Price paid: £ 130
Purchased from: Local Shop
Sound — 9
What can I say? It sounds like a real Tele! I was thoroughly pleased with the tone of the instrument. The simplicity of this guitar is it's selling point and is also the reason I love Telecasters - full on tone control. A bit of bite on the bridge pickup nice and clean contrasts with the neck pickup with a little Drive from the amp are two of my favourite sounds. It goes without saying that too much Drive will kill all your instruments tone and make a horrid fuzz but in moderation, a little overdrive could work in the Shines favour. I play it through a Hiwatt Piggyback. A very versatile guitar in terms of tone.
Overall Impression — 7
It looks like a Tele, it sounds like a Tele but it just doesn't feel like a Tele. Tuned to open D, G and E, this Telecaster copy comes to life. For 130 quid - this is the best guitar I have played - I get a good sound and a pretty little thing and is all round the nicest Tele I've played in the 100-150 price range. A Fender would outdo this axe in terms of class but for this price what do you expect? A great second or third guitar and outstanding value for money. Almost as good as the real thing in terms of tone and look.
Reliability & Durability — 2
The chrome hardware (the machine heads in particular) is of very average quality and although it does the job, it isn't the kind of hardware I'd bet on lasting. The tuners are very insensitive and can take some real twisting. One second they're stiff, then the next they turn loosely. I would seriously suggest you change them should you buy this guitar as they also struggle to hold pitch. I have also encountered a few problems with the top saddle as I keep having to adjust my action after almost every use. If I could afford a backup right now, I would take one to the gig.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
After a quick action tweak, the factory settings seemed fine although the colour faded over a period of time (as expected) but still annoying all the same! A few problems with the hardware made me fall out with this guitar for a while but I soon took a good look and have made a few adjustments.
Features — 5
Korean made, this guitar features a hard maple fingerboard, ash body and boasts the classic 'Telecaster' bridge and saddles. 22 frets provide a decent range of pitch and the 3 way selector switch is easy to use and understand. Typical 'Tele' setup too with the 2 passive pickups re-creating those classic tones. I would have preferred a through-body stringing option as well as the Tele style stringing but the ferrules can cause problems on cheap guitars such as this. The plastic nut is going to let you down also.