2008 Am Telecaster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rdnzl, Jan 18, 2008.


  1. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    I stopped at GC on the way home from work, and did some serious browsing. I spotted this new '08 Am Telecaster. I was expecting to be underwhelmed. I couldn't have been more wrong.

    I played it for about a half hour, and decided I had to have it. The workmanship is excellent. The neck feels great, and the pickups are very nice. I'm very impressed with it so far. Came with a real decent case, too.

    I'll post more about how it plays after I spend some serious time with it.

    For now, here are some pics.
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  2. Addicted toEF86

    Addicted toEF86 Member

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    These are the new 2008 models that are at NAMM. How is the finish? The Fender website said that it's a thinner like a Thin Skin. Looks really great anyway you look at it!
     
  3. padavis

    padavis Member

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    Yea, that thing looks very nice! Nothing amazing or super out of this world but I'll tell you what, I never get sick of the classic colors and classic shapes. That Tele is certainly beautiful. I just got a Standard SG and its just one of the classics like your new beast. Good stuff!
     
  4. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    Looks good! It'd probably look even better with a blackguard :)

    Wow, case looks pretty tough...look at those latches!
     
  5. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    My flash photos make the white guard look too bright. It is white, but not that bright.

    It has a nice finish. Shiny, but it doesn't seem like a fat layer of clear, like the older models.
    The wood has nice grain. The fretboard has a nice glossy finish like the vintage models. I like that.

    The first thing that struck me when I picked it up was how nice and light it is. I'd guess 7 pounds. It also is quite loud when played unplugged, and it has great sustain.

    The pickups are very responsive to a light touch. Sometimes I play with my fingers very lightly plucking the strings, and it is much louder using that technique than my AVRI '52. And when I really jump on it, it really twangs like a mofo.

    It came set up perfectly. Nice and low, and intonated spot on. The guy at GC said that they had their in house luthier go over all these, and he said they were ready to go. i think Fender wants no bad ones getting out to give bad impressions.

    They had another one, in wine red, but I stuck with the more traditional look. They only thing I wish they had done, was use vintage tuners. I'm spoiled by them. But as long as it stays in tune, I'll be happy.

    The case seems like a major improvement, as well. Nice and sturdy.
     
  6. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Nice review; congrats on the new axe.
     
  7. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Sure looks sweet ! Enjoy! :^)

    Those cases sure look nice, definately a move in the right direction!
     
  8. Curly

    Curly Member

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    thanks for the review

    I like my old US tele, but I'd like to check out the new ones.

    three questions:

    How do you like the neck?

    How do you like the saddles?

    How do you like the pickups?
     
  9. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Great score man !!!
     
  10. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    The neck is great. 9.5 with a nice satin finish. the fretboard is gloss finished. Looks pretty classy. The fretwork is really well done.

    I'm going to venture a guess, and say that the saddles and the new bridge plate are a huge part of the improved (imho) sound.

    The pickups are quite good. It'll twang real nice, or mellow down...
     
  11. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    What are the pickups on this new model?
     
  12. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    Here are the specs, from Fender:
    • Alder body with Polyurethane Finish
    • Maple Neck
    • Rosewood Fingerboard, 9.5 inches radius (241mm)
    • 22 medium-jumbo frets
    • American Tele Single-Coil Pickup (Neck), American Tele Single-Coil Pickup (Bridge)
    • Master Volume, Master Delta Tone controls
    • 3-Position Blade Pickup Switching:: Position 1. Bridge Pickup; Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups; Position 3. Neck Pickup
    • American Standard Telecaster Bridge with 6 New American Standard Bent Steel Saddles and Stamped Brass Plate
    • Fender Deluxe Staggered Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines - machine heads
    • Chrome Hardware
    • 3-Ply Parchment Pickguard
    • 25.5 inch (648 mm) Scale Length
    • 1.685 inches (42.8 mm) Width at Melamine Nut
    • Unique features include Tinted Neck (Maple Fingerboard: Satin Finish on Back, Gloss Finish on Front; Rosewood Fingerboard: Satin Finish on Back, Gloss Finish on Headstock Front with Buffed Fretboard); New Bent Steel Saddles with Elongated String Slots; Chrome Plated Brass Bridge Plate with Fender Stamp and Extra Mounting Screws; Thinner Undercoat Finish for Improved Resonance; Rolled Fingerboard Edges; Staggered Tuning Keys
    • Fender Standard Tension ST250L, Nickel Plated Steel Strings Fitted, (.009 to .042), p/n 073-0250-203
    • New high-tech molded SKB case, cable, strap and polishing cloth included with this guitar.
    That means the pups are Alnico V's
     
  13. 03hal

    03hal Member

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    Nice!

    And it looks like they're finally shipping them with a case worthy of the guitar.
     
  14. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    I wish one of our dealers would get some in soon. They both have the Strat's, but no Tele's. RDNZL said "i think Fender wants no bad ones getting out to give bad impressions", however, all three of the Strats at our GC had issues.

    They had a white model which had a green stain in the paint. The model I wanted, burst finish with RW FB, had three small chips in the finish on the front of the guitar that had been finished over, and the set-up was quite different on all three.

    The only Strat that didn't have an issue that I would be willing to pay new money for had a maple FB, but the bridge tremelo was out of wack. The front of the bridge was higher than the back and the saddles were adjusted about as high as the could be adjusted on the high and low E strings. Made me wonder if this wasn't why the front had been raised. And the rear wasn't close to the body either, just eyeballing it I would say at leat 1/8".

    From what I have read I was expecting these to be the best ever and close to custom shop quality, but unfortunately that was not the case with these. They do look awesome and I could live with the one if it's just a set-up issues, but I'm disappointed to see that the QC doesn't seem to be up to snuff. IMO a guitar that street's for a grand should be set-up properly and have no issues out of the box.

    I just hope this is a result of them rushing production to get the new models to market and not the new "American Standard".
     
  15. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    No issues here. Stick to Telecasters!!!

    ;)
     
  16. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    One thing I've come to understand more and more as I watch some of the factory tour videos is that new guitars do NOT come "setup" from the factory. The come ready to play, yes, but everyone has different tastes, with regard to string height and other things. So personally, I do NOT expect a new production guitar in the $1,000 range to come from the factory setup perfectly.

    On the other had, QC issues like the finish, fret work, etc. - I ABSOLUTELY expect PERFECTION there, or I pass on it.
     
  17. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    It makes me wonder if maybe they dialed this one in a little. I have purchased quite a few guitars in the past, and this Tele is as close to perfect as I have yet to encounter. I have had some that were decent, some so-so. I would change nothing on this Tele. It is nice and low, with no buzzing, and the intonation is perfect. Even the strings sound good. The guitar center I buy from has a real luthier that has a shop there, so maybe they did tweak it, or maybe Fender got lucky. No QC issues at all. the finish is flawless, too.
     
  18. GTRJoe

    GTRJoe Supporting Member

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    I played a new Strat and Tele yesterday. Neither had any issues. The Tele was really nice. Looks like Fender has taken a few more steps toward making them like the did back in the day. I felt both guitars were more resonant and just generally sounded better than the previous Am Std's. Going to NAMM today to check out more stuff.
     
  19. brentrocks

    brentrocks Guitar Hack/Player Gold Supporting Member

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  20. rdnzl

    rdnzl Member

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    What really stands out, is the resonance of the body. This Tele is quite loud when played unplugged.

    I think what Fender has to say about these features, is pretty true.

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    American Standard Tele® Bridge Gives sought-after tone with modern improvements (no ashtray edges, 6 saddle adjustability). Redesigned plate features a classic styled Fender stamp on chrome plated brass. Brass and steel are the secrets to the Tele sound! Bridge Component Specifics American Standard saddles- The original vintage-style Fender bent steel adjustable saddle is one of the components that give vintage Fenders their tonal mojo . Fender conducted tone comparison tests, and fell in love with them all over again. They have a wider tonal range and more character many other saddles. Then Fender improved them; narrowing the spacing to afford more room (and complement the bigger frets and rolled edges), and also elongated the string slot to reduce friction and string breakage, while improving the string break angle over the primary contact point.

    Bridge plate- The combination of steel saddles with a brass plate harks back to the magic combination of the most sought-after vintage Tele guitars (which had steel plate/brass saddles). The plate also features two extra mounting screws to improve resonance and body contact (as well as eliminating squeals ), and a stylized Fender logo to class up the instrument and nod to the design of 60s era Fenders (like Jaguar and Mustang bridges).

    Neck Gloss and Tint
    Seemingly a small or less important feature, this is a major feature. The old necks were satin all over primarily for the feel of the back of the neck. On these American Standards Fender kept the satin neck back, but still gave the rich tint and luster of a gloss finish to the front. When looking at the old and new side by side in comparison, there is no arguing that these necks look classier and more detailed and finished .

    Thinner Body Undercoat
    An undercoat serves to give the paint a smooth surface to adhere to so you have a nice looking finish The thicker the undercoat, the more glass-like the finish, but the more constricted the guitar s body wood, which could affect tone. Fender switched to an undercoat that is thinner, and that allows the body to flex and resonate more, while retaining the cosmetic advantages of an undercoat.
     

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