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Which Fender Telecaster is Right for You?

14/04/2022
As the first mass-produced electric guitar, the Telecaster has solidified its place in guitar history. Originally conceived by Leo Fender himself in the mid-1950s, the Telecaster started life as the Broadcaster. Since then, the model has gone from strength to strength, with a multitude of variations ranging all the way from twelve-string guitars to one-pickup versions.

The vast number of variants can be quite a headache when it comes to choosing the correct model for you. From the Player model to the Ultra Luxe, the Telecaster has an abundance of options to suit any level or style of guitarist. We’ve gone through each model in an attempt to make your decision a lot easier.


Fender Player

The Fender Player series is an evolution of Fender’s standard line, one that infuses each model with modern features and enhanced playability. It’s a guitar built with the performer in mind. An excellent starting point for anyone looking to enter the world of Fender, the guitar’s pocket-friendly price makes it accessible without sacrificing the premium feel of the instrument.

Fender Player Teles Showroom

An incredibly versatile model, the Player Telecaster suits a wide variety of styles and genres. Designed to perfectly capture those authentic Fender sounds, it’s equipped with a set of Player Series single-coils that guarantee that iconic twang combined with a modern edge.

Shaped by hand to the original specifications, the construction is true to the model’s style. A sleek, modern “C”-shaped maple neck enables a sturdy grasp on the instrument, while also freeing you to flurry with speed and accuracy across the 9.5”-radius fretboard. Both the neck and fretboard promise that authentic Fender feel for every performer. A stunning alder body then infuses the sound with an impeccable tonal foundation that provides coverage over every frequency.


Fender Vintera

For players looking to capture the tone of Fender’s heyday, the Vintera revives the 1950s Telecaster feel with decade-accurate features for a true-to-era experience. A set of vintage-style ’50s single-coil pickups employed at the neck and bridge ring with the crisp, articulate sound that solidified Fender’s place within the musical landscape.

Fender Vintera Tele FR

Everything about this Telecaster has been shaped to make the playing experience as accurate as possible. An early ’50s “U”-shaped profile neck delivers a comfortable grasp on the instrument, though it does provide a thicker feel than the modern performer may be accustomed to. This is fronted with an era-accurate 7.25”-radius fingerboard which houses 21 vintage-style frets.

But you don’t just want a guitar that feels vintage, you want one that looks the part too. The Vintera Telecaster certainly delivers here. Adopting vintage-style tuning machines, the hardware’s chrome finish keeps the aesthetic in line with the sound. There’s also a three-saddle brass barrel bridge which is used in conjunction with a string-through-body design. Then you have the classic finishes which will capture the eye of everyone at your show.


Fender Player Plus

Here we have one for the guitarist looking to achieve the peak of all performances. Combining classic Fender design with an abundance of player-centric features, the Fender Player Plus frees you to excel without any aspect of the guitar hampering your virtuosity. Incredibly versatile, it delivers a wide array of tones courtesy of its fantastic electronics, which are designed to give you full control over the instrument.Fender Player Plus Teles Lifestyle

Playability is at the forefront, and that is evident in every decision Fender has made during the construction of the model. A silky, satin-finished, modern “C”-shaped neck is built to fit your hand like a glove, delivering incredible comfort during every performance. The 12”-radius fretboard fronts this with 22 medium-jumbo frets that ensure an incredible amount of room to play with accuracy and precision.

The tone of the guitar is where this instrument excels. A set of Player Plus Noiseless pickups are employed at the neck and bridge, capturing sweet, warm tones and that iconic Fender twang without any pesky hum. The push-pull switch then works in conjunction with the pickups and engages both to work in series for further definition and a higher-octane output that’s perfect for placing emphasis on your solos.

Down to even the smallest of details, the guitar is optimised for the best performance possible. Locking tuning machines offer increased stability for your tuning, and thanks to a six-saddle bridge, you can be assured of excellent intonation and sustain for a fantastic bright sound. A stunning set of finishes, including a stunning cosmic jade that truly glistens in the light, all bring a twinkle to the eyes of the crowd.


Fender JV Modified

The Fender JV Modified series combines vintage style with up-to-date features that allow every guitarist to excel. Influenced by the immensely popular Japanese Vintage reissues of the early ‘80s, these are a refined take on the classic formula. Well-suited to players looking for a vintage-inspired model that is slightly different to others out there, the JV Telecaster is a delightful choice.

Fender JV Modified Tele

One thing that allows the JV to stand out is its double-bound basswood body which earths the guitar with an impeccable tonal foundation, emitting every note with a full-bodied elegance. Basswood also enhances the durability of the guitar thanks to its sturdy construction. With either a ’50s or ’60s inspired construction, it really does bring the past to the modern performer.

The electronics of this Telecaster are also impeccable, with a special four-way switch delivering the sound of two vintage-tone pickups in four separate voicings. These voicings allow you to use either pickup in isolation or utilise them in series or parallel. This amount of versatility is also increased thanks to the adoption of a push-pull pot tone control which frees you to play in and out of phases. All these settings still allow the guitar to emit that defined Fender twang, easily sculpted by you.

Crafted for effortless playability, the JV Modified promises the Fender-perfected performance that people are accustomed to, with a 9.5”-radius fretboard allowing you to jump from chord to chord with impeccable ease or flurry across the frets with an amazing level of accuracy. The soft “V” neck shape then provides the utmost comfort, offering a grasp that is perfect for both rhythm and lead work.


American Original

The first American model we have here is the American Original Telecaster. Original in every sense, the Telecaster can be seen as the grandfather of all future guitar models.

Fender American Original Tele Lifestyle

Setting the trend for modern guitarists, the Tele set the expectations for Fender’s future, and the American Original showcases this to the utmost accuracy. The Telecaster has shown it can do almost everything, from blissful blues all the way to the heaviest of metal.

Constructed with an ash body, the American Original offers an outstanding, natural tone that guarantees coverage over every frequency. Scintillating highs, a defined mid-range, and tight lows ensure that the sound of the instrument naturally accentuates every chord with ease and accuracy.

A set of Pure Vintage ’52 Single-Coil Telecaster pickups perfectly captures every nuance of your performance. Sculpted from the ground up, these pickups are built to deliver the classic sound of the Telecaster in its purest form (pardon the pun). Emitting sound with an unrivalled level of accuracy, the American original is impeccably built.


American Pro II

The American Professional II collects all the developments from the last 70 years and showcases them as the epitome of what a Telecaster should be. It delivers an expertly crafted experience, all the way from a well-defined, sculpted tone to a fantastic, efficient performance with a silky-smooth feel.

Fender American Pro II Tele

The Pro II is equipped with a delightful pair of V-Mod II single-coil Telecaster pickups, both of which have been skillfully voiced for each position they are deployed at. They’re infused with the utmost warmth, and they articulate the crisp, clear sound that has become iconic with the Fender Telecaster.

This, combined with a set of special electronics, allows for full customisation of the tone. With the Professional II, you truly have a legendary Fender at your fingertips.

Built to be perfect, every aspect of this guitar has been considered. A delightful deep “C” maple neck ensures both comfort and precision, giving you sturdy control over the instrument while also providing you with the ability to achieve impressive speed and precision. Jump from chord to chord or blaze from note to note; every movement is effortless.

The American Pro II comes with two options for the guitar’s body: either alder or roasted pine; both offer a fantastic tone that is rich with sonic bliss. Alder is the traditional tonewood and has been used by Fender for decades thanks to its full-bodied, natural sound palette, which makes it suitable for any style or genre. Roasted pine, on the other hand, provides a slightly more intricate tone. It boasts fantastic resonance while packing the quintessential twang that’s needed for the guitar to call itself a Fender.

As it says in the name, this guitar is shaped for the professional, which is why it comes in at a slightly higher price point, but for this you do get an abundance of premium features. So, play to the peak of your abilities and amaze the crowds with your proficiency.


American Ultra

How can you get more premium than the Pro II, you may ask? Well, with the American Ultra, of course. This model is designed for those who demand the peak in performance and the top-echelon of tone. Every aspect has been finely tuned and tinkered to ensure you are unhindered, while also emitting a sound that is desirable for every musician.

Fender American Ultra Tele Lifestyle

When it comes to ensuring every part of your performance is precise, one of the most important design features is the modern “D” maple neck. The modern “D” shape is perfect for any musician’s catalogue, granting you a comfortable grasp that frees you to play with complete proficiency. The rolled edges of the fretboard, combined with the neck’s silky-smooth satin finish, ensures that you don’t face any complications when it comes to playing.

This playability is further enforced with a 10”-14” compound-radius fretboard which gives a rounder feel around the nut of the guitar for excellent chordal positioning. It then flattens towards the upper registers, allowing for easy and efficient soloing.

The American Ultra emits true tonal perfection. Possessing a set of Ultra Noiseless Vintage pickups, it holds that classic Fender sound while removing any remanence of annoying hum. This is paired with an S-1 switch which allows you to use the two single-coils in either series or parallel, giving you access to additional tonal range.

This exceptional instrument will truly inspire your creativity, freeing you to concentrate on your performance without anything standing in your way.


American Ultra Luxe

With a touch more luxury than the American Ultra, the American Ultra Luxe elevates the experience to the next level. A combination of different finishes with matching head caps provides an entirely different aesthetic to the standard Telecaster construction. Completely optimised, the Ultra Luxe exemplifies an instrument that excels in placing a modern twist on a classic.

Fender Ultra Luxe Tele

It’s equipped with the same Ultra Noiseless Vintage pickups that the American Ultra comes with, as well as the intuitive S-1 switching system that activates series and parallel circuitry for a large variety of tones. So, every sound that is emitted is sent to your amplifier with clarity and punctual power.

The same measurements from the Ultra apply to the fretboard, but the neck differs ever-so-slightly. An augmented “D”-shaped neck is a little bit chunkier than the modern “D” on the American Ultra, and this gives you a sturdier grasp. The shoulders then soften in the higher registers to still allow easy access to anything above the twelfth fret.

Some Ultra Luxe guitars also offer a Floyd Rose bridge and a set of Ultra Double Tap Humbuckers which enable you to infuse your music with expressive dive bombs or subtle waves of vibrato. The humbuckers produce full definition with every chord, permitting your music to ring with complete clarity.


Artist Signatures

Brent Mason Telecaster

Active across five decades of music, session musician Brent Mason has appeared in well over a thousand albums. Credited alongside icons such as Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and Alan Jackson, Mason has solidified his position in musical history. A Grammy winner, an inductee into the Musicians Hall of Fame, and a winner of twelve Guitarist of the Year awards, his resume is outstanding.

Fender Brent Mason Tele

The Brent Mason Telecaster is completely unique, both in style and in sound. It’s packed with a set of unique Seymour Duncan pickups, including a mini-humbucker in the neck position, a Hot Stack in the middle, and a Vintage Stack at the bridge. When partnered with custom electronics such as a three-way pickup selector, a master volume, and a push/pull master tone, there is an abundance of opportunities to create unique and exciting sounds.

The Glaser Bender system also offers unique sonic properties, infusing the tone with authentic steel-guitar sounds. This versatility makes the guitar a useful companion at any opportunity, showcasing a terrific all-in-one model.

A vintage-style late-’60s “C”-shaped neck offers that instantly recognisable feel, ensuring the Fender purist has an experience that’s familiar. A 7.25”-radius maple fretboard also extends this familiarity, keeping to the conventions of classic Fender Telecasters.

 


Conclusion

Who knew there were so many Telecasters? The good thing is that within this wide variety, there is a model to suit a player of any style or ability. From the Player model to the Ultra Luxe, you are bound to find a Telecaster that meets your needs perfectly.

If you are looking for a guitar that echoes with true vintage essence, the Vintera is perfect for you; if you are searching for the peak of performance, the Player Plus could be the correct call; and if you want the King of Tele tone, the Ultra Luxe will knock your socks off.

Any level, any genre, any style, the Telecaster can do it all.


Find Out More

Now you have seen what the world of Telecasters has to offer, why not explore the selection further?

Find out more | Fender Telecasters

Digital Marketing Apprentice

Alt-rock connoisseur. A musical enthusiast, Fraser has been a guitarist for over 17 years, lighting up the stage with his melancholic ambience. He can usually found drinking a coffee and telling people about unknown artists, and could easily be confused for a hipster.

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