'72 Telecaster Custom review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (118 votes)
Fender: '72 Telecaster Custom

Purchased from: The Music Room

Sound — 10
I play a mixture of jazz, blues, heavy rock and most things in between really, I play alot at school and in a couple of bands so versatility is a must have in any guitar I'd buy. I'm using my tele through a Snarling Dogs wonder wah 2, a Boss DS-1 Distortion and a Boss ch-1 super chorus, but I plan to extend my pedal collection in the near future This all goes into my Behringer GMX 212 60 watt stereo amplifier which has different amp simulators and stuff, rather too hi-tech for me. The tele isn't noisy at all really, and with the neck humbucker it's possible to get some lovely sounds for any style. I predominantly use the humbucker when I want a smooth, full and fat tone for playing jazz etc, but then I can Switch into both pickups for a punchy, ballsy blues tone or add more distortion for a very full, round sounding distortion. I rarely use the bridge single coil as it is so damn punchy I'm not quite sure what to do with it, it's perfect for your jangly 60's beach boys or beatles tone though; it's just a fantastic guitar.

Overall Impression — 9
As I've said, I play various styles of music and I find that it's perfect for each one, obviously I wouldn't use it to play metal but that's another story. I've been playing for 3 years now and I feel that a japanese Fender was the way to go as I don't have the playing experience to deserve a US Fender, but I felt that I wanted a better sound than the Vintage SG that I had before. I'd like to have this guitar set up properly, that is the only quibble I have with it. If my tele were stolen, I would buy another one definitely, but I'd like to get one in sunburst, but maybe I'm just being picky. I love the versatility of this guitar and the great warm tone you get off the humbucker. I played a few other guitars on the way to choosing this, namely a G&L Legacy Telecaster, and assorted epiphones.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've gigged with this guitar twice and it's been fine, no problems. I may change the tuners to G&L style locking tuners purely because I like them, but for now these tuners are fantastic, no problems with tuning or anything like that. I took the original strap buttons off and replaced them with strap locks, and it still mystifies me why locking strap buttons aren't fitted as standard in the factory, I would never trust any guitar without strap locks, no matter how solid the original buttons feel. I am too poor to afford a backup guitar so yes, I would trust my tele without a backup for the simple reason that I do not have a backup with which to backup the tele. The finish seems pretty solid although I hope that it'll wear off with a few years' gigging, as I love that "worn to the wood" look that Mr. Rory Gallagher showed so well.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I think that the guitar could have been a little better set up at the factory: the action is a little high for my likings and the intonation is a little flat from the 7th fret onwards, minor faults I know but time consuming none the less. The pickups are adjusted just fine and they have a nice high output on every string, no dead spots to my ears anyway. I've had no problems with the bridge at all to date, it's properly anchored and no buzzes or anything, lovely job. The only flaws on this guitar are a small dink on the top fce of the fretboard and a couple of marks on the headstock that came from it being hung up in the shop, these are merely superficial and so don't really worry me. Overall, tis a fine beast.

Features — 10
My '72 custom reissue was made in japan between 2002-2004. It has 21 Vintage sized frets on a D shaped maple neck with one piece maple fretboard. It has an Ash body with a US blonde finish which you can see the lovely grain of the wood through. It has a 3 saddle strung through Telecaster bridge, all chrome hardware of course. It has passive electronics with a Fender Wide Range humbucker at the neck and a Standard Telecaster single coil at the bridge, with 2 volume and tone controls and a three way pickup selector. The tuners are non-locking Gotoh machine heads, not much else to say about those really. I didn't get anything with my Tele but I got such a fantastic deal on it that I didn't mind at all. It's a great sounding, great playing instrument although I'd liek to have it set up to the Fender spec as I find that the action is slightly high for my liking, but it's a beautiful instrument. I think it looks fantastic but it took me a little while to grow to like the blonde finish as at first glance I thought it looked like a weak coat of whitewash.

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