enchants you. This Telecaster was one of those
instruments. The tone was true to the Tele
twang and honk, but had an impressive sting to
it that was very easy on the ears. The low end
was quick and tight, and the midrange was surprisingly smooth for a stock bridge pickup. The
fat neck combined with the well-worn areas
made it a dream to play. Even the large 6105
jumbo frets weren’t a bother, although the
guitar could perhaps have been improved by
sporting a smaller set that really belongs on a
Telecaster. This Tele just had it all, hands down.
The thing simply rocked.
The Final Mojo
It’s an obvious fact that pre-worn guitars are
highly controversial among musicians. Some
love the idea of an affordable, worn replica
that’s great feeling great sounding right out of
the box—and one that won’t take years get-
ting it to feel the way they want it to. Others
think the whole thing is as pointless as buying
a pair of distressed jeans, and are
offended that anybody would think
that those battle scars didn’t have
to be earned. After all, that’s one
of the reasons why guitarists love
worn guitars in the first place.
They speak to the history between
instrument and player. In the end,
each player has to be the one to
judge, but you ought to at least play
one first before deciding.
Some aspects of a well-made, worn
vintage replica can be a blessing in
disguise: aged pickup magnets,
thin nitro finishes and extremely
comfortable necks. If the look
turns players away, hopefully
the allure of a great sound-
ing and feeling instrument
can bring them back. In the
end, that’s all that should
matter anyway, whether or
not it’s achieved by a player
over time or by a craftsman in
another part of the world.
The Road Worn Series shows that
Fender is on to something good here.
The relic jobs are very good, and the sound
and playability are a step above the Mexican
Standard line. Some small changes might be
nice, as well. This reviewer is old school and
still believes that any guitar approaching the
$1000 mark should come with a hardshell case
instead of a gig bag. As for the Stratocaster,
the worn areas on the neck could use a greater correspondence to the Tele, and more color
options would be interesting, too. A worn,
surf green or Buddy Holly blue would look
really cool with this treatment. If the thought
of new relics is a turn-off, then the Fender
Classic Player line might be worth looking at.
The Road Worn Series guitars are definitely
in that league. If the goal is pure rock ‘n’ roll
vibe though, the new Fender Road Worn guitars undoubtedly merit a good play.
a stripped-down Tele with a
great sound and a great feel is
just your thing.
you dig glossy-as-new Teles and
prefer smaller frets.
Head online to hear sound
clips of the ‘ 50’s Telecaster
in action at
Fender ‘50s Telecaster