I have a 2009 in white that is my main guitar. I swapped the brass saddles with brass compensated saddles, but everything else is stock. When I was looking at Telecasters, the thing that made me choose this one is the vs the American Special is the 3-saddle bridge, the pickups, the lack of belly cut, and the overall feel. The things that I didn't like as much was the jumbo frets(little too big for me) and the gig bag. The pickups are stronger than most Telecasters I've tried, but a few adjustments on the amp can take care of it. The gig bag is also nice, and I have no fear taking it around, as my kids have done more damage than I have. For the money, it's a great guitar.