Price paid: £ 203
Purchased from: PMT
Sound — 10
The Telecaster is famed for it's ability to suit many music styles, and even this cheaper model lives up to it's more expencive counterparts standards. I play many differing genres and this guitar manages to achieve the requirements needed with little effort. With the neck pickup you get a very distinct blues tone which is suited for Guns N' Roses and Cream. The bridge pickup gives a clean "twangy" tone which is great for Frusciante/Red Hot Chili Peppers style playing. With a few Standard effects it is easy to get a very good metal/heavy tone, stuff like Tom Morello's (Rage Against The Machine) signature sound.
Overall Impression — 9
To conclude my review I would like to say that over the years of playing guitar I have played many Telecasters and this one manages to stand up against the likes of Fender American Standard models and sound almost identical. For the 200 I payed for it I am highly impressed, even though it does have a few minor faults I can safely say it is one of my favourite guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The strap buttons are well fitted, this guitar is fine to play Live (which I have done) and I haven't had any problems with the electronics. However I have had a few issues with tuning pegs on the guitar, the tuning peg on the high e string seems to be weak causing the string to de-tune after playing. The finish is also easily chipped due to the paint being quite thin, after five days I had already chipped the back very slightly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar's action was a little high to begin with but that was easily solved, the tuning pegs are a little loose but it isnt noticeable, the pickups were at optimal height and the bridge was perfectly routed. The nut was cut perfectly and the electronics are stable and well built.
Features — 10
This guitar was made in 2009 and manufactured in China, it has 21 medium-jumbo frets, the neck is maple and has a gloss polyester finish which gives it an almost "laminated" feel which is great to hold and play on. The body is pine and has a very thin blonde paint coating which allows you to see the wood grain, (this is one of my favorite features). Because it is based on the 50's model "blackcaster" it has many Vintage features, it has a Vintage style strings-thru-body bridge with 3 brass barrel saddles and has Vintage style tuning machines. It has the Standard Tele pickup configuration, and has both tone and volume control. The pickups are 2 custom single-coil Alnico III's.