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

« Wicked feeling Strat »

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The Fender Road Worn '50s Stratocaster is a classic looking model that is built in Mexico at the sub $1,000 price point. It's meant to offer a "vintage" guitar to players that otherwise couldn't afford the real thing, or even one of the pricey Custom Shop reissues. This one features an alder body, a maple neck with 21 vintage style frets, old style tuners, a 6 screw fulcrum point tremolo and a trio of Fender Tex Mex pickups wired to the traditional compliment of volume, dual tones and a 5 way pickup selector. It's also been "reliced" head to toe on the body, neck, bridge, tuners, etc. The result is an instrument that you won't have to worry about getting a few dings on when you take it out for a jam.


The design of this guitar is fairly ergonomic. I found this model to be nice and light - a surefire good sign. The alder body is well finished as far as the shaping and contours go, and the maple neck has a nice profile that feels very comfortable and natural. The relicing on the guitar looks pretty awful, but it does feel quite nice, especially on the neck. I do like it quite a bit for that reason alone... the neck is definitely a selling point here. The upper fret access is good considering that it's an unmodified Strat design and only has 21 frets. Getting a good sound out of this guitar is easy enough. It's just like a '50s Strat but it's got the slightly hotter pickups and a 5 way switch which does allow for some more tonal options to be had for sure.


The tones out of this guitar are pretty pure Strat to my ears. The pickups do have that classic Fender jangle to them and they work equally well for blues, country, rock or shred to me. Put through a good clean amplifier, the guitar ranges from very low end centric and rich (using the neck pickup) through to very bright and biting (using the bridge pickup). The in between pickup tones are great as well and between all 5 positions the frequency spectrum is covered quite nicely. Switching to a drive sound yields some some fantastically thick and crunchy tones that work for everything from Hendrix to Eric Johnson to Yngwie, depending on the amp and effects being used.


All in all I think the Fender Road Worn '50 Strat is a great deal for someone who needs a vintage feeling and sounding guitar at a price that won't break the bank. The relicing itself looks pretty cheap to me, but it does feel nice when you're playing it. If they made this guitar without relicing, I bet it'd be a surefire winner. Definitely have a look if you're in the market for a classic looking and feeling Strat that WON'T require a second (or third) mortgage on your home!