American Special Telecaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (48 votes)
Fender: American Special Telecaster
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Price paid: C$ 700

Purchased from: Central Music- Welland

Sound — 9
This Tele suits me and my playing style just fine.I play classic rock from the 60's and 70's. I strive for the classic Tele tones/sounds I've come to know and love over the years. Keith Richards, Steve Cropper, Albert Collins, Jimmy Page, Waylon Jennings and too many to name. I run this Telecaster straight into a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp. I have some effects pedals but very rarely use them. Some say the pickups are too hot. I don't agree. They are just fine for what I want them to do. I mainly switch back and forth from clean to overdrive channels. This guitar does this very well.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing Fenders for 28 years. I own more Gibsons than Fenders. My other Fender is a '91 American Standard Strat that I bought in '94. This is my fourth Telecaster in that time. When I found it, I was not really looking for a new Telecaster but it just spoke to me so I bought it and I have no regrets. I've always had a Telecaster in my arsenal. They are, to me, the quintessential Rock'n'roll guitar. If it got stolen would I buy another one? Maybe. I compared this Tele with the road worn series, Hwy 1 series and the American standard series. All very nice guitars. This Tele is used and the others did not have anything more or better that would justify paying the full sticker price. I know me and chances are, it won't be my last telecaster. Right now, I can't put this one down.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I plan on putting this Telecaster through it's paces over the next few months but I'm not anticipating any issues. It will share the load with my Gibson Les Paul and my '91 Fender American Standard Strat. I would use it if it were my only guitar but I have many guitars so I don't have to. The true test will be live, on stage with my band. If it doesn't cut it there, I probably won't have it for long. Wait and see.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this Tele used but it's only 2 years old so how used can it be? No dings or scratches to speak of. I noodled around on it for week then took it to my guitar tech for proprer set-up/new strings. This proved to be a good move because now it plays "like butta". I've been playing a very long time so I know exactly what I want set-up and feel-wise. My guitar tech said it was very easy to work on and didn't require much tinkering - to me, that's a sign of a good quality guitar.

Features — 9
No need to repeat what has already been said about it's features. Alder body; maple neck/fretboard; nice brown sunburst type finish; black pickguard. Came with a gig bag. Never been a fan of the traditional 3-barrel saddle/bridge set-up but so far it's been fine, tunes up well and stays in tune. Jumbo frets kinda put me off somewhat, at first, but they are not an issue at all. I love the neck on this Tele. It's got that classic Fender Telecaster look, feel and sound that hasn't been improved on very much since the early 50's. They don't need to.

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