Custom Telecaster Spalted Maple HH review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (23 votes)
Fender: Custom Telecaster Spalted Maple HH

Price paid: C$ 1000

Purchased from: Mill Music, Renfrew Ontario Canada

Sound — 9
This guitar is very, very versatile. I have used it in a variety of settings, ranging from blues and jazz to hard rock and metal. The pickups are both rated at about 8k. They are hot enough to pack a punch, but aren't too in-your-face about it. Very nice clarity in the sound, quite bright. The coil split is an excellent tool for dumbing down your gain level. I like to use it for my bands cover of purple haze. When used on clean tones, the volume drops significantly. The guitar is fairly bright, in general. I really enjoy the clean sound of both pickups in humbucker mode running parellel. Has a nice quacky, full sound. Each is excellent on its own for any level of gain. The neck can get a bit on focussed at very high gain levels, but i do not hesitate to use it. All around, a very good guitar. That being said, the clean sounds can be a tad un-natural. Compared to my PRS, it doesn't have the same amount of beef. I expect this is largely due to it being so small (which is really part of why i love it). It can do anything very well. Not a total ace of everything, but versatility is bigger than sheer dominance for me. I have played this through a Marshall TSL60 head/1960 cab and a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV combo and 212 recto cab.

Overall Impression — 8
Can't reccomend it enough. I love everything about it, despite it not being perfect. My PRS CE22 can beat it in certain areas, but the reliability and sturdiness of this thing is unbeatable. Easy to play, sounds great, looks great. Would buy it again without a doubt. I purchased this guitar on a whim. I wasn't planning on buying a guitar, but I picked it up and played it and that was it. Bought it a few days later and haven't looked back since.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have NEVER had a problem with it. Gigged without a backup before (not anymore though.) I slam the bridge, I've ripped strings off of it. Strap buttons are great, tuners are awesome. Tuning stability is excellent. No worries about it at all. It travels on the bus with me all winter, it's a working man's guitar...or student. Whatever

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I mess with guitars as soon as I get them. It came with 8's, so I barely bother with factory setup. I've messed with the pickup height as well. I have the action set fairly low now, intonation is easy to adjust. The action is a pain unless you have a super tiny allen wrench. The neck is superb. Ultra small and fast, very smooth. The shape took a while to get used to, since it felt to me like the edges stuck out a bit. I love it now though. Wiring is good, never had any problems. Ultra light weight. I really love how light it is. I can pick it up in one hand with ease, and spin it around and just admire it. The spalted maple is awesome, the finished mahogany back and neck is great too. I get compliments on it all the time. Spalted maple guitars, let alone Teles, aren't too common so most people take a liking to this one.

Features — 9
About a 2008 or 2009 model. Mahogany body and 22 fret rosewood neck. Rosewood fretboard. Spalted Maple top. Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Plus (bridge) and '59 (Neck) 1 Master Volume, 1 Master Tone with push/pull coil tap. Made in Korea. Case was included at time of purchase

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I own this guitar I think it is absolutely amazing, I play everything from rock to country to blues to jazz and it fits all of them like a glove. No two of these guitars look the same, mine has a lot of character, much more than the photo shown here so I think its a lot prettier. I would recommend this guitar to anyone.
    it looks good but evry tele ive ever played that had humbuckers just did not sound good to me personaly i play rock type stuff and my favorite guitar has to be a telecaster but the single coil on a tube ditorstion setup is what i love most about so i could be a little biased
    This guitar is the love of my life. Bought new in early July, after 3 or 4 months of GOOD play on this baby, ofcouse it still looks and sounds brand new. Beautiful body, and the polyuerthane coating keeps its shiny and glossy. I tell everyone how much I love it and it's a real eye catcher and easy conversation starter Great buy ANY day!
    p.s It sounds wonderful for ALL types of music. From Between the Buried and Me to The Pat Metheny Trio.
    i have one of these too. i am happy to say that this is the best guitar i have played in my life
    This seriously looks like the PERFECT Telecaster to me. I have SD '59 pickups on my guitar, and I love them to death (particularly with cleans), and my guitar teacher has an LP with the SD Pearly Gates pup, and it sounds so great and mean. Set-neck (more like set-thru), beautiful spalted maple top, etc. I love this.