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 Teles: the quintessential ash-bodied ‘black guard’ ’52; the slimmer-necked ’58 (reviewed here), 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.
First bone of contention: the blonde finish. Chris Fleming says: “It looks to me – this is what we believe – that the 1952 Teles were originally blonde and they turned a bit brown-ish or butterscotch or yellow over a period of time because of the formulation of the lacquer they used. Then in ’65 or so the lacquer changed and it stopped yellowing in that way and started looking like the American Vintage ’58 Telecaster, which is kind of a whiter blonde. After the colour we put on a thin clear top coat.
“So all of the guitars have a base, white wash coat but the blond Teles and the one blonde Strat all have a sunburst around the edges in white, including the ’52 Tele, which then gets its extra colour. We spent a lot of time on this and it was really hard for production to get consistent colour matches. But now we’re pretty happy.”
The new ‘Flash Coat’ lacquer finish does drag, but we found a silicon-impregnated cloth helped. For certain, this guitar feels tougher to play than more modern Standards and super-tweaked Custom Shop models. Tougher isn’t always negative, however – many players insist on some fight in the guitar to bring out the best in their technique and tone.
For instance it has a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard as opposed to the 7.25″ that the regular 52 reissues have.
It also has the Medium Jumbo frets instead of the smaller Vintage style frets.
She felt good in my hands, and also helped to make bending a little easier…
The feel of the neck is what I think made me prefer the Hot Rod, over the others tele’s I played.
I am finding I like the 9.5-inch radius fingerboard, and it’s just the right thickness for me.
Not a telephone pole, but not the 60’s slim taper on my LP either.
Right in the middle.
I also love how rounded the fretboard is on the sides of the neck. So nice… My entry level Gibson LP has much sharper edges.
When your running with the wider neck, this is a nice feature for sure.
I was only shopping for a Tele, but it having a humbucker was not an initial requirement. Its just the way things worked out…
Now I love having the humbucker too. I feel like this guitar does from clean to mean extremely well.
(Or at least as mean as I need it to get.)
When I was buying my Tele from GC, the sales dude told me ‘You know your buying the best sounding guitar we have in here…’
Read more: http://ztalk.proboards.com/thread/46734#ixzz2UMmjpOvC
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