Lite Ash Telecaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 02/25/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Lite Ash Telecaster
This special edition guitar is light in weight and heavy in tone thanks to its exceptional light ash body, birdseye maple neck and fingerboard, and Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro2 staggered pickups. Other features include abalone inlays, 22 medium jumbo frets, and chrome hardware. Just what you need to get the job done. And look great doing it!
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.4
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (9) pictures (2) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: bouncingbassist, on november 09, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: GAK

Features: The details of the features have already been given, except that it is made in Korea. I believe some are also made in Japan, though. Before I write the rest of the review I should tell you that the first time I was sent my lite Ash tele, it was so unbelievably rubbish that I sent it back. I then got a new one, and it is absolutely lovely. Such a contrast, I would warn you that there is, apparently, much variation in these guitars. I'll tell you more about the differences between the two in the other sections. // 9

Sound: It goes without saying that the guitar is not suited to metal; it's a Tele. My sound is very often clean and almost acoustic, but when I do use distortion I like it to be a nice, thick sound. The guitar as such is perfect for me. People often say teles are not rock guitars, but it handles the distortion beautifully and gives me the exact sound I wanted. Perhaps, occaisionally, it's country-twang is a little too much for me, but cranking up the bass can help minimise this. Unless, of course, you're after country-style twang. There is some hum, but what do you expect from single coils! I love the pickups on this guitar, I was very pleased to find they are Seymour Duncans, as I'm not a big fan of Fender pickups. Overall with sound, it's a pretty versatile guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Ok, here's where I make my complaints. The first guitar I was sent had absolutely disgusting fret buzz, it was almost unplayable, even when I raised the action to about it's highest. I also made adjustments to the truss rod but it didn't help. If you buy one and find this problem, just send it back. The second one I was sent had minimal fret buzz, even with the action nice and low. The first one I was sent was made in three pieces (the mex ones can be made in up to 8, well worth the extra 70), and the joins were not the best, either. However the second was made in just two, and the join is only at all visable end on. The wood is beautiful, and the finish is flawless. I have had problems with both guitars staying in tune. However, I put a new set of strings on just the other day, made sure they were wound really well, and *touch wood* it's been fine since. I did need to set the guitar up myself, but there are no problems with the way it was made. // 6

Reliability & Durability: The guitar, true to it's name, is very light, but it is sturdy without compromise. I love the pick up selector, it's really good quality with a big clunk when you change it. I had problems with my previous guitar where I would accidentally change pick up by knocking it when playing. No such problems here. I completely agree with the other reviews on the strap buttons, they are huge! It is quite a struggle to get them through the holes on your strap, but at least you know that when it's on, it's on! I would say this is a reliable guitar, you can feel it's been made well and I'm sure it will look and play as well this time in 5 years at least. Being a pessimist though, I would always have a back up at a gig. // 9

Overall Impression: Despite previously having hated telecasters, the first time I saw this guitar I was converted. It really is beautiful. It's more than worth the extra money from a standard mex, and I think it provides really good value for the price. I'm quite annoyed though that they've come down by about 60 since I bought it a couple of months ago. If I hadn't bought this guitar it would've been a PRS SE. I chose this because it seemed more my style, but there are times when I miss a tremolo. It's a great guitar, easily one of the best in it's price range. I recommend it (my second one, anyway). Feel free to PM me any questions. // 8

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overall: 8.5
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: mr_hankey, on november 09, 2012
2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Features: This special edition guitar is light in weight and heavy in tone thanks to its exceptional light ash body, birdseye maple neck and fingerboard, and Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro2 staggered pickups. - Body: Light Ash - Bridge/tremolo: Vintage style chrome with 3 brass barrel saddles - Controls: master volume, master tone - Fingerboard: maple - Frets: 22 medium jumbo frets - Inlays: abalone dot position inlays - Neck material: Bird's Eye maple - Pickups: Seymour Duncan - APTR-1 Alnico Pro2 (Neck), APTL-1 Alnico Pro2 (Bridge) - Scale: 25 1/2" - Hardware: chrome. // 10

Sound: This guitar is best for blues and country, but can be used for other genres as well. The guitar always gives off a slight background hum, which is normal for singlecoils, but with my guitar it seems like it's too much even for singlecoils, maybe it's due to some sketchy wiring. The neck pickup delivers a nice full sound, while the bridge gives off that signature Telecaster sound; bright and twangy. The pickups are great, and very versatile; therefore sound gets a 5. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was crap. Every string had buzz, so I had to raise all of them up slightly. The finish on the neck and body were flawless, but the neck did have some minor faults. One of the inlays was not properly placed, making the fret in question not perfectly smooth (this was only the case with one out of ten inlays, and it is barely noticable: can only be felt when the guitar is not strung, and can only be seen when the light hits from a specific angle, which does not make this such a big deal). A side inlay was placed slighly off-centre, and other was sort of 'smudged' out (hard to explain. Inside the cutaway there are two small dents in the wood, underneath the finish, which is also very hard to notice. Due to the horrible action and the minor flaws, I give it a 3. // 6

Overall Impression: A really good medium to high end guitar, is up there besides the American Telecaster in quality. If you want a Telecaster, and you are not obscenely rich or extremly poor, this is the way to go. This guitar beats the hell out of the Mexican Telecaster. // 8

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overall: 9
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 695.4

Purchased from: Coda Music

Features: A nice little guitar: not sure what the year of production is, but the line has only been out a few years (so its not too old). 22 jumbo frets, bullseye maple neck/fingerboard with funky abalone inlays (they look like marble/pearl). Perfect smooth black finish, no blemishes or smears etc. Neck and fingerboard are fault-free. The body itself (as the name suggests) is made of lightweight Ash, so this guitar weighs in at only 3kg, which makes it much more comfortable. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Alnico-2 Pro's, in standard Tele setup, with 1 volume, 1 tone and 3-way pickup selector. The bridge is a standard tele 3-saddle brass bridge. Not the best, but fully adjustable! // 9

Sound: Seems so far to be quite versatile. I play mostly light rock, a bit of country, and this guitar puts out a good sound for that kind of thing. The pickups wouldn't suit anything much heavier (too bright and twangy, and a fair background hum), but humbuckers can easily be bought to fit Tele's these days! I usually use a Fender Champ amp, mainly for the unbeatable clean channel. It sounds amazing, though that could just be the amp talking. Don't use distortion much, but it sounds ok distorted (again, the pickups dont suit too well). So for my kind of music, this is gettin a 9. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came out of the box nearly perfect. It was in tune, and the intonation was spot on. The action on the bass E string was a little low and twangy, but with the fully adjustable bridge it was the work of but a moment to raise it a little, and it stayed intoned afterwards (don't know how). There were absolutely no cosmetic flaws: all the inlays were right, all the frets perfect etc. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far, this guitar seems well up to continuos play: it seems to stay in tune for at least 6 hours regedless of what I do to it, i.e. playing heavy power chords, leaning it up against the wall (putting pressure on the tuners). It just doesn't seem to go out of tune. So far I've had no hardware problems, except that the cover on teh neck pickup is slightly off-level and the tiniest bit wobbly but it hasn't affected the sound, and it's not gonna fall off (its screwed on under the pickguard, I think). The finish is fine, and is thick enough to wear. The pickguard extends both sides of the strings anyway, so it'd be difficult to scrath the body whilst playing anyway. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great mid-range guitar. Playability-wise, it's no worse than some of Fender's more expensive range, and I personally prefer the SD Alnico pickups to Fender's Vintage ones, so I would probably pick this over an American/Deluxe model - it's a lot of guitar for the asking price (officially 400). I would reiterate here that the pickups really aren't for those with rock in their soul, they are (as the SD website says) specially favoured by and designed for country/blues/alt rock music. However, it could easily support a humbucker at the bridge, and (if the single line was kept at the neck or vice-versa) would make a very versatile guitar. // 9

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overall: 10
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: RubberSoul54321, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 675.27

Purchased from: Dawsons

Features: Made 2005 / 2006, Mexican. Lite ash body, natural finish, standard Tele layout but with Seymour Duncans fitted as stock. // 10

Sound: I play all kinds of stuff, from metal to punk to blues and most things in between (except coutry, I hate country). The only style it wouldn't suit is metal, but it's a Tele so you should expect that. I play through a Roland Cube 30 and I've gotta say, this is the most beautiful tone there is. I have several electric guitars, a no-name Strat copy, a Vintage Les Paul Copy (really nice for the money) and an Epi Dot (gorgeeous). My first impression (I only bought it today) is that this one stands head and shoulders above them all. It is truly a thing of beauty. The bridge pup is bright and clean as you would expect, the neck is as warm as a very, very warm thing and, my favourite, the middle: just perfect. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Body is lite ash. It's a 2 piece, but it took me a while to find the join, the match is fabulous. The neck is satin and smooth as silk, no sharp edges at the frets. There is one point on the neck where there is just the tiniest bit of roughness but it is so small as to be completely negligable, I'm being brutal and petty here, just so's you know I'm telling the truth. Seriously, I just sat and stared at this thing for a good half hour, I think it is perfect. Action and intonation were absolutely spot-on out of the box. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is a Tele, it's built to last. Tone and volume pots are solid and smooth, selector Switch feels good too. Biggest strap buttons I ever saw. As I've already said though I only bought it today so I don't think I can really give it a rating but first impressions are very good. If I were ever to join a band I would be confident that this is a giggable guitar however I would always have a backup with humbuckers anyway. // 10

Overall Impression: I play guitar for my own pleasure and have done for about 6 years, I am not in a band. I wanted a Tele-style guitar just to give me a change from humbuckers and to inspire me to play better (I'm pretty crap). I hadn't intended to spend as much as this, I looked at Squiers and Indies thinking about the 200 mark, but I saw this and was instantly smitten: I had to have it. I have a Vintage LP copy, Epi Dot, no-name Strat copy, Epi AJ10 acoustic and an old bass from my youth and I play through a Cube 30. All of these guitars, with the exception of the no-name, I love and would never part with. This one, I would kill for. I accept that the high end Teles will be better guitars than mine, but 600+? I can't see it. I have never felt moved to write a review before but I had to tell someone about this! // 10

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overall: 10
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from:

Sound: Superb sound, I play pretty much anything, has a great twang for funk, and can produce nice overdriven and clean tones for soft rock and blues. Probably wouldn't sound so good for heavy metal but it's a Telecaster, an instrument for making proper music, not trash. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar was setup perfectly, the action was just right, any lower and there would have been a buzz. The pickups were amazing and have great tone and versatility. I am yet to find any flaws in the guitar, it is my pride and joy. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have gigged this guitar over 20 times, and it plays very well, the sustain is beautiful for a Tele, and I can play an hour gig and the guitar is still in perfect tune. I do use a tuner pedal just for changing tunings but I do not need to use it to tune after it goes out of tune (simply because it doesn't go out of tune). The knobs tuners, pickups and other hardware feel really sturdy and dont look like breaking, everytime I pick the guitar up it just oozes quality. The strap buttons are very sturdy, they are slightly larger than the usual size which means my guitar stays glued to the strap, I don't even need strap locks anymore. I would have have used this guitarat gigs without a backup because it is so reliable, however I consider taking backup guitars just in case I break a string or so I dont have to retune for different songs. The finish seems very good, it is black, and shows no signs of wearing, however even if it did wear, I wouldn't be bothered I like the worn/used look in a guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is amazing, a true Fender for just under 300 which is roughly $550. The book price is well over $900, so I think I did really well to get this guitar brand new at that price. I play lots of red hot chili peppers, so the twang the tele offers is perfect. Especially when I combine it with my AVT150H and AVT412 half stack. I can create so many different tones. I have been playing just over 13 years and from my experience this beats my USA Fenders on appearance, yes maybe the hardware on a USA Tele is better but your paying 4 times the price. If it were stolen or lost I would most definately buy it again, because it is so cheap and yet so good. I love this guitar. My favourite features would be the birdseye maple neck with the abalone inlays, when the inlays catch the light its so beautiful. Also I love the pickups. They are just so warm and crunchy. I would recommend this guitar to anyone from intermediate to prefessional levels simply because it has it all, what a guitar, I cannot speak highly enough! // 10

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overall: 8.8
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: telex, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 512.4

Purchased from: A Good Friend

Sound: Where to start! Well, being a guitarist who has been self taught for about a year and a half, now I can say that when I first picked up this guitar, the tone that I received from the hot Seymour Duncan on the neck, drove me to play and play this guitar in every spare minute for weeks, (much to the annoyance of my flatmates). I've been simply using it with a Standard Marshall 15w practice amp, and the tone received is immense, I can only begin to imagine how this baby will throw out some warm chunky blues tones through a valve amp with some effects. In comparison I must say I was slightly disappointed with the sound of the bridge pickup in comparison to the neck, although I don't tend to play rhythm that much so have never really needed a more chimey or bright song, which this gives out by the shed-load. All in all the variety of tones available are enough for most guitarists, and I particularly recommend the neck pick-up which surprisingly I rate more expressive tones than I was able to achieve from my friend's 87 Strat which I borrowed for a short while. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: As I received this second-hand, (it was previously used for studio work)I'm unable to really comment on it's factory condition, however the way it can be set up allows for an awesome action, seeing my fingers flying up and down the frets has never been so easy. The one thing that can be said for it was that I found that very small issues with workmanship became apparent, like a small ring protect the wood from the strings at the back of the guitar cam out when I changed the strings, but was simply glued back in with no other issues. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Owning this guitar second-hand I can vouch for it's durability, it may have been around for up to a decade, and there are only very very minor flaws with it, such as the aforementioned tuning ring. I feel that I wouldn't need a back up when gigging this guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: Importantly, by purchasing this guitar my playing went stratospheric (in comparison to where it was before with the old Epiphone Les Paul) and although in the future I will like to look at other tones that could be available to me, (maybe get hold of some p90s). I do see the Lite Ash Telecaster staying with me for a long time, or at-least until I feel I need to have american written across the headstock anyway. And for the price you can pick one of these babies up for these days, it's well worth a look, for even the most discering guitarists! // 9

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overall: 9.2
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: deadringer13, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 329

Purchased from: Soundslive

Features: 2008 Lite Ash Telecaster, Made in Korea. 22 fret birdseye maple neck and as the name would imply, a 'Lite Ash' body. 3 saddle bridge with brass saddles, great sustain but can take a while to set up, intonate etc. Volume, tone, 3 way Switch gives you control over the Seymour Duncan Alnico 2 Pro Telecaster pickups. Jumbo strap buttons means that straplocks aren't as necessary, but still, better safe than sorry. // 9

Sound: I play alot of John Mayer, Bonamassa type blues. The SD pickups are a fair bit darker than Fender pickups, to my ear. It removes some of the harsher tones, but still has the twang that the Tele is known for. Running it through a Blackstar Studio 20, it gives a lovely crunch in the bridge, a very woody tone that's great for chords in the middle, and a lovely clean solo tone in the neck. I fitted an Oak 4-way Switch to put both pickups in series, giving a punchier sound, which I use as a solo boost. Stock, it was silent and amazing. However, the shop decided to ground the new Switch wrong, so it currently hums, but that's my own fault. Its sound then is great for blues, however it can reach metal territory without sounding brittle or harsh. All in all, a great sounding guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box, the action was a tad low for my liking, no buzz, but still low. Intonation was great, but had to change it when I put new strings on it (D'addario 10-52). The finish was clean as a whistle, no bubbles or blemishes. The neck wood had the perfect amount of birdseye; enough to look stunning, but not enough to cause weakness in the neck. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have done a few gigs with this guitar now, and it has withstood alot. The hardware is great, the tuners don't slip, however I put in roller string trees to stop the strings biting. The extra large strap buttons are solid too, really good idea from Fender there. When it comes to gigging without a backup, I don't think that its ever good to do that, as there is always a unforeseeable event just around the corner. However, if I had the money, I would have another waiting in the wings. // 9

Overall Impression: I play blues/rock, funk and classic rock, and for me, this here piece of wood with strings is perfect for me. I've been playing for about 5 years now, running through a HT-20 and its my sound. If this was lost, I'd get another, but fit a mini-bucker in the neck, as I love the hot-rodded Telecaster. My fav feature would probably be the SD pickups, they suit my sound to a T. The only thing I wish it had was a 6 saddle bridge for intonations sake, but it still makes an amazing guitar! // 9

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overall: 8.8
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: chuckrstark, on february 25, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Used

Features: Most of the features have been listed above and are fantastic for the guitar. It varies but I would rank this one right between the Mexican Standards and the CIJ models. The thing I would like to touch on is the Birdseye Maple Neck. The particular one I got is a heavily marked (I don't know what else you would call it) with the grain of Birdseye. It gets compliments every time I bring it around to shows or repair shops. The features on mine, along with the neck grain, are among the best I have had including the American Standard. // 9

Sound: It suits my type of music very well. I play blues/rock all across the board but mostly of the classic rock type with overdrive. I run it through a Fender Blues JR Humboldt edition and a few various pedals and it makes wonderful noise. It has been on a few of my recordings. I made a country recording with it (duh its a tele), a rock recording, a metal recording, and even a jazz recording. I have even used heavy delays and octave/phaser effects for some really weird shit and it is fantastic. A great versatile player. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I can not vouch for the factory set-up since I did buy it used however, the man I bought it from had taken remarkable care for it and it seemed brand new. My particular finish was not the natural wood pattern but the strange cream, not so butterscotch finish. I'm not sure if many came from the factory like that or not. I didn't bother to ask because it looks professionally done with no blemishes, bubbles etc. I did have it verified so I know that it is the correct body for the guitar. When I took it in to be set-up and checked over, the tech told me everything was just fine if not perfect on the internals and that everything was just as it should be. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have replaced the strap buttons with strap locks because things sometimes get a little crazy. The strap buttons on it were just your regular old strap buttons nothing fancy. If I expected one thing that will need replaced I would expect it to be the tuners first. Everything on it seems solid but for some reason with my guitars I always seem to have some sort of tuner problem. For now though, all of the hardware is working as it should with no issues. I can always depend on this guitar during shows but based on experience, always have a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I currently own 4 guitars. My Gibson ES-135 is the outright number 1. However my others all have their own unique sound because they all have different pickups. The Seymour Duncans along with the Birdseye Maple is what originally attracted me to this guitar. The pickups are nothing ridiculously special but are great for what I do and came standard so there was no need to change them out. The one thing I wish it had (and might come in the future) is a Bigsby, but I can live without one on this guitar. This guitar is perfect for what I do. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Lite Ash Telecaster Reviewed by: magoostrat, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 640.5

Sound: As far as sound goes it is awesome, I tend to play mostly rock and I must admit I wasn't sure how well it would hadle it, I bought it because I wanted a guitar with a blusey sound for some stuff I was doing at the time, but it works just aswell on rock, and I must admit competes really well with my Strat (American H/S/S), the pickups on this tele give great variety and gives a lovely bright tone due to the body. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I must say that I was reasonably pleased when I bought it, I didn't feel there were any flaws with the way it played although the action is a little higher than on my Strat and Les Paul, it is by no means awkward or uncomfortable to play. The overall appearence of the guitar is stunning with the abalone inlays on the birdseye maple it can be said that this is an attractive instrument. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Well as for whether I would gig with this guitar, I am not so sure, don't get me wrong it sounds and plays really well, I just feel it is a little light and well almost delicate, when performing I like the thought of being able to bounce it off walls and still be able to play (not that I do) I just think that if this guitar got bumped around a bit, then it may not make the Encore. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall I absolutely love this guitar, it lends itself to any type of music you want to play and has great character, whilst being Brand New it does still look a little like a '50s reissue with those barrel saddles. Although the hardware isnt the best I can't actually understand the price point of this instrument, as it far outstrips Mexican models and to be perfectly honest it terms of sound and playability it's just as good as the US models I have played. Overall this is an instrument that will not damage the wallet that badly but will also give you a wonderful playing experience. // 9

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