The humble Telecaster has been around since 1951 when it changed the face of guitar-playing forever. This incredible guitar is still going strong today and we make sure we’ve always got a massive selection of the best Fender Teles here at Andertons!
The Telecaster has always been loved for its pure simplicity and stunningly clear tones. The Tele is a no-nonsense, workhorse of an instrument and easily one of the most recognizable body shapes in the world. The bolt-on neck, string-through bridge and S/S pickup configuration are 3 staples of the Telecaster and though the instrument now has many variations on this including H/H models and Teles with Bigsbys, the twang-factor remains the same. It just wouldn’t be a Tele if it didn’t have that twangy attack!
There are loads of different Telecasters to choose from and they all come from a handful of different countries and are made in different factories too. Due to the number of different ranges of Teles available, they vary in price too and it’s worth knowing the difference between these guitars.
The Squier guitars are the perfect way to get into the Fender line (Because Fender own Squier) without busting the bank. These are great if you’re starting out or just want a cheap alternative to a Fender and they’re made in the Far East. The Classic Vibe range and Vintage Modified guitars are some of the best value for money instruments on the market.
Fender Mexican Teles are built in their Mexican factory and are the entry point into the Fender lineup. They’re made with great hardware and pickups and can definitely be used as pro instruments. Students and younger players love these guitars because you get a great instrument at a great price.
Fender Japan guitars are a little more elusive in the UK as they’re normally kept exclusively for the UK market. These are often highly modified versions of the US or Mex models and you’ll normally find them with cool upgrades like dual humbucker pickups or bigsbys.
Fender American Teles are the flagship models in the Fender Tele range. There’s a large choice when it comes to US Teles but they’re made in the States by pro guitar builders who want to make guitars that any player of any ability can use. These are definitely your professional level guitars but are a great way to inspire beginner or intermediate players to get to the next level of their playing.
Fender Custom Shop Teles are put together by the pro luthiers in the American factory. These guitars are the best of the best when it comes to Fender and you can choose pre-specified models (That have already been designed head to toe) or you can even specify your own dream guitar from the woods and pickups to the fingerboard inlays! The Fender Custom Shop truly are the cream of the crop and are the range of guitars that every Fender lover aspires to own one – and luckily we keep a large stock of these at any given time!
Famous Telecaster Players
Famous users of the Telecaster include Jimmy Page, Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Andy Summers (The Police), John 5, Danny Gatton and Joe Strummer to name a few.
As you can tell, the Tele is not bound to one genre and can act as a bit of a chameleon. This is thanks to its no-nonsense tones and ability to cut through the mix. Though the Tele is often thought of as a Country guitar, it’s incredible effective in a number of genres including Metal, Punk and Pop.
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What's the difference between '50s, '60s and '70s Telecasters?
Fender and Squier offer many variations on classic designs, but the general differences between '50s, '60s and '70s Teles are:
- '50s - Thick U neck profile, ash bodies, 3-saddle ashtray bridge
- '60s - Slimmer C neck profile, alder bodies, rosewood fretboards, hotter pickups
- '70s - Slimmer C neck profile, ash bodies, chunky headstock, deluxe Tele scratchplate
Was the Telecaster the first electric guitar?
The first solid-body electric guitar to enter production was the Fender Esquire, a precursor to the Telecaster. It had a similar design but with a single pickup in the bridge position. Fender and Squier still occasionally produce versions of the Esquire.
What's the difference between Fender and Squier Telecasters?
Squier make great affordable/beginner-friendly guitars based on genuine Fender designs, including the Telecaster. The company is owned by Fender, and they use different materials and components, and manufacture overseas - this makes them more affordable.
What's the difference between a Telecaster and a Stratocaster?
Apart from their differing designs, the main difference between Tele & Strat is the sound. This is mostly due to different pickups and electronics. A Tele usually has 2 single-coil pickups, a 3-way switch and a single tone control, while a Strat usually has 3 single-coil pickups and a 5-way selector with 2 tone controls. Because of this, Stratocasters offer a broad range of sounds, from bright to spanky, while Telecasters are known for their punchy, twangy tones.
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