Price paid: $ 195
Purchased from: Dealer
Sound — 7
I play in a Blues jam group and in a Punk band. This guitar does well at both. I'm mainly playing through a Peavey Classic 30 and Peavey Classic 50 - this guitar sounds very good. It has that Tele "Twang" that I was looking for. I haven't had any real problems with feedback - nothing that can't be easily controlled. I'm running this guitar through a Metal Muff pedal and a boutique overdrive pedal - as well as plenty of clean channel with a hint of reverb. The bridge pickup is quite hot - sounds good - cuts well. The neck pickup is slightly muddy, but surprisingly good considering the price of the guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I like this guitar. A lot. This is not my first guitar - nor my tenth or twentieth guitar. I own Vintage and custom shop Gibsons, Vintage and recent American Fenders, and everything in between. I have no desire to take a $4, 000 guitar to a gig at a bar, which was why I bought a a recently - just to gig with. I found that guitar to be simply amazing (Roadworn model 50's Strat). I didn't own any Teles, so figured that I'd play one of the el-cheapo Squiers. I checked out the Affinity Tele, but disliked the bridge setup (a lot - it is a terrible design). I played the Squier Standard Tele, and was quite impressed. It sounds great, plays great, feels great. Just keep in mind what it is. I would not suggest dumping a bunch of money in to upgrades on this guitar. It is a good guitar as it is - but you could easily drop $300 in upgrades to get rid of the "little things" that you may not like about this guitar. It is not worth doing that - just get a Mexican Tele if you want a $500 investment. The pickups, bridge, 3 way, and tuners are the "low points" for me. The pots are garbage as well, but they have been functioning well so far (they're the little tiny Asian 500k pots). I scuffed the finish up on mine a little bit, and have a chip out of the back edge - revealing at least a 1-1.5mm thick Poly "shell" over the wood on the body. Not a big deal - again, what you should expect from a budget guitar - but it is another sign that this is *not* a candidate for high end pickups and hardware upgrades - although a set of GFS pickups (at $50-60/set) may be worth your while. If you are a beginner player, this is an amazing guitar for your money. Get it, play it, love it, cut your teeth, and "move up" to something down the road. If you are a long time player - even semi-pro and gigging - this is a solid guitar, a great backup, fun to play, dirt cheap, reasonably reliable, nice sounding guitar for less than I've spent on a set of pickups. To recap - this is a fun guitar for the money - but not something to dump a bunch of money in to on upgrades. None of the components are great, but the sum of the parts are fantastic considering the price. I highly recommend this guitar to anyone with $200 burning a hole in their pocket Who has been wanting to try a Tele or Who is looking for a reliable worry free cheap backup for gigs. I cannot believe you can get this much guitar for $200. I have guitars that cost me twenty times as much as this guitar, and they are sitting at home in their cases while this guitar goes to the battlefield that is the bar gig scene. As a gigging musician, I cannot say enough about a quality instrument that sounds great but doesn't break the bank, and that you can take to a gig and not have to worry about getting stolen. Two thumbs up.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar seems to be pretty tough. The tuners are cheap (hell, the whole thing is cheap) but reliable enough. The 3 way Switch isn't very substantial, but functions as it should. I will be gigging with this guitar tomorrow - I got it as a throwaway backup to my Strat - but my poop yellow Squier Strat will be getting some stage time. It plays great, sounds very good, and is a worry free cheap guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Fit and finish were flawless. Which is what you should expect with a Poly finished guitar (as compared to Nitro - which is much more labor intensive and prone to imperfections). As mentioned, the neck and fretwork were great. Factory setup is quite nice - the nut slots are a little high, but that is my only real complaint. I took the bridge saddles down 1/2 turn or so to lower the action some. The neck needed no adjustment.
Features — 5
Indonesian, 2008, 22 frets, 25.5" scale, Agathis body (covered in an inch of Poly), string through etc. You know the specs. Bare bones Squier Tele. Maple neck, rosewood board (both done incredibly well - fretwork is spot on, neck is dead strait, profile is great). The body has a verrrry thick coat of Poly on it - which is to be expected on a sub $200 guitar.