TC-90 Thinline review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (79 votes)
Fender: TC-90 Thinline

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
Great guitar for anything from rockabilly and blues to shoegaze and punk. I currently play this guitar through a Hot Rod Deville 410 and the sound is a dream come true. Very full sounding, fat and crunchy on the bridge pickup, smooth and warm on the neck.

Overall Impression — 9
I currently play in an eclectic garage punk band that draws heavily from rockabilly, country, folk, and blues. I use this guitar and a '72 Standard Thinline Tele through a Hot Rod Deville 410 for that band. Where this guitar absolutely blows me away is on the bridge pickup, tone and volume all the way up, clean channel overdriven, playing songs by Black Flag, Minor Threat, Dead Boys, The Damned, and Flipper. I wouldn't dream of using this guitar for metal or anything crazy, but that's why god created Ibanez guitars and EMG pickups. Aside from the shoddy electronic components, I can't think of anything bad about this guitar. If it were lost or stolen, I'd buy another in a second. I went into Guitar Center for picks. This guitar caught my eye. I played it, bought it, and have absolutely loved it since.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I bought this guitar used and it's been through 4 years of use by the first owner. It's held together for him and it's served me well since then. Finish is chipped, but seems solid, the guitar may have been dropped or dinged to create those chips. What's important is that those existing chips haven't become any bigger since I bought the guitar. Final word on reliability: it's a Telecaster, sure it's semi hollow and has a set neck, but it's still pretty much a Telecaster. It'll endure anything shy of negligent or intentional abuse.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I got this guitar used so I can't comment on the action or adjustments coming from the factory. The woodwork is flawless, the finish is chipped after 4 years of use before I got my hands on it, but I prefer some dings in a used guitar so no big deal. Being Korean made, the electronic components are a tad flimsy. That issue is easily fixed and I highly recommend replacing the Switch and jack at the very least.

Features — 7
Featurewise, I'd say this guitar is a cross between a Thinline Tele and a les paul. The other reviews have pretty much covered all of the features fairly well so I'm only going to touch on what I find to be the biggest pros/cons. The 22 fret, medium-jumbo fret, set neck has a nice feel to it, not too slim, not too fat. The double cutaway is an interesting aesthetic note, considering it's a tele. Looks and feels less bulky than the usual teles. Plus, I'm always being asked what kind of guitar it is. The seymour-duncan P-90s also set this apart from most telecasters by offering a warmer tone compared to the bite and twang that telecasters are known for. The two pots and 3 way Switch do the job for this guitar, but I do plan on installing 2 concentric pots and rewiring to provide an individual tone/volume control for each pickup.

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