Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Pinkston and Sons' music (local)
Sound — 7
I tend to play metal, hard rock, and industrial metal. I use a Dunlop JH-1B wah and a Dunlop DS-1 distortion pedal. I didn't feel like the sound of this guitar really matched my playing style. However I think it would be good for other genras, soft rock, ambient, punk, and obviously country. There is a good amount of variety of sound you can get from this Telecaster. In the neck position, the sound is surprisingly thick and full without too much twang. In the middle position the sound is softer, and a bit quieter, with even less twang. In the bridge position there is a large amount of treble and twang but is pretty crunchy when distorted. When distorted the guitar makes an unpleasant amount of noise. Every time you change pickups, you hear the Switch click through the amp. Every strum is hear in a twangy sort of way when you tremolo pick it and there are bad amounts of buzz.
Overall Impression — 8
As I said before, I play a lot of hard rock and metal, especially funk rock and industrial metal. The crunchy distortion was cool, and it gave some sick pinch harmonics. However it didn't fit my style to well. Its a great guitar for punk and funk and country or blues. Iv been playing guitar for about three years and I own an Esteban Acoustic as well as several basses. I recently traded this guitar for a Schecter Damian. Simply because it fits my playing better. So I can't say that when I owned it, I would have replaced it if it were lost or stolen. However other people did like it for other styles. I did love the mini humbucker and the pinch harmonic power it had. But I wish it was less twangy and it had a real humbucker in the bridge.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Iv never played a show with this guitar but I think it would hold up. The body feels sturdy and the tuners are strong. The bridge is pretty sturdy. My only doubt is the neck. If it got dropped or something I'm not so sure it would hold up. Plus the tone knob has a tendency of falling off and the jack has always been a little loose. The stap buttons aren't the heftiest, however I think it would stand up through a Live show no problem. I would still keep a backup at hand.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was well set up when I bought it. I later had to readjust the action as a matter of personal preference. The pickups were set up well at the right hight but I ended up having to adjust the pickups to compensate for the middle pickups lack of volume. Just about everything was well set up at purchase and the only flaw was that the finish by the output jack was chipped and cracked which happened in shipping. The body wood seamed to be in good quality and I believe the top was a solid piece with the body. My only real complaint with this area of the guitar is the finish on the neck, as seams to be with all fenders and squires, it feels like it sticks. Its hard to move smoothly down the neck and the it feels like the fret wires catch you up.
Features — 8
The guitar is made of Indian red cedar with a solid maple neck and fretboard. It was one volume and one tone control, and a five way switch that switches between the mini humbucker in the neck position, a single coil in the middle, and a slanted single coil in the bridge position, as well as all of the in between positions. All of the pickups are duncan designed. The controls are placed backwards as apposed to the usual arrangement for telecasters, which I found somewhat inconvenient for switching pickups quickly and accidentally turning down the volume while strumming. The bridge is Squire's Vintage Telecaster bridge which has a plate that surrounds the pickup and has raised sides which I believe increase the twang aspect, but also feels uncomfortable for palm mutes and resting your hand on the bridge. Its strung through the body.