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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Highway 1 Texas Tele (This message was last edited by beatcomber at 08:06 AM, Jun 19th, 2007)
FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Highway 1 Texas Tele
Next 20 Messages
Jan 17th, 2006 10:26 AM Edit Profile
Purchased this awhile ago and thought I'd write a review.
One word: Wow!
I have had in the past a '52 Reissue, a '79 tele custom, and several others, but none of them I really "bonded" with - until now.
This is the tele I'd always wished Fender would make. To start off, mine is the blonde color with a beautiful ash grain showing through, and its very lightweight - almost a featherweight. The neck is a nice 12" radius with larger frets. This is simply one of the fastest playing guitars I have ever had - you can just fly up and down the fingerboard for leads. No fret outs, just a fast neck. Its not a small neck, maybe a medium.
Fit and finish are excellent. I just tweaked the truss rod a tiny bit and lowered the action - just set it up for how I like it. Since it was already very well set up and adjusted, it didn't take more than a few minutes (as opposed to other guitars where I have spent hours tweaking). The frets are smooth, with no rough overhang edges and the rolled neck is very nice.
Sound - one word, excellent. Now, this is not the treble ear piercing ice-pick tele sound, but the pickups are a bit hotter (and yes, you can get twang on clean settings), but it just shines on playing leads, whether clean or overdriven, it has that little extra oomph I like. Playing with the bridge tone knob it can go from smooth to screaming. The neck has a wonderful woody, hollow type tone, almost like a strat neck pickup. The mid is your out of phase sound, it has a nice quack. I did play with the bridge pickup height a bit, the neck pickup was perfect, I did not have to touch it.
Overall, it has a great bite, not ice-pick trebly, but a smoother, warmer and fuller tone. For what I do, more rock and blues, this sound is perfect for me. But, take note, it does sound like a tele, just more output, a touch less treble, and a bit rounder, or fuller. If you are a hardcore country person, a bridge pickup change for lots of twang would possibly be in order.
Overall, this is just an excellent tele - money well spent.
Jan 30th, 2006 12:26 PM Edit Profile
I`m glad to hear that the Texas Tele suits your style Gayle. Fender asked me to design new bridge and neck pickups for this guitar model.
Although the pickups are constructed using the plastic style bobbins, a steel baseplate was adapted for the bridge pickup. Unlike the vintage Tele bridge pickup, the magnets are slightly longer and extend through the baseplate.
This created a hybrid pickup using the additional magnetizm for a sharper attack, but the steel baseplate added inductance which softened the resonant peak. The plate was also designed to relieve the microphonic problems associated with vintage Tele bridge pickups by adding extra relief holes between the magnets. This eliminates any trapped air between the plate and the bobbin that causes microphonics.
While I know that the tech aspect really doesen`t matter, it allows you more latitude with regard to playing at higher volumes without that Tele squeal. Rock and roll lies somewhere between the musical talents of Mike Bloomfield and the theories of Helmholtz, both have provided a rich legacy of advancing the state of the art.
I enjoyed your review Gayle, very gratifying.
Dallas, Texas USA
These go to eleven.
Jun 11th, 2007 09:56 PM Edit Profile
Anyone else have an opinion on this guitar? I'm GASing for one and want to read more reviews.
Jun 19th, 2007 08:04 AM Edit Profile
Gayle's comments are close to my appraisal of the new Highway One (non-Texas version) that I bought in May.
I am VERY impressed by the quality and design, especially for the price.
The pickups are PERFECT - not too bright, but plenty of bite and twang. Cleans up nicely when the volume knob is dialed back, but roars when you floor it.
Extemely fast action, with no fretting out - and I have the action set low and the neck pretty flat. I LOVE the gigantic frets.
The nitro Daphne Blue finish looks gorgeous, especially now that it's breaking in and getting some glossiness in places - I love the fact that the wood grain is visable under the paint. I look forward to seeing how it will wear after 10-20 years of use.
The Grease Bucket circuit works just as advertised. Very cool.
Interestingly, I tried replacing the chrome saddles with a set of brass saddles, and hated them. I couldn't get the guitar to intonate, and it sounded too fat!
My only complaint - and it's a minor annoyance at best - is the unnecessary extra fret. The fingerboard is extended slightly over the pickguard to make room for it, so you have to remove the neck in order to remove the pickguard. This is a PITA when you want to tweak the neck pickup height.
In pretty much every respect, the Highway One Tele is a terrific guitar.
Dallas, Texas USA
These go to eleven.
Jun 21st, 2007 04:13 PM Edit Profile
Thanks, I played the Highway One (Upgrade) version and really liked it alot. Noone seems to have a Texas version in stock. The Texas version has different pickups, neck, finish, and bridge than the Highway One (Upgrade) version. Hopefully the Texas version will not have the same issue with the frets since it has 21, not 22, frets. Has anyone played the Texas version?
"livin ina worl gone mad"
Jun 25th, 2007 03:33 PM Edit Profile
I bought my Highway 1 Texas Tele back in April '06. This is a great sounding and playing Tele.
Blueswoman's reveiw is what made me go out a play one; and once I did, SOLD!
I did have a hard time finding a store that had them and ended up ordering from MF. Got the Honey Blond. I realy like the pickups on this Tele. The brige is on the hot side but verry clear and articulate (turn the guitar volume down and it tames nicely). Overall a perfect balance with the neck pickup. Fit & finish was A-1, the only thing I changed was the pick gaurd. Got a tortise and a black pearloid and swap them out when the mood hits me.
Jun 28th, 2007 10:25 AM Edit Profile
Hi guys :) I still love it, long after the honeymoon phase. All I've done to it is put a black pickguard on it - it looks more like a '50s tele now.
I've noticed I don't see a whole lot of them in stores. I'm surprised more people haven't caught onto it.
Dallas, Texas USA
These go to eleven.
Jun 28th, 2007 08:19 PM Edit Profile
Mine just arrived today and I really like it (maybe even better than my American Strat). I'm doing the black pickguard swap too, but other than that, it is staying stock for awhile.
Aug 11th, 2007 11:27 PM Edit Profile
I love the Highway One Tele. I have the 2006 upgrade model, Sunburst and RW FB. I love it so much I am getting a 2nd Hwy One Tele in a different color before they decide to change the specs. The only other Tele style guitar that I have found that I really liked and came stock with nice tall frets (not the exactly the same frets) was a Tom Anderson Hollow T Classic, and it is 3 times the price of the Hwy One. The same goes for the Hwy One pups. They are the best vintage style stock pups out there in my opinion, but of course I haven't played them all, but I like them way better than the Delta Tones or TX Specials not to mention the pups on the MIM Std Teles. Some would say that the pups in the Hwy One Upgrade are not truly vintage, but I consider them vintage because they do the twang very well and basically sound vintage, but with the added bonus of being able to handle the high-gain stuff without getting too harsh in the top end. I have never had pups that could sound this great for vintage twang and also sound really good for the really ovedriven stuff like Southren Rock or early Britsh Metal like Cream, Sabbath, Zep or Deep Purple. I typically put Seymour Duncan Antiquitys in all my Teles because nowdays I mainly play Vintage Rockabilly and Country like Dwight Yoakam (Pete Anderson), Haggard, Johnny Cash, etc stuff. But when I was younger I was into playing more of the old Heavy Rock stuff and I still like to play that stuff sometimes.
The SD Antiquitys do the vintage Country and RockaBilly stuff better than any other pup in my opinion, and they have great harmonics and cut in the high mids for those diads and triads and are real twangy yet woody and plunky on the larger strings. But with those advantages comes the disadvantge that they are too microphonic for the heavy overdriven stuff. The Hwy One pups sound very similarly vintage and twangy like the Antiquitys but just don't quite have the high mids and cut of the Antiquity, but subsequently handle the heavy stuff much better than the Antiquity. Having said that, the Hwy One stock pups still have really nice highs. They are still fairly bright pups, but without being harsh.
I did end up replacing the stock Hwy One bridge pup with an Antiquity because I had already bought the Antiquity at the time I bought the guitar, and I wanted to compare the two and see if it was going to be as I thought and not be a huge difference. I was right. I can't really tell a huge difference except I got better hi-mids and cut from the Antiquity, which was the main reason I put it in. The difference is there but more subtle on the larger strings. While I love the Antiquity, at the same time I sort of miss the stock pup for what it could do in also sounding very vintage yet being so versatile at the same time. If I wasnt going to buy another Hwy One Tele I probbaly would not have swapped the stock pup out for the Antiquity. But since I am buying another one I will leave the stock bridge pup in the new one, so I will have two guitars that are a lot alike but slightly different, and the new one with the stock pup left in will be used for the heavier stuff, but if needed can do the twang stuff just fine.
I have gotten to where I really like the vintage 3 saddle bridge. It intonates fine for me. You just got to find that comfortable medium between the 2 strings that share the same saddle and I play with my G string tuned down lower than 440 and higher than 439.
I also noticed that the neck has to be removed to remove the pickguard for adjusting the height of the neck pup. But I don't use the neck pup a whole lot by itself (even though it sounds great just like Blueswoman said), but I do use the in-between position a lot, but I like to hear the bridge pup coming through a little more than the neck when I'm using the in-between position so I didn't really haven't needed to raise the neck pup anyway.
The grease bucket circuitry is nice too. I always hated when you lose the character of a pup when you roll it back.
The Hwy One Upgrade model is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.
Aug 18th, 2007 10:32 PM Edit Profile
Mine is a 2005 I believe, I bought it new. It is not one of the recent Hwy1-upgrade models, then again, I don't know how they were able to upgrade something that was already as good as it needed to be. I have thought recently of getting a spare bridge pickup such as the Dimarzio Pre-B1 and a Graphtech string tree for the 1st and 2nd strings for slightly les drag in bends. Other than that it is perfect as is. Two tone burst, maple neck, fully stock right now running DR power blues 10's. This is the guitar I take with me when trying out any new amp. This is also the go to guitar for everything else as it is at home playing nearly anything you can dish at it. I am a blues/rock player with a slight bit of country thrown in and it does all you could ask for. I can play anything from Johnny Cash to Albert King to Led Zeppelin to Stone Temple Pilots with this one guitar. Years back I had a Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, two strat pickups and a Tele bridge, I could never get a good sound out of that guitar, I later ended up replacing all the pickups with humbuckers, Lil'59 bridge and front and a hot rails in the middle...I still hated it and sold it to someone else who thought it was going to be a great guitar. What a POS. The HWY-1 is as to others the Tele I was looking for all that time before, I don't need a 52'RI or other custom shop Tele to get what I wanted out of a Telecaster, this one for less than half the price delivers with unconditional love, good tone, playability and reliability.
This is basically the same as they were back in the early years, its a proven design and Fender should stop trying to improve on it and just keep making quality Telecasters as they always have been.
State of Jeffereson
Aug 21st, 2007 07:03 PM Edit Profile
I have owned the older standard Hiway 1 and though I liked it I sold it....
I have long been perusing the Texas version but in the years since it has been out.. not 1 of the three local dealers ( including a GC) has ever gotten one
Thanks blueswoman for the rewiew...
the only thing I would prefer on that model is a rosewood board...
I like your idea of the Black Pickguard.. classy
Picks?, I use them bread wrapper thingys
Apr 13th, 2008 08:22 PM Edit Profile
I have to agree with Blueswoman's review. I love the pickups in my TT. A little warmer and rounder than the SCN's in the AmDlx I recently sold. The neck is terrific and the whole vibe of the guitar is wonderful. It was great to begin with but I decided to take it over the top. I added a black '52 RI guard, polished out the finish and installed a Glendale bridge and saddles.
It's even better. I don't use the word keeper because I love trading\buying and selling guitars but you would have a very hard time getting this guitar away from me.
Dec 27th, 2008 12:34 PM Edit Profile
I had to replace the bridge pickup on mine, a month or two (and a couple of gigs) after I got it. I remember playing a gig with the Texas Tele through a Hot Rod Deluxe a week after bringing it home and thinking that I had a bad tube in the amp. While I love everything else about this guitar, the bridge pickup (at fully 2x the DC resistance of a normal Tele bridge pickup) just totally lacked, to my ear, the cut and twang I need to hear from my Telecasters. (I will say that the stock bridge pickup did sound pretty impressive on overdriven amp settings.)
Sep 12th, 2009 01:03 PM Edit Profile
jazzrat, that is beautiful. WHichever tele i get next (highway / texas / classic series) its going to be a sunburst and i'm putting a black guard on it, simply beautiful.
Sep 14th, 2009 07:01 AM Edit Profile
i'VE HEARD A FEW PEOPLE TALK ABOUT 'POLISHING OUT' THE FINISH. hOW DO YOU DO THIS?
and how does the highway series hold up over time for scratches and dents?
I have an Epi 'worn' SG with a similar, matte finish and it doesnt seem any more prone to damage than anything else. Its just that i have a budget for a 'special' purchase - finally a 'proper' guitar instead of upgrading cheapies, so if i'm going to spend the money i'm erring on the side of the mexican deluxes and classic series for a more durable finish
Sep 27th, 2009 05:09 PM Edit Profile
A cotton cloth polishing wheel (remove all electronics, neck and hardware) OR the long method, microfiber cloths and polishing compound (still best if you remove pickguard and hardware.
Aug 21st, 2011 08:47 PM Edit Profile
I have acquired an older version Texas Tele Hwy 1 version and I like it quite a bit. The 12 inch radius neck is interesting and comfortable. This is a good rock and blues guitar but not made for country with the Tex Mex pups because they are too hot for clean country in my opinion. Like the thin nitro finish which should age well.
Sep 6th, 2011 04:58 PM Edit Profile
I bought a Nocaster set of pups that will be installed this week. I hope this guitar will sound as good as I anticipate it will. LOve alnico 3 magnets!
Sep 23rd, 2011 09:42 AM Edit Profile
Now have the NOcaster pups in it and it is a big improvement to my ears. You can now get a good clean sound in addition to good dirt. This becoming my favorite Tele.
May 10th, 2012 09:15 PM Edit Profile
The Texas Tele does not have a nitro finish, I think only the upgraded regular HWY One has nitro. They all have a thin finish though, so there is easy wear.
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(This message was last edited by beatcomber at 08:06 AM, Jun 19th, 2007)
FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Highway 1 Texas Tele