SUPER COOL & AMAZINGLY AFFORDABLE TELE!!
After going through several different modern "Telecasters", (i.e., Squire Classic Vibes, Mexican Standards, etc.) I finally decided to spring for this beauty. Sure am glad I did, and am at last very satisfied. I am no stranger to Fender, and Tele's in general, having owned several in my 50+ years of playing, and this bad boy ranks right up there with any of them.
Chinese or not, this guitar is definitely made well. MUCH better quality and attention to detail than any Mex model that I've tried, and the pine body is super-nice. Love the gut cut, and the finish is amazing. The big star here, though, is the neck. What a beauty, lovely grained maple and I love the gloss fingerboard. Those jumbo frets are smooth as silk and perfectly finished - - plays like butter. Of course, I had to do a bit of setup (filed down the nut slots slightly, and did some saddle intonation for my new set of strings) but those things are always necessary in any mail order guitar, don't fool yourself. The strings that came with it were garbage, so the Fender .009's that I put on made all the difference in the world in playability and intonation. The vintage tuners seem to work well and hold tune, so they are fine with me. The hardware seems very solid and up to specs with American Fenders, and the pickups are fine for my playing. Granted, the bridge humbucker is a tad weak when split, but I raised the pickup closer to the strings and that helped a lot. May replace it at some point with something more substantial, but right now I see no need. The unusual pickup configuration on this bad boy is amazing, and you can get Strat tones galore (I especially like the #2 setting) and even LP tones. Don't expect that bright Tele single-coil spark when the humbucker is split, though - - it's just not quite the same. Bright enough, but just not the Don Rich sound. I rarely use that sound anyway, so for me it's not an issue, and when I do play country and need that spank the humbucker works OK. I did notice that the neck pup was also a bit anemic, so I raised it a bit and now it's just fine. Unfortunately, you have to remove the pickguard to raise the neck pup, but since I have always done all my setups, this was not a big deal for me. I may replace all the pups on this guitar someday down the road, but like I said they are fine as is right now.
This is a wonderfully playable and affordable tele, and I recommend it to anyone, beginner to pro. Quit wasting your time and $$$ on Squires and Mexican stuff when these are out there - - you'll not believe how well this thing plays and sounds. I got the Honeyburst, and it's a real beauty. Can't say when I've enjoyed playing a guitar this much, and plan on doing some recording this winter. GREAT JOB, Fender!