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Tele deluxe vs. Thinline


Hey all,

What are your thoughts on a Tele deluxe vs. a thinline?
Anyone got some pros and cons of each?
I've been a strat guy, but I think its time to branch out.

John Thigpen

Silver Supporting Member
I've always liked the looks of the Thinline better, but it would be nice to have dual volume/tone controls like the Deluxe. Don't have either, though.



Can't speak for the Thinline but I did own a 72' RI Deluxe. It played great, sounded very week. I wanted to put in better pickup set in but never got around to it before it was traded away. It would have been a great pratform for better electronics.
oh and "j m s" a tele can handle anything!!! LOL peace. J.J.B.


I understand that the reissue Deluxes have completely different pick ups than the originals because of the problems with getting the correct (cunliffe) magnets - actually they may sound better!

Anyone have direct experience of comparison between the original and reissue????

Thanks, Pete.


CuNiFe(Cuprum,Nickel,Ferum) For the chemistry illiterate, Copper, Nickel and Iron.

Those original WR HBs go for ALOT on Ebay.


I got one of the last American Thinlines and I'm keeping it! I modded it a little but have all of the original bits, just in case!!!


Chicago Slim

I looked at Deluxes, for long time. I couldn't find one with well matched wood. I could find FSR MIM Ash Tele's with nicer wood. My buddy has a mahogany Thinline, that I really like. The mahogany is a little more different, yet still a Fender.


Gold Supporting Member
I've had both.
Had a CIJ 72' thinline and now have MIM deluxe.
They are very similar, the deluxe has probably got more attack being a solid body. I'd look at which pickup control configuration you prefer and go from there.
The Jap pickups are only slightly better than the Mex, both are very average pickups. I have the new Lollar Regals in my Deluxe, the difference is night and day. Good luck!


Silver Supporting Member
I've played them all and currently own a 78 deluxe, a 78 custom, and a MIM thinline. One thing is for sure, the original WRHB are SORELY missed on the reissues. The 78 deluxe is the best of the bunch, and my favorite guitar ever, but the 78 custom's neck pup is the best sounding pup of them all. The bridge pup output can't match the neck, which makes me prefer the deluxe.

The reissues are decent, but definitely need a pup upgrade. I have my thinline up for sale as it's really nice (special edition in blonde) and I can't bring myself to mod it. It definitely lacks the punch and clarity of the original WRHBs. The Japanese thinline I had sounded better than the MIM, but not by much. It still needed new electronics.


I'm definitely going to upgrade the electronics and get a curtis novac mod to my neck pickup. Saving for a house so money is tight.


I've been playing a 72 RI for about a year now, it's my #1. I like it pretty well. It stays in tune pretty good. The biggest thing I like about it is the fact that clean, somehow it still has Tele twang. When overdriven it gives me a little more balls than a normal tele. I've played a buddies Deluxe a few times...it's also a very nice guitar, but much more traditional tele sounding. The thinline always has a bit of that open air too it.
I currently play in a New Country Band and the 72 is perfect through an AC15 for overdriven solos. It's got some nice bite too it.
My only real complaint about it is that it's been worked on once already and there are still a few "dead" spots on the neck. A few of them buzz, one or two just don't sustain as well as I would like.

Troy T. Blues

Comstock Station
Who knows, but Fender just released both the 69RI and the 72RI Thinlines as AVRI models.
The '72 AVRI's description says "redesigned and re-voiced to sound even more like 1970s pickups.". I wonder what that's all about? Anybody know? I did a little research and couldn't find any specific info at all.


I've no idea how the originals sound but I had a road worn 72 deluxe and it played and sounded great. Tuning was rock solid, it definately had sustain! The pickups where a little odd to get used to, clean they still had this fender quality to them and certainly tele like if you backed off the volume a little, but with overdrive they sounded like good defied humbuckers (well the bridge got a little mushy with a lot of gain). The road worns sounded better to my ear than the standard MIM deluxe. I sold it in the end though as I dont get along too well with that flat 12" radius, its fine for few songs but I couldn't gig with it.

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