Riffing on the American Deluxe Telecaster

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American Deluxe Telecaster
American Deluxe Telecaster

When Leo Fender named his ASAT G&L guitar, the rumor started that ASAT stood for “Ain’t a Strat, Ain’t a Tele.”  The Fender American Deluxe Telecaster is not a made-over strat, but it’s dangerously close.  The American Deluxe has features of both strat and tele that make it a unique instrument.

Fender’s design team is breaking new ground with this series.  The craftsmanship shows. Fender did itself proud with this guitar.

The finish on the cherry burst model reviewed here is superb.  Everything fits.  The medium jumbo frets are smooth as silk, no rough edges.  It has a strat-like belly cut on the alder body for comfort.
The white binding sets off the cherry finish to a T.  Mother of pearl dot inlays adorn the maple C-neck and the headstock Fender logo is mother of pearl as well.  The mother of bowling ball pearloid pickguard completes the look.  It’s a handsome instrument.

This guitar sings. You can feel it vibrate as you play.  The neck is thin and fast.  You can bend notes into next week.  It stays in tune even after behind-the-nut bends thanks to its locking tuners.  The neck is cut on a 9- 1/2 ” radius and feels comfortable up and down all 22 frets.  The bridge allows you to adjust height and length for each string making for easy set-up.

The guitar comes complete with case, cleaning cloth, strap locks, and the undying gratitude of the folks at Fender.  The package is tidy and complete.

If you’re a tele purist you’ll find that the N3 Noiseless pickups come close to that matchless honky-tonk whine made famous by countless country guitarists, but they don’t quite deliver.  The twang factor on this guitar is about 9 out of 10.

On the plus side, that annoying single coil hum is gone from these pickups. The N3 Noiseless is a stack.  You trade a little of that high-end chime for more guts on the lower end.  The American Deluxe is the most versatile tele ever. With the S-1 switching you can get sounds ranging from classic tele to pretty close to a Les Paul growl.

If you play rock, country or blues, this guitar delivers in spades.  Even a stray metal head or two might find this guitar useful. It’s priced on the high end for a Fender, but considering the quality of the build, it’s money well spent.

 


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