Koa Telecaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.4 (49 votes)
Fender: Koa Telecaster

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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!

Reliability & Durability — 10
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).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
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!

Features — 10
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.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I finally pulled the trigger on purchasing a used model. The clarity of the sounds on both pickups is astounding! It ranks right up there with a pricey PRS I own as far as clarity. And very versatile! It handles the dirt very well and still has the tele twang! Some of my research indicates some of these were alder with a koa veneer. It's not overly heavy, but weighs more than other basswood models I've picked up. No matter...it sounds great!