I went out to buy a Telecaster, so I only really looked at other Teles - and this compared really well with US instruments costing 4 times as much. I would most certainly replace it with as nearly identical a one as I could get (the Midnight Wine finish is scarce in the UK).
For a Telecaster, it is hard to see how this could be improved. If you like the slightly greater neck radius and nut width of the US instruments, then you might consider a Fender Highway One series guitar, but I actually prefer the Squier Standard neck to any but the oldest US necks.
Favourite aspect? The sound. Or is it the neck? No, it's the overall playability - I can play exactly the kind of music I want to on this instrument, and it constantly, but gently, challenges me to develop and improve. Could I give it a higher compliment?
Anything else? This is truly phenomenal value - only real decal snobs would rule this out because it says "Squier by Fender" and not plain "Fender" on the peghead!
Price: $199.00 GBP (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Mania, Parkstone, UK
Made in Indonesia.
Solid alder body, neck maple, fingerboard rosewood,
22 frets, 6 strings.
Controls: 3 position pickup selector (bridge/neck/both); 1 volume; 1 tone
Passive electronics: 2 alnico single-coil paraffin damped pickups.
Midnight Wine metallic polyurethane finish, oiled neck
Single cutaway body.
String-thru-body bridge, six fully adjustable saddles.
Standard solid die-cast, sealed lubricated individual tuners.
9.5" radius neck with slightly flattened fretboard - very straight & stable neck, beautiful silky feel. Plays extremely well compared with other Fenders, even 50's models. The overall effect is one of great flexibility and speed, with real sensitivity of fingering.
Usually played with StarFire Mega 10 amp, line-out to Carlsboro 600w PA, no FX. Usually play Christian worship music (lead guitar), blues/fusion for fun.
This is a classic Telecaster sound, biting sting on the bridge pickup, from bell-like clarity to warm jazz tone on bridge pickup, real solid chugging punch from both together. Compares equally with US Fender Telecaster - it would be a crime to modify this!
Noisy? All single-coil pickups can be a bit noisy - you just have to be careful where you stand!
This one is as solid as any Telecaster, and all the bridge adjustments work well. I've not had to adjust the truss-rod, and intonation only when changing from Fender (supplied) to my favourite d'Addario strings. Changes in climate, humidity especially, will throw the instrument out of tune, perhaps the oiled neck finish breathes more than a polyurethane finished neck? I don't care, it plays so well I'm happy to put up with retuning when the weather changes!
All controls and hardware flawless after 8 months' hard use.