Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 7
I play anything, but I normally find this to be best used for punk or blues. I took off the stock strings and put Elixir Polywebs, and now it plays clear as a bell. It even sounds good on my Guitar Research VL-20, for whenever I decide to play a nice soft concert for the grandparents. I use the DigiTech RP-80 Guitar Modeler/Processor. There's a few effects that could use some tweaking to fit this guitar, but I find most of them quality to perform them. It may just be the strings, but it doesn't give a good sound when you use harmonics or do a pick scrape.
Overall Impression — 8
My band typically plays alternative, rock and punk. This guitar can stand up to it. If you think it's too plain, just slap some stickers on it and cover it with laminate. It's only 250 bucks. I do wish I had checked all the frets before buying this. Well, that about sums it up. It definitely provides a lot of bang for the buck. Keep it clean, do routine maintenance, and prepare yourself for a long lasting relationship with your Tele.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this could definitely be a good guitar to play live. I would definitely buy strap locks, as mentioned earlier. Also, be sure to tighten the input jack before you take it up onstage. You don't want it to fall out on you and have to stop the show. Always polish it, and you should be in good shape. I would have to say that you should definitely bring a backup guitar. It's a good guitar, but it's not good enough to second-guess it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar is a beautiful guitar in general. If you keep it pampered, you will always catch some eyes when you whip it out in public. The black body with the black pickguard, accented with a white trim, tends to give this Tele an intimidating look. But, I did encounter a few flaws. The input jack tends to come loose and wiggle around, and occasionally you will lose sound. Since it is a Tele, the input jack is inside the guitar and you have to take it apart to fix it, causing a hassle. Another flaw I found was that the 2nd fret on the D string has a real raunchy sound to it. Like nails on a chalk board. When played alone, it sticks out like a sore thumb. But, if you're just doing a power chord, the noise gets drowned out. This is probably just a flaw on my particular guitar. If you can, test out all the frets before you purchase. But you should do that with any guitar.
Features — 8
Made in Indonesia, this Squier is probably the best cheap guitar I've ever played. It sticks to the traditional 22 fret count, but you can reach all frets with ease and comfort. Being a Telecaster, you can play for hours sitting, or standing and not have to adjust in your seat or worry about it sliding out of your lap. It doesn't have locking tuners, but hey, if you're too lazy to tune your guitar every now and then, that's your problem. I've never found it taking up too much time. Equipped with dual humbuckers, expect to get a strong, clean-cut tone. I'd definitely buy some strap locks if you plan on performing while standing. The strap buttons tend to let your strap slip off on occasion.