Price paid: $ 259
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 9
It suits various music genres from Classic Rock to Country to Blues and anything else in between.
I've played it through a Hughes And Kettner switchblade head, a Hughes And Kettner TriAmp MK II, a Fender Hot Rod Deville 212, and a Mesa Boogie Road King. As expected, with more than decent tube amps, you get glorious tone and realize the full potential of any guitar, no matter how inexpensive. This guitar is surprisingly quiet even through fast switching, a testament to modern electronics manufacturing. It has the typical Tele twang, thanks to traditional bridge PU and you can simulate classic rock tones with the neck pickup through a fully- or even partially-driven tube amp.
Overall Impression — 9
I play classic rock, blues, jazz, and some metal and I've been playing seriously for about 3 years and have started doing friends' birthday parties and school shows the past year or so. I have the typical Gibson and Fender guitars and other copies, all played through a Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212, a Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MK II, and a Mesa Boogie Road King. I wish Squier offered this model in other colors. One thing that I wish Squier would do is get away from using the cheap plastic nuts. However, this guitar is so inexpensive, if it were stolen, I'd buy one immediately. I expect this to be a huge seller and will probably monitor the Used market for a replacement. The traditional look and feel, coupled with the old school Pine body makes this model a winner. For such an inexpensive guitar, it rates a solid 10; however, if this were my only guitar, it rates a solid 9. Buy one, now!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is a very nice Tele! I hardly gig with my Teles, being more of a Strat, Les Paul, and SG player; however, I wouldn't hesitate to use this as a primary or secondary guitar if I wanted the distinctive Telecaster tone. Even the bridge is beefy thick, almost like the boutique Callaham bridge. I'll be watching the strap pegs though, given the "softer" Pine body. This is not a slight on this model since strap pegs easily strip on other models made of Basswood, Alder, and even Mahogany bodies. Just based on the manufacturing improvements of even the most inexpensive guitars, I know this guitar will be pretty reliable. The Gloss Polyester finish is pretty hard and should resist denting/gouging from slight bumps.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As mentioned earlier, the guitar came playable right out of box, even though it was ordered online. It had medium action, which I lowered a bit, and surprisingly, the intonation was close to ideal, given the challenges associated with the Tele-style 3-saddle bridges. The semi-transparent finish is beautiful, specially for such a budget guitar. I haven't opened it up yet to check the guts, but so far, I haven't seen any flaws.
Features — 9
After reading all the rave reviews from a popular Telecaster forum, I decided to get one even though I don't normally buy full price and new. It was introduced June 2008 and I've had it for about 2 weeks now and like with most inexpensive guitars, I'm past the honeymoon stage. This was made in China (MIC) and from the Squier website: "Squier's Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s puts classic blackguard Telecaster vibe into a gorgeous Vintage Blonde-finished pine-body guitar, you'll be hard-pressed to tell whether or not you are holding a premium Ash-body instrument. The Vintage-tint gloss-maple neck has a maple fingerboard with 21 medium-jumbo frets and a modern 9.5 radius. Distinctive Telecaster tone rings from the custom alnico III single-coil pickups, giving clear note separation even when distorted, strong mid-range dynamic response and plenty of solo high-end bite." Promotional blurbs aside, it's one of the best stock Telecasters I played straight out of the box. The bridge is a Vintage style string-thru body with a 3-Brass Barrel saddles. Scale is 25.5" with a Modern C neck profile. Note: the prototype Fender Esquires were made of Pine, fondly called PineCasters by luthiers and fans Who build replicas. This Tele exudes old school charm!