Leo Fender's famous Telecaster design is still as popular as ever after more than 60 years, and is a design that is ripe for copyists. Recently I've noticed several eBay sellers here in the UK who have been importing cheap Telecaster copies in from China and who seemed to be making quite a killing selling them on at sub-£100 prices. Checking the feedback on the sellers' accounts would seem to confirm that these guitars are worth having a look at, so when I saw this black no-name Tele offered at a special knock-down price (i.e. even cheaper than usual from this particular seller), I hit the Buy It Now button straight away.
So, how does it sound plugged in?
Well, it sounds Tele-like, no surprises there. Of course these pickups are not going to be the world's best, but having said that they don't sound bad. If anything they are a little too harsh. I used this guitar at band practice this week and I found I was having to roll off the tone all the time, especially on the bridge pickup (hey, good thing this wasn't a Strat-type guitar!). But yeah, it gives a good Tele twang, and I guess the pickups could always be upgraded if so desired, although a new set of pickups could easily cost more than the guitar itself!
On a less positive note, I noticed considerable hum from the guitar, especially when I removed my hands from the strings. Uh-oh! It's that old problem of a guitar not being properly shielded and/or grounded.
So... my cheap no-name eBay Tele... A good buy?
Definitely! I am really pleased with this guitar, and I'm sure it'll prove to be a very useful addition to my small arsenal of guitars. I would recommend these guitars to anyone wanting a cheap T-type, with the only proviso that you need to be prepared to do some tweaking. In my case it was shielding the guitar, but some might have other set-up issues.
As for the blank headstock, I would NEVER put a Fender logo on there. That would just be a lie, whereas I'm happy to tell anyone that this is just a cheap eBay guitar.
G L Wilson
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