Highway 1 Telecaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (186 votes)
Fender: Highway 1 Telecaster
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Purchased from: Concept Music

Sound — 10
I like all kinds of guitar driven music and jam with midi backing tracks because I live isolated and don't know any other obsessed musicians. It's a "feel" thing but I just love playing this guitar. I use a Fender 65 watt amp, a DigiTech RP50 and a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah. Mostly rhythm and blues but I've recently started messing around with Shadows and Ventures "surf" music. I am able to get all the sounds I want from my set up. I particularly like the heavy sustain, lightly overdriven squeal I can get using the bridge pickup. The overall brightness works for me.

Overall Impression — 10
Take your time, find the instrument that feels right for you and you'll end up as happy as me. There is something mystical about the right guitar - it will speak to you. I have friends who tinker with playing and say my Tele is hard to play however I find it easy and it has brought my playing on a long way. My guitar teacher and legendary Perth muso Lindsay Wells, plays an ancient $150 Vesta that he wants to be buried with for similar reasons. I have been playing for a long time but really only become serious in the last 5 years. I am now playing the way I always wanted to and this instrument has a lot to do with that. I have found the guitar I want and can only recommend that if you take the time to find the one that suits you, this make of Tele is the way to go.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Isn't all playing live? I don't do gigs but am very happy with the instrument's reliability. Everything about the guitar makes me recommend it as a robust unit. After a year of playing for at least 2 hours a day, it still looks good and shines. I think Teles have classic lines and when you think the design is over 50 years old, has to be in the epitome of perfect balance between function and form - as all classical shapes are. By the way, it's not heavy, it's my guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action, fit and finish were good quality and a credit to concept's customer service. No problems have been encountered. I've broken a few B and G strings so have lightly sanded out the bridge saddle and use a heavier gauge string set which has reduced the breakages of late. I should add that without a wammie, I bend the strings a lot for vibrato so it may be a combination of my technique and the "sharp" saddle that's been doing the strings in. Pleasing ATD and quality - which is why I bought it.

Features — 8
Mexican assembled, sunburst body with a 22 fret maple neck. I bought the guitar after playing a similar rosewood neck Squier Tele I had set up for slide playing with raised action and heavy top end strings. I always wanted to own a maple neck, classic look Tele and the neck and action was what attracted my attention to this particular guitar. I recommend choosing from a range of similarly set up guitars when buying. I tried several that just didn't "feel" right. All the hardwear is standard and has held up through travel, prolonged sweat inducing playing in a remote mining camp and learner's lunacy. No extras, none needed which meant I got the deal I was looking for. It was ready to play after Killian from Concept did the predelivery set up for me. Seems to be really good value.

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