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Fender American Special Telecaster – The One Who Started It All

4.7 out of 5 stars

Fender's role in popularizing solid body guitars has been known for decades. Leo Fender started a whole new trend with his Telecaster solid body guitar, thus changing the world of music forever. Fender American Special Telecaster remains one of the most authentic classics you can grab under a grand which is exactly the way it should be.

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Body and Neck

Fender's use of Alder dates back to their roots. That is one constant which they refuse to change, and for a good reason. Telecaster body shape is familiar to anyone who knows a thing or two about guitars. It's a single cutaway design which was popular and even somewhat advanced for back in the day. Instead of having to strain your hands in order to reach those higher notes, that cutaway allowed guitar players to do so with ease. Finish options are somewhat limited but sufficient enough to depict the classic nature of this guitar. The neck is a standard C shape with a traditional maple fretboard. It's one of the more comfortable and original designs out there.


Telecasters came, and still come in a variety of models. The difference between this models is usually limited to the type of electronics they feature. This particular Tele comes with a set of two single coil pickups, one at the bridge and one at the neck. Both of these belong to the Texas Special series, and are up there when it comes to performance as well as range. When it comes to controls available, you are looking at the standard Telecaster configuration. In other words, you have one volume knob, one tone knob, and a pickup select switch.


In terms of hardware, Fender kept things old school as possible. We have a vintage style ashtray bridge with three adjustable saddles instead of six. One more interesting thing about this bridge is the fact that it was cut out in order to house the bridge pickup. That is a bit unorthodox for Telecasters but it works rather well. On the other end of the business, Fender installed a set of their vintage tuning machines. Both pieces of hardware work incredibly well, especially the tuners. Even though you get to work with only three saddles, adjusting the action height and intonation on this guitar is relatively straight forward.


One thing you can count on Fender American Special Telecaster to deliver is that vintage tone. This guitar is like made for blues and rock. Texas Special pups offer a nice range, but also bring that grease bucket tone many are trying to find. While you certainly could push out some decent heavy vibes out of this thing, it works much
better as a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer. If you are looking for that old school single coil tone, Fender American Special Telecaster is definitely the way to go.


Fender American Special Telecaster is one of those guitars which you'll simply want to have. It's a classic – timeless design that is hard to replace or substitute. Plug it into a decent tube amp and find out what the golden years of rock were all about.

For more info about the Fender American Special Telecaster, click here.
For more electric guitars under 1000$, click here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mike Dickeson says

    I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find info to keep the Tele American Special sound as is and merely add their 4-way switch for the guitars pickups in series and keeping the stock “Greasebucket” tone control.
    Even Fender’s Custom Shop people do not offer a solution to this configuration.

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