The Telecaster is a classic, but Fender continues to rework the formula. Engineering the Sound had a closer look at the Player Plus Telecaster.
Constantly tweaking an iconic 70-year-old recipe — but not too much — is a process that Fender has turned into an art form. The Telecaster has a shape as recognisable as rock ‘n’ roll itself and the Player Plus is its latest incarnation.
This time around, Fender has pitched the Tele to a new audience — a growing army of influencers who are championing the sound of electric guitar in a medium that’s stridently non-traditional: social media. So does the Player Plus the mark? Engineering the Sound — with the help of the phenomenal MXXWLL — investigates.
Firstly, the Player Plus Series is aimed squarely at artists like MXXWLL — a new breed of producer who is flipping the idea of traditional tone on its head. The DAW was the central hub for MXXWLL’s tonal explorations in his performance and the Player Plus Telecaster — with its noiseless pickups — is especially forgiving in this processor-intense environment.
Its versatility is also a major plus for a wide range of styles. A satin-smooth neck finish, pau ferro fingerboard with medium-jumbo frets, and push-pull electronics (the ‘up’ position on the tone knob wires the pickups in series, offering up a fat ‘humbucker’ tone).
The Tele’s core constituency of country twangers and alt-rockers will be right at home (it still does the Tele thing). But with its extra tonal horsepower, it caters to a whole host of new players. And as you can see from the video, MXXWLL takes the Player Plus Tele through funky rhythms and soaring leads, all with fresh, original tones.
Another Player Plus drawcard? A striking new palette of finishes. MXXWLL opted for Silver Smoke, but there’s also a luscious Belair Blue, as well as a Tequila Sunrise to be found across the range. So while many will recognise the shape, the Player Plus Tele (as well as the Strat, P and J basses) will stand out from the crowd.
To find out more about the Player Plus Series, head over to the Fender website.