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Telecaster Buying Guide

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The Electric Guitar that Transformed American Music

Table of Contents

A Brief History of the Telecaster
Tele Players: a Who’s Who of Guitar Wizardry
Basic Telecaster Features
Squier Telecasters
Fender Telecasters
USA Made Telecaster Guitars
Fender Custom Shop
So, Which Telecaster is Right for You?

A Brief History of the Telecaster

In 1951 the Telecaster was introduced to the world by Leo Fender, a Southern California inventor and businessman. Now a legendary instrument available in dozens of variations, the iconic “Tele” became the world’s first successfully mass-produced solid body electric guitar.

Fender's Esquire guitar was the first prototype for the Telecaster and was produced in limited numbers. It was introduced in 1950 and renamed the Broadcaster shortly after. To avoid confusion and trademark issues with Gretsch Broadkaster drums, the guitar was renamed as the Telecaster. The Esquire was brought back as a single-pickup version of the Telecaster in 1951.

The Telecaster’s simple, straightforward design along with its versatility and playability have led to its longevity. It features a single cutaway body and two single-coil pickups that produce the Tele’s bright and twangy trademark tone. The headstock has six single-side tuners, and the original design featured three innovative barrel-shaped saddles that allowed guitarists to adjust the string height for better playability.

Fender incorporated production techniques no other guitar builder had used previously. Bodies were built using solid pieces of wood, referred to as blanks, and cavities for the electronics were made using a router. Prior to this, guitar bodies were hand-carved. The cavities offered easy access for repair or replacement of the electronics.

Fender American Standard Telecaster

The Fender American Standard Tele cosmetically resembles its forerunner, but has a modern “C”-shaped neck plus Twisted Tele and Broadcaster pickups for improved playability and tone.

Fender didn’t use a traditional set neck. Instead, he routed a pocket into the body and bolted the neck into it, making production faster and easier. This innovation also allowed the neck to be quickly removed, adjusted, or entirely replaced. The original Telecaster neck was shaped using a single piece of maple without a separate fingerboard—another technique used to produce the instrument faster and more simply. Some luthiers, accustomed to using rosewood or ebony fingerboards that were glued onto the neck, found Fender’s methods highly unorthodox. Nonetheless, these revolutionary techniques resulted in an affordable, versatile, and highly playable instrument.

The Telecaster's popularity as a solid-body electric helped pave the way for the many other solid body electric guitar models that followed from other manufacturers—some of them thinly disguised knockoffs of the original. Through it all, the Tele, in one form or another, has remained in constant production since its inception, and remains a workhorse for countless guitarists.

With the many Telecaster models available today, it may seem difficult to know which one’s best for you. This guide will give you the information you need to help pick the right Telecaster for your music and budget.

Tele Players: a Who’s Who of Guitar Wizardry

Throughout its history, the Telecaster has turned up in the hands of countless players in every modern music genre, ranging from rock to jazz to country to pop and everywhere in between. Along the way, Fender has made many signature-model Telecasters incorporating the specs of legendary players. Arguably, no other guitar has enjoyed such diverse and widespread popularity among so many guitarists representing so many different styles.

One testament to its popularity and influence is the number of legendary guitarists whose nicknames reference the Tele. These include “King of the Tele” Roy Buchanan, “Telemaster” Danny Gatton, and “Mr. Telecaster” Albert Lee.

Just a few famous Telecaster players from a range of musical genres:

  • Rock - Joe Strummer, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, John 5, Jim Root
  • Pop - Jeff Buckley, Prince, Andy Summers, James Burton, George Harrison
  • Blues - Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield, Roy Buchanan
  • Country - Albert Lee, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Clarence White
  • Psychedelic Rock - Jeff Beck, Syd Barrett, Zoot Horn Rollo
  • Jazz - Jimmy Bryant, Mike Stern, Howard Roberts, Barney Kessel
  • Soul - Steve Cropper, Freddie Stone

Basic Telecaster Features

Although Telecaster come with a lot of model-specific variations, there are some general characteristics to be found on most Telecasters.

  • Solid body - usually ash or alder
  • Bolt-on neck - made of maple
  • Maple or rosewood fretboards (maple is more common)
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer (vintage Teles), polyurethane or polyester finish (modern Teles)
  • 2 single-coil pickups (one in the bridge position and one in the neck position)
  • 3-position pickup switch
  • Master tone and volume controls
  • 21 or 22 frets
  • 25.5" scale length
  • 7 1/2" fretboard radius (vintage Teles), 9 1/2" fretboard radius (modern Teles)

With so many different Telecaster models to choose from today, many of these typical specs will vary on a model-specific basis. For the most part, differences among Telecaster models and families usually involve the pickups, electronics, hardware, and finishes. With this guide, we’ll walk you through those variations.

Keep reading for a complete rundown on all the currently available Telecaster models from Fender and its Squier division.

Squier Telecasters

Squier is a division of Fender and its Telecasters are based on Fender models, sharing many of the same design features at super-affordable prices. In the company's own words, Squier is the “value brand alternative to its big brother, Fender.” Squier Teles are largely made in Asia.

Squier Affinity Series

The Affinity Telecasters target cash-strapped players looking for traditional Telecaster vibe coupled with value pricing and good playability.

  • Solid alder body; thinner 1-1/2" depth
  • Maple C-shaped neck
  • Maple or rosewood fingerboard depending on finish color
  • Polyurethane finish (body and neck)
  • 9.5" fretboard radius
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 single-coil pickups
  • 3-position blade pickup switching
  • 6-saddle top-load bridge
  • Standard die-cast tuners
  • Chrome hardware
  • 1-ply white pickguard
  • Made in China

Squier Affinity Telecaster Arctic White

The Squier Affinity Tele in Arctic White combines cool cosmetics with a super-easy price.

Squier also offers the Affinity Telecaster as part of an economical guitar pack that includes an amp, gig bag, tuner, instructional DVD, and cable. It’s a great value for new players, giving them everything they need to begin playing the guitar.

Squier Standard Series

A step up from the Affinity series, the Squier Standard Telecaster offers the feel and comfort of a Fender Standard at an affordable price. It has a fast-action neck based on ‘60-era Telecasters plus upgraded hardware and electronics throughout. And it delivers the same bright single-coil twang that made the Tele an icon in the first place.

  • Solid Agathis body; 1-3/4" depth like most Fender models
  • Maple C-shaped neck with rosewood fretboard
  • Polyurethane finish (body and neck)
  • 9.5" fretboard radius
  • 22 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Alnico magnet single-coil pickups
  • 3-position blade pickup switching
  • 6-saddle top-load bridge
  • Standard die-cast tuners
  • Chrome hardware
  • 3-ply parchment or 4-ply tortoiseshell pickguard
  • Made in China or Indonesia

Squier Standard Telecaster Vintage Blonde

The Squier Standard Tele in Vintage Blonde recalls ‘50s-era models.

Squier Classic Vibe Series

Squier’s Classic Vibe series Telecasters are based on traditional Fender models, but each incorporates modern touches, making it a unique instrument in the Fender/Squier product lineup.

Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster 3-tone Sunburst

The 3-tone sunburst finish and Alnico V single coils on the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster Custom offer a mellow look with sonic punch.

Squier Vintage Modified Series

As long as there have been Teles, guitarist have customized them with hotter pickups, personalized paint jobs, non-standard pickguards—you name it. Similar in spirit to the Classic Vibe series, the Vintage Modified Tele delivers hotter tone and chop-shop looks without the customized price tag.

  • Body woods vary with model (polyurethane finish)
  • Mostly maple C-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • 9.5" fingerboard radius
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • Pickup types—vary with specific model
  • 5-position blade pickup switching
  • Vintage 6-saddle bridge
  • Standard die-cast tuners
  • Hardware varies with model
  • Pickguard varies with model
  • Made in China or Indonesia

Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Telecaster

The Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita has Fideli’Tron humbuckers for a sound all its own.

 

Fender Telecasters

Fender Telecasters have proved to be one of the most versatile and venerable electric guitars ever, having been in continuous production in one form or another since their debut in 1951. Fender Telecasters are favored by country and rock musicians, and are not uncommon among jazz and blues artists.

Standard Series

Standard Telecasters are the most affordable versions within the Fender family lineup. Introduced in 1987, they deliver all the versatility, reliability, and playability of the original Tele at budget-friendly prices.

  • Alder body
  • Polyester finish
  • Modern C-shaped maple neck
  • Satin polyurethane neck finish
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • Maple fingerboard
  • 9.5" fretboard radius
  • 2 Hot Standard Tele single-coil pickups
  • 3-position blade pickup switching
  • 6-saddle string-through-body bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • Fender Ping standard cast/sealed tuning machines
  • 3-ply pickguard
  • Made in Mexico

Fender Standard Telecaster Blue

The Fender Standard Telecaster has all the time-honored Tele features and is available in a wide color assortment.

Modern Player Series

These eminently affordable Modern Players Telecasters are aimed at entry-level players, but far exceed the usual standards of such guitars. While they offer all the playability and reliability of other Teles, they also incorporate modern touches while keeping the price in reach of the newbie. They are hand-crafted to Fender’s specifications in Asia.

Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus

The HSS pickup array with 5-way plus coil-split switching makes the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus decidedly different from your daddy’s Tele.

 

Deluxe Series

Deluxe Telecasters retain the look and feel of the original Tele design, but pack extra punch thanks to special pickups electronics and switching. Deluxe instruments are fitted with modern C-shaped neck profiles for added playing comfort.

  • Alder or ash body with polyester finish
  • Maple, modern C-shaped neck with satin polyurethane finish
  • 9.5" radius maple or rosewood fretboard
  • 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • 25.5" scale length
  • Tex-Mex single-coil pickups
  • 5-position blade pickup switch with Strat-O-Tone
  • Vintage 6-saddle string-through-body bridge
  • Fender Ping vintage-style tuning machines
  • Chrome hardware
  • Made in Mexico

Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster

The Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster has a Tex-Mex Strat pickup sandwiched between a pair of Tex-Mex single-coils. 5-way switching further ups the tonal ante.

Classic Series

Made in Fender's Ensenada, Baja California facility with collaboration from Fender's highly regarded Master Builders, the Classic Series Telecaster offers Custom Shop features and vibe at a more affordable price. Classic models are based on vintage models from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Here are some the most popular models in the bestselling Classic Tele lineup:

Classic '50s Telecaster

A faithful reproduction of some of the Telecaster's first years in production.

  • Ash body (polyester finish)
  • 1-piece maple C-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • Maple 7.25" radius fretboard
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • 2 vintage-style single-coil alnico magnet pickups
  • 3-position blade pickup switch
  • Vintage 3-saddle strings-through-body bridge
  • Knurled chrome knobs
  • '50s Custom Colors

Fender Classic Series '50s Telecaster

The Fender Classic Series ‘50s Tele is a note-for-note re-creation at a fraction of the price that an original would set you back.

Classic '60s Telecaster

True to the ‘60s era Tele, these guitars feature rosewood fretboards for added warmth and sustain.

  • Alder body (polyester finish)Maple C-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • Rosewood 7.25" radius fretboard (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • 2 single-coil alnico magnet pickups with aged covers
  • 3-saddle strings-through-body bridge
  • Fender Ping vintage-style tuners
  • Chrome hardware
  • "Top Hat" switch tip

Fender Classic '60s Telecaster

From the 3-ply pickguard to rosewood fretboard, the Fender Classic ‘60s Tele captures its forerunners’ cosmetics and playability to perfection.

Classic '72 Telecaster Thinline

The 72 Thinline Teles offer a unique departure from the standard Tele configuration. A semi-hollow body serves up a vibrant bluesy voice, while a pair of humbuckers packs a punch sure to please even the pickiest tone freak.

  • Semi-hollow ash body (polyester finish)
  • 1-piece maple U-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • Maple 7.25" radius fretboard
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • 2 Fender Wide Range Humbucking pickups
  • Vintage-style Strat string-thru-body hardtail bridge

Fender Classic '72 Telecaster Thinline

With its semi-hollowbody, dual humbuckers, and distinctive f-hole, the ‘72 Fender Telecaster Thinline was a radical departure captured perfectly by the Classic Series reincarnation.

Classic '72 Telecaster Custom

This unique Telecaster offers a humbucker in the neck pickup for rich warmth, while delivering classic Tele twang via the single-coil bridge pickup.

  • Alder body (polyester finish)
  • Lightly-tinted, maple U-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • Rosewood or maple 7.25" radius fretboard
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • 1 Fender Wide Range Humbucking pickup (neck)
  • 1 Tele single-coil pickup (bridge)
  • 3-position toggle switch
  • Vintage-style string-thru-body Tele bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • "Top Hat" knobs

Fender Classic Series '72 Telecaster Custom

The Fender Classic Series ‘72 Tele Custom replicates the original’s humbucker in the neck and traditional single coil in the bridge for tonal versatility.

Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe

A solid-body sister to the Thinline Telecaster, the ‘72 Deluxe features dual humbuckers that churn out thicker tone to satisfy modern-rock players.

  • Alder body (polyester finish)
  • 1-piece maple C-shaped neck (gloss polyurethane finish)
  • Maple 12" radius fretboard
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Fender Wide Range Humbucking pickups
  • 2 volume, 2 tone controls
  • 3-position toggle switch
  • Vintage-style Strat string-thru-body hardtail bridge
  • '70s large Stratocaster headstock

Fender Classic '72 Telecaster Deluxe

As with the original, the Strat headstock and alnico humbuckers in the Classic Series reproduction of the ‘72 Telecaster Deluxe give it visual and sonic distinction.

Classic Player Baja Telecaster

Based on a ‘50s Telecaster, it features Custom Shop pups and wiring for a wider range of tonal options at a gentle price.

  • Ash body
  • 1-piece maple soft V-shaped neck
  • Maple 9.5" radius fretboard
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 1 Custom Shop "Twisted" Tele single-coil pickup (neck)
  • 1 Custom Shop Broadcaster single-coil (bridge)
  • 4-position blade switch with 2-position push-push S-1 switching (8 pickup settings in all)
  • 3-saddle string-thru-body Tele bridge
  • Gotoh Vintage locking tuners
  • "Custom Shop Designed" neck plate

Fender Classic Player Baja Telecaster Blonde

Custom Shop pickups and 8-way pickup selection delivers a ton of tonal options in the Classic Player Baja Telecaster.

FSR Standard Ash Telecaster

“FSR” stands for Factory Special Run, and Fender produces a variety of Telecasters as a part of this series. They are created in limited runs in Fender’s U.S., Mexican, and Asian plants in a variety of price ranges. While each FSR model retains core Telecaster attributes, it will have distinct features setting it apart from any other. If you’re looking for a Tele with characteristics all its own and available in strictly limited quantities, an “FSR” model may make sense for you.

The FSR Standard Ash Tele is a perfect case in point with its retro butterscotch blonde finish contrasting against a black parchment pickguard.

  • Ash body
  • Maple Fretboard with 9.5" radius
  • 1-piece Maple, Modern "C" Shape (Tinted Satin Urethane Finish)
  • 21 Medium Jumbo Frets
  • 2 Hot Standard Tele Single-Coil Pickups
  • 3-Position blade switch
  • 3-saddle brass string-thru-body Tele bridge
  • Chrome hardware

Fender FSR Standard Ash Telecaster

The retro finish and modest price tag of the FSR Standard Ash Tele will appeal to any Fender fan on a strict budget.

Blacktop Series

Addressing the needs of the modern player, Fender’s Blacktop lineup includes high-gain humbuckers for the thick and aggressive tones demanded by contemporary styles.

Fender Blacktop Series Telecaster HH Grey

The dual alnico humbuckers on the Fender Blacktop Telecaster HH deliver the the high-gain grind that’s a core component of modern rock sound.

Road Worn Series

Fender gives a selection of 1950s and ‘60s instruments distressed treatments to conjure up the appearance of road-hardened guitars in creating the Road Worn Series. They evidence the wear and tear of countless gigs, including worn finishes, rusted hardware, and aged parts. While offering the vibe of veteran axes, they incorporate modern features and lighter overall wear than other Fender distressed treatments.

Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster

The Road Worn ‘50s Telecaster has the look of a battle-scarred veteran updated with Tex-Mex pickups and 6105 frets.

USA Professional Series

This dealer-exclusive series created expressly for us by Fender combines great value with a unique feature set not found anywhere else in the company’s product lineup.

  • Alder body
  • Custom-wound pickups
  • HS pickup configuration with coil split on humbucker
  • 9.5" radius fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets
  • Smooth-playing satin finished neck
  • Deluxe gig bag

Fender USA Professional Standard Telecaster HS Sunburst

The gorgeous 2-tone ‘burst finish and coil-splitting function on the humbucker give the Fender USA Professional Standard Telecaster HS sweet looks and tonal dexterity.

USA-Made Telecaster Guitars

Built in Fender's Corona, California plant, USA Telecasters set the standard for quality, tone, and playability. Made with premium tonewoods (usually alder or ash), Custom Shop pickups, and master craftsmanship, the USA Tele is a legendary electric guitar built to please the most demanding players.

American Standard Series

The American Standard Telecaster is the tried and true workhorse of seasoned pros and discerning weekend warrior alike. In its newest form. the American Standard Telecaster has more comfortable body contours and Custom Shop pickups that deliver trademark tone that rings more fully than ever.

  • Comfortable contour body
  • Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele (neck) and Broadcaster (bridge) pickups
  • Deluxe hardware
  • Solid alder body (black, 3-color sunburst, candy cola, and blizzard pearl) or ash body (2-tone sunburst, natural, crimson red transparent)
  • Modern C-shaped maple neck with rich, deep neck tint, glossed neck fretboard with satin back and rolled edges
  • Delta-tone no-load circuit
  • Highly finished frets
  • Detailed nut work
  • Bent steel Fender saddles
  • American Standard Tele Bridge Plate (steel saddles and brass plate) for improved resonance
  • Thinner undercoat for improved body resonance
  • Rosewood or maple fretboard
  • Staggered machine heads
  • Includes Fender-exclusive SKB molded case

Fender American Standard Telecaster Black

The Fender American Standard Telecaster improves on its ‘50s forerunner with a more comfortable body shape plus Custom Shop pups and a no-load Delta-tone circuit for perfected twang.

American Deluxe Series

At the American Deluxe series level, the traditional Tele gets a host of modern refinements. These include a compound-radius fretboard for more comfortable fretting, N3 noiseless pickups for hum-free, sparkling tone, and S-1 switching that give you an expanded tonal palette.

  • Premium alder body with tortoise shell top binding
  • Modern C-shaped maple neck
  • Contoured back
  • Maple or rosewood fingerboard
  • Satin polyurethane neck finish
  • 9.5" fretboard radius
  • 22 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Tele pickups
  • S-1 switching system
  • Master no-load tone control
  • American Tele bridge with 6 chromed brass saddles
  • Abalone inlays
  • Highly detailed fret and nut work
  • Included accessories: Molded SKB case, cable, strap, strap locks

Fender American Deluxe Telecaster Cherry Red

Your fingers will fly on the Fender American Deluxe Tele’s compound-radius fretboard.

American Vintage Series

In creating this series, Fender’s luthiers gathered a collection of vintage Teles which they painstakingly dissected in order to document original construction details. In order to then create meticulous reproductions, they restored original ‘50s tooling, and built new tools where necessary to produce period-authentic parts. The series includes period-correct versions of ‘52, ‘58, and ‘64 Telecasters.

  • Premium ash ('52, ‘58 ) or alder body with bound top and back ('64)
  • U-shaped ('52) D-shaped (‘58) or C-shaped ('64)
  • Maple ('52, ‘58) or rosewood ('64) neck
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer body/neck finish
  • 7.25" fretboard radius
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • Vintage body radius
  • Vintage pickups and 3-position pickup switching: Position 2—neck pickup with tone control (bright vintage circuit), Position 3—neck pickup with no tone control (dark vintage circuit)
  • Original vintage-style Tele bridge with 3 brass saddles and ash tray bridge cover
  • Capacitor and wiring diagram for updating to modern switching circuit
  • Vintage hardware
  • Vintage tweed hardshell case
  • Comes with ashtray bridge cover, wiring kit for conversion to modern switching, vintage leather strap, cable, polishing cloth

Fender American Vintage '52 Telecaster Butterscotch Blonde

This meticulously re-created Fender American Vintage ‘52 Tele in Butterscotch Blonde will get the traditionalist Fender aficionado’s heart racing.

 

American Special Series

Though they’re built in the U.S., American Special models have budget-friendly pricing more typical of imports. They offer a mix of traditional and modern tones for maximum musical flexibility, and make a great choice for the weekend warrior who’s called upon to play in a variety of music genres. The American Special Tele combines great value with winning features:

  • Contoured alder body in a gloss finish
  • Modern C-shaped maple neck with 22 jumbo frets
  • Texas Special Tele pickups produce midrange chirp, crystal highs, and tight bass
  • Vintage-style Tele bridge with three brass saddles
  • Includes gig bag

Fender American Special Telecaster Sunburst

Texas Special pups give the Fender American Special Telecaster more of what you love about Tele tone.

Select Series

Crafted in the U.S.A., Select Series Teles incorporate high-end features and breathtakingly figured tops. Their quartersawn maple necks, compound-radius and “channel-bound” fretboards, and specially voiced pickups offer unparalleled levels of refinement in tone and playability.

Fender Select Flame Maple Carved Top Telecaster

The Fender Select Flame Maple Carved Top Tele incorporates an easy-on-the-shoulder Empress body with eye-popping looks and superb playability.

Artist Series

Artist Series Telecasters are designed in collaboration with the artists who play and endorse them. They have historically included models that replicate the axes wielded by such artists as James Burton, Muddy Waters, G.E. Smith, John 5, and Jim Root. The artist signature appears on the guitar and it usually includes unique specs that help serve up the artist's special tone recipe. Made in USA, Japan, or Mexico.

Fender Jim Root Artist Series Telecaster Black

The Fender Jim Root Artist Series Tele is armed with EMG 60 and 81 active humbuckers that give this axe the tonal heft needed to do battle in the realms of metal and heavy rock.

Fender Custom Shop

Custom Shop instruments are simply the finest models crafted by Fender. Each one-of-a-kind guitar is hand-built by a master luthier, using the highest quality woods and components obtainable. To see our complete current selection of Fender Custom Shop Telecasters and other Fender instruments, visit our Private Reserve Collection.

Custom Artist Signature

A guitar created with the input or specifications of a famous artist is called a Signature model. The Fender Custom Shop has produced a number of Signature Telecaster guitars in its Custom Artist series that are handcrafted to the exacting personal preferences of famous Tele players such as Merle Haggard.

Custom Artist Tribute

The Custom Shop faithfully replicates a famous guitar that was used by an artist who is no longer living, such as Albert Collins. The actual instrument the artist played is loaned to or acquired by Fender to meticulously reproduce their tribute guitars.

Custom Deluxe

The hallmark of Custom Deluxe Telecasters is the use of unusual and exotic woods, breathtaking inlay work, unique hardware, and distinctive electronics. The series is seen as a blank canvas on which to apply the highest levels of luthier artistry.

Custom Pro

Fender views this series as its “testing ground,”—a place to develop new features and rethink the application of old ones in new ways. Whether its a newly designed pickup, electronics, bridge, or special combination of woods, such developments are likely to show up in a Pro Series Telecaster first.

Master Built

Fender’s most elite luthiers—designated as Master Builders—are given free rein in creating these lavish instruments. They personally select each element from the wood to the electronics to the finish of these guitars that proudly bear the builder’s name. Utterly unique and of investment-grade quality, a Master Built Telecaster is an instrument to be treasured and passed down through the generations.

Time Machine

Telecasters that are part of the Time Machine series are built using the same tools and techniques that were employed in creating the originals. The Fender Custom Shop then applies unique “relic” treatments on these replicated instruments, giving them the appearance of lovingly preserved guitars that are many decades old.

A Custom Shop model may be available in one of three variations, or treatments:

New Old Stock (NOS)

As if the guitar was discovered in a warehouse after many years, never played, and showing no signs of age or wear.

Closet Classic

Built to resemble a guitar that has been hidden away for years in a closet. Slightly worn and yellowed from age, the finish has minor checks and cracks.

Relic

Shows natural wear and tear from years of heavy use—nicks, scratches, worn finish, rusty hardware, and aged plastic parts.

So, Which Telecaster is Right for You?

As you can see in this guide, the Telecaster is available in many variations and price levels, with varied features to provide a broad range of options for the Tele enthusiast. Pick the Telecaster that suits your budget and your style. Maybe you don't want to spend a lot, but you want your Tele to have the look and feel of a timeless guitar. Consider the Classic Vibe. Perhaps you want to invest in a true piece of art—not justsomething to play, but a stunning addition to your collection. Consider a Masterbuilt or Fender Select Tele. Or as a working pro you need a Tele that you can play night after night, show after show—a true workhorse. The American Standard Telecaster won't let you down.

We want you to be pleased with your Telecaster purchase, and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order your new Tele with complete confidence.

After reading this guide, if you’re still not sure which Telecaster is right for you, we invite you call to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gear Heads at (800) 449-9128.

Tags: Electric Guitars Fender Telecaster Squier

Comments  

# Southpaw71 2014-11-04 15:48
Can you comment on Swamp casters? I tried a used model and it seemed heavy for what it was, but the pickups compared to a MIM were of no comparison.

Also, so certain models have a tendency to have the neck get out of whack?

Thank you.

Southpaw71
Reply
# Vernon Bird 2014-05-17 21:47
About the Affinity Telecasters:

The one in the starter pack is completely different. It is a string-through, with 22 frets, and I believe the neck is wider and/or fatter. They aren't even made in the same factory. They are from Indonesia, while I believe the stand-alone version is from China.

You will be hard pressed to find this information on any retail website, or even Fender/Squier sites. It is listed wrong EVERYWHERE.
Reply
# Oscar 2014-04-23 20:27
Hey
How about the B-Bender series [50th Celebration series] ? Any in stock?
Reply
# carl richards 2014-05-31 13:12
do you make b-bender series anymore? what are the price ranges?
Reply
# sonsofthunder 2014-04-08 10:35
Yes... that one... if its a Tele- "its the right one"... unless of course...its a lefty... then I would just have to string it upside down, or stand on my head and play it.
Reply

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