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.

King Loudness 12/31/2011

Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster : King Loudness's user review

« Relic at a great price »

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The Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster came about from Fender after people kept mentioning how they loved the worn in feel of vintage or Custom Shop instruments but couldn't afford the $2,000+ price tags of the CS stuff, or the $10,000+ price tags that vintage Fenders command. This model is a relic that is based off a '50s Telecaster and is built in Mexico. It features an ash body with relicing in the nitro finish, a maple neck with 21 vintage style frets and relicing of the tinted amber finish, vintage style tuners and Telecaster bridge with 3 barrel style saddles. Electronically this guitar is loaded with 2 Fender Texas Special pickups wired to a typical Tele control setup of a volume, a tone, and a pickup selector.


The design of this guitar is pretty ergonomic, for a Tele anyway. The weight is medium and the feel of the guitar is quite natural. The relicing of the finish, though it honestly looks cheap and contrived as anything actually feels fairly good, especially on the back of the neck. The upper fret access is decent as well, though again being a single cutaway 4 bolt neck the access is blocked off a bit. Getting a good sound out of this guitar is pretty easy. The stock Fender pickups have a nice range of tones available and take to both clean and distorted tones pretty well. The neck pickup is great for jazzier tones and the bright bridge pickup is ideal for rippin' country or rock licks.


This guitar sounds like you would expect a Tele to sound like - bold, bright and brash. It's not a very apologetic guitar, but it does sound pretty cool. The neck pickup has a nice low end heft to it that works very well with a clean amplifier for jazzier or some vintage blues tones, or with a distorted amp for some really sludgy rock tones. Switching to the middle position is great for funk or really nasally sound rock tones, and the bridge position is king for country, blues, rock or even some out of this world shredding. It can get a little noisy with gain applied, but that's to be expected with true single coils. The ash body with the maple neck combo gives a nice brightness that is personally my favourite attribute in a Tele's tone.


All in all I think the Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster is a great buy for someone who is looking for a wonderful feeling and great sounding vintage type Tele for under $1000. The relicing is honestly not great - it's the EXACT same on every guitar and tends to look cheap, but the feel of the guitar is excellent. If Fender offered this model in a NOS model like their Custom Shop guitars and the relicing was an option, I bet they'd sell a TONNE of them.