I've been a pro player for a decade. At some point I decided to only buy American made guitars, and that's never a bad decision for anyone who can afford it. But I wanted/needed to buy a Tele and these CV Teles kept intriguing me. A few weeks ago I pulled the trigger after going back & forth to 4 guitar shops near me. I played them all... Am Deluxe, Am Standard, Am Special, 52 ReIssue, G&L Asats, and I almost ordered a $1600 American Elite Tele. Like I said, buying American made guitars is never a bad idea. You know what you're getting.
But I just decided to take a chance on the Chinese Squire. Now I love this instrument. Love it. Have already used it on recordings. Beautiful clean sounds. And it digs into distortion and overdrive so nicely.
If you A/B Telecasters, you will hear differences between every type, and every set of pick-ups. These pick-ups do everything I would ever want a Tele to do. They're hot & bright. Through my Fender Deluxe I would describe them as strong-sounding. Not joking. That's what my ears hear.
The tone knob could have a smoother roll-off, but that doesn't bother me. I usually set it and play.
When I say that I love it, that's all I mean. I'm not saying it's comparable to a $1600 American made instrument. It's not. I read all the reviews and kept seeing 2 negative things... glue & finish around the nut, and the input jack.
The input jack is garbage. It already crackles. The nut is fine, but I did see some leftover stuff (probably glue) around it.
Those two things were not enough for me to spend an extra $500 on an American made Tele.
The input jack will be replaced soon. $25. Done. And I wiped around the nut. I'm satisfied.
As far as workmanship, it's impressive... for a $400 Chinese import. What else can you say? An American made Tele SHOULD be cleaner and more solid than this Squire. it better be.
The neck & fretboard are my favorite things about this instrument. I love this neck. I would not replace it with an American neck/fretboard if you gave me one for free. Very thin. Every fret plays beautifully. No buzzing. Anywhere. My $4,000 Taylor needed more fret repair than this Chinese Tele.
As fas as the body... they say it's Alder. The butterscotch and vintage blonde are pine. I liked those CV Teles too. But I love this instrument.
Some reviews question whether the sunburst finish is a picture glued to a cheap piece of Alder. I can neither confirm or deny. But it looks great. It feels great. And it sounds great. If it breaks or collapses on itself in the next few years, I would be upset, and I'd probably then buy an American made Tele. From Sweetwater, of course. But believe me, I'm getting a lot of playing time out of this instrument already.
And I'm buying a bunch of other gear I needed with the money I did NOT spend on an American made Tele. Gotta dig that.