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Telecaster Elite - why so little love?

Zounds Perspex

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,800
Just bought one off a friend - this is a killer guitar, but I almost never see anyone post or talk about one? Are the pickups not great? (This one has aftermarket pickups.) The tummy cut, contoured heel, compound radius, just feels great in the hand. Are Tele players just *that* resistant to changes in the design? Still looks and sounds like a Tele!?
 
Messages
23,884
This is a "modern" telecaster in every regard.

Not the vintage specs guitar where you can elevate the saddles (and the bridge pickup) and so you can get your fingers under the strings and really pop them. This is a guitar for guys using big pedalboards, creating space age sounds, who want the strings "slammed" against the face of the pickguard.

In other words this Elite is designed to compete against a lot of other designs by manufacturers, while maintaining the distinctive T shape. That's just not what works for me.
If I did want a Fender brand guitar in such a vein, I'd go for the Strat instead.
 

drive-south

Member
Messages
2,271
I've got an American Deluxe Tele which is essentially the same guitar. I think the big turnoff for some is the noiseless pickups and S1 switching. I like it. I also have a 1973 Tele. It has more of the viseral Tele vibe going on.
 

pewing33ny

Member
Messages
336
I loved it on paper as I prefer modern features and most teles are vintage-spec but I was not impressed at all when actually playing one. I have a Suhr Classic Pro which was similarly priced and the Fender felt like a toy in comparison. My 80s MIJ Fernandes tele felt better too.

To be fair, this was at Sam Ash which generally does setup their guitars decently for a guitar store, but it's still an off-the-rack setup.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,130
The neck profile and (new) price are my big issues with it. It has some nice features, but as a whole it just doesn't work for me.
I imagine a lot of people really want a traditional bridge at least. And probably would prefer not to have the S-1 switch. Tele players (really, guitarists in general) don't like change, and the Elite is a pretty big change from a traditional Tele.
 

slap dat

Member
Messages
556
I owned one briefly. I liked everything about it except for the pickups. The noiseless pups just sound dead to me.
 

Brmr

Member
Messages
17
I have a guitar center edition of the telecaster elite that comes with a maple top, ebony fingerboard, and v-mod pickups...one of my favorite guitars.
 

MLaVache

Member
Messages
454
I tried one the day they came out and loved it. The neck is gorgeous and I really dig the N4 pickups. Even though I was already in love with my American Deluxe, I was still sorely tempted.

I don't know what the people complaining about it not being "vintage" are on about. I use mine extensively for classic telecaster tones — it's really not that difficult. If you want a hard-to-play telecaster with bad intonation, there are plenty of "vintage spec" ones available.

Some people just hate anything new.
 

kushman

Member
Messages
1,337
I haven't played an "elite" but I love my American Deluxe Tele , it became my #1 after I switched out the Noiseless Pickups and ditched the S1
 

Audioholic

Member
Messages
2,574
I love my elite strat I just got. But it’s probably a preference. The S4 noiseless sounds great to me in this guitar and it plays easier to me then the other strats and tele I owned. So for me the elite series are great.
 

NortheastHick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,517
I have a pair of 2016 Elite telecasters One is a two-piece Alder sunburst all stock the other is a one piece Ash with Twisted tele pickups instead of the N4s.
They have become my favorite guitars. I love everything about them. The neck is the biggest selling point For me. It fits me perfectly and the radius is spot on for me.
 

gibson3798

Member
Messages
1,173
The day I came across an Elite Tele that had been upgraded with a Jason Lollar Charlie Christian (neck) and Lollar Vintage (bridge) was a very lucky day for me. The S-1 had also been removed and this guitar is killer in every way. The guitar was ergonomically correct out of the factory but the pickups transformed it into an incredible instrument.

I’d suggest these mods before making a decision one might regret.
 

Chippertheripper

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,700
None of the body and neck features bother me, but I don’t like a 6 saddle or slab bridge, and the electronics (out the box) don’t do anything for me either.
I’d be thrilled with one with some Texas specials, normal controls, and any of a variety of bridges that are more traditional, in a sense.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,488
My only problem with the Tele Elite was the front binding and the belly cut.
I wound up buying an Am. Pro Deluxe Tele.
 

Kylote

Member
Messages
4,635
For me, Elite is code for "you can't afford this." I actually like modern conveniences that make it more comfortable to play, but a tad out of my price range even used.
 




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