California Telecaster review by Squier

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.6 (114 votes)
Squier: California Telecaster

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Music Theme Singapore.

Sound — 10
THIS SOUND REVIEW IS ONLY FOR NECK PICKUP! I remember the neck pickup being terribly weak, chimey, thin, flaccid and dull. Thus I switched it for a DiMarzio Tone Zone T, after a little tweaking of my EQ pedal, I can get a pretty chill distortion from the bridge pickup. I USED to play heavy metal. Then one day I went into a church and decided to play christian music, so I needed something with warm cleans. That would be this Squier California Series Telecaster. Now I play anything clean or slightly overdriven. With the likes of John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Red Hot Chili Peppers. My current amp I am using would be a Vox Night Train 50watt with the matching Vox cab. For bedroom practise I currently use a personal modified 15watt amp for extra warmth lost in typical solid state amplifiers. As I seek a warm sound yet clarity found in a single coil, the guitar's NECK pickup matches what I'm looking for perfectly. Due to it being single coils, it is noisy, however it the 60 cycle hum is not as bad as typical single coils and I would deduce this is because the pickups are covered, possibly a copy of the Lace Sensor pickups. Naturally, it is TERRIBLE in distortion, as well as overdoses of distortion. But its perfect to me for slight overdrive as well as cleans. A little on the thin sounding side but its warm and clear for my playing.

Overall Impression — 9
I'm a multi-genre-instrumentalist but currently I play Christian music, blues, jazz, pop with this guitar. This would fit almost all listed, but as long as no hardrock/metal-esque distortion is involved. I've been playing for a little more than 2 years (short I know, but I like to think that I'm surrounded by talented people thus their talent has rubbed off on me) and I currently own a Schecter Omen 6 with Seymour Duncan Custom/59, an Epiphone Les Paul Special-II with Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz as well as a Epiphone Les Paul Standard with EMG 81/60. All three of the above was meant for metal-ish music which I used to play. I use my friend's Jackson Demmelition King V for its floyd rose =) I wished that I had known more information prior to purchasing this guitar as there is LITTLE information on this guitar. Knowing more is key to understanding your playing as well as your guitar. If it was stolen/lost, I'd get it again and do the same mods as I did. Rather cheap compared to the rest of my guitars and it is truly versatile personally. Also, Telecasters look terribly sexy.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar withstood a couple of gigs currently. I'm not sure about Agathis guitar bodies, but apparently its a softer pine wood, thus I bring a spare with me when I gig, but due to me playing Christian music, I don't swing it around like I used to. The Hardware would last, the pickups would last as they are covered with black plastic, which means they won't oxidise. The Strap buttons are a little small but I replaced it (like all my guitars) to a DiMarzio cliplock strap. It's my favourite guitar for cleans as of now and its taken my approach to guitar playing in a whole new way. My speed has increased as playing fast when clean would mean that I need to be more accurate. The finish is a little bad, its withstood so far, but it looks a bit weak to me, I would change it IF something happens, but I doubt it will anytime soon.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I did not get this from the factory, it was at a music store for AGES before I finally got it. It got set up by my tech and he made the neck pickup quite high to match the high output DiMarzio Tone Zone T in terms of volume. The sustain was not affected strangely. The guitar did not complain any flaws at all when I got it, due to most of the minor problems I had with it getting solved there and then at the store after at least an hour's worth of scrutiny. I terribly disliked the pearloid pickguard given with the guitar, thus it got removed and replaced with a black single ply pickguard.

Features — 9
- Year made: Not Sure. - Where: China. - Frets: 21 - Neck: Maple neck C-Shape with Jumbo Frets - Solid Top, Black in colour body. Made of Agathis, Telecaster body. - Pickups: Two black plastic covered Squier by Fender Single Coil pickups. - Bridge: Top-Load Telecaster bridge. - Controls: 3-way switch, one volume, one tone. - Included accessories: none, but i bought a black pickguard to match the black guitar body. - On The Spot modifications: DiMarzio Tone Zone T Bridge pickup, black pickguard, coil tap for DiMarzio Tone Zone T Bridge pickup, N-Tune on board tuner on volume knob.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I have just purchased on of these guitars , it has been modded with dimarzio chopper bridge pick up and a chrome coverd fender neck pick up , it sounds awesome it has also been sorted by a professional luthier so the intonation , the action are exquisite it plays better tan my Mexican tele ,and believe me it really is a better made guitar , its heavier but it just gives a great tone and the thing just hums class now , OH!! and the strap locks have been changed also to locking ones , much safer as the original ones were crap . But all in all I love it , any one want to buy a mim telecaster??lol.