Fender American Telecaster [2000-2007]
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Fender American Telecaster [2000-2007]

American Telecaster [2000-2007], TLC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Telecaster series.

King Loudness 04/26/2011

Fender American Telecaster [2000-2007] : King Loudness's user review

« A true American Standard »
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The American Standard Telecaster from Fender is essentially Fender's original solid body guitar, but with refinements that have been made or requested over the years by players. The Tele has been a guitar used for countless genres of music and for countless generations. Here are the specs from Fender:

Body Shape: Telecaster®
Body Finish: Urethane Body Finish

Neck
Neck Shape: Modern "C" Shape
Number of Frets: 22
Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
Position Inlays: Black Dot Position Inlays
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" (24.1 cm)
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Neck Finish: Gloss Headstock Face with Satin Urethane Finish on Back of Neck
Nut Width: 1.685" (42.8 mm)
Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm)
Neck Plate: 4-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro-Tilt™
Truss Rods: Bi-Flex™ Truss Rod System


Electronics
Pickup Configuration: S/S
Bridge Pickup: American Tele® Single-Coil Pickup
Neck Pickup: American Tele® Single-Coil Pickup
Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
Special Electronics: No-Load Tone Control
Controls: Master Volume, Master Delta Tone™

Hardware
Hardware: Chrome
Bridge: American Tele with New American Standard Bent Steel Saddles and Stamped Brass Plate
Tuning Machines: Deluxe Staggered Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines
String Nut: Synthetic Bone
Switch Tip: "Barrel" Style Switch Tip

I have played numerous Teles over the years and I've noticed that the newest 2010-2011 American Standard Teles are just really great guitars. They're simple, but effective guitars. The improvements made by Fender in the finish, electronics, hardware and quality in the last few years is great and I would definitely say they're on their game as far as quality control and putting out a great guitar, even for the $1,000 price point or so that these guitars are selling for. The necks in particular are something that I have been very impressed with recently. The satin finish that they use is really comfortable and pleasing to the hand. I can play for longer periods of time and not get that annoying stickiness that is commonplace with gloss finished necks. The features of the new Teles are great and it shows how much care Fender put into making a killer workhorse guitar for those who wanted it.

UTILIZATION

The Tele is not my favourite guitar to play all the time simply because you have to fight it a little bit more compared to a Les Paul or even a Strat. The design itself is very much a "plank." It's a flat guitar with no contouring of note, so there can be some discomfort there if you're playing for longer periods of time. The weights of the Teles I've tried vary, but they're usually medium to heavy weight guitars, so they're definitely not the most ergonomic guitar I've ever seen. I can't imagine a problem with long gigs for me (being that my main guitar is a non-chambered Les Paul) so that wouldn't be a major issue for me. Upper fret access is reasonable. It's not the greatest in the world by any means but I haven't had any major issues with it, and the satin neck finish on the new American Standard Teles does facilitate fast playing and going up and down the neck quite well.

Getting a good tone out of the Tele is very simple. This guitar gives back what you put into it. If you play softly with lots of dynamics and a cleaner sound, it reproduces that quite well. However if you really dig into it and are using a brighter, more brash sort of sound, it works equally as well with that sort of tone. It's not for everyone but if you're really into a purer sound, you can't get much more pure than the ol' plank known as the Telecaster.

SOUNDS

I've tried these Teles through various Fender, Marshall, Dr. Z and Mesa Boogie amplifiers, all with excellent results. Teles are a lot more versatile and widespread sounding than some people give credit for. It's a very dynamic and true sounding guitar that really sings in the hands of a good player. I wouldn't say the sound of a Tele is very forgiving by any means... you certainly will hear your mistakes, so playing a guitar like this will definitely bring your chops up.

Clean tones are the strong point of this guitar. Using the neck pickup and rolling the tone back yields some wonderful jazz tones (surprising from a single coil, I must say). However, the best thing to do with one of these is plug into a clean, loud Fender amp, run the guitar wide open, add a dash of that dripping Fender 'verb and let loose with a barrage of licks that take you down to the highway to Nashville. That sort of tone, very bright and pure is PERFECT for country licks and tricks. Because of it's pure tonal nature, you've got to fight it a bit like I was saying, but once you tame it, it's a wonderful feeling, and possibly a bit more rewarding than playing a very easy guitar.

Dirty tones are great as well from this. The pickups in the American Standard models are hotter than the vintage models so you can apply tasteful amounts of grit for that classic blues or rock tone, or you can increase the gain up to savagely high levels to play some shred licks. I find Teles react best for riff based hard rock (if we're discussing drive based tones) because they have a nice crisp, bright edge that sits really well in a mix, and if you put that with a Les Paul or something dark, it makes for a very well seated mix. I wouldn't say this guitar is great for metal styles due to the noise and the bright nature of the guitar, but for classic/hard rock, provided you can tame the noise from the single coils, it can sound awesome with the right amount of grit applied.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I feel these new American Standard Teles are wonderful and a great part of Fender's line of products. It's a true workhorse and sounds great for many different styles. Though it's not the easiest guitar to play at times (or "tame,") when you get it to do what you want, there isn't a more rewarding feeling in my opinion. For the $1,000 or so that Fender charges and considering the updates they've done on this guitar since about 2008, it's a fantastic bargain for a workhorse musician who wants a plank (albeit a great sounding plank) for their arsenal of guitars.