I ordered this on a Friday and it arrived on the following Tuesday. Fantastic delivery time from Thomann.
I was not expecting much from this guitar, because lets face it, it is still cheaper than the equivalent model from Squier or Yamaha. Oh boy was I surprised.
First of all, I should add that this guitar was packaged properly. It came in a box with polystyrene supports for the neck and polystyrene blocks around the edges of the box to make it unmoveable during transit. Better than the Burns guitar I had ordered previously.
Then it was packed, along with a second guitar I had also ordered, into a larger Thomann branded outer box filled with loads of "air filled" plastic padding.
Out of the box, the intonation was a little bit sharp on the twelfth fret and the action was set to about medium height, which is just how I like it. The six adjustable saddles make it easier to set the intonation or drop the action when compared to the standard telecaster setup and the strings still go through the body. This means that you not only get get loads of sustain, but you also get a snazzy looking bridge that does not slice the hand.
The finish on this guitar is flawless, I really mean flawless too. I could not find a thing wrong with it and I was looking really hard. The ivory colored binding is even on both the edge of the body and the "f" holes. There were no dings or discoloration in the finish and the pickups and neck were aligned perfectly. The color is a deep red, and allows the wood of the body to show through very clearly. So clearly, that it initially appears that this body is made from a single piece of wood. Looking at the rear, you can quite clearly see that the grain flows perfectly across the body, with no obvious joins or loss in grain quality. However, looking closely I noticed that the back of the guitar is nearly 6mm of a nice laminate that looks like it is glued to the main body. I can't tell how many pieces make up the main body but the quilted maple top, probably also a laminate, seams to be made from one nice piece of wood.
There is a solid piece of wood running down the center of the guitar which adds weight to the whole setup.
This guitar is heavier than you might think. It weighs slightly more than a Squier Standard Telecaster and as I said before it has a lot of sustain. This may be in part due to the ivory colored set of P90 style Wilkinson pickups, combined with an excellent set of D'addario strings. They provide that true P90 sound, which is a little smoother and louder than single coils. Not quite as hiss free as humbuckers, but still bloody good just the same. Electrics also seem good, operating smoothly and without crackle.
This guitar has only a single volume, a single tone and a three way switch. Very simplified but very useable just the same. It is so nice to find a tone and a volume pot that actually graduate properly across the full range. So many budget guitars come with a volume that is either on or off or a tone that only has two settings. These two controls seem smooth and flawless in operation. The only thing I would change on this setup would be to add indentations, (sunken circles aka PRS), so that the two tone knobs come out at a straight angle.
Now we come to the neck. I haven't ever played a neck this comfortable and I have owned Fenders, Gibsons, Yamahas and Squier guitars over the years. It has a soft "D" profile, with nicely inlaid mother of pearl style dot markers that shine at all angles. It is one piece maple with a satin finish and a rosewood fretboard. The frets appear to be a fraction slimmer than medium jumbo and have no harsh edges or finish problems. The nut is well finished and inlaid and would appear to be made of synthetic bone. The rosewood fingerboard didn't even need oiling when it arrived, but I did that anyway. The tuners feel like quality units and are set on a headstock that is a fraction larger and more rounded than the other Harley Benton that I purchased, (a TE-40), at the same time. They keep tune well once the strings are stretched in.
This guitar would be good value at three hundred euros, but at only a hundred and seventy five it offers excellent value for money. It is a no nonsense instrument that I would have no problem using as my main guitar and out plays anything I have come across at twice the price. It looks good, has a nice classic tone to it and plays like a dream. Also, having a three year Thomann warranty and excellent customer support means that if you do have any problems with it, they will be dealt with smoothly and efficiently.
It matches my Marshall amplifier perfectly.
Grab one now before Thomann realises what they have and raise the price.