"A Classic RI of a Classic Telecaster"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
If you are looking for the vintage Telecaster tone, this is the way to go. I have played late 50's Teles in the past and can tell you that they do not all sound the same. They do however, have a very common voicing that this RI is able to match very well. The low output pups provide a bright clean tone but allow for a good amount of variation if you want to push them a bit for a little more bite. The key to remember here is the word "Vintage". I generally play through a '65 Fender Twin Reverb, Vox AD30, or Vox Pathfinder. This guitar matches up very well with all three of them. Using this Tele, the Twin Reverb, and a Danelectro Dan-echo, you can almost see the clocks in the room start running backwards in time.
It has all the features of a 52 Telecaster. It is nice that you are provided options such as a more modern bridge and electronics package all included. If you prefer the 6 saddle bridge...it's there. If you prefer the modern wiring...everything is included to give you that option. A really nice touch and one I hope Fender continues on there Vintage models.
Ease of Use:
The action on any guitar is a personal preferance. I have to say that my '52RI was very nice right out of the box, and only required a minor adjustment after putting on my preferred string brand and weight. It plays as nice as any Tele I have ever used. The back of the neck is smooth, vintage frets are clean, and it plays very well for both rythem and lead.
The overall fit and finish on my 52RI is excellent. Fit of the neck to the body is tight, overall finish is very well done and all parts are integrated very nicely into the finished product. A lot nicer than some of the real vintage Teles I have seen, but not as nice as some of the guitars I have seen come out of the custom shop (although very close).
I have never had to contact Fender on this product, however in the past they have been quite responsive. They do not provide email support for general questions if you want a reply, but their phone support is good most of the time. I have encountered some problem in the past getting in touch with the "right" person to answer my questions. Overall it is not bad though.
I bought mine before the last price increase, so I felt it was a pretty good deal at the time. Comparing it to some of the Custom Shop models, and considering the accessories, options, and overall quality, I feel it is at a very reasonable cost for all that is offered. Another price increase might change my mind though.
The Wow Factor:
I was born in 1952...I love Fender Guitars...I love the Telecaster...not much more to add than that. If you look under Telecaster in the Dictionary...this is the picture you should see.
Overall, I have to give this a 10. All the reasons are stated above, but this is one guitar that I love. I cannot think of a better tribute to this classic than this. A lot of it just comes down to personal preference. This is one of my favorite guitars. If I could own a mint condition 1952 original vintage Telecaster, I might have to drop some of my ratings on this one, but I don't and most likely never will, so I have to go with what I have and enjoy it for what it is. I wonder if in another 50 years or so they will have a '52 RI Re-Issue to commemorate one of the best selling RIs of all time.