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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster

Paul L

New Jersey (Exit 4)

I need more Lemon Pledge...
Mar 6th, 2012 06:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just acquired one of these guitars in Classic Copper, IMHO the best color in the series (everyone that's seen it raves about it). Overall, fit and finish are very good. Neck is surprisingly comfortable, albeit a bit on the chunky side, and I would probably prefer a satin finish over the gloss poly, but that's a minor nitpick. Not sure I care for the amp-style knobs but again, a minor nit. Fretwork was pretty good, about on par with a typical MIM Fender.

Nice tight neck pocket and no discernible flaws anywhere. Stock pickups sound pretty good; not surprisingly, the bridge hum bucker is pretty hot and seems a bit off-balance with the single coils (although that's to be expected). I will probably replace the bridge saddles at some point, probably with brass ones (a 3-saddle compensated setup would be nice). The control plate is reversed, which is a nice feature (and makes me want to mod my other Tele to be the same way). I also like the gut-cut on the back, which is something I wish my other Tele had as well.

Be advised that this guitar does NOT come with a gig bag or case, and it will likely not fit in any of your existing Fender cases unless they happen to be oversized. However, I found a decent hardshell case for $80 at Sam Ash--specifically, the On Stage GEC6000B. It's supposed to fit a standard electric guitar but is just a bit oversized and a near-perfect fit for the Baritone Tele. Not cramped and not too loose. Quality is not on par with G&G/SKB cases but it will provide adequate protection, and the price is right.

One more thing--the guitar came strung with .013 - .065 strings, which felt just a bit heavy to me (I'm not a bass player and I normally play .009 on Fenders, .010 on Gibsons). So I restrung it with a set of D'Addario Super Light Seven Strings, discarding the high E string. This gave me a .011 - .054 setup with a wound 3rd string, which is a little easier to play.

Overall, for the money this is hard to beat if you're looking for a baritone electric guitar. I bought it sight unseen since no stores carry them, but as long as you can return it if it doesn't work out, it's a low risk endeavor.

Fender Baritone Tele

(This message was last edited by Paul L at 06:50 PM, Mar 6th, 2012)

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster

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