Price paid: $ 220
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 8
The pickups that come in the guitar are great for country, jazz, blues, and basically anything you would want single coils for. However, that being said. It is a limited guitar in stock form. You won't be getting any great high gain distorted tones. It could probably handle a more mild distortion for punk but that's stretching it. When I got the guitar I intended on pulling the bridge pick up and putting in a hot rails which I did recently. Now the thing can handle plenty of gain. Once I swap the Pots out for 500kohm Pots instead of the 250kohms that are in there it should be a perfect guitar. In terms of sound for the styles I play, which are punk/hard rock/etc, this thing doesn't cut it stock. It gets an 8 for stock sound because while it does do clean tones very well, don't expect it to handle any more than that.
Overall Impression — 8
Stock this thing doesn't match the high gain requiring genres that I tend to flock to. Since the pickup swap I couldn't be happier. It's a beautiful looking and playing guitar with the right amount of love added. Wish I had known Agathis was so soft before buying it. If this thing were stolen I would ABSOLUTELY buy a new one. For the price it's a steal. If you are thinking about getting one for clean sounds it's great just the way it is. If you like teles but want something that can handle high gain sounds do what I did and swap the pickups. Overall this thing gets an 8.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The thing will withstand live playing and the hardware will definitely last. The bridge is super comfortable and solid. The strap buttons appear solid but because Agathis wood is so soft, I will probably put some heavy duty strap locks on this thing with some wider screws. I would never gig without a backup regardless of how reliable I feel a guitar may be. The finish is gorgeous but unfortunately the wood is so soft that this guitar is probably going to take a considerable amount of dents in its lifetime. Put my first nick in it on the backside. Picked it up to place it on my lap to play and it bumped the side of the chair ever so softly. Figured it wouldn't have left a mark but it did. Owell. I like the look of reliced teles so if thing gets beat up on accident I guess I'll have to live with it. This thing gets a 7 for reliability and durability. Because of the soft wood and being untested at gigs, I can't rate it higher.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was set up quite well at the factory with the exception of the tuners being quite loose. After I tightened them up I tuned the guitar up and notices a bit of nut snag. I opened the slots up a bit like I do with most new guitars and the tuning problems were relieved. The action was med-low which is what I like so no complaints there. The body was pieced together from three pieces of Agathis wood. The grain doesn't match up very well at all, but it's hardly noticeable. This guitar came set up pretty well but not perfectly. I easily was able to correct most of the problems. I can't however give the guitar any more than a 7 here. Wish the wood grains matched a bit more from piece to piece.
Features — 10
This Squier Telecaster Standar guitar was made in 2010 in Indonesia. Features 21 frets on a rosewood fretboard on top of a Maple neck. The body is made of Agathis which I believe is in the Alder family and is similar to pine. The finish is an antique burst. Truly beautiful. Dark red fading to black at the edges. Features the Standard Telecaster configuration. Two single coil pickups controlled by a three way swith along with a single volume and tone knob. Stock single coils were quite nice for the price range and other than the tuners being a bit loose I've had no tuning issues after lubricating the nut. The hardware is solid especially the bridge and is feels much more solid than the hardware found on the step-down affinity series guitars. Has everything you'd expect from a Telecaster so in terms of features I can't score it with any less than a 10.