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NGD/Review: Fender 75th Anniversary USA Tele

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by GuitarIV, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    So after having owned this guitar now for a few days I finally have the time to share my first impressions here with you. First of all a picture of my new baby:

    20210927_230018.jpg

    I've been bitten by the Telecaster bug ever since I got my cheap Harley Benton Standard Series TE model, there's something about that bridge pickup going into my JCM 800 that's pure rock n roll... no Strat comes even close to that.

    So of course I've been browsing some proper Fenders and the American Pro 2 series caught my attention. The rounded off neck heel, the option of top loading the strings and the colors all seemed perfect to me. Went to my local music store, tried a Roasted Pine and a Sienna Sunburst and really enjoyed the neck profile as well (big factor for me).

    Now I was a bit unsure if I wanted to blow that kind of money on a guitar, all my other gear was either bought used or I got a deal, but I found a music store that allows payment in installments, so I browsed their website and decided to go for the 75th USA Anniversary model. It is basically an American Pro 2, just with locking tuners, the custom shop Twisted Tele pickups and the gold hardware. In my opinion it looks beautiful on the Bourbon Burst finish.

    The guitar arrived in tune, factory strung with 9-42s through the body. Since I play Elixirs I cut the original strings and top loaded the guitar with a set of 10-46s. I also lowered the action a hair and that is pretty much all I had to do to the guitar to make her ideal for my playing comfort.

    The sound is as expected pure rock n roll. I read about the Twisted Tele pickups and I can confirm what the description says. The bridge has a nice midrange push that reminds me of a humbucker, you only notice you're playing a singlecoil because of the hum and the twang in the low end. With my SD-1 in front of the 800 I can pretty much play metal as well. The clarity is great and the thing sounds simply mean. Just as I expect it from a Telecaster.

    The neck pickup is a bit low in output but with the boost in front it has plenty of push as well. Works great for soloing and clean it chimes. No muddiness whatsoever. It's supposed to be closer to a Strat neck pickup and Fender has done a great job on this. I live on the bridge pickup 90 percent of the time but it's good to know that I can get some proper use out of the neck as well.

    The middle position is Telecaster through and through. I am happy with the sounds I get and I have no urge to swap out pickups. I bought this guitar mainly for blues, rock n roll and hard rock.

    The neck profile is perfect for me. I hate pencil thin necks and whilst my Harley Benton has a thicker profile, the deep C has plenty of meat to it and feels very comfortable and stable. They did a great job on the feeling, the satin finish is smooth and not sticky at all and the rounded fingerboard edges give you the impression of a broken in guitar you already spent some years with. Feels like an old friend.

    Fretwork is good, everything feels sturdy and high quality. Solid parts and great attention to detail. I'd put this guitar on the same level as my Japanese ESPs and for me that's pretty much the gold standard. The ash grain also looks killer.


    Now a few negative things I have noticed (no deal breakers though):

    The guitar is not as light as I would have expected it to be. She comes in at 3,8 kilos (8,37 pounds) which is still lighter than my Orville Les Paul (my heaviest guitar) but sill quite heavy. I have no problem with this, I can handle my LP no problem but I know to some people this might be a turn off.

    The higher strings are not as stable tuning wise as I'd like them to be. Now I suspect the nut might be the culprit since she came with 9s from the factory and I strung her with 10s, so I might have to bring her to my luthier for a slight touch up, just widen the slots a bit. I'll examine this in the next few days and lube the friction points, maybe that solves it.

    The tension on the guitar is stiff, even top loaded. Now I know Telecasters are notorious in that regard, might take some time to get used to it. Maybe I'll try a 9-46 set next.

    The case is made in China and has a weird plasticy gluey smell to it. I left it open a few days to air out, however at that price point it's a bit dissapointing you don't get a proper USA case. But as long as the smell dissapears and the case keeps her safe, I can let that one slip.


    To sum up: I am happy with this guitar. I will know for sure once the honeymoon phase is over, but I will be keeping her. Only things I'll do is install some Schaller locking strap buttons and pins, and replace the stock brass saddles with some Gotoh In-Tune saddles as these have some string channels cut in them and I don't like my strings moving up and down on the saddles when I do bends (and I bend often and wide).

    Is it worth the money? Well... I don't know. It's a lot of dough (for me anyway) and for less you can get great deals on used instruments. However it's the 75th Anniversary version, so a bit of a collectible, if I ever decide to sell it (which I don't think I will) it should hold value. Also this is my gift to myself for my 30th birthday that's coming up in two months, so that's all the justification I need.

    Now enough of the words, here are some pics:

    20210927_224043.jpg 20210927_224124.jpg 20210927_224202.jpg 20210927_224414.jpg 20210927_224520.jpg 20210927_225846.jpg 20210927_225929.jpg 20210927_225951.jpg 20210927_225750.jpg

    If you have any questions, fire away. I'm gonna go play this thing now some more. Day off today and rehearsal later this evening. Can't wait!

    :jam:

    Cheers
     
  2. tce63

    tce63 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    HNGD, Looks fantastic :applause:
     
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  3. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff. Hngd!
     
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  4. Stephen H

    Stephen H Member

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    Nice one!
    I'm not a big fan of Tele's or any 25 1/2" scale guitar really but I played one of those 75th anno's the other week and it just felt really comfortable, great feeling neck, (and I thought it felt light, compared to my Jaguar and LP anyway).
    Enjoy!
     
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  5. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    Additionally, since you changed string gauge the neck might be slowly adjusting to the tension change. You might need to slightly adjust your truss rod?
     
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  6. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Congrats, she's a beauty!
     
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  7. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    Guitar is beautiful but the case is butt ugly.

    I was never a Tele person but I started traveling with my job and a Tele could fit in the overhead in a plane so I bought a cheap Squier Tele that I wouldn't be so heartbroken if stolen or damaged. I ended up changing all the components out for better stuff. I started playing that more than my American or Japanese guitar. It also recorded well into a Trio +, more so than the other guitars.

    I have been thinking of getting that same guitar. I'm still looking fit a Les Paul though
     
  8. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    i like the guitar. i like the case. they just dont go together though.
     
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  9. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    The truss rod is fine, I checked. The neck is still straight like an arrow. As a matter of fact it's nice and stable, just like I want it to be on a guitar. The tuning problem seems to have stabilized now, so it might have been the strings still settling in. Happy days!

    Yeah, not a fan of the grey in combination with the guitar either, but hey, it has plenty of space for pedals, cables and other shenanigans and seems sturdy enough. Nowadays it seems like you have to be happy to even get a case with your new purchase anyway :')

    The sound of the thing with the cable straight into my 2203 is pure rock n roll. Chuck Berry says hello!
     
  10. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    Same story here ... bought a Harley Benton TE-30 out of curiosity and got hooked. Also bought the 75th comm. anni Tele shortly after.
     
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  11. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    My Harley Benton TE-30
    FB_IMG_1632920749556.jpg
    And my Fender 75th comm. Anni. Tele.
    FB_IMG_1632920941192.jpg
     
  12. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    Have either of the two of you that bought the Anniversary model compare them to the American Standard?
     
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  13. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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  14. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    Happy NGD! I see no reason to replace the saddle - they are compensated already. File grooves if you must but yuo can save a couple bucks.

    It's a very handsome tele.
     
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  15. DreamerDeceiver

    DreamerDeceiver Well-Known Member

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    HNGD!!
    Nice rig!
     
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  16. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    Which one ? Both have ash bodies and a maple neck. I like 'em both. And that $87 Tele knock off is still my daily beater guitar, even if it's not 'the real deal', it's still a guitar that's nice to play.
     
  17. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    The knockoff, obviously.

    The authentic article has an odd-looking bridge.
     
  18. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    Oh, you mean the mini ashtray ...
     
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  19. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Congrats on your beautiful new anniversary Tele. It's abso-LUT-ly beautiful!


    :thumbs:
     
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  20. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on a fine new tele day !
     
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