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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender American Special Tele- new

Cal Webway
Contributing Member


Poet Lariat
Sep 10th, 2014 04:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Very good tones, esp since I play clean with touch of reverb.
For yrs I discounted the Texas Special pups w/o ever playing them in T's or S's.
They're very Tele!! No doubt.

Love the larger frets, altho not much diff to me than the Am Std Tele's. I bend alot. ALOT!! Frets excellent for that.
Very gd construction. Inspite of the controversy of "rings good acoustically = sounds good
amplified," well... it does both!

Cal Webway
Contributing Member


Poet Lariat
Sep 13th, 2014 10:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

I sent the gtr back.
Honeymoon over when inspite of pup adjustments etc. the high E and B were very weak, esp on the rear pup. :(
A big inbalance.

On my radical bends, esp multi string, the neck flopped too much. Open strings went too flat.

The Good: The lower strings sounded great, construction was great. I just didn't want to chase down replacement pickups. Been down that road too many x's.

LESSON: Play in person (for me)


usa metro detroit

Nov 14th, 2016 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

My American Special is a TRUE keeper!

Cost $999.00

The neck, a modern 9.5 "C" is actually made of Flame maple!!! It's flame is light but none the less you can see the "flame" up and down the neck. It has a Rosewood finger board with jumbo frets. IMO.. 9.5 might be the best fretboard radius I’ve played including compound. Bending is consistent all the way up the neck and the jumbo frets just add the smooth playing. All in all… the neck on the Special is one of the fastest and most maneuverable I’ve ever played on. Body is Alder.. not too heavy, but not to light… Body is Lake Placid Blue and came with a 3ply mint pickguard. Finish was spot on. I’m a player not a collector so a guitars finish not being perfect isn’t a big deal (not that there was any imperfections) I liked the visual touch the 3ply mint pickguard brings w/lake placid blue… Guitar is stunning visually. Tuning pegs are modern in nature but are not locking…but very top notch.. i.e. of quality

The Special runs on Custom shop Texas Specials, both in the bridge and neck. A 3-Position Blade Position switch & a volume and tone knob that has the Greasebucket™ Tone Circuit. (Rolls off Highs without adding bass. ) I personally love the CS Texas Specials… They give a very bluesy twang.. (think Stevie Ray Vaughuan meets Pete Anderson. ) the pickups sing but… still have twang. I prefer tone knobs with a standard 0.47 cap to get those classic tone swells, with the Greasebucket circuit one can NOT do traditional tone swells. However, this factor doesn’t devalue the Greasebucket tone circuit. The Greasebucket circuit really shines when you add some kind of overdrive. Anyone…. Who plays Telecasters will tell you how harsh the frequency of the bridge pick up can be. When you add some form of gain (overdrive, distortion or fuzz) your forced to roll back the tone. The Greasebucket circuit functions with the same intent…. but you have a much broader range than with a traditional tone knob set ups. Overall the Greasebucket is a very functional idea.

What attracted me to the Special was the guitar vintages nature with a traditional 3 saddle bridge. My only complaint was the outside pegs belonging to the high E and low E saddles were too long and bit into your hand if you laid you palm on the bridge. (after you lowered the action to a decent level) Minor stuff… I just took a metal file to the bottoms and filed them to the correct length. After this the guitar plays like a dream… I did put some aftermarket steel saddles on, only because I have two other telecasters with brass saddles and I wanted the Special to stand out amongst them.

Super happy with this guitar! I recently took the guitar amp hunting and got to compare my Special’s overall performance to a 2016 Les Paul Standard. Cost $2500.00. IMO the Special beat the Les Paul on all fronts. The neck felt faster, bends were easier, the Special sustained as good or better…(even with its bolt on neck) for $1500.. cheaper. What’s not to love?

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender American Special Tele- new

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