Обзор Fender American Original ’70s Telecaster Custom

Fender American Original ’70s Telecaster Custom review

Featuring the original-style Cunife Wide Range humbucker, this Tele Custom has that ’70s thing to a T

By Dave Burrluck 06 August 2020

Our Verdict

A celebration of classic ’70s style and an excellent chance to reevaluate some Fender design details buried in the CBS-era mire, this Tele Custom is faultless, with a wide-ranging voice that feels far from a reissue.

  • Excellent American Original.
  • build; proper Wide Range humbucker.
  • with balanced bridge single coil.
  • A proper version of a badly executed original design.

Against

  • Original spec is cool but we’d probably opt for 500k pots.

While it was an astonishing decade for music, the 1970s was a bit of a low point for the electric guitar, certainly from the cornerstones of the industry, Fender and Gibson. Fender’s CBS era is especially reviled, with accountant-led manufacturing leading to poor quality.

But 50 years on, many of the designs from that period are viewed in a different light and numerous (once derided) models have long since found their way back into both fashion and Fender’s catalogue.

A great example from that era is the humbucking-loaded Telecaster trio of the early 70s: the Thinline, Custom and Deluxe, a clear and obvious attempt to gain some market from Gibson.

Various versions of these models have regularly been – and still are – available, constantly fuelled by new generations of players. But a big problem has been that original Seth Lover-designed Wide Range Fender humbucker. It used threaded Cunife magnets, a material that became impossible to source by the end of the 70s.

It wasn’t that the ideas were bad, it was that the execution was sloppy because of everything else that was going on at the time

And while many pickup makers, Fender included, have made repros, they’ve had to use a different recipe.

For 2020, however, after considerable research and investment, Fender has brought the material back and this new ’70s Telecaster Custom (along with a smattering of Custom Shop models) is the first Fender USA production guitar for nearly 40 years to use a Wide Range humbucker to original specification.

You’ll know the most vintage-aimed American Original guitars are the closest you’re going to get before you move up to the Custom Shop, but this Tele is not a slavish reissue.

Guitars like this were known for their overweight ash bodies with a thick plastic poly coating that was also used on the necks and maple fingerboards. The list of ‘horrors’ from this period also includes three-bolt neck joints, a Tilt neck, that bullet truss rod adjustor. even the shape was wrong. In fact, there were plenty of good ideas let down by bad practice.

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“That’s precisely the point,” Fender’s Tim Shaw tells us. “It wasn’t that the ideas were bad, it was that the execution was sloppy because of everything else that was going on at the time. That’s why the new Acoustasonic models have that Micro-Tilt — because I never wanted anyone to touch the saddle.”

This new version of the now much-loved Telecaster Custom, then, aims to correct those issues. That thick, gloopy poly finish is replaced with a clean, crisp nitro — and it’s far from overweight.

We were surprised, however, to see an alder body on the spec sheet instead of the expected ash, but this is something we might have to get used to.

In its American Original guise, the new Custom appears far from a long-lost relic. In fact, this piece feels more like it’s come from the modern-day Custom Shop than the 70s

“Our issue with ash right now is twofold,” Tim explains. “One is that the emerald ash borer [beetle] has been working its way south in America and as it does it’s pretty much killing all the usable ash.

“Most of the ash is harvested in Mississippi, and in the Deep South we had huge flooding the year before last that kept a lot of this stuff underwater and they couldn’t get it. So our ash stock went from, ‘Oh, we’ve got plenty,’ to ‘Oh, we don’t have much at the correct weight specification,’ and a lot of the stuff we can get is really heavy.”

In its American Original guise, the new Custom appears far from a long-lost relic. In fact, this piece feels more like it’s come from the modern-day Custom Shop than the 70s. But it wears its 70s chic rather well, particularly in this muted cream Vintage Blonde finish, which is just marginally translucent over the alder body.

Hardware details remain pretty much period accurate with those (again, once derided) ‘F’ logo tuners and their slot head posts, which are perfectly functional; the easy-to-adjust bullet truss rod adjuster is likewise fit for purpose.

Always less popular is the three-bolt neck join that, incidentally, actually uses a bolt in the central lower position below the usual machine screw. But with a correctly cut and level neck pocket as here, it’s rock-solid.

Plus, thanks to the Micro-Tilt, you can adjust the pitch without needing a shim – a feature we see on the current American Professional range, for example, albeit with four screws, and on the far-from-vintage Acoustasonic Tele and Strat, as Tim mentioned earlier.

Of course, while many humbucking Teles use the more standard Tele volume, tone and three-way lever setup, even though we have a single coil at the bridge, here we have dual volume and tones all mounted on the large scratchplate with its 15 screws.

And then there’s the new Wide Range humbucker at the neck, very firmly mounted with four screws but with a much larger footprint and wider aperture than a standard Gibson-style humbucker.

For example, the Wide Range measures approximately 79 by 45mm compared with the 70 by 38mm of a regular covered Gibson-style ’bucker.

Under the hood

As we’ve reported before, it’s far from easy to access the electronics on guitars such as the Tele Deluxe and this Custom. To remove the scratchplate there are 15 screws, and to service, replace or even take a look at the bridge pickup you need to remove the entire bridge assembly.

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As Tim Shaw discusses later on in this feature, things are pretty much vintage accurate with unusual 1meg-ohm volume pots and 250k tone pots – all are CTS. Tone caps are .022 microfarads, wired modern-style. There’s no ID on the Wide Range pickup at all, although you can clearly see those threaded Cunife magnetic polepieces.

Feel & Sounds

If Fenders from the 70s felt like this, their reputation might not be so sullied. It’s a touch over average in weight but certainly doesn’t approach the boat-anchor bulk of many from that decade. Importantly, the neck isn’t covered in an over-thick poly finish.

Yes, the finish sits over the frets before they’re levelled and dressed, so they feel marginally wider than the same wire on a rosewood ’board, but there’s enough height for smooth bends, and this is a neck that does feel very smooth overall. It has a slightly ‘sticky’ feel after some hours of playing, though not in a soft fashion.

Despite the spec sheet telling us the guitar ships with 0.010-gauge strings, these are nines and while it gives the guitar a slightly lighter feel than any of our references, it does add to the slinky playability. Setup and intonation are really good – well, as good as the three-steel-saddle bridge allows.

The medium C neck profile is exactly that: fairly modern standard in lower positions, 21.5mm deep at the 1st fret, but not filling out quite as much as the American Pro’s neck at 22.6mm by the 12th fret.

Controversially for some, we have a 241mm (9.5-inch) radius to the ’board, not the original 184mm (7.25 inches), but in combination with the neck shape and the smooth, slinky feel of the fingerboard face and frets, it works extremely well.

For many, a Telecaster is simply about its bridge pickup, and this supplies the cut with a little extra heat. It’s got that steely bite in spades and with a little added compression it has you practicing your country licks for days — a different sound from the rawer and beefier clout of a typical early 50s ride.

Switching to the neck humbucker, surprisingly perhaps, it doesn’t overpower the bridge as its ‘hot’ DCR might suggest, yet it fills in the lows especially and smoothens the midrange while retaining the snap of the guitar itself. Compared to our ’69’s single coil, it’s a sort of halfway house between that and a PAF-style Les Paul, for example.

But it’s the pickup mix where the money lies. The typical single-coil mix’s funky sparkle sounds enhanced. There’s more depth but still plenty of cut and, of course, you can tame the bridge’s high-end simply by rolling off its own tone.

The volumes provide less subtlety than you might think. A slight roll-off of either in the mix position quickly reverts to the solo pickup sound — but sit the Custom in a band mix, not least one with a little Stones-y swagger, and the classic bite of a Tele is simply supported with a little more meat and depth, while never losing that snap and bite.

It’s a different experience from the current American Professional Tele Deluxe, which moves closer to a thicker Les Paul voice. This Wide Range, as we said, sounds a little lower powered but with that additional clarity. It’s far from a one-trick pony, though: from beautifully clear cleans to notable definition with some overdrive and dense effects, it has huge potential on this platform.

Verdict

While 2020 is all about the 70th anniversary of the original Fender Broadcaster, the return of this humbucker is certainly worth getting the bunting out for.

At this American Original level, it’s also celebration of classic 70s style and an excellent chance to reevaluate some Fender design details that were buried in the mire of the CBS era. A faultless guitar with a wide-ranging voice that feels far from a reissue and very much now.

Fender American Original ’70s Telecaster Custom review

Hot on the heels of the Cunife Wide Range humbucker’s return, Fender puts it to work in a classic Tele Custom

  • £1789
  • €1929
  • $1899

By MusicRadar 01 August 2020

Our Verdict

A triumphant return for the Wide Range humbucker, a triumphant example of a ’70s Tele Custom. This is a versatile workhorse that offsets its blue-collar bona fides with a premium feel and tone.

  • The American Original builds are awesome.
  • Wide Range humbucker, and a wide range of Tele tones.
  • Improves upon the original design.
  • Custom Shop feel, production model price.
  • We’d be tempted to mod with 500k pots.
  • No Keith Richards black finish option.

What is it?

The 1970s were not kind to Gibson. They weren’t kind to Fender, who were under CBS’s ownership and scaling back on quality to satisfy the beancounters. The electric guitar suffered.

Time can be the great healer, though, and a half-century on people are reevaluating Fender’s 1970s models and finding some things to like – certainly on the design front. If corners were cut in production, many of the designs hold up, and reworked by today’s Fender, they are very different beasts indeed.

The American Original series is exactly that. It’s a US-built line, and it takes the original spec of guitars of yore and reanimates it for today. And when it comes to guitars such as this ’70s Telecaster Custom, we should all be glad of that.

There are two blasts from the past here. First, we’ve got the Cunife Wide Range humbucker returning after some 40 years out of production. The originals were designed by Seth Lover, but Cunife – an alloy of copper, nickel and iron – magnets was hard to source and Fender and everyone else used alternatives.

Bringing it back involved no little investment but now we have this Tele and a handful of Custom Shop instruments offering the a Wide Range humbucker that’s wound to the original specifications.

Indeed, the American Original series is as close as you’ll get to «Old Fender» without stepping up your budget and petitioning the Custom Shop. That’s not to say that it’s period-correct; Fender has wisely appraised its 70s output with a cool head and where improvements could be made, they have made them.

The finish is nicer than the original ’70s models, too, with that overly thick and nasty poly nixed in favour of a meticulous, crisp nitro finish

Gone is the slab ash body. Indeed, Fender is moving away from ash right now due to a dearth of resources, and what they could harvest is far too heavy. This alder-bodied Tele Custom is not light but more than manageable. The finish is nicer than the original ’70s models, too, with that overly thick and nasty poly nixed in favour of a meticulous, crisp nitro finish.

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Ideas once executed badly have been revisited and put right. The three-bolt neck joint, the Tilt neck, the bullet tross rod adjustor, the shape, all this can and has been fixed. Adjusting the truss rod is a breeze. The Micro-Tilt feature is just as you’d find it in the American Professional range and on the Acoustasonics.

Elsewhere, the Fender-branded tuners and slot head posts reprise the vintage vibe but they are totally functional. No complaints here. While the Vintage Blonde finish has an ever-so-translucent quality. This is a handsome guitar.

Controls-wise, you’ve got two volume, two tone, a three-way selector mounted on the shoulder. Under the hood you’ll find 1meg-ohm volume pots and 250k tone pots, all CTS.

Performance and verdict

Fender might have nailed the ’70s vibe here but, more importantly, they’ve nailed the build. The neck has a lovely feel, with the frets wide enough to lean into big bends. Out of the case, the setup is impressive, too, with a set of 9s just on the right side of decadent on a guitar like this.

We hear a lot of necks being described as a medium C profile, but this feels archetypically medium C, measuring 21.5mm at the first fret and filling out a little to 22.6mm. That’s slinky in anyone’s book. The 9.25″ fretboard radius might upset some purists jonesing for the curvature of the 7.25″ ‘boards of yore, but it feels more appropriate for the slim neck. No one’s going to heckle you for having a flatter ‘board.

Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum
Players like a neck humbucker on a Tele for a number of reasons. Blues noodles like the warmth and sustain, Jazzers the depth in their comping, and rockers love the grunt. This guitar also features the Fender Greasebucket tone circuit which allows you to roll off the treble without adding bass.

Fender Vintera Telecaster Modified
A go-to choice for players seeking a vintage Fender on a budget. The Vintera series is Mexican-built, incredible value, and this Tele is a doozy.

Does the ’70s Telecaster Custom pack the heat of classic models? Absolutely. That bridge single coil has a gnarly treble, a trademark precision and a worthy playmate of the Wide Range humbucker. It more than holds its own.

Now, Cunife pickups are notoriously difficult to find low end in, so they require over-winding to get the desired bass in their tone. That’s why the 9.97k DCR reading is so high. Yet it never feels like an over-heated. There’s a PAF quality there, albeit with that fast, insistent voice that makes the Tele, well, a Tele.

In the middle position, there are so many usable tones. This is where we spent most of our time, and compared with a dual single-coil Tele, the mix position has a little more oomph in the low-end, a little more weight. Compare to the Tele Deluxe’s ‘bucker, the Wide Range humbucker offers more clarity, and shows up well through a fuzz pedal.

2020 is the year of the 70th Anniversary Broadcaster reissue. After all, they will only be produced for this year only. But if you are in the market for a vintage-style Telecaster, give this a spin first. It will make you see those ’70s designs in a whole new light – because of this, it doesn’t so much feel like a reissue but a second chance, the finished draft we were meant to play. Fifty years later, it was worth the wait.

MusicRadar verdict: A triumphant return for the Wide Range humbucker, a triumphant example of a ’70s Tele Custom. This is a versatile workhorse that offsets its blue-collar bona fides with a premium feel and tone.

The web says

«Fender have clearly been tenacious in their approach to crafting this superb ‘70s Custom reissue. It is a tonal chameleon, and excels at providing a wide range of sonic landscapes that other guitars just can’t. At this stage, it’s probably not within everyone’s price range»
Mixdown Mag

Hands-on demos

Guitarist

Fender

Обзор электрогитары Squier by Fender Telecaster Custom

Спецификация гитары Squier by Fender Telecaster Custom :

Тип: электрогитара, 22 лада
Корпус: агатис
Гриф: клен
Накладка грифа: клен
Звукосниматели: H/H Standard Chrome Covered
Переключатель звукоснимателей: 3-позиционный
Регуляторы: 2V/2Т
Цвет: черный

Обзор №1

Звук: 7 из 10 неблагодарное дело начинать со звука,но все же.гитара в умелых руках звучит вполне достойно,возможно хромовые накладки на хамбы немного мылят чистый звук,но на хорошем комбике гитара звучит довольно похоже на хамбакерный джексон,немного басисто,аккорды вполне себе читаются,правда иногда гитара срывается в овердрайв.

Сустейна для про-грайндакорпотехникалметалюг будет маловато, да они в прочем вряд ли даже посмотрят в сторону черного телека. Теперь про овердрайв (именно) получается вполне теплый винтажный звук,да и гитара в целом начинает отдавать звуком леспола,если прибрать тона и серединки то к моему удивлению соло из донт край и свит чайлд о майн звучит практически идентично! возможно на этом конечно сказался кастом овердрайв за семьсот евро и японский преамп конца 70х.

Теперь о дисторшне! переходя на дисторшн гитара начинает свой эпический уклон в сторону динов лтдшек и бисиричей. На неке мы получаем очень мелаллюжный перегруз чем то похожий на пантеру (играл на mxr dime dist) колючий острый и акрессивный! А вот если мы переключемся на нек то получим очень гаражный дисто в духе ранней нирваны, звук мы в итоге получаем очень универсальный.

Вы спросите в чем же подвох в гитаре Squier Telecaster Custom?
их тут два)

Играл я восновном на очень хорошей премиум технике, в нее все (почти) будет звучать хорошо, на дешевых комбиках гитара наверное будет звучать грязнее и хуже. Довольно сильно фонит так что играть приходилось с шумодавом. А теперь главное когда ты поворачиваешь ручку громкости на часов так 15-17 и включенным дистом-гитара несмотря на экранировку жутко начинает вижжять и неистово ловить фидбеки, гранжем может это и по душе но такой звук явно подпортил кавер семети гейтс.

Качество сборки-8 из 10.сказывется инданезия и скваер :pozor: накладка не совсем ровно лежит,рука у крепления струн изрядно царапается и возможно гриф быстро сохнет.В целом гитара довольно крепко сложена,5 ударов об сцену,а ей все ничего,правда падала она из за черезвычайно неудобных крючков для ремня. что тут скажешь гитара довольно топорна,но тем не мение хороша.

Внешний вид / дизайн:10 из 10. Заприте в клетке на ночь лес пол и телек и вы получите эту гитару) в целом сипатичная,но очень на любителя.

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Особенности и функциональность: 8 из 10. Ну это довольно сильная стороная гитары,я покупал ее у эндорсеров группы Raein они играли на ней хаотик эмокор и пост рок,я успел на ней поиграть практически все- от металла, до панка и обратно. Возможно единственное что на ней тяжело играть это фанк блюз джаз и прочие стили где необходим хороший чистый звук.
В миксе гитарка теряется на ура) но хороший звукач ее вытащит

Соотношение цена/качество (суммарный рейтинг): 7 из 10. Я думаю все что можно я уже сказал, покупать ее конечно стоит, но не за те деньги что ее продают, индонезия того не стоит. Возможно новичку она придется по духу, держит строй хорошо, смотрится тоже, да и довольно легкая-агатис. Концерт с ней отиграть не стыдно, но если честно рад что он нее избавился.

Мнение пользователя Squier Telecaster Custom: найдете дешево берите- не пожалеете.

Усовершенствованная классика: детальный обзор American Ultra Telecaster

Новый American Ultra Telecaster сочетает в себе традиционное Twang-звучание и продвинутую схему распайки с дополнительными вариантами более мощного и плотного звука — этот инструмент создан для максимальной эффективности и широких тембральных возможностей.

Появившись в начале 1951 года, Telecaster произвел настоящую революцию в музыкальном мире, ведь компания Fender предложила нечто беспрецедентное — цельнокорпусную электрогитару массового производства с «испанской» внешностью.

Спустя некоторое время исполнители одобрили новый инструмент, который отлично вписался в такие американские жанры, как R&B и кантри, после чего покорил Великобританию, попав в руки восходящих звезд Keith Richards и Jimmy Page и став таким образом культовым инструментом, коим считается по сей день.

За годы своего существования Fender Telecaster не претерпел существенных изменений — привинченный гриф и нехитрая электроника делают эту гитару неприхотливой, а ее легко узнаваемый характер звучания, тот самый «твенг», является уникальной и востребованной характеристикой.

Но все изменилось с приходом American Ultra Telecaster.

Серия представлена гитарами с самыми продвинутыми характеристиками — это максимально отточенные инструменты с наивысшим уровнем эффективности и звучания. Благодаря применению современных решений, гитары линейки American Ultra удовлетворяют самым высоким требованиям профессиональных гитаристов.

Новый American Ultra Telecaster сочетает в себе традиционное Twang-звучание и продвинутую схему распайки с дополнительными вариантами более мощного и плотного звука — этот инструмент создан для максимальной эффективности и богатого тембрального спектра.

Daniel Donato вместе с другими «виртуозами Телекастера» Zane Carney и Nathaniel Murphy участвуют в джем-сессии JammJam на выставке 2020 Winter NAMM.

Кроме этого, Ultra Telecaster доступен в широкой палитре выразительных цветов, которые привлекут внимание к инструменту на любой сцене: Texas Tea, Cobra Blue, Mocha Burst, Plasma Red Burst и Arctic Pearl.

Главные особенности

Обновленная форма корпуса

Чтобы обеспечить более высокий уровень удобства и комфорта игры, инженеры компании Fender впервые за много лет изменили дизайн корпуса легендарного Telecaster. Эти гитары были известны плоскими сторонами корпуса, однако теперь он получил приятный вырез в месте контакта с животом гитариста, а также доработанное сочленение с грифом, которое делает доступ к верхним регистрам более свободным.

Накладка грифа с переменным радиусом 10”–14”

Накладка с мультирадиусом 10”–14” имеет более округлое сечение около верхнего порожка, что облегчает игру аккордами, а ближе к верхним регистрам она постепенно становится более плоской, что является оптимальным решением для скоростной игры и бендов. В сочетании с ладами средней толщины, такая накладка делает гриф максимально дружелюбным для исполнения соло.

Профиль грифа Modern D

Modern D — это относительно плоский профиль с утолщением по краям, поэтому он подойдет для большинства стилей игры. Одновременно гладкая и шелковистая задняя поверхность грифа позволяет играть с минимальными усилиями, а натуральная окантовка накладки придает грифу элегантность.

Звукосниматели Ultra Noiseless Vintage

Применение данных звукоснимателей позволило сохранить оригинальное звучание Fender, обеспечив при этом шумоподавление без каких-либо негативных эффектов.

Продвинутая электроника

Регулятор громкости совмещен с переключателем S-1, который позволяет выбирать последовательное или параллельное подключение датчиков, что расширяет тембральные возможности инструмента, а использование фильтра Treble bleed гарантирует ровную характеристику высоких частот при любом положении ручки громкости.

Замковые колки

Колки с замковым механизмом относятся к показателю эффективности инструмента — с ними строй гитары имеет более высокую стабильность, а замена струн становится простой и быстрой.

С учетом всех этих востребованных современных решений, American Ultra Telecaster можно смело назвать самой продвинутой и универсальной вариацией культового инструмента, которому уже более шестидесяти лет.

Вне всяких сомнений, Ultra Telecaster станет полноправным продолжением легенды.

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