The `72 Telecaster Deluxe, comprised of three of the most sought after guitar designs, is one of the most versatile guitars on the market. Utilizing the neck of Stratocaster, body of a Telecaster, and the electronic scheme of a Gibson Les Paul, this axe is simply the best of both worlds… and then some!
My obsession with this guitar begins with the 15” radius of the fret board. Unlike most Gibsons and Fenders that traditionally employ a 9” or 12” radius, the Tele Deluxe sets itself apart here. This fingerboard allows you to literally take a note and bend into straight into space, which is something I love. The neck, a standard C shape, is complete with the oversized Fender headstock with the 70’s style decal. Very cool.
The body, shaped like that of a Telecaster, houses two Seth Lover wide-range pickups. I attribute the vast array of sound this guitar makes to these pickups and their versatility. From bell-like cleans to the raunch of a ripped open JCM 800, these pickups do it all. Controlled by the Gibson-esque three-way pickup selector switch, this allows you to adjust independently between the bridge and neck pickups, or a blend of the two.
I love maple fretboards, and that’s one of the first things I noticed when I saw this guitar hanging in my local guitar shop. I love how bright maple sounds, and there just isn’t that same clarity with a rosewood fretboard. It’s not that rosewood isn’t great, but maple just looks, sounds, and plays incredibly well. In 20 years, I can’t wait to see what my fretboard looks like…I imagine like that of Eric Clapton’s “Blackie,” with years of sweat and ingenuity in place of where a lacquer finish used to be.
The Telecaster Deluxe boasts a midrange MSRP of $700 (in most stores.) It’s affordable if you’re a serious musician looking for serious tone, and can’t afford something that costs thousands of dollars. To be honest, I’d choose this guitar over any PRS custom or Gibson. Why? This axe can lay down the chunkiest rhythm, the smoothest leads, and Strat-like cleans without breaking a sweat.
From SRV’s Riviera Paradise to any Van Halen gain-infused lick, the `72 Tele Deluxe does it all. If you haven’t played one, just give it a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
You can find the 72 Telecaster Deluxe at Musician’s Friend with more images, colors and info:
Steve Krantz is a music enthusiast that resides in Mount Pleasant, MI and plays guitar in the progressive punk quintet Day In Day Out.