Price paid: £ 319
Purchased from: Rattle & Drum, Derby, UK
Features — 9
This particular Tele has an a strong alder body and a C-shaped maple neck. A thoughtful variation on Joe Trohman's (of Fall Out Boy) part is the large 1968-style Stratocaster headstock, which I myself would have chosen, and which also features his signature. The rosewood fingerboard is 12" in radius and features 22 jumbo frets. The body carries two open-coil humbucking pickups (neck and bridge), as well as single-coil Stratocaster middle pickup. Selecting which if these you use is a job for the five-position rotary pickup selector switch. There is also an upper bout kill switch, which I find extremely useful. Trim comes down to a three-ply black-white-black pickguard, skirted black/chrome amp control knobs, vintage-style six-saddle strings-through-body hardtail bridge, chrome hardware, and die-cast tuners. Two-color Sunburst finish is the only colour available.
Sound — 9
My band Apparently We Fly play a mix of post-hardcore, punk, melodic rock and pop, akin to Alexisonfire and Funeral For A Friend. The Trohman Tele has fit seamlessly into that sound, providing a range of sounds to complement what the other guitar players are doing. I would like to stress that the range of sounds available to me as a player have thus far been broad and generous, allowing me to use my new Tele with my range of Boss pedals, as well as with the dirty and clean channels on my near new Marshall MA100H, played through a Laney IRT212. There is little noise other than when playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar is beautiful and strong. My first response when I saw the guitar hanging in the shop was that it stood out and I couldn't figure out why. I find the standard Tele heads rather weak and it was soon after I requested a test play that I realised it had a Strat head. Everything about the guitar is what one would request in guitar quality - great paint and varnish finish, solid attachments, no wobble on the machine heads etc... The set up is perfect, allowing for open to 12th fret matching (especially great for capo use). My only quarrel was the standard strings being crap for detuning, but no competent player expects factory strings to satisfy 10/10 times.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Though I haven't tested this guitar on stage yet (I will be doing so soon), I have an abundance of faith that I will be using this guitar for the 11+ years that my Tom DeLonge has been standing strong. It has been bought to stand alongside my Strat and I fully believe it will stand the test of time. The strap buttons are solid, the pickups have zero wobble, and the machine heads are also very sturdy. The input is sturdy and I foresee it remaining so. Therefore I am going to give it a 9, rather than a 10, as I am fully willing to accept that this guitar may present an issue or two in the future.
Overall Impression — 10
When I was 14 (11 years ago) I bought a Tom DeLonge Fender Strat, which has served me in playing across many genres. No other guitar has touched on it. It has consistently been the strongest member of my guitar family. For a good 5 years I have been searching for another guitar that could match my Strat for quality and reliability without being the same. Trohman's Telecaster is a fantastic, dirtier, rebellious brother to my Strat; a fraternal twin, with it's own personality. It plays like it belongs with me, making it seem like my guitar instead of a model like many others out there. I cannot stress how pleased I am with it. My only personal gripe is the lack of available colours, but this is nothing against the endless list of positives things this guitar offers.