The $89 Tele surprise

Every couple of months, Guitar Center holds one of their “List” sales.  During the weekend (usually over a holiday) they publish a listing of stuff they’re selling at lower than normal prices.  I’ve fared well at past events (my POD 2.0 cost me $49) and often preview the lists before the sales actually start.

Well, the last one over Fourth of July featured a Squier Tele Bullet for just $89. I had seen Squier Bullets at this price before, but they were typically single-pickup Strat-style bodies.  I was intrigued, so I went online to check out what this thing might be.

Over at SquierTalk, there was some buzz beginning to build.  I started to see some pictures and get some descriptions: a Tele style body, rosewood neck, two humbuckers, big knobs, three finishes (black, candy apple red and sunburst).  I knew I needed to take a look.

I arrived at GC on the first day of the sale and tried one out.  I actually like the way it played, it sounded better than any sub $150 guitar I’d ever played and miraculously, it stayed in tune for more than five minutes.  I hemmed and hawed, and put it back.  But I was hooked.

I went back on Monday to try again.  They didn’t have the sunburst one on the rack, so I asked them to pull one from the back for me.  When I pulled it out of the box, it was almost in tune! The G string was off a bit, but otherwise, it was pretty close.  I fine tuned, plugged in, and played.  Needless to say, it worked for me a second time.  I took it home.

So here’s what I have.  A sunburst Tele body that seems to be five pieces of wood.

Black pickguard with two very cheap, but serviceable, humbuckers.  It should have had a three-way switch, but mine is a five position wired like a three way.

The tuners are the crappy ones everyone uses on their cheap guitars (my old Epi Jr. Special had the same ones) but these stay in tune.  It has a hard tail bridge, but the strings don’t go through the body as most Teles do.

It’s a fun axe that stays on the stand.  It will make an ideal modding platform when I get the nerve to do it.  All in all, $89 well spent.  Oh, and if you missed the sale, this thing is only $129!

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