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Squier by Fender Tele Custom II P90 - Black Reviews
You have to be having a laugh really don\'t you? 20 years ago I bought a Squire Tele. It was £220 and a complete plywood shed. Today I took delivery of a new Squire Telecaster Custom II with P90\'s. Its drop-dead cool - all black with maple board. It plays beautifully, sounds top notch - never mind replacement pick-ups, I think Seymore Duncam have missed a trick here; their \'designed\' pick-up\'s on this are more than adaquate jobs, really very nice. Best of all, I bought this for the grand total of.... £155! Absolute bargin, thank you Squire for producing some really excellent guitars these days, you are clearly back in your prime again, long may that continue!
If, like me, you’re after great tone on very limited resources, you’ll be familiar with the practice of buying *CHEAP* stock gear and modding it to hit your particular spot. I’ve done it with guitars and amps with excellent results. A couple of EL84’s here, some new pickups there - the key is always to be starting off with a basically alright foundation on which to build.
After snouting around relatively pricey MIJ Fenders, G&L and such on the web, I followed advice on message boards/review sites (thank you harmony central) and checked out the new Squiers. There were various ones that caught my eye. The basic Tele was a possible, along with the Jagmaster and this one, the Squier Custom Tele 2 P90. The online consensus was that it was a versatile design and a basic, but playable bit of wood. Fine, good enough for me. You don’t always get what you pay for - let go of manufacturer/label snobbery and with a bit of savvy you’ll liberate yourself and your wallet. If it plays ok, I’ll bung some decent pickups in – nice sounding guitar for under £300 and another colour in the tone pallete.
I’ve ordered out of stock stuff off Dolphin before and it’s arrived (eventually) in immaculate condition. They’re a bit like DV247 who I’ve also dealt with – bigger retailers, bigger presence with competitive prices. Not the ones for your esoteric bit of boutique gear, but I’m 100% confident ordering from this type of outlet because they have the customer service to sort out any difficulties.
The guitar was out of stock when I placed my order. I waited about 3 weeks then made a phone call to check progress. Everything was handled well, I was told when it was en route and it arrived when they said it was going to.
I signed ‘goods unchecked’ as instructed. Out of the box the guitar was in perfect condition bar the fact that the pickup switch was flapping around only barely visible inside the body of the guitar. It made it look like it was broken. Bum. I was getting ready to send it back but it was just a screw washer missing on the pickup switch. Could have come off in transit, but I checked the box and packaging and it wasn’t there. It probably arrived that way from the supplier but didn’t get a cursory check before it went out.
Other than that, the customer service was friendly, professional and spotless. I got a follow up phone call checking everything was in order and a couple of emails. All good – consumer confidence intact.
I’ve had this guitar for over a month now.
I’ve a trusted Tech who tweaks my guitars and he spent about ½ an hour on it, reckoned the intonation was very close and lowered the strings just a touch –marginal stuff. It plays fine for my needs (see below). I give it a fair old bashing and it holds it’s tuning well. Not bad for cheap components.
I was debit card at the ready, gearing up to drop on some bespoke pickups but… these Seymour Duncan P90’s really are all that. High output, nicely balanced, lots of tonal options across the two pickups and vol/tone pots.
It plays nice with all the other toys, namely a slightly modded Blues Junior, a stock Tiny Terror and a modest smattering of effects pedals. Hit the front end of a Class A tube amp hard with one of these and try suppressing a big s*hit-eating grin – go on, I dare you.
My playing ability (or lack of) restricts me to rhythm playing. I know what I can and can’t do at least. I’m a writer, I work with chords, textures, grooves and riffs mainly, record, sometimes sample stuff off and p*issball around with it in computers etc la la. The higher quality sound you’ve got going in, obviously the better chance you have of making something good out of it. Sweet opaque tops/ harmonics via dirty blues churns and punky barre chords, that’s right up my street and this guitar just flat out works for me. It flatters certain ideas in a way that none of my other guitars do. I’ve written new songs on it, it records great, it’s become one of my ‘first to grab’ axes and it’s helped the way I think about guitar tones. That’s intended as a very high compliment. I love it, it’s a keeper.
I’d recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a cheapo sleeper that plays well and sounds GREAT. This is the sound in my head (or at least one of them), plus some I hadn’t thought of, all out of a stock guitar costing £159.00!
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