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Sound Quality

Its a good sound.  Not what I'd consider a tele sound.  Not much twang.  More neutral and aggressive.  I suspect just hotter ceramic pickups.  Still very playable, versatile and likeable.  This guitar is sort of the un-tele with its hotter pups, flatter chunkier neck, big frets and comfortable body contours yet still cures a lot of the tele itch. 

Reliability/Durability

It'll probably last 100 years.  Certainly long enough to decide you like it well enough to spend 30 bucks on new tuners or pots.  Probably the only possible things to wear out, its still a tele.  Mine came with the nut a bit to high so playing cords you can hear it go a bit out of tune if you press hard especially with these jumbo frets.  Very common on cheaper guitars although squier usually gets it right.  Still an easy fix.  Pop out the nut sand down the bottom of it or get a new one and put it back in w/ a touch of glue.

Price/Value

Truth is a Squier is also a pretty good guitar and the affinity butterscotch tele is a hell of a little twangy rawk machine and is much more the soul of a tele out of the box.  This SX is very different.  With new pickups it could sound tele but I don't think its ever going to feel very  tele.  Mine is the 2 tone burst and the ash grain is amazing then to top if off my maple neck has very nice figuring in it and by pictures online many of these higher end ($179) teles were mated to nicer necks.  Its a full 1 3/4 thick body unlike the SX SST ash strats and the contours make it very comfortable.  Hell its worth the price just to look at as sculpture let alone its a very good sounding/playing guitar.  I've only seen a few Fenders in person that looked as good as this Sx and they were well into the $1k area.  If you want a more traditional tele look at squiers.  The standards are great but you wont get the beautiful bone structure of the sx.

General Comments

I just noticed I didn't mention the sharp frets, dead notes, grumpy tuners, milky finish, touchy switch, dead tone pot and volume that only works like an on off switch.  Because they aren't there.  All the usual cheap import guitar hot spots were perfect on my 2013 STL.  My squier affinity did have a pup go microphonic and the vol is more an on/off but the SX just needs a nut shaved (giggle).  And if there was a problem Rondo has an excellent return policy so don't worry.


Reviewer's Background

Not a tele expert but I have lots of  MIA guitars and play well enough to know its more personal preference for the feel than where it was made.


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