Fender player telecaster review

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Reviews > Fender player telecaster review

hunter.kane

Registered User

Joined: 10/15/19

Posts: 96

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

#1

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7371

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
it has many major intonation issues ... it can't intonate properly

I always wanted to have a Tele, but never could commit due to that weird old bridge design. Then last year I finally found a cheap used Squier Affinity Series Telecaster with 6 individual string saddles! Yeah! And it has decent enclosed tuners. So I haven't had any tuning or intonations with it. I put some new strings on it, stretched them & slightly adjusted the intonation & it's rock solid. It's still a little uncomfortable compared to a Strat. But that's just lack a familarity. And lack of body contours. :)

I thought those Player model Teles also have 6 individual string saddles to make it possible to intonate. Maybe it just needs new strings & to be set up properly?

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
.. the bridge pickup is poor in sound ... The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup

I have considered changing the pickups but I don't plan on using the guitar much other than practicing. I did wind up using it as a second guitar on one studio project. The pickups aren't great, but they are decent.

Sorry you had a bad experience with yours!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
it has many major intonation issues ... it can't intonate properly

I always wanted to have a Tele, but never could commit due to that weird old bridge design. Then last year I finally found a cheap used Squier Affinity Series Telecaster with 6 individual string saddles! Yeah! And it has decent enclosed tuners. So I haven't had any tuning or intonations with it. I put some new strings on it, stretched them & slightly adjusted the intonation & it's rock solid. It's still a little uncomfortable compared to a Strat. But that's just lack a familarity. And lack of body contours. :)

I thought those Player model Teles also have 6 individual string saddles to make it possible to intonate. Maybe it just needs new strings & to be set up properly?

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
.. the bridge pickup is poor in sound ... The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup

I have considered changing the pickups but I don't plan on using the guitar much other than practicing. I did wind up using it as a second guitar on one studio project. The pickups aren't great, but they are decent.

Sorry you had a bad experience with yours!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

hsnoeckx

Registered User

Joined: 12/03/19

Posts: 317

I used to own a mex Fender tele, a 60's classic ressiue. Made a lot of noise so shielded the cavities with alu foil and the noise was gone but never really was crazy about the sound, I had this in an open tuning and used it on gigs only to play slide and some Status Quo songs that where in the same tuning ( like the song Down Down ), eventually sold it and not at all interested any more in a Tele.

Herman

#3

I used to own a mex Fender tele, a 60's classic ressiue. Made a lot of noise so shielded the cavities with alu foil and the noise was gone but never really was crazy about the sound, I had this in an open tuning and used it on gigs only to play slide and some Status Quo songs that where in the same tuning ( like the song Down Down ), eventually sold it and not at all interested any more in a Tele.

Herman

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1545

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

#4

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

hunter.kane

Registered User

Joined: 10/15/19

Posts: 96

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

I learned I was wrapping strings wrong, but they string still break every week and it can't hold tune, also a new issue I ran into is when I bend the B string it pushes the G string off the nut slot, tried graphiting the nut as well and it did nothing to fix any of the issues I've had.[/p]

I know I could buy new tuners, and pickups but I really don't like this guitar enough to do that.

#5

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

I learned I was wrapping strings wrong, but they string still break every week and it can't hold tune, also a new issue I ran into is when I bend the B string it pushes the G string off the nut slot, tried graphiting the nut as well and it did nothing to fix any of the issues I've had.[/p]

I know I could buy new tuners, and pickups but I really don't like this guitar enough to do that.

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1545

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

I learned I was wrapping strings wrong, but they string still break every week and it can't hold tune, also a new issue I ran into is when I bend the B string it pushes the G string off the nut slot, tried graphiting the nut as well and it did nothing to fix any of the issues I've had.[/p]

I know I could buy new tuners, and pickups but I really don't like this guitar enough to do that.

I mean, you have a point, you do need to be in love with a guitar in order to want to keep it. We all have different things that drive us to want to play. At the point you wanted new pickups on a guitar you don't much like, I see your point. Sure, you can get the nut replaced and pickups but you're spending a few hundred bucks to do so. At that point, you'd be spending in the realm of a Fender American Tele.

Though I'm all for getting things swappend out if you do love a guitar. In the next few weeks, after many years of threatening to do it, three of them are going in and two of them getting some definite upgrades. I'm lucky enough to now live near enough to Dave Onorato to to have him work on my stuff.

So if you loved it, upgrading would be great. If you just can't, then you're throwing money just hoping it would be better without any idea if it would.

Good luck on whatever you choose to do.

#6

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane
Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

Below is my Player Tele 'Scotchy' (closest).

I have a substantially different experience than yours. Of all the guitars I have, this Player Tele maintains it's tuning the best of them all. No kidding. I never tune that one. The build quality was pretty much immaculate too. I mean, Fender isn't known to have quality control issues (I'm looking at you Gibson) so I am surprised that you're having issues.

I will say that after about a month and a half, I did a little setup/adjustment of the truss rod to my taste but that was about it. It moved with me from Chicago to the Atlanta area last December and stayed more in the case than out and played for a few months (lot's of things to do around the house), still plays like a star.

My point is; would having a pro go through it to do a proper setup help? I love playing my Tele and do play it often and given that I got a batch of nice guitars, that ain't no small potatos.

uploaded image

I learned I was wrapping strings wrong, but they string still break every week and it can't hold tune, also a new issue I ran into is when I bend the B string it pushes the G string off the nut slot, tried graphiting the nut as well and it did nothing to fix any of the issues I've had.[/p]

I know I could buy new tuners, and pickups but I really don't like this guitar enough to do that.

I mean, you have a point, you do need to be in love with a guitar in order to want to keep it. We all have different things that drive us to want to play. At the point you wanted new pickups on a guitar you don't much like, I see your point. Sure, you can get the nut replaced and pickups but you're spending a few hundred bucks to do so. At that point, you'd be spending in the realm of a Fender American Tele.

Though I'm all for getting things swappend out if you do love a guitar. In the next few weeks, after many years of threatening to do it, three of them are going in and two of them getting some definite upgrades. I'm lucky enough to now live near enough to Dave Onorato to to have him work on my stuff.

So if you loved it, upgrading would be great. If you just can't, then you're throwing money just hoping it would be better without any idea if it would.

Good luck on whatever you choose to do.

mmatwyuk

Registered User

Joined: 07/06/21

Posts: 4

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

I found every individual guitar is different. Had a 72 Tele Custom (original issue 77). Loved it despite the 3 bolt micro tilt neck. Giged with it for years, but it was heavy. Got rid of it for a Rick. Then wanted another so bought another a 78 this time which was not like my 77, but with alot of tweeking is still a nice guitar. [/p]

#7

Originally Posted by: hunter.kane

I wish I could like this guitar, but I don't, it has many major intonation issues, the bridge pickup is poor in sound, it can't intonate properly, therefore it won't stay in tune for more than a whole song. The one good thing about the guitar is the neck pickup, the overall quality is unacceptable for the price. Buy with caution. Good luck with it if you want to buy it.

I found every individual guitar is different. Had a 72 Tele Custom (original issue 77). Loved it despite the 3 bolt micro tilt neck. Giged with it for years, but it was heavy. Got rid of it for a Rick. Then wanted another so bought another a 78 this time which was not like my 77, but with alot of tweeking is still a nice guitar. [/p]

DraconusJLM

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 186

I bought a Tele Player Edition around two years ago from a store that also sells 'as it arrived from the manufacturer' online.

Main issues were a couple of raised frets, the intonation was out, and both pickups lower than optimum level. The neck relief was also a little too straight for my liking.

Some truss rod adjustment and 24 hours to settle later, I spent around one hour giving it a proper setup. Since then it's played like a dream (although I am considering lowering the action a little, but that's purely personal preference).

The Player does have 6 adjustable saddles, so intonation for each string is just a case of setting each one.

For anyone who can't do a setup, there are plenty of stores with techs who can.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....

#8

I bought a Tele Player Edition around two years ago from a store that also sells 'as it arrived from the manufacturer' online.

Main issues were a couple of raised frets, the intonation was out, and both pickups lower than optimum level. The neck relief was also a little too straight for my liking.

Some truss rod adjustment and 24 hours to settle later, I spent around one hour giving it a proper setup. Since then it's played like a dream (although I am considering lowering the action a little, but that's purely personal preference).

The Player does have 6 adjustable saddles, so intonation for each string is just a case of setting each one.

For anyone who can't do a setup, there are plenty of stores with techs who can.

Six strings, but only four fingers. Twelve simi-tones, but only eight notes to an octive. Part of me thinks mathematicians should steer well clear of guitars.....