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Sound Quality

As stated earlier both pickups are ceramic. The bridge pickup sounded reasonable but it didn't have a metal base plate like a true tele pickup so I swapped it out. The neck pickup sounds a little muddy but at the same time sounds "full" and has a nice presence to it. I swapped it for an aftermarket alnico pickup but compared the ceramic it just sounded dull, I put the ceramic back in after a day. I can live with a touch of muddiness for the great presence and fullness it gives. Acoustically the guitar sounds good... nice and resonant. Don't know what else to say... it sounds like a telecaster, if you want a tele I'm sure you know what they sound like. The tone and volume pots are a little scratchy but I can live with it. The guitar needs shielding, I did it myself on mine when I changed the strings. Speaking of strings the ones it ships with are crap, very light gouge and do not sound good.

Reliability/Durability

The guitar is built tough. Whilst the tuners aren't super rock solid they do hold tune fairly well. The finish is thick and hard, I have smacked into things with the guitar accidentally a few times and it hasn't even left a mark. Electronics are a little dodgy and will most likely need replacing sometime in the future.

General Comments

I have been playing for 5 years and own 5 guitars. Telecasters suit my needs perfectly and this Monterey offering is the best value for money, period. With a pickup change I would say it is easily the equal of a mexican Fender, perhaps better when you consider the superior cosmetic features it has (like binding etc).

 

The only complaint I have about it is the horrible fret buzz all over the neck. I really do not want to go through the hassle of getting a fret level but it seems with this guitar it is an absolute necessity.

 

If it were stolen I would buy it again, this is "my guitar".





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