Fender Performer Series Tele - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by plmici, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. plmici

    plmici TDPRI Member

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    So long story short I've become a 100% tele guy. Sold all my strats, got a 88' MiJ and 2018 Player MiM Tele, and now I'm on the market on the USA-made Telecaster.

    I'm leaning towards buying a brand new guitar and Performer Series caught my eye. Have you tried one? What do you think? How does it compare to previous special/standard Teles?
     
  2. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    I got the Tele Hum with tbe neck humbucker.

    Short answer... get an MIM.

    Long answer... ask if you want the details.
    .
     
  3. plmici

    plmici TDPRI Member

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    Yep, details please!
     
  4. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry. I long ago gave up trying to find out, remember, or even care about the infinite number of model distinctions promoted by Fender to foster continuous turnover among consumers. I can play well on virtually any Tele, and the only time I pay attention is when I encounter one in real life that I might want to buy, and then I judge it on its own merits, not relative to the infinite number of variants. I wish you well in your search for information. I'd like to help, but honestly, I've learned to hate Fender's corporate model -- while still loving Teles!
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think they're close, but not close enough, in the balancing of the sound of the bridge Single coil, with the two pickups in Parallel, with the neck PAF alone.

    It is notoriously difficult to get these pickups working at suitable volumes vis a vis one another. I think you might need a volume pedal to gig this guitar, but IMO that leaves N + B less than optimal. I can play the bridge pickup more roughly and the HB more gently but I'm still stuck where the Middle position is too much neck pickup and not enough bridge.

    If I wanted the single coil bridge/PAF neck combo, I would get a USA G + L Bluesboy.
     
  6. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Performer with the standard single coil neck pickup in Penny finish. It is an absolutely superb guitar. Fit & finish is faultless, the neck is a dream to play and the pickups are loud and clear in all three positions. The volume and tone controls are very responsive too.

    I am very happy indeed with this model. All in all I would have no hesitation in recommending the Perfomer.
     
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  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've played the HS version at GC a couple of times. I liked the neck profile and playability although I'm not a big fan of Jumbo frets.
    The push pull pot gives a few more tonal options.
    It's another Tele but maybe a little versatile.
     
  8. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    There is only one valid advise: try one yourself... we all have different preferences, different history, different wishes, and different ears...

    I haven't played one, but I loved the American Special... I don't know how different the Performer is.
     
  9. Stiles

    Stiles Tele-Meister

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    I have a version of the Hum (bought a loaded body and then began tinkering) and it’s a great guitar. It took a proper set-up to get the pups balance (and full discloser, I replaced the bridge pup with a CS nocaster) but once it is set up, it’s full speed ahead. The tapped PAF in the neck is just SO MUCH FUN!
     
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  10. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    I've played 3 of them in various stores - the HS in olympic white/maple board that my local GC has had in (since December) is very uninspiring. It may just be a real dud, but it doesn't sound good through any amp that I tried it with - Blues Jr. IV (which I have at home), a '65 Princeton Reverb RI (special edition with burgundy tolex - not sure if that one has a different speaker from stock), Marshall DSL 40, Vox AC15, or a Blackstar HT-20R.

    I have also played 2 SS models at a mom-and-pop store - a penny (copper)/maple board and a sonic blue/rosewood board were better - played through a standard '65 Princeton Reverb RI and the lacquered tweed version of the Blues Jr. These sounded better, but to me they were a very "in your face" Tele - the pickups came off as hotter versions of the Texas Specials the American Special Teles used.

    Now all 3 played nicely - I like the modern C neck shape and like the larger frets. But I'm not sold on any of them enough to consider buying a $1,100 MAP guitar that I would eventually want to swap pickups in (realizing that I could likely get the guitar for more like $935 with a GC coupon).
     
  11. Twang Banger

    Twang Banger Tele-Meister

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    Anyone notice if the fretboard edges are "rolled" - or is the angle sharp like a MIM?
     
  12. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Mustang.....had a Mustang. Pickups were awful.
     
  13. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't call them exactly "rolled", but they aren't as sharp as MIM Standards were. Something in-between.

    For now I still have my American Performer Mustang. But I've played 3 others and I wouldn't have bought any of them due to the pickups. Either I'm just used to the one I have or I got lucky with one that has a little more "oomph" than any other one I tried. I had lucked into an American Standard Tele like that - it was bigger sounding than most Am Stds and was pretty damned close to an AV Tele; it was the last guitar I had kept before I went ahead and sold everything and went on a hiatus 4 years ago.

    The Mustang is also very, very finicky about strings - it stays in tune and sounds best with D'Addarios. I've got EBs on it right now and that sucked the tone out (I also have the EBs on my PRS Vela with no issues), and it was absolutely dreadful when I had some Gibson Vintage Pure Nickels on it. Frankly I'm going to put the D'Addarios back on it but if I keep doing okay with the PRS Vela I got last month (and feel like I don't need to keep the 24" scale guitar due to left hand issues) then the Mustang may be on the way out.
     
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