I recently took the decision to 'upgrade' my Squier Affinity Strat, albeit already customised with completely new electronics including Wilkinson hot single coils. So I took a punt on going for one of the special offers at Thomann for a Dean Zelinsky Tagliare. I chose the Tagliare Standard in classic sunburst with a maple neck and fretboard - going for a traditional Strat sound. Pictures HERE
I've had it for a couple of days now, and I have not yet gone for a full set up as the instrument is still acclimatising.
So here is my review so far:
When suitably set up, and this will take some time (*see the addendum below), this is very good value for money at Thomann's price. I would have been furious if I had paid Dean Zelinsky the retail price for this, the state of the instrument on delivery (inside it's factory packaging) was appalling. In conclusion, it looks wonderful, plays OK after full set up. I am keeping it despite all the downsides it is a reasonable instrument at heart.
This guitar has a good quality classic 2 post Stratocaster style tremolo, which was set up as a floating bridge on delivery. At the moment it doesn't hold tune when the vibrato is used, but there is more setting up to do when the guitar has acclimatised. There are also locking tuners of reasonable quality, although they were not all smooth to begin with. The pickups make the right noises and the potentiometers are smooth and progressive.
Exactly as one would expect from a maple necked strat type of guitar with three single coils. Have a listen to the test noises. These are only a small range of possible noises it can make - there is a huge tonal sweep available. The first unprocessed sounds are running through all five pickup selections - the heavy noises are just from the bridge and neck pickups each on their own.
And yes, I know I can't play . . :o
This is the fly in the ointment. Yes it has some good quality components, but the quality control appears to be non existent. Upon opening the packaging I was presented with a beautiful looking instrument, wonderful glossy finish and beautiful colours. That, unfortunately, was the highlight of the day. It was not possible to tune the guitar because the factory supplied strings had not locked into the tuners so that attempting to bring any of the strings up to pitch resulted in the strings simply pulling from the capstans. So the first task was to restring it completely. The supplied set of Allen keys were slightly rusty, and the tremolo arm which was in the same packet had to be cleaned of a light rust dust. The tremolo mechanism is fitted with three springs, no additional springs were provided. The tremolo mechanism back plate appears to have been poorly cut by hand with the string access opening being uneven with some rough edges. There were a few very small scuffs on the back of the body. The neck has needs adjustment. The chromed bridge needed to be polished to remove a slight tarnish.
I will update when I have set it up properly. The upshot is, as I said at the beginning of this post, that it sounds good, is quite capable of being properly set up, and at Thomann's price it is good value despite the effort that will have to be made to get it in decent shape.
Pictures can be found HERE
Addendum post set-up:
Set it up now.
I knew it was a good guitar underneath all the niggles. ;D
The locking tuners should only have a tiny bit of a turn on them apparently, so they must have simply come a bit loose in transit ::)
Anyway, the biggest issue was the neck adjustment - the neck needed quite a few turns of 'lefty loosey' anti-clockwise turns to get the requisite back bow into it. Having done that the rest was relatively easy. I adjusted the action to my taste and added a tad of curvature, checked the intonation. Only the D and G strings required any adjustment, and very little at that.
A few judicious dabs of silicone lubricant on the nut and saddles made the tremolo hold tune significantly better - and that's enough for today. I probably won't even bother with a full tremolo set up for now.
So, after being a bit hacked off at the state Dean Zelinsky's little helpers had let it leave the factory in, all is well in Tagliare Standard land. Frankly I couldn't give a monkey's about the slightly jagged edges on the tremolo backplate. 8)
Now all I have to do is learn how to play it.