Telecaster Elite - why so little love?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Zounds Perspex, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    There was a multi-page NGD thread featuring an Am. Elite Tele a month or two ago. OP can search for it if he likes. :cool: I was going to get a Channel Bound Tele for the compound radius neck (which the Elite also has of course), but when I saw the Elite with its uniquely streaked ebony fingerboard, I just had to get that.

    My tastes lean "modern" - whatever that means. I'm not into country, Texas blues, or other rootsy styles that peeps buy Teles for. I love the compound radius neck, and the stock pickups sound great to my ears. I can get the spanky sounds and twang one would expect from a Tele, and I can also get nice mellow tones that still have the characteristic Tele chine. I also love the heavier tones I can get using the S1 switch.

    Bought it used from Mountain Music, who took really good care of the guitar and sent it to me set up perfectly, for my tastes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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  2. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    I think it's great that Fender is building Tele style guitars for guys that wanted changes to the classic designs.

    I don't go for the modern Teles as they "fix" things that were never an issue to me in the first place and generally change the electronics to make the guitar sound less like the classic Tele sounds I like. I'd have to change the electronics to even like the guitar and why do that when what I like already exists in the vintage spec offerings?
     
  3. Agramal

    Agramal Member

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    Where? I keep waiting for one with the belly cut and ebony board to be offered that low.
     
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  4. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    also had the american deluxe (see avatar) felt great, meh on S1 and noiseless............super easy tp play, but sold it and kept my American Standard Strat which needed more effort to play, not near as good build quality or looked as nice (oh and I don't really like strats that much). Was one of those feel things...........the strat feels like a guitar to me, the tele felt like a piece of art or exotic furniture to me.......
     
  5. i8guitar

    i8guitar yelling at clouds from outer space Silver Supporting Member

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    I bought mine shortly after they were released, and the neck is indeed the standout feature for me. I also like all the other modern features like the belly cut and N4 pickups - they sound fantastic to me, very comparable to traditional Tele pickups. You can classify me as a modern guitarist, lots of intermingled playing styles and sounds and effects. It's a great looking guitar as well in mystic black sparkle.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  6. jaguarillo68

    jaguarillo68 Member

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    [​IMG]
    Dave Davies with tele elite. One of my all time favorite players. That's what you hear on "Do it Again"
     
  7. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    Different guitar - that's the original 1983-84 Elite; the thread is about the current American Elite model (don't you just love how Fender recycles names?).

    I think you don't hear as much about the current American Elites because the neck is a love/hate thing - it seems like you immediately love that C-to-D shape or you immediately don't like it (I'm in that latter camp - but I really don't like any D-shaped neck on any brand).

    Interestingly enough I think that was one of the issues with the original 1983-84 Elites (and the Standard/top loader Tele of the same time frame) - the necks were either a love/hate thing before you even got into the active electronics (mid boost circuit) on the original Elites.
     
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  8. MisterBoh

    MisterBoh Member

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    Not the ebony ones that I've seen but you should be able to find a rosewood one. Reverb
     
  9. patshep

    patshep Supporting Member

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    Love how people here can just figure out every detail of hundreds of strangers playing style based on their own likes... so stupid.... i'm a jazz guy and i love the elite tele... without pedals, tele purists on here are out of control.
    Having my guitar intonated properly when i change strings is important to me, and the belly cut as well... I love my '52 reissue, but c'mon
     
  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    +1. Vintage designs are very different than modern designs. Like everything it's different, not better or worse. If u want my opinion tho, it's about the same as Boris'. If all i could have is the elite or any the tele with modern bridge, tuners and neck (truss rod + tuners change the dynamics/tone due to weight) i wouldn't have a tele. Thats removes pretty much everything sonically i like about teles. And thats why vintage designs are still hugely popular. If the tonal difference weren't there and considerable, why would anyone want a tele with a bridge who's intonation is compromised vs modern or a less effective truss rod that you have to remove or loosen the neck to get to? Thinks about it.

     
  11. Pongo

    Pongo Member

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    I had a Deluxe for awhile, which is very similar to the Elite. Was a great guitar! But I eventually traded it, because of the pickups (meh), switching (which I never used), and the fact that it lacks the argumentative, clunky feel of an old school Telecaster (which I like).

    Still, it felt great and was incredibly smooth to play, and I'd highly recommend it to any T-fan who doesn't have hangups about modernization!

    And hey, if the Elite Thinline came with other pickup options, I'd already own one simply on the grounds that it looks freakin' sweet!
     
  12. s2y

    s2y Member

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    I like 'em. Wish they released them earlier. Would have been all over that.
     
  13. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I don't mind that. I don't mind the expense. I just recommend instead a used Fender Custom Shop or one of the Custom Guitar Builders here, who are in the same general price range but which use a more vintage style architecture.

    I'm trying to preserve the way the St. Leo approach forces the player to play in one way as opposed to another. Instead of my taking the guitar and wringing it out and imposing my will on it or something.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I can't speak to anyone else's experiences. Only my own. That's all any of us can really do. Really ever do.

    With all due respect, I can't for the life of me figure out why you can't know that. Referring to others as stupid ---- I don't get that.

    Your post is intended to be offensive. I've noticed.

    I have had people complain to me "I can't do XYZ with my American Deluxe" and they explain what's happening for them and I make deductions. But ultimately, I've got to base all that on my experience. I don't get this thing of telling people their experience is not valid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  15. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Somebody mentioned the default case with TSA latches - that's a nice touch I appreciate with this guitar.

    I also love how notes sustain on the ebony fingerboard, even with the amp set clean. It's responsive to hammer-ons in a way that pleases me more than maple or rosewood.
     
  16. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Tele and Elite don't really belong in the same sentence. :) There is a lot of competition at that price point and much lower.
    IMHO you can get one bad ass Tele just buying a roadworn.
     
  17. patshep

    patshep Supporting Member

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    when i say 'so stupid' I mean the idea is so stupid, not the person... the idea that if you play x guitar, you are a pedalhead who isn't playing lines or clean picking or whatever is nuts to me... I think that THAT is stupid, not you, i've never met you.. my post is defensive, not offensive, and I'm not looking for a flame war, I don't like that generalization and I think it's stupid, that's all
     
  18. stratamania

    stratamania Member

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    I would be happy to have one as my next Tele.
     
  19. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    I really like the Elite Telecaster with an ebony board.

    Me too. It's important to me that any guitar has a good Jazz tone and you can definitely get one with the Elite.

    The neck is really great, as others have commented, and the ebony board with medium jumbo frets makes for bends that feel smooth as silk. The tuning is very stable and the locking tuners make for easier string changes.

    I don't know why people complain about the S-1 system. If you don't like the tone it makes, don't use it. Personally I like having that additional voice as an option. It only works with the pickup selector in the middle position so it's really not a big deal one way or the other.

    The N4 pickups are fine for clean tones, not drop dead gorgeous but really nice, slightly more "polite" than vintage pickups. You trade off a very little high end for losing the hum. As a Jazz player, I usually back off the tone knob a little anyway so it's a non-issue for me. Where they excel is with the gain tones which are better for my playing style than vintage, and they have far less hum which can be a major issue with gain tones at volume.

    I also like the metallic Ocean Turquoise finish. Almost all of my guitars show the body's wood, usually vintage sunburst or transparent amber so it was nice having a guitar with a solid color. See stock photo below.

    Regarding the comments by those who say it's quite different than a vintage Tele; that's why I wanted one. I have a '85-'86 MIJ 52 Reissue that really nails the vintage Tele tones and ergonomics so I have that base covered but I play the Elite much more. It's just a wonderful guitar to play.

    I like the Tele so much that, in a moment of weakness, I picked up a Strat as well. There are some similarities but they are actually quite different.

    The Shawbucker in the bridge position, with the "Passing Lane" button engaged that bypasses all volume and tone controls sending the entire signal from the pickup directly to the amp, is absolutely killer for gain tones from overdrive to modern metal. I usually play clean but with this guitar I'm spending a lot of time with the button in and a high gain tone cranked on my amp.

    Yes Boris, I do like the Strat somewhat better but I've been a Strat player for 54 years so it's always "going home" for me even though I gig with an ES-335. HSS Strats are my favorite guitars to play. I practiced using the Tele for two months pretty much exclusively until I got the Strat a couple of weeks ago. Now I'm practicing with the Strat exclusively.

    Both guitars are truly excellent instruments and unless you want accurate vintage tone with vintage feel and playability either one is well worth considering, particularly if you think you'd like a modern take on the Telecaster or Stratocaster designs.

    I think I'm going to put a white pearloid pickguard on the Tele to match the Strat but that's the only change I'm going to make. These sweethearts are really nice just the way they are.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  20. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I like playing around with effects too, but most of the time when I practice, I just have two pedals between the guitar and the all-analog practice amp (QES Roadtripper MCM):

    tc electronic Polytune Mini tuner
    Akai Headrush E2 - looper pedal to practice rhythm guitar parts, then practice lead lines over looped rhythm guitar parts.

    That's it. So I don't feel a need to cover up the tones of my Tele with tons of processing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019

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