Fender Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe
Fender Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe

Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe, TLC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Classic series.

tjon901 09/09/2011

Fender Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe : tjon901's user review

« Reissue of the 72 Deluxe »

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In the 70s Fender was looking to become more Gibsony. This was one of the guitars they put out to try and get some people away from the Les Pauls and on to some Telecasters. This is one of my favorite Telecasters because of this. The 72 Deluxe tele is very 70s in design. It has a neck similar to that of a 70s Stratocaster. It has the large 70s headstock which I like. It has the 3 bolt neck joint with the micro tilt adjuster. The Deluxe has a strat style hardtail bridge instead of the ashtray bridge because there are humbucking pickups in it. It has dual Widerange Fender pickups and a Gibson style control setup with a volume and tone knob for each pickup and a 3 way toggle to switch among them. The Widerange pickups were designed by the same guy who designed pickups for Gibson so it really has some Gibson mojo.


The feel of this guitar is not that of a vintage Tele but more of a Les Paul. The Deluxe has larger frets than the stratocaster at the time and the fretboard radius is flatter. It has more of a Gibson type feel to it. Since this is a bolt on Fender guitar there is quite a large neck joint heel where the bolts are and this may get in the way of the higher frets. The 3 bolt neck is not a problem although some people hate it. It works just as fine as the 4 bolt ones did and with the microtilt you dont have to take the whole neck off to shim it. This is a great feature because normal truss rod adjustment doesnt really help the action above the 15th fret or so. I think people just saw back in the day that it had one less bolt and assumed it was worse. Now there are high end boutique guitar makers making strat style guitars with 2 bolt necks. The controls may be awkward for someone who is use to a traditional tele setup. If you are use to Gibson controls you will love it.


These are some of Fenders earliest Humbuckers and the design feels pretty old school. They are hotter and smoother than single coils but they are by no means modern high gain pickups. This is probably the smoothest sounding solid body telecasters out there. The tone of the pickups is very p90 ish but with more bottom end. It does not have the telecaster quack that tele players may be use to. With the smoothness there is a bit of a loss of clarity in the tone. Overall there is a nice old school woody tone to the guitar. This guitar also has a great jazzy tone. It is very warm without getting boomy. If a Telecaster is too quacky for you this is a great alternative. The humbucking design means they can be used for high gain without being super noisy and super harsh as well.


This is the Gibson players Fender. It has a wider fat neck with a flatter radius and bigger frets. It also has dual humbuckers with a Les Paul control layout. It is pretty obvious what Fender was trying to do. I dont know what kind of impact this guitar had in 72 but now it is an loved oddball in the Fender line up. If you are looking for a Telecaster with a smoother more modern sound this is the Telecaster for you.