Buying Guide: The Fender Telecaster

from the HUB.

A Brief History of the Telecaster

In 1951 the Telecaster was introduced to the world by Leo Fender, a Southern California inventor and businessman. Now a legendary instrument available in dozens of variations, the iconic “Tele” became the world’s first successfully mass-produced solid body electric guitar.

Fender’s Esquire guitar was the first prototype for the Telecaster and was produced in limited numbers. It was introduced in 1950 and renamed the Broadcaster shortly after. To avoid confusion and trademark issues with Gretsch Broadkaster drums, the guitar was renamed as the Telecaster. The Esquire was brought back as a single-pickup version of the Telecaster in 1951.

The Telecaster’s simple, straightforward design along with its versatility and playability have led to its longevity. It features a single cutaway body and two single-coil pickups that produce the Tele’s bright and twangy trademark tone. The headstock has six single-side tuners, and the original design featured three innovative barrel-shaped saddles that allowed guitarists to adjust the string height for better playability.

Fender incorporated production techniques no other guitar builder had used previously. Bodies were built using solid pieces of wood, referred to as blanks, and cavities for the electronics were made using a router. Prior to this, guitar bodies were hand-carved. The cavities offered easy access for repair or replacement of the electronics.

Fender American Standard Telecaster

The Fender American Standard Tele cosmetically resembles its forerunner, but has a modern “C”-shaped neck plus Twisted Tele and Broadcaster pickups for improved playability and tone.

full document here: Telecaster Buying Guide

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