I live near Toronto Ontario and in Canada it seems it's tough to get all the goodies that our American neighbours have. As a result, I would order parts from the USA and often would get hit with serious fees.
I was browsing around online and stumbled across www.solomusicgear.com/
I was admiring the reasonable prices of their necks and guitar kits when I noticed they are located nearby in Mississauga. I was very happy to find a Canadian source for necks, bodies and other guitar goodies! They are a licensed Fender dealer as well so genuine parts are available.
Needless to say at my first opportunity I went to check them out in person.
I met with Christian (not sure If I have the spelling right) but after talking for a while I settled on a neck for my strat. It was a whopping 69.99! Maple neck, Indian Rosewood fingerboard, med Jumbo frets and a 12" Radius. The neck was finished in a light coat of poly. Just enough to seal the wood so it was a little rough but it was less than 1/4 of the price I would pay for something from Warmoth so I snapped it up.
I brought the neck home and installed it on my strat. It was really comfortable and played great. I had 1 fret that was a little high and the nut (being plastic) had to go. I fixed the high fret and installed a bone nut and bingo. Had a great playing neck for a very affordable price.
The next day I was chatting with dad on the drive home from work and I mentioned the place and the kits. My birthday was in a few days and he asked me if I would like one for my birthday. Of course I said yes!
So we ordered the TCK15. It is a telecaster kit with an alder body, maple neck, Indian rosewood fingerboard and all of the pickups and electronics needed to assemble the kit.
You ready for this; the cost, only $219!
I began assembling the kit in evenings after the kids were asleep.
On the first night I bolted the neck to the body.
On the socond night I installed the pickups and on the third night I soldered the connections and strung it up.
When I plugged in I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded like a true tele should sound. Honestly I bought the guitar for the wood. Alder is a traditional Fender Tonewood as is Maple and Rosewood.
I thought I could spend another few hundred on upgraded pickups and electronics if I felt the need.
I was blown away by how good the guitar sounded. The neck pickup is warm with rich lows but it still shimmers. The Bridge pickup is full on telecaster bite, but it's not harsh and piercing. It cuts through the mix but is pleasing to the ear. The middle position is traditional tele quack. I have no plans to replace the pickups any time soon.
The other thing that surprised me was there seemed to be minimal noise in the single coil positions. I had two overdrives stacked. The Providence SOV2 and the J Rockett DUDE. It was pretty quiet considering the pickup cavities are not shielded.
Honestly I love this guitar. I play it constantly and can't wait to gig with it.
Stick around because a full video review is coming soon!