Solo TCK-1 DIY Electric Guitar Kit

(46 customer reviews)

$ USD 119.99

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SKU: TCK-1 Category:

Product Description

This DIY guitar kit has everything you need for building your own TC Style Electric Guitar. You will only need some basic tools and finishing supplies. This kit includes all parts and step-by-step instructions to build a complete, playable custom guitar. All challenging wood cutting, drilling and shaping has already been professionally done, as well as fret leveling and dressing.

Kit includes:

  • Basswood body with a poly sealant
  • Unfinished maple neck with blackwood (engineered rosewood) fingerboard
  • Hex threaded peghead bushings with washers
  • String Retainers
  • Tuning Machines
  • Strings
  • Strap Buttons
  • Pickguard Assembly
  • Bridge Assembly
  • Neck Plate
  • Control Plate Assembly
  • Jack plate (2 mounting screws included)
  • Cord
  • Hex wrench for truss-rod adjustment
  • Allen Key for saddle height adjustment
  • All mounting screws are included
IMPORTANT (in addition to our standard return policy): due to their nature kits can be returned only in virtually untouched condition and in original package.

Technical Details

DIY Kit Information

Poly Resin Sealer


Body Information


Body Material


Neck Information




Scale Length

Thick Nut

Width Nut

Hardware and Electronics
Hardware Color

Selector Type







9 lbs


28 × 14 × 4 in

46 reviews for Solo TCK-1 DIY Electric Guitar Kit

  1. John Sadler (verified owner)

    Had a good experience doing this project. I have wanted a Telecaster and this kit made it possible. ( finished guitar is at Guitar tech being set up properly) Hoping it sets up as good as it looks.
    Used gun stock oil on the neck and it turned out really nice. I used a Min Wax High gloss product for the body.
    It was fairly easy to do. Just take your time and make sure you understand the steps.
    I plan to do another.


    John S.

  2. steve (verified owner)

    for the money these guys cant be beat. Go buy a guitar neck and body elsewhere. The quality for the money really is spectacular. Not to mention they keep building on their products making it super easy to build whatever you want and a fraction of the cost. Also njce to learn about the builds. Gives you more respect and appreciation for your instrument. Keep doing what you do guys. Ill be buying plenty more bodies necks and kits in the future. Oh also customer service is amazing. Very quick response always.

  3. Wayne Mabee (verified owner)

    Everything was exactly as claimed. Body is nice, good wood grain. Neck excellent. Hardware, pickups etc. are adequate.
    Had a lot of fun sanding and finishing the body in satin finish clear varnish. Looks awesome. Added a Bigsby type tremolo. Works great!
    Hope to build another soon.

  4. Don Ervin (verified owner)

    Very good experience building this kit. The neck was nicely prepared with just a little fret polishing needed. All pieces fit together perfectly with no adjustment other than normal neck setup. The components were better quality than expected. Only weakness is in the tuners but they are adequate. The process of sanding, finishing and assembly was an enjoyable one. May just have to do another.

  5. Nikolas G.

    I recently ordered and received this Kit and I must say it is absolutely awesome! Bang for buck is amazing and I loved the finish.
    My only concern is that the selector switch that came in the Kit is faulty so now I am looking for a new switch.
    For anyone reading these reviews especially, I would like to point out that the experience of building your own guitar is a lot of fun and with the quality provided by SOLO you simply can’t go wrong and I highly recommend them!

    • Matt McWaters

      Hi Nick,
      Thanks for your review of your TCK kit !
      We appreciate the kind words very much.
      Very glad to hear you were happy with the quality of your kit.
      Would you like us to send you a replacement switch ?
      (3-way blade)
      If so, please send us the address you would like your replacement send to and we will get that out to you ASAP.
      – Matt

  6. Nikolas Gavreseas

    I must say, same day response and it was emailed directly to me as well. I am extremely impressed. They are going above and beyond even after I purchased and that means almost everything to me.
    Great, great, great company to work with.

  7. Scott N.

    I received this as a Christmas gift this year and was super stoked I couldn’t wait to get working on it. I just completed it and I am very pleased with this guitar, looking forward to jamming with it tonight. It was a lot of fun to have a hands on custom guitar experience. I would definitely recommend these kits to anyone who plays guitar. I am already looking at what kit I will get next.

  8. Mike O’Hara (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this project. The price was great! Everything was included. I’m still working on the setup but that’s a good thing because I’m learning a lot.
    It sounds great.

    I’ll be getting another kit before long.

    I did have a question and the response came very quickly.

    Keep up the great work.

    A happy customer from Halifax.


  9. jastremsky_68

    Bought a lefty Tele from Matt. Product sure looks great and well machined! Service , communication, follow- up from Matt @ SOLO is excellent ! I looking forward to mounting this Tele kit. Will purchase additional items in the near future.
    Thumbs UP to all at SOLO !
    Michael j

  10. Randell Davidson

    I was happy with the product as a whole. I was not happy that the body had a very odd looking plug in it that was not the same color wood as the rest. Like it was drilled out and plugged. This would preclude staining the body. So, I decided to paint it. Credit goes out to Solo, I brought it to their attention and they offered to let me send it back. I chose to keep it and paint it.

  11. Mathieu (verified owner)

    Quick delivery, nice kit easy to build. A special thanks to Matt for is prompt response and good support and advices. Next project will be the stratocaster style guitar and later the PRS and also….

  12. joe kob (verified owner)

    fantastic kit to build a tele, i just want to advise people though, that as i was building it i uad planned to replace parts such as the bridge plate/saddles and the plate with sound control. the only problem i had is that the drill holes were not made for those standard pieces i had bought, so if you don’t have a drill or router be weary with buying replacement parts. thats all thoigh, otherwise the kit is fantastic, feels nice and with my “mods” sounds nice too

  13. Keith M (verified owner)

    I had always wanted to try something like this and after waiting for the Tele kits to come back in stock I was excited to get at my winter project. My goal was to learn stuff about wood finishing and get enough of a taste of guitar building to know if I wanted to go further with it. If I got a playable instrument out of the deal I’d be very happy.

    I built the tele-style in plain basswood. I had considered a nicer wood but thought I’d use this one as a learning tool. The wood is not beautiful but it is adequate, and there are some interesting areas of woodgrain. The neck is nice maple and the frets and fretboard needed nothing. I spent a ton of time sanding and researching finishing options. I went with Keda wood dyes and Tru-Oil, and picked up some micro-mesh pads as well. The only thing I’d change would be that there is black binding already installed on the top, which got in the way of sanding. It would sand, but at a different rate than the wood. This is a minor complaint.

    After finishing (took about six weeks, taking my time and doing lots of coats), assembly was very easy. All the holes were perfect except for one that I had to re-drill (pretty good considering there’s probably two dozen holes) and the guitar went together very quickly and everything fit nicely. The soldering was another learning curve for me. There is not a ton of extra wire so one needs to be careful, but it wasn’t too difficult.

    The guitar looks great and I’m super pleased with it. It was a really pleasant way to spend winter evenings, sanding and polishing and messing around with stain. I am still sorting out the setup and intonation, as again, it’s a learning curve, but it tuned up and the pickups are fine. It sounds like a Tele. The switch gear has a nice solid feel to it.

    I have read reviews elsewhere that are somewhat dismissive….the key here is that this was a very attractive price point and it is an entry-level project. Yes, you can get heirloom-quality guitar kits with fine tone woods and high-end electronics, but you’ll pay a LOT more and it’s not fair to compare apples to oranges. This kit delivered exactly what it promised, for a very reasonable price. It allowed me to get a taste of guitar building without spending a lot of money. I spent less than $200.00 in total and had a blast, and have a guitar that I’m proud to show off. I will absolutely be doing another, notwithstanding that I don’t actually need another guitar…..

    Matt was super helpful, answering my dumb email questions very quickly. This is above and beyond service. Five stars for a solid product and excellent service and support.

  14. Phil Piitz (verified owner)

    Prompt delivery, kit went together well but I did do some personal adjustments. The neck set very well and once together sounds fantastick.
    If you want a kit to customize this is your kit.
    Thanks again

  15. Alex (verified owner)

    I really didn’t know what to expect since this was my fist time purchasing and assembling a DIY Guitar. I’m not used to craftmanship that much. I must say, I was really surprised with the quality of the product. Once it was finished, my Solo Tele Style DIY Guitar Kit, Basswood Body sounded as good as my two Gibson Les Paul (Studio and CM). I’m almost regretting spending 1000$ on each of these guitars while I only spent 130$ on this one that sounds and feels awesome! I’ll be purchasing one or 2 more of these guitars in the next month for sure!

  16. DAVID CORMIER (verified owner)

    It’s the kind of project that your new girlfriend will be jealous… Sorry, no time to get out to see their friends or family!! ????

  17. Andrew (verified owner)

    Since I was younger I wanted to build a guitar and the tele was always a favourite of mine, enjoyed all the work that went into to building this guitar. The bridge are very comparable to the ones I played on when using a original tele years ago, but am looking to replace them with the fender bridge Solo sells, I am firm that each string should have it’s own saddle to ensure better intonation while setting up the guitar.

    In saying that, what comes from Solo as the kits still stands up very well in my studio and I am impressed with the pickups that ship with the guitar. Great products SOLO, looking forward to possibly building a Strat next.

  18. Stephen Taillon (verified owner)

    This is my third kit, after a jazz bass and, a jazz master.
    As you get used to building these kit, the results get better and better.
    This one looks great, sounds great and, plays great.
    Definitely a keeper.
    Thanks again Matt, for the tip on the electronics.
    P.S. I’m working on an acoustic right now.

  19. Ted Doan (verified owner)

    Received my first solo kit about 3 days after I placed my order. It’s a basic tele with basswood body and maple neck with rosewood fretboard. Everything well packaged and all hardware screws etc in separate zip locks. Every last piece was in the box right down to the smallest screw and matched the description in the assembly guide. Every hole was predrilled to proper size and depth. The neck pocket had the same taper as the neck and fit tight and straight.

    Everything went together in a few hours with no modification necessary.

    The neck and body needed the 3 sanding steps mentioned in the instructions and came out flawless. There’s just nothing wrong with the fit.
    Electronics were easy to assemble and work well.

    Very nice kit and great value at a modest cost. This kit more than met my expectations. Great to work with a company like this.

  20. Ron (verified owner)

    I wanted to give 6 stars. Nigel from Spinal Tap would have. His volume knob goes to 11. Seriously, I am so pleased with my purchase. The body and the neck were in great shape. Both exceeded my expectations. All of the other parts were well packaged and of good quality. The customer service was exceptional. I will buy other products for sure!

  21. Stephen Crane (verified owner)

    This is my first attempt at kit building a guitar. Great components,price and shipping. Ièm looking forward to the experience.

  22. Andy (verified owner)

    Super fast shipping – neck to body fit perfect- pots and selector sw surprisingly smooth- mine has a really nice fretboard- some weird grain stuff going on with the three piece body- but I’m probably painting it solid anyway.
    A little tricky to set up the 3 piece bridge – no more difficult than keeping a Les Paul in tune though.

    Been around guitars for 40 years and for 139 bucks… I would strongly recommend this kit to anyone.

  23. David Rees (verified owner)

    The guitar I ordered arrived the next day – I was impressed, but when I opened the box and fit the parts I didn’t expect it to fit so well, so doubly impressed. The body is 3 pieces with a small gap in the top, and a weird mushy spot in the back, but my plan was to paint it black, so that was fine. I Tru-oiled and waxed the neck, dressed the fret ends which were a bit sharp (just used sandpaper to knock the edges off), scalloped the 15-22 fret (love that it has 22 frets!), and put a Fender decal on (I’d be happy to use a Solo decal next time, if you put it in the kit 😉 I really like the black binding, but I had a few mods in mind, incl piano black finish with cream binding, Jeff Beck-style neck heel (I forget what Fender line uses this), waist cutout, reversed control plate (pickup switch at the back, volume at the front), and staggered tuners so I wouldn’t need string trees because I wanted to bend behind the nut w/o strings popping out of the trees. The binding came first, but getting the black binding off was really hard in places -some parts would peel off easily and some areas I had to cut away with a knife, which slipped a few times and made some gouges. The cream binding I ordered from China was complete crap -it keep breaking because some parts were really brittle and others were flexible, and when I used a heat gun some parts would soften and others would instantly droop and warp, so it was hell, but after 4 tries I got it OK. The lesson is buy Stewmac binding if you want to try this. I had a few minor hiccups because I ordered binding, neck plate, and other parts from China, and some took over 3 months to arrive. I was impatient, so started finish work w/o all the parts, so there was a bit of rework involved, but in the end, it came out so freaking well I’m stunned. The only part I really HAD to replace was the absolutely horrible jack which led to intermittent signal, even after bending the tab -a $3 Switchcraft jack took care of that problem. Playability was really good (the Jeff Beck neck plate makes a HUGE difference), but the action was a tad higher than I like, so I levelled the frets (minor levelling) and got the action way down. I’ve never had single coil pickups (Les Pauls, Eddy-inspired partscaster w X2N, etc), so I wasn’t prepared for the hum! I really like the sound, but the hum had me looking at noiseless (Fender, Kinman, Fralin, etc.), then I decided to try to learn to live with them for a while like others have before I change them. Anyway, I love this guitar, and now want to get a PBass. Amazing product Solo, thank you!

  24. STEVE (verified owner)

    Solo just flat Rock’s !!!!! Bought a kit, 4 day diliv, at christmas,!!!!! one or two small thing’s, but Matt was right there to take my call, let me rant,and say thank’s for the call. So good on ya guy’s i look forward to many more kit’s and the GREAT SERVICE!!!!!

  25. stevehere65 (verified owner)

    so far, i have at least 4 people checkin out SOLO GUITARS, for there first DIY kit. i know SOLO will hook them up!
    YOU GUY’S ROCK !!!!

  26. Ray (verified owner)

    I’m not normally one to leave reviews or ratings, but this product deserves one. Shipping was fast, the product was exactly as advertised, and Matt and the staff at SOLO have been great! Everybody who has seen or tried out my new TC has been impressed at the quality and are seriously considering building one themselves!
    Great job guys, looking forward to playing and building more in the future.

  27. Christine Adams (verified owner)

    Bought this for my husband for Christmas, I am very pleased with the whole process thus far, speedy delivery. My husband is really looking forward to this project so I will have him write a review when he is done!!

  28. Ricky Goff

    I got 2 kits as Christmas gifts from my wife. Best gifts in a very long time! Got the Strat and Tele. Assembly was a breeze. Neck fit great, etc. Did the Strat first with a 50’s style teal color and amber varnish stain on the neck. I love everything old, so I decided to do a relic job on it. Every chrome piece, screw, etc. A lot of work, but well worth it! I now have a guitar that looks like and old Strat. Btw, it plays well too. A couple frets were a little high and after watching videos on necks, I found most people do leveling on brand new necks. I did that, set the relief and bridge saddles, and wow! Nice action! I pretty much did the same on the Tele neck and did a walnut stain on the body with poly clear. Turned out great! I love both guitars. They play and sound very good! And I have my 2 favorite guitars…after all the finishing and relicing supplies for less than $400!!! Can’t beat it! Very happy customer!

  29. Niles Keller (verified owner)

    Fun project! Setup was a breeze and much easier than I had imagined.

    Only downside is the setup/action is pretty bad. However, I spent about an hour adjusting the nut height (used a $5 file kit on amazon), adjusting bridge height for each string and adjusting intonation. Luckily the neck was straight and adjusting the trussrod was not necessary After these modifications, it plays great.

    Also, the fret board was very very very dry. I added olive oil several times and that gave it a better, more hydrated feel.

    Definitely recommend.

  30. Patrick Wilson (verified owner)

    This kit is great. Took no time to ship to me. Sanding was easy and everything fits as it is supposed to. The wiring instructions on the site are perfect. Once I put everything together and setup the guitar, it sounds great! This will not be my last purchase. Thanks.

  31. rhrutherford (verified owner)

    Best $109 you can spend on a guitar if you have a few hours and some basic tools. My kids loved helping me finish it and although it has a kid-quality finish, it still looks great, it plays well and has a 6 and 10 year old now wanting to play. It’s going to be hard not to get and LP package to build, but I don’t have enough wall space to hang all the guitars I want!

  32. stuartharder (verified owner)

    I’m a beginner guitar player. Have never attempted to build or wire a guitar. This was a fun project. Was surprised of the quality. Better then expected. Easy to build and wire. Used 120grit with palm sander to sand body and get sealer off. Then went to 320 and then 600. Used tung oil for neck and body has great sheen and smooth finish. Attempted to set up action, level and crown frets my self butchered it haha so I got some buzz. Will have to invest into getting that done professionally. Gave it 4 stars because it has a plug on body and it’s clearly visible after staining. Next time I would ask for one with out plugs. Hooked it up to my Blackstar ID Core 10v2 and it sounds Great! Want to do another! Matt is also very helpful! ????

  33. patrick.leboutillier (verified owner)

    This was my first kit, and a good experience overall. Comes with easy to follow instructions, and Matt is really helpful if you have any questions.

    I gave 4 stars, mainly because the control plate was stained with glue or sealant and I couldn’t get it off completely. Some of the frets are also a bit short. Otherwise it’s a good quality, totally playable instrument. Assembling and finishing an instrument really gives you a special connection to it.

  34. kwestech (verified owner)

    I’m a guitar tech and have been for 20 years …. These Teles are a great product for the money … l have built many of these for my Clients ,, both the rosewood & maple fretboard models .. Many of my Clients regularly play gigs,, and sometimes in very dodgy places.. Instead of taking thier $1500 guitars to these gigs with the worry of having them stolen ,, they have me build these Solo Kits ,, They look great on stage,, sound and play great for a fraction of the cost ..

    Cheers ,, Westech Guitars

  35. noseyjohn (verified owner)

    I purchased the Telecaster kit TCK-1 DIY from Solo recently and after assembly and minor lowering adjustments to the nut I found the guitar fantastic.Quality all around is amazing.One fret 2nd fret low E string ONLY had a minor issue but filed it down cause of a slight buzz.I replaced the kit pickup mount tailpiece with a Fender one to install the Fender Ashtray chrome bridge cover as I like the look.I also installed string ferrules so the strings would go thru the back like Fenders.I bought a 5/16 forstner bit on Amazon and luckily I have a drill press which is a must if you do that upgrade to come out straight and even.It brought back a lot of nice memories of a 1968 Blonde Telecaster I actually owned as a kid.All and all will soon be buying another Telecaster Kit this time with the F hole possibly not sure or maybe a Jazz single cutaway if possible.Love the guitar highly recommend this kit to someone who wants to have some fun and build your own Tele Style guitar.People at Solo are fantastic too and delivery was fast from Ontario ,Canada to Shirley,N.Y. in couple od days….Glenn in N.Y.

  36. David (verified owner)

    Ordered this kit and it was delivered the next day.
    Took a week to stain and varnish before final assembly.
    Slight issue I had was the headstock nut being too high resulting in ‘sharp’ notes when playing on the first few frets.
    A quick call and a chat with Matt put me in the right direction. I replaced with an TUSQ nut and everything is great.
    I put in a small neck shim and now the action is excellent. Plays and sounds really great.
    Can’t believe how little these guitars cost. Certainly amazing value for money. Easy and fun to build.
    I would also like to say how great the customer support is – they certainly go the extra mile. A really friendly and very knowledgable bunch.
    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these guitars to anyone. Clear, simple instructions ( and amazing customer support ) make them a breeze to build.
    Looking forward to the next one.

  37. Mitch (verified owner)

    Amazing! Delivery was super fast as usual and the quality of the kit made the build go as smoothly as ever. No touch ups necessary. Sounds and looks like a million bucks.

  38. Colin Burton

    I just received my kit and I gotta say that for the price this is a very well made kit. The neck is amazing quality and the body and electronics are great as well. The only thing was is that the neck cavity seemed to be routed too large because the pickguard hangs over the edge a little bit and the neck will need to be shimmed for sure. But other than that everything else seems to be perfect.

  39. rpbrekke (verified owner)

    Just finished my kit, been working on it for a month or so. When received I was a bit worried about the neck fit, seemed a bit sloppy as compared to some of the videos I have seen on YouTube with other Solo kits. However in the end I am very pleased with the entire project. No shims needed for the neck for my action to be just right for me. I did however have to level the frets and fret dress, but that was expected. I used tung oil on the body and neck, it really brought out the mahogany in the body, I used linseed oil on the fret board which gave it a rich color.. I did replace the single coil pick-up for the neck with a Seymour Duncan ’59, no routing needed as it was routed large enough!! I also replaced the saddle, pick-guard and the machine heads. Don’t get me wrong I think the pick-up, saddle and machine heads would have been completely acceptable from SOLO, however I wanted to have my own preference there.

    I would post some pictures if I could, as I am extremely happy with this build. I will definitely be building a left-handed Stratocaster for a right-hander a la Hendrix, why? because I can from Solo Music Gear..:-)


  40. Daniel Fenton (verified owner)

    This was my first build. I took my time and invested in the right tools (neck level, fret sanding block and fret finishing equipment). That being said the neck was in better shape out of the box than any epiphone I’ve owned. The nut also requires some filling. After all was said and done this thing is a joy to play. Playability far out performs other $400-800 dollar guitars I’ve owned.
    Cons? I would have lived an active pickup option, but honestly for the price this thing sounds absolutely amazing. My second kit is already on its way.

  41. Nathan Kordus (verified owner)

    The speed of getting it to the U.S. was nice but the quality of guitar for the $$ spent is even better I think. I chose Solo for my first build, after reviewing a handful of other guitar kit companies and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be back for more kits in the future. Solo makes it pretty easy to put together your own guitar, and that’s exactly what I wanted.

  42. weavers2794 (verified owner)

    This was the 4th Kit that I purchased from Solo. Shipping was fast and in good order. I had a problem with the switch and phoned solo and had a new one sent at no charge. I have found that the tech department has always been there to help and gets an A+ for its service. I look forward to building a violin and maybe another guitar in the future

  43. tomfreelove (verified owner)

    This kit was much better than I expected, but it took over a week to arrive. Then I realized it was shipped from Canada and there was likely a hold at the U.S. border due to the corona virus issue. The only thing missing from the kit was a single pick guard screw, but I had some laying around, so no big deal. Also a wiring diagram was NOT included with the kit, but I was able to find one on the Solo web site. When mocking up the kit the neck had a nice tight fit and lined up perfectly. However, the pick guard and the control plate didn’t fit together. A little sanding on the pick guard fixed that. The strings included were only good for checking alignment of the neck, then went into the trash. The tuners are pure junk and had to be replaced. Some Gotoh mini tuners were a perfect fit with no modifications to the head stock and a really nice upgrade. The pickups sounded surprisingly good, though a little muddy, so I replaced them with some Fender pickups. In doing so, I had to sand out the opening in the pick guard for the neck pickup to get it to fit. The frets were finished quite well and only required some minor spot flattening on a couple frets. In the end I replaced the nut, replaced the saddles with some compensated brass saddles, and changed the tuners and the pickups. After finishing, assembling and doing a setup…I have a nice looking, great playing and wonderful sounding guitar. It was a good purchase and I will likely buy another.

  44. garyjchristman (verified owner)

    This was the first kit that I’ve ever done and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! I wanted to learn more about doing set up and fretwork and this project provided the perfect platform. The kit was cheap enough that I had little fear of messing something up and in the end, I got everything I wanted out of it. The finished product is really enjoyable to play and sounds great!

  45. physicsman (verified owner)

    I originally was going to purchase one of the more expensive Tele kits, but they were backordered so I purchased the TCK-1 $119, figuring there would be some tweaking to do (I was right). All told, I am extremely happy with the result. This was my first DIY kit, so if you’ve never done this before, the first thing you need to know is that the building of the guitar is the shortest step. The finishing, which has to be done first, takes much longer. I went with Stewmac spray nitro lacquers and was very happy. One can of aged clear for the neck, one can of TV yellow for the body, and one can of clear satin to overcoat were sufficient. 3 coats per day for four days (12 coats total), then 10 days for curing. I did a fine mist each time – if you go too heavy you’ll get runs. Better to be patient and do more thin coats. Each time, I was able to correct unevenness in the previous coats. I had my daughter paint a design on the body after the color coats but before the clear coats. She used acrylic, and I made sure it was completely dry before continuing, so there was no bubbling. Now about the building. I noticed when I first got it that the neck did not fit into the body (this was before finishing, so thick lacquer coats could not have been the problem). I contacted Solo Guitars and got a fast response: they said I could return it or try to sand it down; I chose to sand. The sides and the curvature of the corners were the problem. I took maybe a half millimeter off of the sides and rounded the front corners a bit until it fit. During the build, I noticed what many said, the tuners are not the best, but they’re workable. Where I ran into problems was the screw holes on the neck and in the body for the pick guard. When I screwed the neck onto the body, a gap appeared between the butt of the neck and the body, under the end of the fretboard meaning that the screw holes were drilled a little too close to the end of the neck. I did some research and gaps on the side of the neck don’t seem to be an issue, but I was worried that if the neck is attached by screws at the bottom, and the strings pull on the top, that with a gap at the front, it could torque the neck to a different angle and possibly lead to cracks. So I filled the gap at the front of the neck with two cereal-box thicknesses of cardboard, being careful not to change the neck angle. Next issue was after the soldering, when I attached the bridge plate to the body, I noticed it was very snug against the pick guard on one side with a huge gap on the other. Not a big deal, as I am not really concerned about looks. But what was a problem was that the same thing happened where the control plate met the pick guard and this time they overlapped. I ended up shaving about a millimeter off of the edge of the pick guard so that the control plate could sit flush with the body. The final tweak came when I was setting it up. I set the action a little high (which I like) but was still getting fret buzz. I finally figured out that it was the neck angle. Although I was careful not to change it when I shimmed the front and sanded the sides of the butt of the neck, perhaps I did change it, or perhaps it was off from the start – hard to tell. In any case, I shimmed it with one thickness of cereal box cardboard to decrease the neck angle and it was perfect. The string grooves in the nut are still a little high, so I might cut them a tad deeper this week. All told, I love the result. It plays great. For less than half the price of a Fender, and a little extra work, I have a customized Tele that I love.

  46. stevegunn2313

    I’m mostly happy with this kit, but there were a handful of issues which I will detail. All-in-all, I think I would recommend this kit to someone as a first time DIY build (which was the case for me), especially considering the price.

    1. Right out of the box I noticed the bridge mounting holes, and the string holes in the body were reversed, making it impossible to put the strings through the body with the bridge in place. I spoke with customer service about this, and they suggested I just put the strings through the back of the bridge (which I didn’t realize was an option). This is a workaround, but isn’t exactly the way it should be set up. Since finishing the build, I have noticed a sitar-like “warble” in some of the strings, which I believe might be caused by not having the strings through the body.

    2. The mounting holes for the string trees were not drilled, even though string trees were provided. I had to drill these holes myself.

    3. One of the mounting holes for the strap buttons was not drilled. I had to drill this myself.

    4. The neck does not fit snugly into the pocket on the body. There is enough room on one side of the neck to fit two guitar picks stacked on top of each other. When bolted on it is functionally fine; it just has a visible gap on one side.

    5. The tuning machines are very poor quality.

    6. One of the mounting holes for the input jack was drilled incorrectly, and is barely even visible, let alone accessible, when the other three screws are put in.

    1. The neck seems well made. I’m happy with the way it feels and looks. It needed a slight truss rod adjustment, which was expected.

    2. The frets seem well fitted and don’t have sharp ends. I definitely needed to do some fret leveling, but I expected that before receiving the kit. I believe the nut should also be lowered a bit, but that might just be personal preference.

    3. The body didn’t have any obvious defects, and took paint well after sanding.

    4. All of the components, except for the tuning machines, seem quite sturdy. I’m especially happy with the feel of the tone and volume knobs.

    5. Assembly was very simple if I ignore the extra drilling I had to do.

    6. Wiring was fairly straightforward, and the wiring diagram provided on this website was helpful.

    7. The pickups sound good for this price level.

    8. Customer service was very responsive and helpful. From what I gathered, there were very few TCK bodies left. This might explain why I had so many issues with my body (I assume the worst ones were left for last).

    Summary: This was a fun project, and the end result is a decently playable guitar. Do not buy this if you’re trying to get a good guitar for cheap. Buy this if your foremost goal is to have fun with the build. It absolutely encouraged me to try more builds in the future.

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