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The telecaster has been around for decades, and it's still popular. It has a unique, light sound that fits many genres of music in some way. It is a very bright sounding guitar, with very unique properties, with wonderful clean sounds.
The Fender Standard Telecaster is Fender's "budget" telecaster. Fender owns the "Squier" brand which is of lower quality and price, however that is a "Squier by Fender" and not a true Fender. I purchased mine for £500 a few years ago, albeit with quite a lot thrown in for free. Of course, being left handed meant I paid a premium, but standard "rightys" should be available for under £400.
First, the specifications. It comes in both left and right handed orientations, with a body made of alder coupled to a neck made of maple. The fretboard is also made of maple, contributing to the bright, trebley sound. The "Thinline" Telecasters are made of mahogany and as such have a deeper sound.
Two single coil pickups are used in the neck and bridge positions, and they can be used seperately or wired together in parallel to further alter the tone. A popular modification is to change the switch to allow a fourth position, with the two pickups wired in series, mimicking a humbucking pickup. However this introduces a heavier, darker tone that, although increasing the guitars versatility, seems out of place in a Telecaster, so I personally have not done this.
There are 21 frets on the "C" profile fretboard, and the 25.5" scale length is a good compromise of sound quality and playability. The 9.5" fretboard radius means that the Telecaster is well suited to chords, but is also acceptable playing lead higher up the fretboard.
There are two knobs, a master volume and a master tone. I personally find that the controls can be a bit "jumpy", going from one extreme to another very quickly. These can be modified if you wish, but they are fine for me.
The tuning pegs, although not locking, do a very good job at keeping the guitar in tune for long periods of time.
Now, on to the sound. Without any distortion, this guitar is in it's element. Crisp, sparkly cleans that sound amazing. If you use a lot of effects pedals, chorus works especially well. Unfortunately, the distortion isn't the best, and can sound harsh. Whereas the Fender Stratocaster is a jack-of-all-trades and can handle distortion, this is definitely more suited to cleans. But it does them wonderfully.
So, in conclusion, if you want a guitar that has superb, sparkly cleans, then look no further than the Fender Standard Telecaster.
So I purchased this online after trying it out at my local guitar shop, and I was very surprised at the standard of the guitar for the low price a paid (£280 new).
Themaple neck makes it sooo easy to play, much better than rosewood, and this gitar is VERY light, allowing me to throw it around and jump about without struggling with the weight unlike many other guitars. It also stays in tune no matter how hard you play it which was also a big plus for me.
The only bad point(s) I'd have to put in is that firstly it is a little short of frets (21), and preferably I would've liked to have a 22 fret guitar but hey you can't have it all. The factory set up was also a bit bad, but only needed to change the action as there was a lot of fret buzz.
Dependiong on your style of music this guitar is great, if you play heavier styles then you may want to fit maybe a seymour duncan hot rails humbucker (single coil) size in the bridge as this really does sound nice. But for every other style this guitar has a great sound. Much, and i mean MUCH better than that of a strat.
Unlike gibsons this guitar does not feel cheap, and the quality is a high standard. But that is down to personal opinion really isn't it!
I have had no problems with this guitar whatsoever and it is very reliable and has never, ever let me down while gigging (never had to use my backup :D).
If you are thinking of buying it please please please remember :
1) Always make sure you go and try the guitar you want to buy as not all guitars will be right for you.
2) If you have the money DO NOT buy the squier model thinking as its near the price it will be similar, as it is not. It is nowhere near as good a standard and you will regret it if you can afford the fender!