Fender American Vintage '62 Telecaster Custom
Made in the USA, in Corona CA.
21 vintage-style frets
Nut width: 1.65"
Fender/Gotoh vintage-style machine heads
Chevalet Original Vintage Style Tele Bridge with 3 Brass Saddles and "Ash Tray" Bridge Cover
'62 Tele Custom single-coil neck pickup
'62 Tele Custom single-coil bridge pickup
3-way Blade toggle switch
Sold with a Fender deluxe hard case
Until now, I used to be exclusively a Gibson fan but I wanted a single-coil guitar in my small collection so I started to try out different instruments. I thought about a Telecaster for a while, especially because of its mythic history... I've seen it in the hands of so many famous guitarists.
The first ones I tested didn't impress me because I was used to the Gibson sound. I found their sound too sharp and their necks uncomfortable.
The neck is very important for me!
When I discovered the Tele Vintage '62, it immediately blew me away.
Its neck is very impressive... I was used to Gibson's slim necks (60) but the neck of this Tele is even more comfortable. I guess it comes from the C profile, the 7.5" radius (which I've heard isn't everyone's taste), the slim frets and the nitrocellulose varnish.
I also tried out the Tele '51. The sound is wonderful but the neck is much thicker (I guess it has a U profile). maybe it's the perfect neck for people with longer hands than mine.
But in all other respects, the Tele '62 is really wonderful (mine has a sunburst finish). Sometimes I look at it as if it were an old furniture. It gives you the feeling of old varnished wood. And I'm sure it will get better with age.
Just look at it, take it in your hands and you'll know it's a high-quality guitar with high-class components. It's a bit minimalist but that's normal for a Telecaster!
Notice that in the factory setting, the guitar was wired in "no tone" mode, meaning that the neck pickup produced damped highs as if the tone control was turned fully down (and when you turned it, the sound didn't change).
The modification for a standard operation requires only three solder points and a capacitor, which is provided in the guitar case.
This guitar is somewhat versatile: I use it to play blues, rock, jazz and even folk music (no acoustic folk, but Dylan also played a Telecaster). On the contrary, I can't imagine playing heavy metal with this guitar and a shredder friend of mine couldn't play with it. It was not made for that!
But the guitar is great for stuff like Jeff Buckley (Hallelujah for example, although he plays a '51 Tele) because the clean sound is stunning.
Most people are looking for the twangy and aggressive Telecaster sound but I use it for its fine clean sound. It's the paradox of this guitar.
I use it with my Fender Twin amp and a Maxon AD999 analog delay pedal and it's a delight.
Playing with the tone control allows you to get very fine, smooth and subtle lows, as well as bright and crystal-clear highs; The sound ranges from very soft to aggressive (with the bridge pickup) but not harsh, perfect for crunchy blues and rock rhythm parts. It might be possible to make it scream (like Radiohead) but I use my Gibson DC Pro for that.
As a summary, the American Vintage series is a reasonable choice if you want an old school Fender (real vintage guitars are not affordable anymore!). Right now I'm thinking about a Stratocaster American Vintage '62 because its neck seduced me. I'll probably go broke because they are not cheap, but that's the price of good quality. Anyway I'm sure I'll keep these guitars all my life.