For die-hard lovers of vintage guitars, the Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar opens up a plethora of musical opportunities. This revolutionary electric model was the first of its kinds to be mass produced and sold successfully at an exponential scale. Prior to the advent of the Fender Telecaster around 1950, electric guitars were only hand-produced in very small numbers. While the bright, rich and cutting tone of this Telecaster is a lot similar to that of a Stratocaster, there are several key differences in features. To start with, this Fender Telecaster has a wide variation of tones to offer and experiment upon, with its triple Pickup (Humbucker in the bridge, Strat Pickup in the middle and Single Coil in the neck). Not only do you have a 5-way pickup toggle bar, but also mini toggle for coil splitting.
As far as the bridge and intonation are concerned, this guitar has a string-through body which means that the hard-tail, 6-saddle bridge is attached to springs, which in turn aid in raking up or bringing down the string tension to create a cool vibrato effect. As far as the overall guitar build is concerned, the Modern Player Telecaster is a Solid-Body Guitar with a wide-grained, pinewood body which adds warmth to the tone, along with Maple Neck and Maple Fingerboard and suitably finished with a glossy, polyester veneer.
- With a humbucking bridge pickup, Strat middle pickup, and Tele single-coil neck pickup, this model offers a ton of useable tones.
- With a 9.5" radius and 22 jumbo frets, this model is built to play fast.
- 5-way switching, plus a coil splitting mini-toggle for the humbucking pickup allows for easy access to a huge range of sounds.
Review and Experience
With this Modern Player Telecaster, the renowned Musical Corporation Fender has converged the charm of a vintage guitar, with the essential features and requirements that one expects from a beginner’s guitar, and even an intermediate one to some extent. As the oldest commercial model of a solid body electric guitar, the Telecaster’s steely sound has been a big hit in country and pop numbers, as well as metal, funk and rock rhythms. Whether it is Syd Barrett of the Pink Floyd fame, Frank Black of the Pixies or James Burton who has virtually mastered every note of the Telecaster since the age of 13, there is really no dearth of guitar idols who’ve inspired us in this realm.
Cutting to the chase, I had specifically placed an order for the Honey Burst colored Fender Guitar and was quite pleased to observe that it looked exactly like the pictures I saw online- elegant, vintage and in fact almost regal looking in many aspects. To clear your misconceptions, the Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar is one of the most affordable versions of the original Telecaster which costs way more. So if you thought this guitar was above your budget, you’ll be surprised to note that this is in fact a cost-effective mode to experience the sheer joy of playing this legendary musical instrument.
Talking about the playability of this Telecaster, it is pure joy to merely run your fingers on the beautifully lacquered neck. In fact, the C-Shaped neck helps you play faster numbers easily and the only mastery you need to specifically acquire here is managing the somewhat complicated pickup selections. Also let me warn you here that a slight hum is almost invariable when you select the Single Coil Neck Pickup in isolation. Of course the solid pinewood body somewhat brings down the bass response to a great extent, but the presence of a bolted neck instead of a glued one and the inherent ‘buzzy’ nature of the single coil pickup is evident with the sound. Don’t make any presumptions though, the sound quality and playability of this vintage-style telecaster from Fender is at par with some of the best electric guitars available even for seasoned players in the market. So as an amateur, if you have the budget to make this kind of purchase, there can be nothing more spectacular!
As a passionate guitarist, I have always held a deep fascination for telecaster models right from my learning days. This is particularly why I was pretty enthusiastic about inspecting and reviewing the Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar. The Synchronized Tremolo System warrants special mention here, as the conventional 6-saddled hard-tail bridge of the old days, has been given a modern twist with a string-through body. So basically you can effortlessly manipulate and adjust the entire bridge with the help of the tremolo arm. That might not make much sense to you when you get started with your lessons. But as you gain experience and knowledge, you will understand how deep-sighted and fascinating the entire intonation system has been detailed with, in order to keep your guitar in tune at most points of time.
As I end this section, I would like to tell you that in the age-old comparison between a Stratocaster and a Telecaster, there is really no winner or loser as such. Both have their own characteristic qualities, and even certain similarities like the 25.5” scale and the basic electronics. So which one you pick as a beginner is totally dependent on your musical preferences, favorite guitarists, aesthetic preferences and so on.
All said and done, the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus Electric Guitar certainly brings back a wave of nostalgia of the 50s and 60s in the realm of aesthetics and feel. But as far as the functionality, sound and playability is concerned, it offers a distinct callout to modern-day guitarists to not only grasp the basic skills, but also fine tune them for becoming an expert guitarist!