Price paid: € 293
Purchased from: GearPro
Features — 8
The guitar features the classic simple tele set-up. It was made around '08, has a maple 21-fret fat neck with a rosewood fretboard, both well made and well finished. It's large frets were ideal for me, as I was switching over from bass to guitar. The rest of the features are of comparable if not better quality than Mexican Fenders, and are almost certainly better finished. The body especially is a treat, lightweight Alder with a beautiful and well-done paintjob, and a good fretboard to boot. The only thing I would replace fast is the bridge pick-up, which can be quite noisy. The knobs and switch are of good quality. Again, simple tele set-up: a volume and tone knob and a switch for the pick ups. It came with a gig-bag from the store, but it failed on me after about two weeks.
Sound — 9
I play mostly hardcore and punk music, and this guitar actually works really well. Use the bridge pickup with a ton of gain and you're set. At home I play it through a Fender Frontman (which I bought with it), for gigs, I play it through an Orange Dark Terror tube amp with a London City 4x12. I use a Metal Muff and a Boss equalizer to get a fantastic heavy sound. I do recommend getting it recalibrated before doing a lot of drop tuning though, as the tuners aren't really made for it. It sounds great when set up properly. The guitar sounds crisp every time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Out-of-the-box the guitar was set and good to go, didn't even need to tune it. Found no flaws at all, it looked and sounded great from the get-go. only downside was cheap strings which started to sound bad quite soon. The pick-up selector gives a bit of noise, especially when the guitar is used with a lot of gain but that proved easy to fix at the shop (can't remember what they did, unfortunately). The tuning peg for the G-string was a bit loose, but they managed to fix that easily as well. I have had no serious technical problems with it since.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've been using this guitar as my main guitar for three years without any issues. I gig with it, play it at home. It has almost completely replaced my other guitars. The hardware is not of the best quality, average at most, but will get the job done. Everything has been bolted on solidly. There's one thing that I find unreliable however, and that is the jack input. It can come loose quite easily (a problem I have with my Squier CV bass as well). I took it back to the store and they had to glue it in place to fix the problem.
Overall Impression — 9
Teles are really versatile and can handle most styles of music really well, provided you treat the guitar right. I have used this as my main instrument for 3 years without issue. I would definitely buy another one of these if it was stolen or lost, and can recommend it to everyone. I was able to compare it to fender instruments in the store, and it is definitely better than most Mexican Fenders in terms of quality and finish, and close to being on par with some of the midrange American fenders. Even in my genre, I preferred it over the usual heavy-music monsters like Ibanez for it's quality. If you can, get one of these. It will pleasantly surprise you!