Do not let this one pass you by!
After selling my 1966 Telecaster (well, neck stamp Jan 67) for $275 in 1983 (only paid $300 for it in a music store in OKC) to make sure I had enough money for my upcoming wedding, I kick myself about every other day for what I did. Now, the guitar was an old country player's guitar I always assumed based on the ungodly belt buckle wear and no finish on the upper bout of the body, dings, chips, chunks and a completely worn out and spotted fretboard from the 3rd to 5th fret. Basically no finish left on the back of the neck or the maple fretboard. The screws on the barrels of the 3 piece bridge were mostly broken and impossible to adjust the action. Intonation? Did not know what that was at the time. Everything was rusted tight and I put strings on it and played. And it played very, very well. At that time I had my 1st AC30, probably a late 70's. Bad amplifier. After both were sold, I moved on to married life, etc.... Had a few more electric guitars and AC30's in the 90's, but always regretted the lost Telecaster.
After reading so many shining reviews of the Squire Classic Vibe Vintage blonde 50's Telecaster, I pulled the trigger and bought one from Sweetwater. Now, 30 years later, I can tell you this guitar plays better, stays in tune, has a better neck, (9.5 vs 7.25 radius ) than my old one. I have old, weak fingers and the neck on the CV is wonderful. Mine had about .015 relief in the neck from Sweetwater , I took that out to a basically perfectly flat neck, no relief, dropped the action to 3/64's across the neck at the 17th fret, the intonation was almost perfect from Sweetwater, never will be perfect, based on the 3-barrel system, but good enough for me! The frets on the guitar are flawless. No high frets have I found!! Did they do a crown job at the factory?? The quality of these Chinese made guitars is impeccable. Yes, they vary in weight: mine is 9 lb 10 oz. Pine is heavy and the polyester finish is rather thick, tho allowing the wood grain to show through.
The neck pickup has foam underneath it to facilitate height adjustment. Huh? Pull the pickup out and place 2 old ballpoint pen springs underneath the pickup ears and around the adjustment screws and now you have the Fender adjustment system. I did. Works like a charm.
The high gloss neck finish and fretboard is impeccable. I did sand down the BACK of my neck with 0000 steel wool. I did it to replicate the feeling I had with my old Telecaster's worn neck. But there is nothing wrong with the neck as supplied. It just felt sticky to me.
Bottom line, this imported Telecaster, at it's price, is an amazing quality guitar worth a lot more than the price I paid. And the sound quality with the Alnico 3's and playability is everything plus more than what I had 30 years ago. Don't be a headstock snob and scoff at the name there. An outstanding guitar worthy of any stage!! Dave Cochran was my sales engineer and trust me, this guy knows the business. Had a follow -up call from him 2 days after I received my shipment. I cannot say enough about Sweetwater as they made my buying experience easy and a pleasure. Plus the pick, string lube and candy did not hurt.!!! Rick Wagner