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What's your opinion on the American Special Telecaster? A legit USA Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by matarroano, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    Totally legit. The American Special is a good no-nonsense guitar with no faddish gimmicks. I like that about them. The pickups in them are great.

    I don't like the "modern C" thin necks on these. If I were in the market for a modern Tele, I'd probably go with the American Professional because of the neck ("deep C", a lot more substantial and more like a 60s style neck) and the narrow frets.

    Still, the idea behind the American Special is that it's a simple Tele or Strat with the features that a lot of players prefer at a reasonable price point.

     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
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  2. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the specials, nothing shoddy about them. A no nonsense tele stripped to the bare essentials. Some hate the frets, I could get used them no problem. I played quite a few specials that had much more attention to detail regarded the fret dressing than my American Standard that needed the fret ends dressed.
     
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  3. matarroano

    matarroano TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys! So after reading all of your replies, I'm more and more leaning towards the American Special, especially because I really love the "Modern C" neck. I guess I can say the decision is made. I just have to spend a few minutes more playing one to be ready to make the purchase. I'm set! Thanks everyone for your help! Once more, TDPRI delivers!!!

    As it turns out it is the "REAL, LEGIT AMERICAN, USA MADE TELE" I wanted... I don't know about the "jumbo" frets as I'm running and more used to "medium jumbos". When I played the American Special Telecaster I did not think it was really that different... Barely noticeable, to me. You? I'm sure I will sort this out myself when I spend a little more time on the American Special...

    As for this... Two (2!!) Fender Authorized Dealers "hinted" me with a vague talk about "enough USA parts for it to be named American but, "contaminated" with Mexican and American random surplus parts", without really getting into specific details... From the conversation that went from there I got the idea that it was something "bridge and hardware related"...

    Also, one of the sellers said that it really wasn't the "real upgrade" I was looking for, as it was "similar quality-wise" with the higher-end MIM Tele I already own... Getting the American Professional was a "REAL", "CLEARLY NOTICEABLE", "WORTH DOING" upgrade.

    Yes... He might be right I know but, I really like the neck of the American Special and I have a different purpose for it.... And it is much cheaper which is also important.

    Yes, it is not the "list" you asked me for, because it was all "vague confusing talk" but I would like to hear more from you on this. Thanks in advance!
     
  4. Vintagebrit

    Vintagebrit Tele-Holic

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    I have a 2010 Am Spec Tele and a 2016 Am Spec Strat.
    Both great guitars with superb finishes, great tones.
    It doesn't bother me if people say they are the same quality as a MIM as I have a few of those too and they are pretty much flawless.
     
  5. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    If I were getting the American Special, I'd wanna go for the butterscotch blonde, blackguard version. It's kind of stealth. At first glance, non-Fender people might think it's a classic Tele. Then "underneath the hood", so to speak, it's got the hot pickups and C neck...
     
  6. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    That sounds ridiculous to me. Maybe they were trying to upsell you? I mean, there's an old saying here on TDPRI about the difference between USA and Mexican-made Fenders. It goes something like this:

    Do you want a Mexican-built guitar assembled in Mexico? Get a MIM. Do you want a Mexican-built guitar assembled in the USA? Get an "American" Tele or Strat...
     
  7. sdd28772

    sdd28772 Tele-Meister

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    A player* can make the Telecaster the best sounding guitar regardless of where it's made.
     
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  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wouldn't buy a USA guitar that did not have a nirtro finish.

    I am sure it is a fine guitar, but better value to be had elsewhere if a poly finish is OK.
     
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  9. jackinjax

    jackinjax Friend of Leo's

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    I bought used, one year old American Special off Reverb last night. I'll post a NGD thread with pictures when it arrives.
    Can't wait! :D
     
  10. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I owned a 2014 American Special Tele. The bridge plate and saddles are the same part numbers used on several higher priced USA models. The pickups are USA Custom Shop. The electronics are the same as used on American Standard and other USA models. The Fender/Ping tuners have been used on American Standard models for years and continue to be used on the American Pro Tele and Strat. (FWIW, those F-logo locking tuners are also Fender/Ping).The neck , IMO , is a slightly better shape and feel than the American Standard Teles. Frets are frets..you either love the jumbo's or not. But they were finished excellent. The body is alder, and poly finish was excellent. If you want a nitro finish, buy another at 2x the price. Its a great, legitimate USA made guitar using quality parts, some such as the tuners shared with some Mexican made models which if anything improve the quality standard of those guitars and not diminish the quality of the American Special. I rest my case .
     
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  11. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    I can't comment on the American Special Telecaster but Fender's specs and description Dept. has been a train wreck for the last couple of years.

    http://shop.fender.com/en-US/electr...rican-special-telecaster/product-0115802.html

    Why display a Mustang headstock on a Tele features page ? They don't offer an American Special Mustang ..... what excuse could they offer for that one :confused:

    That's just one example of many. Same deal with many other models including Squiers.
     
  12. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    That finish is Vintage Blonde, not Butterscotch Blonde. It was my preference when I bought mine and it makes for a great looking guitar.
     
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  13. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    No experience with the tele, but I had the hss USA special strat. I didn't love the pickups in it(they were noisy in my house), but the neck I did like. I found the jumbo frets very comfortable and refreshing to play. But, understandably it's not for everyone. Having owned USA standard, deluxe and MIM standard strats, I would say that the USA special is smack dab between the MIM and the USA standard in quality. I'd get another in a heartbeat.
     
  14. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

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    Took the words out of my mouth regarding the authorized dealer wanting to "upsell". To the OP, play one and let us know how you feel about it. I was once told, buy a guitar that feels great under your hands and sounds best to "YOUR" ears. Regardless of what input others have to say!
     
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  15. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Buy one. If you like it. Keep it. If not, sell it. Keep looking, listening.
     
  16. SaintSilas

    SaintSilas Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like the "authorized dealers" were feeding you some BS to get you to buy a more expensive upgrade. The Am Special is a great Tele.
     
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  17. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The AS Tele absolutely IS a real Telecaster! You may not like jumbo frets, slightly wider nut width, or Custom Shop Texas Special pickups, but the American Special Tele is arguably the best bang-for-buck Tele in current production.

    I love mine!
     
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  18. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Holic

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    "You may not like jumbo frets, slightly wider nut width, or Custom Shop Texas Special pickups but"

    Its typical American Telecaster..."Certified Gunslinger". ;)
     
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  19. Zecsson

    Zecsson TDPRI Member

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    I've bought mine brand new american special tele in 2016. After two years, I can't get in enough! I enjoy playing it every day. It's a 3 colour sunburst with rosewood fretboard, and mint green pickguard. With my Vox AC 15C, I don't need any pedal. Perfection! I just love my tele!
    That's mine opinion, and my taste!
     
  20. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Fender's American Special is their cut-rate US line. Gibson has their Studio line and PRS has their S2 line -- they, too, are cut-rate US lines.

    Stop worrying about peoples' consensus over what is "real" or "traditional". Try some out and see which one does it for you.

    It's about making music, not buying marketing fodder.
     
    TLR_ likes this.
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