- It sounds awesome. The stock pickup is crap, but even with said stock pickup, it definitely sounds like a tele. With a proper set of pickups, I think it's really going to sing.
- The neck kicks ass! I usually don't go for glossy necks, but it's so different than anything else that I have it's immediately just more interesting to play. The frets are great as well, and the fretboard looks fantastic.
- It's really, really comfy, especially if you sling it low-ish. I'm almost a chest rocker with my RGs (not super prog dork, but a bit high), and with this I have it about 4" lower than I normally play and it feels perfect.
- It's awesome looking. It is. The finish is perfect and the clearcoat seems like it's a mile thick. It's a lot better than I'd expect for a $500 guitar.
- The hum. My godness, does it hum. Neck or bridge, it doesn't matter. If I'm 10 feet away from my amp, it hums. If I'm near a light, it hums. If a lightning bug flies by my window, it hums. My ancient, rusty, bottom-of-the-line Ibanez single coils in my EX did not hum 1% as loud as this thing does. It's basically unplayable with any sort of crunch unless I get a 100 foot cable and run into my backyard, but even then I think that passing car headlights might get picked up. The electronics in this guitar ab-so-lutely SUCK.
- These just might be the worst stock tuning pegs I've ever used.
I knew going in that this would be a project guitar, and for $500 I think it's a damn good deal. It sounds great, plays great, the finish is excellent and the frets are about on par with any of my higher end guitars. The fit/finish is really above average. I might toss a roller nut on it and some satin knobs, but that's it.
The tuners will be Sperzels, and the electronics are all coming out. I don't even trust the wires. I honestly can't believe that Fender sells a guitar that has electronics as bad as this thing does. If I was a young guy ponying up money that I saved for a while to buy this (and $500 isn't exactly cheap) I would be heartbroken. Clean tones? No problem. Twang away. Gain? Any gain? Gain at 6:01? No. You will not. You will hum, hum, hum along with everything that you play, and it's unacceptable as hell in a guitar at this price point.
That said... Pickups are easy to replace, and solder is cheap. I'm going to grab an upgraded bridge (Gotoh or so, not sure what's out there yet) and do some homework on which pickups are the best for what I'm looking for. New electronics and tuning pegs that don't go half a step flat with simple vibrato, and for around $800 all told I should have a very serviceable, very unique sounding axe that'll look, play and most importantly sound great.