Price paid: £ 282
Purchased from: GAK Brighton
Sound — 7
It sounds like... A Telecaster, bridge is a little weak and brittle but it still has the distinct Tele twang, turning the tone knob down rounds it off a fair bit and reduces the brightness well. Neck is fairly standard, bit dull and muddy but does the job. The pickups are a down side to this guitar but I had this in mind when I bought it, they'll be replaced with some real Seymour Duncans in time. As for tones, it'll handle most stuff from country to blues to rock, bit of shoegaze/indie stuff, even metal with the right amp settings, although don't expect brutal riffage... It's a Tele with singlecoils afterall.
Overall Impression — 8
I play varying styles of music, mostly home studio projects with the odd jam session, anything from rock and blues to industrial and death metal, I'll find a use for it somewhere I've been playing 11-12 years, own a fair few guitars (Couple of Fender Strats (MiM, MiA), Tele (MiM), a Squier Tele Standard, Jackson DK2, Fernandes Revolver Pro, Epiphone Dot, some ancient unbranded SG copy, and a few basses, quite a few amps (Orange Tiny Terror, Orange Dark Terror, Roland Cube, Fender Princeton Reverb) and a ton of pedals & effects. I wish I'd noticed the saddle buzz before buying but I can live with it. If someone stole any of my guitars I'd hunt them down and cut off their balls, but I probably wouldn't replace it as is, once I've upgraded it though I'm sure I'd try to replicate it. I LOVE the colour, Shoreline Gold is so sexy! Pictures online don't do it justice! (Go check it out in the flesh) Hates... Just that buzzing, but eventually it'll be tamed. I didn't compare it to any other guitars on the day but I didn't intend on buying anything when I turned up, but the colour made me impulse buy. (Tip:... Don't walk into a big guitar store with money in your pocket! YOU CANNOT RESIST!) As for wishes... For the price I didn't expect more, but eventually I'll swap out the pickups, electronics, tuners and bridge for better replacements, I viewed it as 282 for a sexy body and decent neck. Overall it's not a bad guitar, I think I just found a slightly dodgy model and bought it on impulse because of the colour, but it'll upgrade nicely and I can't stop looking at it! I think it would suit a beginner nicely as is (With a good setup first) and anyone else if they're willing to put some effort into upgrades.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It'll probably stand up to live playing but I'd never go on stage without a backup, I'm not intending to gig it though as it's another studio guitar. Hardware probably won't last (Or at least I won't let it) as I'll be replacing the pickups, tuners, bridge saddles and electronics later. I'll probably never play it standing with a strap but they feel solid and I wouldn't use a strap without straplocks anyway. The finish should last (I hope so, that's what sold it to me) but being poly it'll chip if it gets dinged, but that adds character to a guitar so doesn't bother me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The fit & finish is what let this guitar down, originally it was set up with the action FAR too low and extremely buzzy & the intonation was out, after a bit of messing around I've fixed that (mostly) but this leads onto problem number two: The bridge saddle hex nuts (whatever they're called) are loose as hell and vibrate unless you set each saddle at an odd angle, while it's not the end of the world it's a pain to find an allen key to adjust them when they start buzzing again... I'm hoping with time some grime will build up and keep them still but for now, the allen key is coming out every 5 minutes. And problem number 3: The neck pickup's lower fixing screw had no thread on it, so when I went to adjust the height the pickup slipped down into the cavity below which was a mission and 3/4 to get back (My guess is they fix the pickguard onto the body before the neck in the factory as it's impossible to slide the pickguard into place with a pickup loaded at the neck). Other than these things (which TBH aren't killer, most of the items here are on my "to be replaced" list) the finish was pretty good, paint job is excellent (mmm Shoreline Gold!... Sexy!)the neck is extremely playable with no jagged frets and the electronics are noise free. For the price I'm not too fussed about these minor easily fixable things, I've paid more for worse in the past!
Features — 8
Here's the basics: - 2011 model made in China. - 22 medium jumbo fret maple C shape neck with rosewood fretboard (24.75 radius) - Semi acoustic alder body with 'F' hole - Sexy Shoreline Gold polyurethane finish - Thinline Telecaster body (obviously) - Telecaster "ashtray" bridge with body through stringing - Passive Duncan designed singlecoil pickups TE-101N (Neck), TE-101B (Bridge) with 3 way blade switch, master volume & master tone knobs - Generic die-cast non locking tuners The guy @ GAK threw in a few plecs, a lead & fast fret (I tried to get a case but he wouldn't have it, but he did get me a box to take it home in, thumbs up!)