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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.


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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