The 72 Telecaster Deluxe is an interesting guitar. It has more in common with a Les Paul than a tele and is very 70s in design. In the late 60s Fender was trying to compete with Gibson for a guitar that was good for hard rock music. The traditional singlecoils that Fender used in most of their guitars were not well suited for higher gain types of music and applications. Around that time Fender hired a guy who used to design pickups for Gibson. He made Fender a humbucking pickup to use in their guitars. This pickup was the Widerange pickup. 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.
This guitar plays very nicely. 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. The reliced finish actually makes the guitar feel better. The fretboard edges are nice and smooth and places where your body comes in contact with the guitar are smooth as well. 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. 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. But this is not a traditional tele.
The Widerange humbuckers are built for heavier music than the single coils but they are not super high output. They have a very vintage voice to them. 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.
This is one of my favorite Telecaster designs. I am not a huge single coil fan so I like the humbuckers. The flatter neck with the larger frets is very easy to play. I also always liked the large headstock Fenders to the small ones. Fender originally wanted all their guitars to have the large headstocks in the 50s but to save money on wood they reduced the size so they only had to use one piece of wood for the neck. If you want to get a 72 Telecaster Deluxe Reissue and want it to look like it was made in 72 the Road Worn version is a nice option to have.