SX STL Alder Telecaster Review: Crazy Value!

Hello there, back again with another real guitar review here! This time, we are having an excellent Telecaster clone by SX STL Alder Telecaster!

If you are a regular reader of my website, you are very aware of my love for SX Guitars. I have played almost all the models and also owned an SX SST62 which I loved a lot!

For those who are on a tight budget, it’s pretty normal to go for the alternative brands that manufacture iconic guitar designs such as Strats, Teles or Les Pauls. But the problem with the budget-friendly clones is that they usually ship with very low-quality hardware. Plus, you also have the risk of having a not properly checked and inspected instrument as well as bad craftsmanship.

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So one should accept the fact that you will most likely have a bad instrument with clones. However, SX Guitars are a bit different from the rest. One of the main reasons for this is that they really use a set of nice quality woods on the body and the neck, also the craftsmanship is pretty OK most of the times.

I also strongly believe that SX Guitars are so successful with the amount of precision they apply to the clones. It’s so on point that sometimes it may even be a disadvantage for some people. For example, if you know about 50s Strats and Teles, they usually don’t feature a truss rod adjustment that is normally placed on the headstock.

Just like that, you will see here, this SX STL Alder Telecaster doesn’t have a truss rod adjustment on the headstock, instead, it’s on the other side of the neck. So you basically have to remove the bolts on the neck plate (after you have loosened the strings) and the neck from the body. There you will have a screw that enables you to tighten or loosen the truss rod.

Before I provide you with the tech specs of SX STL Alder Telecaster, let me share some of the videos. We sold so many SX models back in the day that sometimes we would have a couple of the same models in a day! That’s we came up with the concept of “Pişti” in Turkish which is kind of a slang word derived from a card name meaning when you witness two identical things or event happening at the same time. Here is one of the videos belonging to this concept, featuring SX STL Alder Telecasters. I played the leads and my colleague played the rhythm parts.

This video was recorded with a Fender Pro Junior valve amp for lead guitar and Marshall AVT50 amp + an old Boss SD2 for rhythm guitar, all sounds were captured with Rode VideoMic Pro.

Here’s a brief chart for tech specs of SX STL Alder Telecaster below.

Tech Specs of SX STL Alder Telecaster

BodyAmerican Alder
ConstructionBolt-On
NeckSelected Canadian Maple
Scale25.5" (648 mm)
FingerboardMaple
PickupsNo info, classic T-Style, 2 Single Coil pickups.
Controls3-way Pickup Selector, 1 Tone and 1 Volume Pots.
Radius305 mm
Frets21, Medium Jumbo
TunersChrome, Die-Cast
Nut Width42.mm
NutSynthetic Bone

As you can see, they claim it’s an American Alder, hence you have the USA flag on the pickguard. Interesting enough, this was the topmost asked question about SX STL Alder Telecaster.

“Is this USA flag sticker removable?”

Yes! It’s actually placed on top of the cling film that protects the pickguard, so when you remove the cling film, you are also removing the sticker 🙂

SX STL Alder Telecaster features an almost Strat type of headstock, as well as a bit bigger frets that you usually find in Teles. I’m not sure about the type but I believe it was medium-jumbo frets. I think the headstock and the bigger frets for a Tele are the only things that are not vintage style 🙂

I also recorded a full review video of this instrument, please listen to it below. The audio was recorded again with a Marshall JVM205C valve amp and Shure SM57 microphone directly into TC Electronic Impact Twin. All settings on every channel were 12 o’clock!

As far as I remember, it was priced at around $200 in Turkey. So for this price, I think it’s a steal! Again, with every SX I tried, there are a couple of things to upgrade if possible.

String trees, nut and tuners are not great as well as any hardware component on this instrument. Since these may directly affect the playability by causing tuning and intonation problems, I would upgrade them.

Also, not to mention the pickups are not the best ones. The electronics work well for this price tag, however, the pickup selector switch was always very stiff. You will notice my struggle at the beginning of this video I have just shared.

If you are into Teles and don’t want to spend tons of money or if you want to go for a guitar project and invest in it for some possible upgrades, I would definitely recommend SX STL Alder Telecaster.

Although I have full of positive feelings about SX Guitars (except a single model, SX EG2K, see my review here!), but this guitar wouldn’t fit me.

My main reason for this is that I don’t like Teles! 🙂 I always find this design very rough and difficult to manage as a player. Even most of the modern Teles by the original Fender company doesn’t feature a contour on top of the body.

So I find this design completely difficult to play with. But for some people, it’s the opposite. Quality-wise this guitar offers a way higher value than its price tag. The number of sales also proves my point as it’s the top seller among all SX Guitars in Turkey.

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Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find these guitars online. But I would recommend you Google it sometimes to see if there’s any 2nd hand showing up on some websites. Also, do not forget to consider some fundamental upgrades such as a nut or saddle upgrade. If you also like to see my article on basic upgrades on an SX SST62 Stratocaster, please visit this piece of content here.

I hope this has been insightful information about this excellent value/money electric guitar! Thanks for your time, and see you in the next article!

Osman

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