Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (27 votes)
Fender: Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe
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Price paid: C$ 449

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 10
I play in a rock/bluesy finger style, so I actually traded up my Squier Standard Tele For the Modern Player' Thinline, I also like to practice without an amp so the open semi-solid resonance is welcome. I feel this Thinline was a definite upgrade to the Squier. This also added a better hard tail guitar to my over stocked Strat w/tremolo collection. I think I was impressed that when I tried it out in the store, I played through 3 amps, Marshall MG30CFX 1x12 Combo, a Vox AC30, then a Fender Blues Junior. I left them on a basic Clean channels. Very nice amps BTW. At home I have a Vox AD120VT, a 1969 old 22w Marshall and a Mesa Boogie MKIIB at home. So when I got home the comparisons didn't disappoint. On the Marshall I increased the Gain side to get the saturated push. Shwing! I was extremely impressed with playing some bar chords playing riff interstitial, I tried in all p/u configs. Single notes seemed a bit thin and brittle past the 12th on the Bridge side, but not as cutting as a typical tele on the rear single. I can say the middle parallel setting was outstanding on all amps.

Overall Impression — 9
Thinline's have been done in the Squier Classic Vibe, and in mahogany like its cousin Squier Classic Vibe, still retains the notable, non-plugged in sound here. Semi-Solids, including Ash woods offer the change from the quack twang spank thang' rear Tele single coil, to a fatter soap bar p/u with a nice cutting top is welcome. Mahogany is the difference The noise cancelling bridge/Neck combo can let you stomp on a few saturation pedals to some pretty searing leads and some bonus semi solid howl for those Amp Rhino calls. Otherwise, they are still single coils and stray EMF, temperamental to that nearby Budweiser neon sign. Nice tone, real Tele tone, but nice lo-mids, bark & cut without the shrill. The neck is comparable to Squier CV's both in feel and profile. Some can't wait to naturally wear off the glossy shimmer. That may take a few years. Buy a road worn if you want retro-new. These new catalysed water based finishes are tough. It's the maple neck that really sealed the deal. The feel was so like clicking my heels together. Familiar tight, and very playable. Playing, bends, chords, etc. Definitely all Fender. Didn't get that Mighty Mite feeling on this neck. I do with Squier necks. The Amber finish, mmm. The frets are mediums, and really nothing special. Touching fingers against the smooth urethane might not be for everyone's fancy. The neck doesn't feel at all sticky or sluggish. At the mid-market $$, the Modern Thinline doesn't step on their more Traditional Made In Mex models, and not as radical in features to their Fender Pawn Shop Series. There seems to be an elevation in specification, but the hardware is the price saving area on these Modern models. Fender avoided cheap knockoffs. Reinventing itself with Squier saved Fender in the 80's. Still today, Fender still holds customers of all price ranges. Affinity to Custom, the Modern series has really helped me get excited again about a Fender series that isn't just their fathers' Fender (Even though I'm a father with a few Fenders). Worth the buy.

Reliability & Durability — 8
For Live, I am a bit concerned with the tuners, But I was taught a tying technique that helped on my '74 Strat split machineheads. Sometimes it's the amount of windings and stretching that helps tuning on this style of peg. The hardware is fine in general; I will eventually change the pots to CTS which are not as tight, my preference. Strap buttons all good. Manufacturing of these off shore guitars are extremely impressive. Some like the thinner wearable finishes, open grain fret boards, not even close, this is shiny and new, needs some new car smell spray.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The Action was set Low from the factory .009-.042. I like heavier wound strings, so I setup the truss adjusted the intonation as necessary. The bookmatching is excellent I like the PolyU shimmer, as it seems to tighten the top. As there is open grain underneath anyway. Bridge components are decent. I suspect the metal Alloys and chroming are very functional and won't probably tarnish with hand acids. Seemed like a very fine quality control and release from the factory. Assembled well. It came over in a box, survived the trek impressive. Pickup heights may need some slight adjusting, However, I struggle with the need to leave well enough alone, I actually liked the p/u heights from the factory. Output is comparable to my old Squier with richer mids and lows. The pots seemed kind of cheap and tight, no dead spots, pretty decent getting clarity at volumes. I see a CTS pot upgrade.

Features — 7
OK I'll overstate some basic facts. The Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe (Forte-hole), circa 2012, Fender. - Made in China - Sunburst/Hi-Gloss polyurethane finish - Mahogany top/back - Semi-solid body, (solid core probably Indonesian pine, basswood or eqiv.) - Hi-gloss Maple 22 frets, Modern 'C' shape, 1-5/8" nut width, comfortable neck shape profile/amber tint. - Medium nickel frets - Hybrid peg head Alloy Tuners, somewhere between Kluson style and 70's split hole - Plastic Top Hat' amp style knobs - Fender Chrome pressed' alloy style x 6 saddles - String though the back Ferrules, plastic compound nut - 3 ply parchment w/b/w Deluxe style pickguard - Black MP-90 wide bobbin single coil Soap Bar pickups w/slot head pole screws(Probably ceramic magnets, similar to JA-90 Jim Adkins or Deluxe Black Dove/Soap Bars) - 3-way Les Paul style P/u selector - Football jack plate/ " jack - 6lbs. Soaking wet. Comes in a cardboard box, but pre-setup, and it was actually playable .009-.042 Go figure?

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