TC-90 Thinline Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: TC-90 Thinline
With a semi-hollow, double cutaway ash body for easy high fret access and smoked chrome hardware, plus American made Seymour Duncan Vintage (neck) and Custom (bridge) SP-90 pickups ? this axe is bound to make a statement with its visual appeal, smooth feel and screamin' tone.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.8
 Features: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 27 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
TC-90 Thinline Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Guitar Center, Nashua NH

Features: This guitar was new for 2004, American made, and it has Telecaster style body, with a double-cut body, as opposed to single. It has 22 medium-jumbo frets (I would have preffered medium frets, but that is my only complaint for features), and all are easily accesable. The body is a semi-hollow ash, and the neck is set maple with a rosewood fingerboard. It has an adjusto-matic bridge with an anchored tailpiece (much like a Les Paul), and Fender tuners/machine heads. This guitar has one volume control, one tone control, and a toggle Switch. All the hardware (controls, switched, bridge, tuners, etc) is smoked chrome, and it has Abalone dot inlays on the fingerboard. It has two Seymour Duncan SP-90-1NRWRP pickups; a Vintage P90 in the neck position, and a 3B Custom SP-90 in the bridge position. I picked up this guitar used, but in mint condition; the previous owner had traded it in for a Stratocaster, because he complained that the semi-hollow body had given him feedback on louder volumes. // 8

Sound: When I first picked up this guitar, I fell in love with the sound. I was hesitant at first because of only one tone knob, but I learned that was all that was necessary! The Seymour Duncan SP-90's are nothing short of amazing when it comes to tone. Playing around with the toggle Switch and the tone knob, you can get almost any sound you want out of this guitar; I've made it sound like (and in some cases better) than a Les Paul and I have set it up to sound like a Stratocaster or Telecaster. I cannot praise the flexibility of these pickups enough. I found there to be no feedback and no buzz on the loudest volumes through a 120watt Spyder Line 6 amp from the semi-hollow body. It also suits the kind of music I play; I'm fairly eccletic and play all sorts, (jazz, rock, blues, metal, punk) and this guitar can handle it all. It has a very rich, warm tone, when played clean, and could easily almost pass for an acoustic; When you crank the distortion, this baby screams. Simply amazing. I played it through a variety of amps at Guitar Center, (Fender, Crate, Marshall, and Behringer), and the only one I didnt like was Marshall, but that may only be because I didn't get to experiment with the effect setting enough. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar used through Guitar Center, as I said, so they did the set up job. It had D'Addario 9's when I first played it, and the action was perfect; I switched the strings to Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky's after I broke a string. Pickups (as I said before) were/are amazing. No complaints for the first setup. Even after being used, all the controls/wiring/hardware were properly attached and saudered. My only problem with the guitar is that the input screw loosens occasionally, but it happens rather infrequently, and I just tighten it. I may swap the input completely to fix this problem, but this was the only flaw I could find. // 10

Reliability & Durability: As for playing Gig's, this guitar can easily handle it. The hardware is very durable, and very stable. If you don't like the preconfigured action on the guitar, it is easily changed through the adjustomatic bridge. The strap buttons are completely solid; I've owned this guitar for almost 6 months now and they havent budged; it is the quite of quality I'd expect from Fender. The strap buttons can be easily switched to locking if you are paranoid about your strap, however I opted to go without with no problems. // 10

Overall Impression: I play alot of punk, classic rock, blues, and jazz, and this guitar handles them all superbly. I don't know what I'd do without this guitar; If it were stolen or lost, I would immediately go and buy another one if I could. My favorite part about this guitar would definetly have to be the Pickups; I would like to experiment with them on other guitars and I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a change for a humbucker-style guitar. The only thing better than the sound of this guitar was the price I found it for; given a choice between a Les Paul or a Stratocaster (unless they were Vintage 15years+) I would choose this guitar over and over again. My only wish for this guitar would be medium frets, as opposed to medium-jumbo. It's a stretch for my fingers sometimes in the lower frets, but it makes the higher ones more easily and cleanly accesable. // 10

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overall: 8.8
TC-90 Thinline Reviewed by: home sick alien, on november 09, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Marcus Music

Features: This special edition tele was made in 2003 or 2004 once and once only. The other 2 reviews are quite comprehensive as far as features go so all ill say is Fender are scummy for not giving a case with this and if you see one buy it because they are incredibaly rare. // 6

Sound: For an Indie alternative style (funnily enough what type of band I play in) this works really well as a second guitar. It's much thicker in sound than a normal Tele and as such contrasts quite well with the normal varity. Normal Teles can sound quite thin and this complements one well. It works great with distortion as well and I rekon it would suit most styles of music. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well the strap button keeps coming loose and unless you have a great cable it hums horribly. The hollow body means that itll sit off balance when your not holding it. Personally I think its pretty cool when it does that but other people tend to hate it. Apart from that its action is perfect, nice balance of low but not too low (what ilove about teles) and its finish is tasty. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've only ever played with this guitar live once and was quite pleased to hear myself through the mix of a bass/Les Paul/acoustic/some backing singers and a drum kit. The large strap buttons mean the strap never falls off and it took a good bashing and stayed in tune. I didn't get any feedback at loud volumes, distortion or no distortion and this was through an amp MICed to a PA which is always a recipe for disator. Rarely break strings on it and use it for band practice as a standalone, good work horse. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this 'cause its unique as any guitar I've seen and the perfect combination of Tele shape and Les Paul tone. It turns heads no doubt, and as a player who doesn't consider himself a lead or rhythm this is perfect. The white chocolate colour is an aquired taste but if you find one of these they are rare as hell so consider it. // 10

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overall: 8.8
TC-90 Thinline Reviewed by: tearjerkerrhcp, on november 09, 2012
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 530

Purchased from: Mason's Music

Features: My Telecaster Thinline is a '05. This Has a f-hole and dual hambuckers. It really isn't like the rest of the telesasters. To get all of the looks and fetures you will just have to go look at one. // 10

Sound: This guitar has a very brassy notitiable sound of a Telecaster. It has a very good range. I'm using a behringer V-ampire right now and that will make any guitar sound great but even on the other amps it has a good rich brassy sound to it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The neck action on this guitar is awesome I've had a few older players ttelling me how good this one is compared to other Telecasters. The only thing wrong wit it is the tone knobs may come lose and just keep turning after you have it and use them a while. But other than that its is almost perfect its a Fender so if you like then you'll like this one a little better than the rest. // 10

Reliability & Durability: You could play this for shows but really it seems more like a studio guitar. Don't think I'm saying that it's not duriable I take it to school it's stands up to what I throw at it but its not really a guitar I would take on tour with me. But, it is very dependable I love it. // 6

Overall Impression: I play a lot of bluse it has the perfect sound for that, also it sounds ok for punk or metal if you can stand the look. I've only been playing for a year and a half so give me a break if I don't know every thing about every thing. Really if this guitar was stolen I would most definantly buy another. The only this I whish that this guitar had was the wammy bar. // 10

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overall: 8
TC-90 Thinline Reviewed by: timfxckingklotz, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 7

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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