Purchased from: Guitar Guitar
Features — 8
My guitar was "crafted in China" in 2014. The pine body... yes pine! is beautiful and weighs a ton. Apparently pine was used in the original telecasters and Squier wanted to remain faithful to the originals (nothing to do with the cost of pine of course). This is the heaviest Telecaster I have played. Mine is butterscotch blonde which would have been nice but unfortunately the guitar is ruined by the incredibly thick polyurethane coating which hides the grain of the wood and looks synthetic. The vintage tuners are excellent for quick string changes. I won't bore you with the other features as these have already been covered by other reveiwers.
Sound — 9
I play this through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and it sounds terrific. On the clean channel the bridge pickup is great for spanking country and the neck pick up is nice and creamy for jazz. Switch onto the crunch channel and you are immediately Bryan Adams or Tom Petty. That's about it though, the CV is great for pop/soft rock but definitely not metal etc. I play in a covers band and often use it live, it's great for songs like "Honky Tonk Woman." One mild reservation I would say is, I used to have one of those legendary '83 Japanese Tele's and the CV bridge pickup doesn't have quite the same bite to it. You may want to replace the bridge pickup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was flawless when I bought it. Action and intonation were spot on. It's incredibly easy to play. Pickup height required no adjustment. The frets were dressed nicely. The "aged" staining of the neck is beautiful, really beautiful. The knobs, switches and tuners are all solid. The only problem with the finish was the heavily coated polyurethane which detracts from the guitar's finish. Did I mention the polyurethane finish? It's awful. If only they have made it thinner or stretched to nitro-cellulose.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have gigged this guitar a few times now. It plays great and stays in tune! Despite having a few guitars I have used it without a backup (it's rock solid). The hardware seems of a good quality (I love the vintage tuners). It's a real workhorse of a guitar, just as a Tele should be. A superb plank! Is the finish thick enough?... come back in 300 years and check it out ;) Seriously though, this thing is bombproof, I can't see this guitar taking any knocks and getting to that worn in/relic stage. As I say I have gigged mine a few times now, knocked it off a few doors and it is still immaculate.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing in a pop covers band for years and this guitar is ideal. I can play it clean or I can play it crunchy. If you wanna play hard rock or metal forget it. Would I buy another one... YES! I own several guitars and this is one of the best I have. It just sounds great for everything from Eagles to The Clash. For all you snobs out there forget the Squier logo, this is one serious guitar. If you want perfection then replace the bridge pickup. If you just want a great, reliable, gigging, guitar then get your £300 out and buy one!