The Tele is one of the world’s most iconic guitars. With the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, Fender has written a new and exciting chapter in its history.
The Fender Telecaster is a famously versatile guitar, finding its way onto just as many classic rock recordings as it has done in the country canon, not to mention funk, blues, jazz, punk, and more. But with the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, this iconic model has spread its wings even wider.
Not only does it do the Tele thing, it also opens up a world of new acoustic territories. Its goal? To be a Swiss Army knife in the studio and on stage. Engineering the Sound teamed up with Chris Lanzon to take a closer look at the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster.
Opening the case
While it bears the Telecaster badge and shares some recognisable DNA with its famous forebear, what you’re confronted with is something quite different. For one, the Acoustasonic label is no joke: it’s an acoustic guitar.
It has a thin body and the natural acoustic projection isn’t what you would expect from a regular (for want of a better word) acoustic guitar. But it still fills the space more fully than an unplugged electric would, which highlights one of its key purposes: you can pick up this guitar at any time and get jamming.
Adding to its acoustic credentials is the selection of tonewoods: mahogany neck and body sides, with a spruce top. The finishes tap into the heritage of the Tele, with a Butterscotch Blonde (of course), Shadow Burst, Brushed Black, and Arctic White.
If you look at the silhouette it cuts, there’s nothing to dissuade you from thinking that it’s a full-blooded Tele. And when you plug it in and listen, that opinion won’t change.
Despite the tonal variety on offer, getting to grips with the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster is a piece of cake. Position 1 (corresponding to the bridge pickup position on a regular Tele) on the switch yields the “Noiseless Tele Pickup” and “Fat Noiseless Tele Pickup”. On the “normal” side, it’s a classic, bright and clean Tele tone. But if you use the “blend” knob to dial in a bit more “fat”, you’ll hear a more aggressive character — kind of like driving the guitar hard through the preamp of a console.
In the middle position, you have “Lo-Fi Clean” and “Lo-Fi Crunch”, which utilises the under-saddle pickup. This is a slight deviation from classic Tele territory, but a very useful character to harness in the studio.
Things get really interesting when you switch to position 3 (which corresponds with the neck pickup position). Here you can dial in a focused “Mahogany Small Body Short Scale” — which has the character of a vintage parlour guitar — or a lush and bassy “Rosewood Dreadnought”. And with the “blend” knob on hand, you can find your own perfect combination for each of the three settings.
With the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster, Fender has aimed to tick a lot of boxes. But instead of being a jack of all trades and master of none, this reimagined Tele provides genuine character in every configuration as well as a few welcome surprises.
For all the details, head over to the Fender website.