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Rating and Reviews: Fender Empress Telecaster

Great for old-school guitar enthusiasts, this lightweight, empress wood Telecaster from Fender is sure to stand out in any guitar collection.

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"Outstanding, unique telecaster" submitted June 20, 2013

By Matthew Laird in Pea Ridge, AR
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I've played for 20 years, I have seventeen guitars at the moment that run the gamut from Robin to Gibson to Fender to Schecter
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Rockabilly, Funk, really everything but rap.
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Overall: I started playing guitar twenty years ago. My first electric guitar was a Japanese Fender 1983 top loading telecaster. Since then, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for telecasters. I own another one that has been heavily modified and plays like a dream. I have always been in the market for a USA Fender Telecaster and I am glad that I waited and purchased this one. I unpacked it and it was about a half step flat but after tuning the setup from the factory was amazing. I went over it with a careful attention to detail and there was not a single finish flaw, every fret was polished smooth and immaculate. The Vintage White finish is flawless and perfect on the example that I received. The gloss fretboard and satin neck are pleasing to the eye, feel great and play like butter. I am not sure I like the new Fender standard cases but they are most definitely robust and will protect the guitar. I got spoiled with the G&G cases. The first thing I noticed is how light this guitar was. The second is how well it rings and sustains acoustically. I was already impressed. Then I plugged into my Vibro-lux Reverb and played away. I could not get a bad sound out of the guitar. It chorded with big, ringing chimey-ness that put a smile on my face. The bridge quacks and clucks, the neck finds a mellow blue note tone and the middle just brings it all together. I cranked up the amp and overdrove it a bit and it snapped and snarled and played nice chunky rhythm. The lead tones could cut through anything but did not have a pitch that would make the ears bleed like some of the alder bodied examples sometimes do. Other than the normal hum one comes to expect and love from single coils (and there was not much hum to speak of even at high volumes, this baby is pretty quiet) there was no noise at all, no popping or cracking with the pickup selector moving and no scratchiness in the volume or tone pot. New guitars can sometimes do that until they get settled into being used. Both functioned remarkably and make the instrument very responsive. I ran it through my Mesa Boogie F-50 and loved it even more. This Telecaster is a great guitar, most definitely worth the money I spent and will fit the bill no matter what style of music I decide to play with it. I am completely happy and impressed with it. I would recommend one to anyone who is thinking of getting one of these limited production Tele-bration guitars.
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