Tele Custom II review by Squier

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 4
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7.6 (50 votes)
Squier: Tele Custom II
1

Price paid: C$ 350

Purchased from: Musicplex

Sound — 10
My music style has gone through a wide variety of changes throughout the 10 years I've played. This guitar fulfills my blues quota VERY well, therefore I mostly use it for clean or slightly overdriven tones. With the pickup selector and separate volume knobs, you can get everything from a smooth blues sound to a country twang or crunch. Flipping on the distortion, it actually does that reasonably well also. I have other guitars I use for heavier rock but if I needed to in a pinch I would have no problem using this guitar. For the clean sounds I use this guitar for, it's sound is amazing. It blows me away how such good sound can come from such a cheap guitar, especially a stock one. As for amps, when I first bought this guitar I was playing on a line 6. It sounded ok on that amp but it never blew me away. Later on I bought a Laney LC30 and the sound through that amp was mighty fine.

Overall Impression — 8
So what's my overall impression of this guitar? Well, it sounds amazing, like it should cost way more. However, it's details let it down. Replace the hardware and the pots and you've got one SOLID guitar. Personally, I never did that because it's not my main guitar and I just don't care enough to do so. In addition to this guitar I also own a Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR, an old BC Rich Warlock and Acoustic and classical guitars. There's not really much I wish I asked before I bought this guitar because it really is a great sounding guitar if you have the patience to maintain it. If it was lost or stolen, I'd be angry but eventually wouldn't really care that much. It's served its purpose and it's about time I upgraded it anyway. The only thing I sometimes wish it had is better tuners. Everything else is bearable.

Reliability & Durability — 4
Now here's the kicker. This is a squier. It's hardware and workmanship are nothing compared to it's counterpart. This guitar is not durable at all. Sure its solid and can take a hit, but parts break on it all the time. I mentioned the input jack before. The ring around the pickup selector fell off and now the selector is wobbly. The tone and volume knobs are extremely annoying and constantly undo themselves and become loose. The tuners don't hold up for long periods of time. The Bridge pickup died on me after something like 1 or 2 years. I just started using the neck pickup only when I played the guitar because I didn't play it too often. Finally after I got my new amp I decided to begin tinkering with guitars and I opened the pickguard and took a look at the electronics. 2 wires had broken free from their soldering to one of the pots, which caused the Bridge pickup to stop working. I soldered them back together and could once again enjoy the full range of this guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I don't remember how well set up the guitar was from the factory because shortly after I bought it I messed around with the action and pickups to get it the way I wanted it. It wasn't hard to adjust it to my preferences. There weren't any hardware flaws like messed up frets or sharp edges, however the controls did come loose and break easily. On the other hand, that applies to the next section not this one. 6 years later, nothing has oxidized or become unfixable. The only annoying unfixable thing I find is the input jack, which seems to be shaped wrong and keeps loosening itself no matter how tight it is set.

Features — 9
I've owned this guitar for something like 6 years and have only decided to write a review because no offense to the other guy but I don't feel the previous review did it much justice.. I've thoroughly enjoyed playing this guitar every once in a while instead of my more expensive guitars. My guitar is a 2004 (I think) bought new for $350 at a now bankrupt music store. I bought this guitar because I wanted a cheap jazz/blues guitar and this guitar sounded good to me in the store. It sports a maple neck and fretboard with an agathis body. It has a solid black finish with a black pickguard, nothing fancy but it holds up and looks fine. The guitar's got a separate volume and tone control for each pickup with a 3 way selector, which is very useful and makes for a good variety of tones. It has duncan-designed P90s. For the price, the AMOUNT of features on this guitar are about as much as you'd get buying any other telecaster.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dynadude
    I am assuming that most of the folks who find fault with these inexpensive little gems are under 30 to 35 years old. I've been playing since about 1969, and I remember when any guitar in this price range was worthless for serious or even casual players. I guess that's why I appreciate mine so much. I bought a used MIM Strat from a local gear shop, and after a few days I couldn't stand it and decided to take it back and trade it in on ANYTHING! The owner is a really cool guy and I'm a steady customer, so he told me to look around and we'd come to an agreement on whatever caught my fancy. This Squier looked interesting, so I thought I'd sit down and strum it a bit while I was thinking about a few guitars that looked promising. After about half an hour I had completely forgotten the other guitars and was sitting there having the time of my life jamming on the Squier. Needless to say I took it home, and no regrets at all in six month. I have 6 other MIA guitars, Fender, Gibson and Taylor, and the Squier is as much fun to play as any of them. I realize it's not an investment type of instrument, and I'd probably be doing well to get half of the retail price if I had to sell it, but I don't think any less of it for that. It's just the way the market works for used gear. All that said, I guess it's obvious that I like the guitar, even so much as to say it is probably the best I have found for beginner type price point. If you only have a couple of hundred bucks for your guitar purchase, you can't go wrong with this one. As with any guitar It's best to buy in person and actually play it before layin' out the dough, as I am sure that a few lemons are going to get through. (I've seen American Fenders on store racks with necks that look like a horse shoe)So just take your time and use a bit of common sense and you will have a guitar that you will never get rid of, unless someone offers you stupid bucks.
    PortlandPaul
    I bought this guitar, cheap but well put together and had been well set up. I'm an inexperienced player but lent it to someone who was a far more experienced player, (plus used to be an in-house roadie/stage hand), and he was quite impressed by it.
    jaknzax
    r any price this is a great playing and sounding guitar. The P90s scream and the maple neck plays as good as my Fender HWY 1 Telecaster. I see Squier is bringing them back at $279 whish is over $50 more than I paid. Great guitar period.
    Snaques
    I had this guitar as my first electric one after returning to my guitar hobby. It was a decent instrument, but I had two issues which lead me to change it to something else. 1. Lack of sustain - The body is light-ish and hence the sustain isn't very good. 2. Tuning - At least my unit was losing the tuning very fast. Maybe this could've been improved, but straight out of the box it was really annoying. Still I think it is a decent instrument for the price.