it's now what I play
I live in the desert boonies, so I asked my son in Reno to test some new Teles for me in Reno. He reported that his favorite Tele in the bigger stores was the American Special. He's a LP player but he owns a nice American Standard. I trust his taste, so I searched online and took a shot. Unfortunately, I only learned of Sweetwater's service before the sale, like showing the actual guitar, often giving weight, etc.
I immediately liked the feel, and the "Greasebucket" really is slick and eminently useful. The weight feels around 7 1/2, same as my 08 Am St Strat. Same 3T sunburst with maple board.
I really like the dead-flat finish on the neck. As I play, it takes on a natural feeling and look. I don't care for speed bump frets, however I'm learning to reckon with them, only because I like this guitar a lot, in spite of my usual preferences. It is what it is.
II always clean and polish frets, change strings to what I use, make whatever adjustments need to be made after a little playing time. But I liked it immediately. I'm not a big fan of Texas Special Strat pickups that I've heard, but I am once again surprised at what these over-wound pickups are capable of sounding like,especially with the Greasebucket rolled down keeping the eq nice and consistent and sounding convincingly traditional Tele.
My 3 dislikes:
Not a big Schaller tuner fan. Swapped them for Schaller locking tuners, only because I wanted something locking that would retrofit, requiring no new holes in the headstock, just yet. My dislike for the the Schallers, their shear weight, and the new Fender/Schaller staggered tuners are made in Taiwan, on a a guitar that touts made in USA. hmh... ah well, they work well so far, and I never notice them or their weight when I'm playing.
Also the the string ferules fell out when I changed strings; only spot glued in place. Didn't disturb me. For this money, I'd expect a few cut corners in a MIA Tele. I just Elmered them in place, strung up and been playing the tar out of it. The honeymoon is either long on this one, or else she's a keeper.
I'm looking forward to buying my next guitar from Sweetwater.
That said, there has to be a lot to like to put up with what I don't normally care for.