I think it’s clear from this blog that I like strat’s, however after owning a less inspiring Mexican version with far more bells and whistles than I actually needed (reviewed immediately below) I decided to step out on a limb and buy something simple and classic. Mind you it wasn’t too much of a limb because this guitar feels almost identical to a strat apart from the slightly heavier non-contoured body. Indeed I do think Tele’s look cooler than strats. This one was of course US made, I think in 1999. The story behind it was that the guitarist in my old band used to play an almost identical guitar and I figured if it was good enough for him it was good enough for me. Also I had just split-up with my girlfriend and was in need of cheering up – perhaps being nostalgic for “old times”.
How does it sound?
Tonally the Tele is not as diverse as the strat but it still sounds great. I found it beautiful for most things on the clean to a bit of dirt side of the spectrum, however after a year or so of owning this I went out and bought a PRS SE with two humbuckers to handle the heavier stuff. The band I was in at the time played mostly covers and together these two guitars got me through a lot of gigs very well. I found the Tele a little bit heavy and the silver pick-up cover used to get quite dirty, but as mentioned above I really liked the overall look (how vain!). Played through my Laney VC30 it was bit brighter than I may of liked, but sometimes brightness can be a good thing especially if there is something like a Hammond in the band that gets a bit greedy with the number of frequencies it covers! My enduring memory of this guitar is fluffing the intro to the “Friends” theme tune in front of everyone at the year 2000 festival in Farnborough park!
Keep or sell?
I sold this when the number of gigs I was doing reduced and I could no longer justify two electrics. Although I liked the Tele there was nothing it could do that a strat couldn’t plus more. Also my band split up and I was going through a slightly difficult time so I wanted a new guitar to take me in a different direction. I think in the future I would not be adverse to getting another one, however it would come quite a bit down the wishlist. I’m glad I tried a Tele and do see why people get excited about them, however if I am to own only one electric that’s got to be a strat for me!