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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2018 American Original '50s Telecaster

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Jun 2nd, 2018 01:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

These replace the outgoing Authentic Vintage '52 Telecasters. I liked those, and they also actually make this in lefty, so I finally went for it (always was tempted by the AV 52). Mine's from Sweetwater - it was $180 off their regular online price because of one supposed mark near the bridge (very hard to see!).

See pics (here and in my profile) - the guitar is cosmetically great! I like the ash body's figuring - nothing too crazy; just looks like a typical piece of ash. Neck is very plain, which is also good - no weird grain running through the fingerboard or headstock - the back of the headstock has one noticeable figuring, which is good for identification.

The pickups sound very good - but I don't know that they really sound "better" than my Squier Vintage 50 Tele! I need to raise up the neck pickup a little - it's too low and sounds anemic.

Also, notice they used "vintage appropriate" flathead screws throughout. Doesn't really matter to me, but a nice touch. Finish everywhere is perfect, "feels" like nitro, not slick poly.

The neck is beefy, as advertised, probably just slightly smaller than my Warmoth boatneck, which I love. Rolled fingerboard edges feel great. Fills up your hand, which I like. 9.5" radius, vintage size frets - again, this all works great for me, feels very good.

One MAJOR quibble: the instrument is wired left-handed, and is supposed to have lefty pots, but the tone control acts like an on-off switch (going from full on '10' to muffled instantly with little variation in between). Volume is better - but it could have a wider sweep/ range too...

I'm used to this, BUT, on the Squier with lefty rotating pots, it works perfectly (volume and tone controls) - on this $1,800 USA built guitar, I'm going to have to rewire the pots right handed or go find some true lefty pots! C'MON FENDER!!

I may also lower the nut slots just a little, but that's typical.

The wiring/V-T controls thing almost made me think about sending it back (I shouldn't have to fix something on a guitar at this price!), but I like/love everything else about it (including the very nice case - and it even includes an ashtray cover for the bridge!), so I'll keep it, and it will get used a lot...been playing a lot more Tele lately.

More pics in profile

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2018 American Original '50s Telecaster

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