Not the Guitar I Thought I Was Looking For But Not How You Think.
Haze T-style double F-hole semiacoustic review
This is the Haze T-style semiacoustic, double f-hole. It cost AU$200 delivered to my door, so I didn't realy expect perfection and, except for a few fixable problems, near perfection is what I got! This is a preliminary review, as I haven't had a chance to plug it into an amp yet, but I doubt anybody could mess up tele pickups, they're the most basic of 1940s/50s technology, so today, I'm focusing on build and playability.
What I Expected For The Price.
It has cheap strings. I'll play them out but I'm guessing they won't last long. The frets are modern and large, which suits me, I could see that on Kookaburra Music's eBay listing. It's a slim D-profile neck and it's very playable and while the fret ends are a little rough, you don't really notice because they're nicely set back from neck's edge, by a millimetre. The action was a suprise! Low, yet no buzz! The woodwork on this guitar is precision! The satin finish of the neck has a nice feel, too. I expect it will get a little dirty with time, as satin finishes do on all but the really expensive models, but overall, the playablity is golden, and I genuinely expected there'd be a lot of work needed to get it that good
What I Didn't Expect
The lustre of the high gloss finish on the body is among the deepest looking clear laquers I have ever seen and the polish is a mirror sheen. The wood of the body has the most beautiful grain of any guitar I have ever seen under AU$1000. I've seen Fender teles that aren't as rich looking as this. The flame maple top, on close inspection of the f-holes, is actually plywood with a flame maple veneer, but come on, this is a $200 guitar and they can even stretch to flame maple veneer. It's subtle, too, not overdone. I confess, I'm not a fan of the heavy hand of flame maple. This is delicate, subtle and seemlessly bookmatched.
There's no scratchplate. The bridge and bridge pickup mount is a piece of chrome plated 3mm steel, reminiscent of the tele "ashtray" bridge, but altogether more modern. Bonus points for being compatible with both through-body or tailpiece strung. The latter being less likely to shorten string life, while the former is more tele authentic, soundwise. But, like I say, I'm yet to run it through an amplifier.
What really surprised me, after all else being so good, one of the tuning machines has a big "lump" in it. It's a $200 guitar, I'm not cross, just a little, "Aw bugger, I'll have to buy new machines with some D'Addario strings." (Yer, I know, I should be putting Ernie Balls on a t-style, but I never play by the rules.) I've remachined a few guitars over the years, via eBay, just with generic enclosed machines, for as little as AU$10 a set of six for guitar. Meanwhile, the lump is just above where the guitar is nicely in tune, so the strings and machines can wait until next pay.
So, what I can't test yet is the pickups, because I don't have an amp at my home-away-from-home. What I can say is, while these are still available, grab one. Even if you have to give it new machines, like mine needs, they're a wizard axe and would be cheap at twice the price. (Kookaburra Music Tree - sold out on their web store, 6 left on their eBay at time of writing.)