Gigged it for the first time last night, and plugged it straight into the amp. I don't know if this is true of all teles, but the variation in tone is huge. Never had a guitar change character so much with just one flick of the selector.
This is a relatively cheap guitar, and it reminded me of a story.
When I was about seventeen years old, I had been playing guitar for around one year. I had taken a few lessons with a local teacher, and I had accumulated some basic skills.
I stopped the lessons and went to drama school, where I started taking music classes and also got a great opportunity to jam with other
players from different backgrounds. Many of these players were well trained and much further along with their instruments than I was, while others were completely self taught and had the idiosyncratic approaches typical to that type of musicianship.
During this time, I had reached some kind of stumbling block with my playing - one of those frustrating times when you can't see any improvement in your instrumental abilities or your musicianship. I was somehow under the impression that the fault lay with my guitar. I thought that the reason I couldn't play 'well' (which at that level of experience probably meant 'fast') was because my guitar was a cheaper model, and therefor harder to play.
One evening after classes, a few of us had a jam set up. Another guitarist from the year above came along. He had his guitar with him. It was a plywood thing, paint chipping off, no name, really cheap
hardware. The bridge had fallen off, and he had replaced it with a magic marker wrapped in gaffer tape. The wiring was shot through, so he had rewired it himself without solder (and without a proper
grounding). It was a real piece of shit, and it looked un-playable.
We got to the jam, and he played ten times better than me on that thing.