This familiar semi-hollow design is showcased on a rich natural finish mahogany body with f-hole and an attractive white pearloid pickguard. The gloss maple neck sports 21 medium-jumbo frets and a modern 9.5-inch radius. Other features include vintage-style tuners and a three-saddle bridge. A custom set of Alnico V single-coil pickups provides warmth and clarity, and enough punch for country, blues, rock and jazz.
Amazon.com: (5 out of 5 stars 80 reviews)
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
If You Want a Unique, Great Tele, You've Found it! 28 Nov. 2010
By Mike Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
Let me make this clear. Find reviews of almost any inexpensive guitar, and you will find people raving about what a great value it is and how it sounds better than the $2000 that it is supposed to look like.
There is no doubt that manufacturers of inexpensive guitars have raised their game across the board. Any of the companies related to Gibson and Fender are going to have some import guitars made in Mexico and in Asia that by far surpass the quality of what was coming out of those areas a decade or two ago.
In this review, I am not raving about this guitar just because it is a great value, or because it sounds as good as a Custom Shop special. I am simply saying that this guitar has a unique sound (that I do love), and the quality seems good enough to be durable and last for a long time.
1. The Look
I have to say that this guitar is beautiful. It has a mahogany body and a very high quality looking polyester finish. the "Pearloid" white pickguard looks sharp, and the double bound body always makes a Tele look far classier. The gloss finish on the headstock also adds to the refined look of this guitar. I can only find a few small flaws in the finish of this guitar. There is nothing in the finish that makes this guitar look cheap. It is a gorgeous guitar, without a doubt.
2. The Components
The hardware seems to be medium to high quality. The Bridge Plate does not feel as solid and durable as the ones on many teles that I have handled before. I would rate this part as a Medium quality part. The tuners are the cool vintage style and really do stay in tune well. I am surprised by their quality, they certainly feel like an upgrade over anything that Squier has ever offered and they stay in tune as well as or better than any Mexican Fender that I have ever played. The tone and volume knobs are very solid feeling, they are responsive and feel like very high quality parts. The stiff feel means that you will prefer it if you don't constantly tweak the levels on your guitar. If you use the volume for swells, you might feel that this are a tad stiff. But they are smoother than any mexican or asian component that I have ever used. The 3 way switch does not feel as solid to me, but perhaps I am a little picky. The Saddles are the 3 shared saddles rather than 6 individual ones, the saddles actually feel like a quality metal part to me. The body is Alder as opposed to the Pine or Plywood Tele's that seem to populate the least expensive models. This body is far heavier than any Squier Tele or Mexican Fender Tele that I have played. I think that this gives it a unique amount of sustain and very high quality to the tone.
3. The Neck
The neck is thinner than any strat or tele neck that I have ever played. This is a preference thing for most people, so be sure that you are OK with a thin neck. The frets are advertised as Medium-Jumbo, but so are the ones on two strats that I own, and these frets seems smaller and thinner. They are installed perfectly on the model that I have. Not only are there no sharp edges, but they are perfectly matched up. Some people are very picky about this and I would have to say that these frets were installed and finished to as good of a quality as I have ever felt. The Maple fretboard looks just fine to me, no frills, it actually is a different looking maple than what is on any of the strats that I have owned. No complaints, just different. The finish on the back of the neck is a thick poly. If you prefer a satin feel over the smooth poly, you will have to sand this neck quite a bit. I will be doing this to my guitar and see no problem making the neck feel great and satiny. The nut, looks plasticy to me and not bone. I like the sound of this guitar and will not be changing anything on it, so whatever the component is, it still works with the combination of this guitar. There is a little bit of over gluing around the nut which may be the biggest construction flaw on my particular model. It certainly doesn't change the tone.
4. The Sound, and Pickups
I was told that these are Alnico V pickups. They have a great punch to them which I like in a Tele. When picked right, you can even get a decent twang, but these sound a bit more bluesy than cheap twangy. The Bridge pickup is a great sounding pickup. The attack sounds great, it is obviously a high output pickup and can drive an amp well. There is a lot of midrange in this pickup, and it sounds very high quality to me. The neck has a rounder and fuller sound with a lot of attack to it as well. The big surprise in this guitar to me though is the amazing amount of quality sustain. This does not have a thin or weak sustain, it is a meaty sustain that outlasts many Tele's that I have played. This, to me, is what makes this instrument an amazing and unique guitar. I am getting some really cool Jimi sounds and just some great blues out of this guitar, as well as some great classic rock. To me, this does not sound like a twangy country guitar. I am looking forward to playing this guitar with a slide, because I can tell it will sound amazing and have a very resonant quality to it. The middle position on this guitar sounds like a quacky strat (in a good way) with far more sustain.
I think that this is a unique instrument and should be judged that way. This is not like any other Squier or even Mexican Tele, it has a unique feel and tone. Heavy body, thin neck, tons of sustain, lost of Spank and quack, but a full bodied quality sound. I am very pleased with my purchase. The cheap Squiers sounded cheap and the Mexican Tele's sounded like lower quality wannabe's of a good American Tele. This guitar is unique, feels very durable, it a pleasure to look at. If you are the kind of guitarist who doesn't care about the brandname, or if you have liked Squier, you will recognize that this is a fun and unique creation. People will think that you modded a Squier Tele with some very high quality pickups when they hear you play it, but when they look at it and feel it, they will be shocked that this is a stock offering from Squier.
I have played this guitar through Fender Champion 600's and Blues Jr's as well as my Blackheart Handsome Devil with overdrive and clean. All of these Amps were great combo's with this particular guitar. I have never heard a little Champ 600 sound this good, and I will be buying a little Champ myself.
I am extremely pleased to own a guitar that I enjoy this much for such a low price. I feel like I have a well-kept secret, and I wish that more people would be able to find a guitar that they are as excited about as I am about this one
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