Only a handful of classic-era electric guitars genuinely qualify for the tag of “the only one you’ll ever need”. Gibson has one, the fabulous ES-335, and Fender can boast two; the Stratocaster and the 52 reissue Telecaster. Here we look at the new Vintage ’52 reissue Telecaster from Fender’s completely overhauled American Vintage range.
Your humble scribe has been around 52 reissue telecaster of all eras, both as a player and repairer, and it’s remarkable just how much the neck and even the body shapes have altered, how the transition from one curve into another can vary drastically, and how tiny variations in edge radius – even as inconsequential as those round the headstock – can drastically alter the vibe.
Fender has spent the last 30 years re-learning its past and with the new American Vintage range has homed in on what it sees as the three essential vintage 52 reissue telecaster: the quintessential ash-bodied ‘black guard’ ’52 reissue telecaster (reviewed here); the slimmer-necked ’58, also in ash; and the rosewood ‘board ’64 that’s generally alder-bodied, but employing ash for the White Blonde colour option. Fender has gone to town on accuracy, too, having used several great originals as benchmarks.