Price paid: A$ 750
Purchased from: Custom Music
Sound — 9
Firstly i play punk rock and ska mostly. I slightly dabble in thrash and hardcore but rarely move past punk or blues kinda music. This guitar is perfect for my tastes. I can get an excellent Tim Armstrong tone out of the bridge humbucker. Its wound like a bastard and hot as all hell nothing like a youd expect from a tele or Fender for that matter. I mostly use the warmer neck humbucker though, you can get some great Pistols, necromantix and Clash sounds out of it. Real classic rock sounding too, reminds me of a 72 reissue neck pickup. The lack of a tone knob is a fair giveaway I'm more than happy with the tonal variety and killswitch effect I get. I'm running through a Peavey Vypyr 15 watt modelling amp or a Fender 15 watt amp thats about 20 years old. I also play through Marshall and Krank amps with my teacher a lot. I'm also a tightass and run though a Line 6 pod most the time. Straight to the amp it sounds great. The heavier distortion was a bitch though cause of the didgy Squier nut was ringing, but thats an easy fix. Sounds excellent on clean and tweed setting on the neck humbucker.I'd use this guitar to play punk, blues, country, classic rock,glam or thrash. It can be used for blues or jazz but a tone pot would be more appreciated for those areas. Youd never guess the price based on sound. Definetly the best aspect f the guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
I play punk couldnt ask for anything better for under $1200. I've been playing for just over a year. I'm still by no means great and I'm still just learning, but I can play some of my favourite punk song and this baby definitely does them. I love the playability of the guitar. 2 great pickups and a new control scheme means this isnt just another Squier guitar and its unlike anything else (maybe except for the Fender JOhn 5 sig)Fender has ever made. Even its shear ugliness has a kind of rough charm to it. As I said before this doesnt't sound like a Squier and no other Feneres. Even the 72 doesnt't match the variety of 2 extremely different pickups on offer. The only thing I don't like about the guitar is the fact Squier didn't use the 3+3 headstock like on JOhn 5's Fender guitars, or that there's no markings at all that this is a J5 guitar, though some would probably prefer that. This is something anyone can pick up and play whether they know JOhn 5s music or not. I; d never heard any of his stuff before I bought this guitar. Now he's my favourite guitarist, even if the guitar doesnt't scream JOhn 5 tone. I've dabbled with the idea of changing the pickups to better suit jamming with my mates (along the lines of Tone Zones or Blackouts)but ultimately decided I was happy about the noise it can make. I'm still thinking about swapping the bridge for a Bigsby, cause there's nothing special about the bridge, and I think mines chipped here and there. Maybe some locking tuners if I'm still using it in the future but for now its all good. If this was stolen or lost I'd kick some shit and probably cry myself to sleep until I could afford a shiny new one.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Will this guitar withstand live playing? It'll survive the apocalypse. The obesely body weighs more than a Gibson Les Paul Custom. And that's no mean feat. you'd really have to try to damage this guitar nice and well. I don't know about the hardwar. I've had this guitar for about 4 months now. I've experienced Squier hardware decaying over a couple of years. I'm paranoid about my over use of the toggle as a killswitch. But I'm hoping John 5 wouldn't put his name on any of that crap. I'd never gig without strap buttons. I love it too much to risk iton Squiers strap buttons. I'd gig without a backup. This is one sturdy bastard. That said I usually play 2 guitars in different tunings. The finish should last I mean that's one thick layer of paint and binding. This would have scored perfectly if I werent paranoid about Squiers dodginess.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Action was OK from the store. I could of had it a little lower, but it is a tele after all so your never going to get Ibanez low levels. The shitty Squier nut really pissed me off. As soon as I put this baby through some ball tearing distortion it squealed like a pig. With a Fender nut and string guide its much better, I think the majoruty of Squiers have a dodgy nut. Pickup height was fine. Though I don't know if I'd know any better in all honest. Fairly low. Brige is fine and tuners keep real well. When I first saw the guitar the first thing I noticed was how goddamn ugly it is. Then I got to learn how hard it is to keep the glossy black finish from scraching (I swear anything could scratch this finish- even my goddamn cloth somehow scratched it). If that's bad the chrome pickguard is much worse. I have to clean it before and after I play it. It really gets dirty looking that fast. In all apart from the ridiculous levels of igliness the guitars action and finish are about the standard.
Features — 7
My first review, so be nice 2008 Made in China 21 tele Standard frets on Rosewood fretboard Deluxe black paintjob with white binding (60's custom shop style) Chrome pickguard Standard 6 saddle bridge 2 custom J5 humbuckers Neck- Alnico 5 Bridge-Ceramic magnet (real hot) 2 volume reversed no tone and toggle Switch has been moved to upper bout Standard tuners Black painted headstock with silver scrawl Really hurt by its lacking of features.