Price paid: $ 180
Purchased from: Amazon.com
Sound — 7
First, let me start off by saying what strings I use: I use Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 10-46. The facotry strings were nice, but they seemed a little too thin for me, but I kept them on for a month. The pickups are okay-ish. The bridge pickup has that distinct Tele sound to it, which is really twangy. I don't use the middle setting much, but it sounds okay. The neck pickup is pretty warm. My complaints are that both pickups are pretty weak, and that the tone knob is more of a switch for either bright or muffled. I usually have to turn my amp to at least three to hear it, and this makes it hard to switch out from guitar to guitar during performances. They also can get pretty noisy. I play through a few Behringer pedals (a Heavy Distortion, Tube Amp Modeler, Ultra Chorus, Digital Delay) and I also use a Crybaby Wah pedal. My amps are a Peavey NanoValve and a Crate GLX65 Solid State. I use this guitar in one of two tunings: Standard and Open D. I use it for slide guitar if I ever feel like using some electric slide. In the end, I can say that the sound is okay for a beginner guitar, but if you are a serious player, I suggest changing them. I play different styles, mainly rock and grunge, and this guitar is more of a rock guitar. I plan on replacing the pickups with a set of Seymour Duncan Hotrails for Telecasters when I get a job and get the money.
Overall Impression — 8
In the end, I can say that I like this guitar. The finish is nice, and it's held its Shine over the past few months. I've been playing for around two years now, and I'm glad that I used this guitar to work with before going to other models. If stolen, I'd probably move on to getting a black MIM Tele, but if I didn't have the money for that, I'd get another one of these. I love the look of it, but I hate how quiet the pickups are. My favorite feature is easily the finish. Plus the chrome doesn't look too bad with it either. No matter what style music you play, this guitar should fit it. I wish it had some nicer pickups, but once I start working, I'll probably start reconstruction on this guitar and put some Hotrails in it. Final words: If you need a throw around guitar or if you're a beginner looking for a second guitar for little money, I'd go with this one. You shouldn't be disappointed.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Will this guitar withstand live playing? I've played with it for school a few times, and I didn't have many problems with it. Volume was the biggest problem for me. The hardware could use some changing, but it should last. The strap buttons are pretty solid, they shouldn't fall out. This is my backup now, I use an Epiphone Les Paul Custom for the most part now. But if I want a single coil sound on something, I'll use this guitar. It's worn down a little, but not enough for me to leave it behind. You shouldn't have to worry about it failing you if you want a cheap guitar for throwing around or for a quick buy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I got the guitar, I quickly opened it up and played it. It felt pretty comfortable to me, the neck isn't too fat. The body is also pretty thin compared to other Telecaster bodies. Unlike Standard Telecasters, this guitar does not have a string thru body, it goes through the bridge. The action was pretty decent out of the box, I really haven't messed with it since I got it. The guitar as a whole looks really nice, there's some grain in the finish, as well as a little on the fretboard (at least on mine). To complain a little though, the nut is plastic, which I don't really like. Also, the jack cover is plastic, and mine is cracked down the middle completely. The frets have worn down around the 9th and 10th fret since I've had it, which can make bends kind of nasty. Also, the pickup selector is bent upwards. It came like that, I suppose it may have been a shipping incident or something. I don't mind it being bent, I think it's kind of cool. Otherwise, the guitar looks pretty nice still. There are a few knocks in the finish around the jack and the cutaway, but I kind of have a tendency to throw it around when I take it around. I carry it in a gig bag. Overall, it isnt too bad. The finish is beautiful, it calls back to the older models. If you have a choice, get the Butterscoth Blonde. Personally, I would have gone with black and built the whole thing as a fully black guitar, but lefties get the short end of the stick. I'm happy with the finish though.
Features — 8
Some specs I can see from holding it: - Crafted in China (Not sure what year) - Maple neck/fretboard - 21 frets - Alder Body - Die cast tuners - Adjustable Bridge - 1 Volume Knob - 1 Tone Knob - Ceramic Pickups - 3 way selector switch The model I purchased was a left handed model with a butterscotch finish. I got it in November 2011. I bought this guitar as my second electric, and it's main purpose was to give me a secondary guitar for jazz band and for other stuff. It's the definition of a beginner guitar.