Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster
Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster

Road Worn '50s Telecaster, TLC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Road Worn Telecaster series.

tjon901 07/18/2011

Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster : tjon901's user review

« Reliced Telecaster with a reasonable price »

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Fenders reliced guitars have been growing in popularity since they were introduced a few years ago. Now Fender has a line of reliced guitars that are not made in their Custom Shop so it is affordable to normal players. I have seen these guitars for sale for around 800 dollars and they look just as good as the Custom Shop relic guitars. What really struck me about this guitar is how much relicing they did to the fretboard. It is a lot more apparent on the Telecaster models than the Stratocaster models. The blonde body is nicely faded and dinged up like you would expect. The back of the neck feels different in areas. Between the 1st and 9th fret is super smooth with nearly all the finish worn off but beyond that you can still feel the clearcoat. The body on this blonde one is made out of ash and has a very thin nitro finish. The neck is 1 piece maple with 21 Dunlop 6105 frets. These are true jumbo frets. It has a vintage style bridge with the 3 saddles which gives big tone but iffy intonation. The pickguard is a 1 ply white piece containing 2 Tex Mex pickups.


Apart from the looks what sets these guitars apart from normal guitars is the playability. With the worn in finish you get a super smooth neck where you want it. In the places you are playing 80 percent of the time the neck is super worn in and smooth. The places were your body touches the guitar are all worn down and smooth so they feel good against you. Fender puts some of the biggest frets on their relic guitars. I wish they put these frets on all their guitars. The super big frets make up for the vintage 7 inch radius. You can still bend since the frets are so big even with the super round fretboard. I am not a huge fan of the ashtray bridge but a tele is a tele and its part of the tone. The 3 saddles arent the best for intonation but they give you the big tele tone.


Plugged in this guitar sounds pretty much like a typical Telecaster with tex mex pickups. It has all the twang and honk you would expect from a tele with the ash tray bridge. Some people say that these relic guitars sound better. The neck pickup is nice and fat and great for blues solos while the bridge pickup is super twangy in the low and and loves your country riffs. They say that the thinner more worn in finish lets the guitar breath better but im not so sure. I think the main differents with these guitars other than looks is the playability, and when a guitar plays well you probably play better than think it sounds better in the process.


Some people dont like relic guitars and say you should just play a guitar a lot and do it yourself. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but if these guitars were not popular Fender wouldnt be making and selling them. Looks aside these guitars are some of the best playing guitars out there since a lot of the things used to make a guitar look good also hurt playability. Thin finishes and satin smooth necks play well along with looking aged. Now you can get a great reliced guitar for less than 1000 dollars. Its harder to justify paying for a full Custom Shop guitar now when you can get a guitar just as good for 1/4 the price.