Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 01/20/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe
This is a Chinese made Telecaster, part of Fender's new Modern Player range, but don't let the fact that it's not Mexican or American put you off. It's still fantastically built, feels solid and reliable and looks built to last.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.8
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (2) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from:

Features: Bought this guitar in March 2012, made in China, but don't let that fool you. 22 Frets, semi-hollow, etc. The specs are all on Fender's page. The finish seems to be very well done. I've had the guitar for about 3 months now, so I can't gauge wear too well, but it's holding up well to the typical minor scratches etc. The Fender vintage-style tuners, combined with a HardTail bridge, means that it'll stay in tune pretty well through some rough bending and playing. So far, I'm very satisfied in this area. The neck is a nice and thin C-shape, and even with a glossy finish is very easy to move around on. I've measured it to be about 20mm at the 1st fret and 24mm at the 12th. Frets are medium jumbo, I believe, and the fretboard is radiused just enough so bends are easy but it's not too difficult to barre chords. The MP-90 pickups are pretty fantastic, though the pots tend to get a little muddy when you dip below ~3. As far as volume/tone goes, there is a volume and tone knob for each of the two MP-90s, and this gives you plenty of variety in your tone. // 9

Sound: I play mostly blues, blues rock, and rock, as well as some funk and indie. The guitar is definitely versatile enough in this respect, but it's not exactly a hard rock/metal guitar, though with enough gain you can do a lot with it. Pickups sound bright, but full. It doesn't really have the typical thin and tinny Tele sound, but it still maintains a lot of that Tele character. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: It might have been set up when I got it, but I don't remember because I almost immediately changed the terrible strings that it came with. I ended up using higher gauge strings on it, and I had to do plenty of action and truss rod adjustments accordingly. I haven't touched the pickup height too much, that seemed pretty good where it was at out of the box. Only real problem, since I don't count crappy strings against it, is that the nut isn't cut very well. It's not much higher than the frets are, which means your action has to rise a bit to keep strings from buzzing and rattling. I don't know if this is a consistent problem or if it was just a manufacturing error. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Haven't played it live, but everything else seems very solid. Like I said earlier, the finish looks very nice and should definitely hold up over the years. This guitar definitely retains much of the classic Telecaster vibes in the sense that it's a solid, reliable workhorse. I wouldn't be afraid to play it live without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, a great guitar, especially considering it's MIC and not very expensive. If something happened to it, I would definitely buy it again. The only thing I wish was different about it is the 3-way switch position, it's above the neck by the top strap button, and it a little bit out of the way if you need to quickly switch between pickups. I'd prefer it down by the tone/volume knobs. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Reviewed by: Haribo1712, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 346

Purchased from: PMT

Features: This is a Chinese made Telecaster, part of Fender's new Modern Player range, but don't let the fact that it's not Mexican or American put you off. It's still fantastically built, feels solid and reliable and looks built to last. It is semi hollow, with an 'F' sound hole. The neck is made of maple, feels really smooth and lovely to play. The finish is transparent, a nice grey/brown ish undertone. It's a Thinline Telecaster shape, but it's a bit different as instead of the Standard Telecaster configuration with a 3 way blade selector, master volume and tone and the two renown single coil pick ups at the neck and bridge it has two thicker P90s, (still at the neck and bridge), a tone and volume for each pickup and a 3 way selector switch above above the neck. The pickups are good quality Fender Modern Player pickups, very little noise (and that's maybe because it's a crap amp). Tuners are good quality and as far as I am aware are locking. Unfortunately, the guitar came solely as a guitar, case etc had to be purchased separately so as I'm feeling mean I'll knock one point off for that. // 9

Sound: I play alternative stuff like The Libertines, The Strokes etc and this suits me perfectly. Clearly the combination of single coil pickups and semi hollow body mean that it's not a metal player's guitar but I reckon you could get away with some fairly heavy rock on it. It's not really noisy as I said before, and as I'm using it with a fairly average 100watt Torque amp some noise would be expected. In terms of sound its tone and volume knob configuration make it very versatile, you can get both rich and bright sounds out of it no problem. Obviously a higher end model could get better sounds but for the price you pay this is excellent. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was exactly how I would want it, no adjustments needed, guitar in perfect condition. Maybe they adjusted it at PMT, they didn't say, but when I got it it was excellent. The bridge is properly rooted, and the top is properly bookmatched, exactly as you would expect from a Fender. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't gigged with this guitar yet but it seems durable and could probably be used without a backup, if you're the careful sort of person who always takes a backup guitar then you would regardless, but this could see you through I would imagine. The hardware seems durable and everything. Probably need strap locks for it just to be sure though. Finish looks like it will last, doesn't look thin or anything. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a good match for me, obviously not suited to everyone. I've been playing about a year and a half, started off acoustically but I do have an Epiphone Les Paul Special II which is crap, this is, unsurprisingly, so much better. If it were lost I'd buy it again I'd imagine, probably wouldn't be able to afford anything much better! For the price it's out of its league anyway, won't find anything else this good for this price. I did compare it to a Mexican Jazzmaster but this won because of its greater versatility. Would be nice if it had a tremolo or something but hey, can't have everything in life. For the price you pay this is an incredible guitar, but clearly there will be better guitars out there if you pay twice the price for them. // 9

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overall: 8.4
Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Reviewed by: songworks, on january 08, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 449

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: 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? // 7

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.6
Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Reviewed by: TragicaDarkness, on january 20, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 449

Purchased from: Reid Music Ltd.

Features: The Fender Modern Player Thinline Deluxe Telecaster was made in China, although don't let the country it was made in lose your interest. It has a bolt-on neck (common with Fender) with a 25. 5" maple fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets. The body is a light mahogany with a gloss polyester finish, which appealed to me. There are two tone control knobs, giving options for distinctive sound. There are also two volume knobs, one for the bridge pickup and one for the neck pickups, which are both MP-90 single coils. Similar to the Les Paul, there is a 3-way toggle switch to the top left of the guitar, position one being neck pickup alone, position two being both neck and bridge pickups, and position three being the bridge pickup alone. The bridge isn't the traditional Telecaster style, it's more similar to a Stratocaster's, the string-thru body, which I've been more comfortable with. Also very good vintage-style tuners, and a 3-ply parchment pick guard. No accessories were included, although I already had what I needed from an old Squier Stratocaster set. One thing I'd like to add is that it is very light due to its semi hollow body. Very good, the features are. // 10

Sound: I often play punk rock and alternative rock, like Radiohead, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, and old Paramore. I have to say that it fits these styles very well, although diving into the harder material of Paramore, not so well, although still somewhat suitable for. I play through a Fender Frontman 15G, only reason being because that was what came with my Squier Stratocaster. The sound is great, very appealing to me, although in any position of the 3-way toggle other than position 2, I get a bit of hum, although that doesn't stand out unless you turn on some high distortion. I use a Boss Distortion DS-1 and it sounds great with that nice, dirty yet smooth sound, suitable for music like The Smashing Pumpkins and Blur. If you set it into position one clean, you can get a nice, vintage-ish sound, reminding me of bands such as The Police. I think that it spans across a wide range of genres with great tone, the only I find definitely unsuitable being post-hardcore and heavy metal. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought the guitar, it was set up adequately, I suppose. The strings weren't that great, and the poorly cut nut affects the G string's sound especially, although other than that, it seemed great! Everything on this guitar seems solid and very good for its price of $450, except for the pickup selector. As stated before, position 1 and 3 produce pickup hum, which can be very annoying and clear with high gain or distortion. The neck pickup's volume knob was loose, although it isn't too bad of a problem. Tuning pegs are sturdy and great. It contains a few flaws, but they're easily fixable and nothing to fret about. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I haven't played live with it yet, but judging by it right now, I think it would definitely withstand live playing, definitely. Unlike what others say, yes, the strap buttons are definitely solid. Coming from one who jumps around and spins playing guitar to Fall Out Boy, yeah, I can say the strap buttons are sturdy. I can definitely depend on this guitar, I'd use it on a gig without a backup. The finish seems great when it comes to lasting, it seems amazing. Of course every finish wears off over time, but I think that this finish will actually go for really long, I've only had it for a month but it seems surprisingly good. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I love this guitar. I play punk rock and alternative rock and it's a great, wonderful match. Jonny Greenwood of alternative rock band Radiohead is the reason I bought a Telecaster, and Tom DeLonge of punk rock band Blink-182 is the reason I purchased a semi-hollow. I've been playing guitar for about a year now, and with the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal it sounds amazing. Still not quite the Telecaster sound, but it's close and amazingly good for its price. If it were to get stolen, lost, or taken in a van and then thrown in a ditch (cough, Rory Gallagher, cough), I would definitely buy it again. I love its features and its ability to stay in tune very well. There's nothing that I really hate about it, although I dislike the poorly cut nut. Compared to an Epiphone or a Squier, it is in one man's opinion more versatile and higher-end. I chose this product because a number of my favourite guitarists use the Telecaster, I love the sound of the hollow body, and the price for this Modern Player was very low for it's amazing quality. One thing I wish it had was a better-cut nut. But still, it's a great guitar. I highly recommend it to beginner and professional players. // 9

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