Koa Telecaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Koa Telecaster
The Special Edition Koa Telecaster guitar marks the first time that Fender has used exotic and highly sought-after koa wood outside our Custom Shop models. The instrument features a koa veneer atop a basswood body with a Light Burst Rosewood finish, modern C-shaped birds-eye maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro pickups, vintage-style bridge with three brass saddles, and pearl pickguard and dot inlays.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 10
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 49 
reviews (2) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Koa Telecaster Reviewed by: halgh, on november 09, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Zaks Electronics

Features: The Special Edition Koa Telecaster guitar marks the first time that Fender has used exotic and highly sought-after koa wood outside our Custom Shop models. The instrument features a koa veneer atop a basswood body with a Light burst rosewood finish, modern C-shaped birds-eye maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro pickups, vintage-style bridge with three brass saddles, and pearl pickguard and dot inlays. // 9

Sound: I bought this guitar to get some great rhythmn sounds in the style of The Smiths, Graham Coxon, The Killers etc, typical indie/alternative rock music. This Telecaster is perfect for this music and sounds wonderful. I am running it through a Laney MXD65 amp and using the amps inbuilt effects (great chorus) and also a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver pedal and also a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor pedal. The pickups hum a fair bit (as noticed by another reviewer for the Lite Ash Special Edition Tele) but I can live with it. Great for a clean bright sound and distortion can be added to beef things up a bit. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar came set up perfectly for me, apart from the 9 gauge strings which I immediately changed for a set of 10's. No adjustment was required after making this change. No fret buzz or anything. The finish is excellent and the hardware all perfect. No complaints at all. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would imagine that this guitar would withstand live playing, although it would not be my style to jump around like Billie Joe or swing the thing around my head. Everything seems solid enough although only time will tell. I would not gig with this alone, as that would be foolish, plus I would always have another guitar ready for heavier, lead stuff. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar makes me smile not only when I look at it (its gorgeous)but also when I play it, as it sounds fantastic. It suits my style of rock, blues, alternative and I imagine it would be perfect for anything other than metal. As a rhythmn guitar for my style this would be hard to beat. I also own a Yamaha AES820 which I also love and is which is perfect for heavier rock stuff. If it was nicked or lost I would want another one, and at these prices that would be achievable. The only thing I don't like is that when soloing my pick hits the pickguard as there is less gap between the strings and the guitar body compared to my Yamaha, but this is a personal thing and I would not want to end this review on a sour note. The Koa Telecaster is great. Well done Fender. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Koa Telecaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: Solid basswood body with a Koa top. Birdseye maple neck that really shows through on the headstock. Rosewood fingerboard. This guitar is absolutely gorgeous. It has the original tele 3 brass saddle design (1 pair of strings for each saddle). In place of the Standard tele bridge pick-up is a Seymour Duncan tele pickup. This gives the classic tele sound, but with greatly increased power. Another interesting feature is the dual string trees on the headstock (rather than just one). I think it adds just a bit of sustain to the moddle strings. // 10

Sound: I am a fairly novice player, but I like to (attempt) to play blues and classic rock. This guitar sounds amazing. It is smooth and rich with just the right amount of twang that the tele is famous for. This is a very versatile guitar. I had someone else try it out and they took it to places that I am incapable of reaching yet. It sounded great for blues, rock, southern rock, a bit of metal and country. When you flip from the bridge to neck pickup you cut the volume in half, giving a different feel without changing anything else. I ploay through a couple of single ended, class tube amps that I built and this guitar just makes them come to life. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The set-up from the factory was perfect. The finish is flawless. The action is set pretty low (which I like) and with the slim neck, it is a very fast playing guitar (limited only by the player). The intonation was parfect straight out of the box; I didn't have to adjust anything. I prefer extra light strings and since it came with 9s, I didn't even have to change them! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I jsut got this in October, so I can't say for sure, but every indication is that this is an axe that is built for the long haul. The strap buttons are rock solid. The tuners are major league. The finish is amazingly tough (already found that out when my youngest daughter decided to rake a pick across it a few times). // 10

Overall Impression: I am absolutely in love with this guitar. I have only been playing a couple of years and have a Schecter Gryphon, an Epiphone dot and a First Act garage band (custom for VW). This is my favorite. If someone were to steal this guitar there is no end to what I would do to hunt them down! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
More Fender reviews rating category latest review
+ Jaguar HH Special 8.2 Electric Guitars 11/12/2014
+ American Telecaster Plus Deluxe Version II 8.2 Electric Guitars 10/07/2014
+ Modern Player Telecaster Plus 8.6 Electric Guitars 10/02/2014
+ Pawn Shop Mustang Special 9.1 Electric Guitars 10/01/2014
+ Super-Sonic Twin 7.2 Guitar Amplifiers 09/25/2014
+ view all
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect