobs full, on the neck pick-up only; I have never used the bridge pickup. I run it through a ART SGX2000 Express Pre-Amp, through a ADA B200S Stereo BiPolar Amp that drives two separate enclosed cabs each containing a single 12' JBL SRO speaker.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for nearly 40 years. I have owned 9 electrics, 8 acoustics and 5 pedal steels, and this is far and away the most sturdy and reliable instrument of them all, hands down. Perhaps this guitar chose me, because I chose it strictly on impluse, simply for looks and the ultra-affordable price--a snap-decision without even playing the guitar (!!) which is something I have never done before or since. Consequently, it has turned out to be the best musical investment I have ever made. I have owned guitars costing three and four times as much that can't hold a candle to it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar has spent years by the Pacific and years in the high desert and has shown no problems of any sort. Indeed, I can depend on it like a faithful dog. For both live performances and home studio recording, it is the only electric guitar I've used for the past fifteen years. (I have a very fine Guild acoutstic/electric but rarely use it.)
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar was taken from the showroom floor and immediately plugged in and played. Whatever adjustments and set-up they did at the factory was right on. It is an absolute tank. The gold plated hardware on the knobs and bridgeplate has seen better days, and after 15 years I suppose new frets are finally in order, but the thing is just a pure workhorse dream and has never let me down once. The action is perfect. I have never had the intonation adjusted, it has never been worked on by any luthier, and it NEVER goes out of tune. It's almost spooky in that sense.
Features — 10
I believe this is either a 1990 or '91 Generation, SN#04149689, but it may have been made as early as '89 if the last two digits of the serial number are any indication. I bought it new in the showroom in Santa Cruz, CA. It is Tele-style 6-string with mahogany neck, deep mahogany tigerwood finish with gold hardware. Neck pickup is single-coil, bridge pick-up is twin coil, both are covered in black plastic. It is a very solid and quite heavy instrument. I can't say the guitar has tons of features, but for what I want it to do, it is perfect.