Well, where do I start on what is quite possibly the cheapest Telecaster style guitar in the world?
Like many people I was drawn in by the price, and I had a free postage code at the time, so I ploughed online for reviews, including the reviews here and eventually decided to go for the cheapest available (without the sunburst veneer) as I planned to do some work on it, and figured all the models would like have the same basic build quality and features.
I wanted a basswood body, as generally they are resonant, not as heavy as cheap ash, and also would be durable.
When the guitar arrived, it was well packaged, complete with a free cable.
It needed set-up out of the box, but was acceptable and could be used immediately - it was even almost in tune!
There were a few flaws with the guitar (paint run on the back, rough edge on the bridge, some minor imperfections in the paint etc) but Thomas's excellent customer service sorted that out quickly and I am happy with the guitar.
I am planning some new pickups - the bridge pickup is VERY bright compared to quite a dark neck pickup, but it definitely has a telecaster sound. I just want a mellower bridge and a brighter neck. I am also planning to upgrade the electronics, although that is relatively unnecessary. It also has a vintage bridge now fitted (which, with some new holes) screws directly into place and covers the old holes (unlike a Squier Affinity bridge change).
On taking the guitar apart, it well build overall - a bit of rough finishing inside the control cavity but everything is otherwise great. It;s not string through but the guitar rings very well and sustains well. Tuners feels solid and hold well.
The fret work is good although it could use a fret dress and the guitar can be set up basically but overall, it is superb value for money.
This is a budget guitar but certainly not budget feeling. The neck is nice, the instrument is well made and finished, and although the guitar is a 20th of a cheap USA Fender, it's still 90% of that guitars qualities and build.
Superb guitar for modders, beginners and (I hasten to say it) but professional musicians like myself could gig this guitar out of the box. I plan to raid my parts bin, add some new pickups & electronics, a bridge, strap locks/strap and do a full fret dress & setup, then it will be fully gig ready.
A VERY worthy investment - I would buy a Harley Benton guitar with confidence that it punches WELL above it's price weight.