Submitted October 31, 2020 by Joe Griego in Bishop, CA
"Amazing intstrument - I LOVE this guitar!"
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
So, I had to sell my old American Standard tele for rent money over 30 years ago, and always regretted that decision. I chose the American Ultra as my reentry into the Telecaster fold, and WOW, is this an incredible guitar. The appointments are all top notch, with flawless fit and finish.What I love: 1) The neck. The modern "D" shape is incredibly comfortable. Not too thick, not too thin, it's a perfect blend for the modern player. the satin finish is super silky. Fender locking tuners keep the strings in perfect tune, and the aged maple, with gold logo lettering is gorgeous, and I am loving the return of rosewood as a fretboard material. The rolled edges and frets make this a player's dream. A 10" to 14" compound radius makes moving up and down the neck effortless. Once you pick it up to play, you won't want to put it back down. I keep picking it up to play every spare moment, because it is THAT comfortable to play.2) New body shape is like a classic mullet; all business in front, party in the back. From the front, it looks like a classic Telecaster. The binding sets off the Texas Tea color beautifully. But the back sports a nice body cut, and there's a tapered neck joint, and deep scoop-cut where the neck meets the body, for easy access to the higher frets. And the color? Pictures do NOT do justice to the finish. As you may know, "Texas tea" is slang for "oil." The body looks black in neutral light, but shine it up with lights, and you'll see greens, golds, and browns that flow like oil across your eyeballs. It's fantastic.3) Electronics. I love the Fender Noiseless v5 vintage-voiced pickups. They're not for everyone, as they are not *exactly* the vintage tone, but I love noiseless pickups. I have the old Fender Lace sensors in my Strat Plus, so I'm used to them. I'm definitely a fan. The S-1 switch is well nigh invisible in the volume know (push the top to engage), and that gives you a fatter, pseudo-humbucker tone as it puts the neck and bridge pickups in series, when th swith is in the middle position. The switch does nothing in the neck-pickup or bridge-pickup only position.What I DON'T like:1) Honestly, there isn't much to dislike. If there was one thing I *might* change, it's the pickguard. The brushed aluminum pickguard looks great, but the texture takes some getting used to. I think it's growing on me, but if there's one thing I might do, it's change the pickguard to an aged pearloid one, which I think would set off the Texas Tea color nicely.It's my first ever online guitar purchase, and dealing with Zzounds was good. My Apple Card initially got denied, since it was a large purchase amount. Once I got that squared away, it was shipped quickly, and arrived in good order. They do NOT do any setup - the guitar just ship in the manufacturer's original box, which is packed inside a bigger Zzounds box. I'm glad they do this, as there was a big gash in the exterior box,, which would have marred the case if it had just been the Fender box alone.I did have to adjust the intonation, and tweak the bridge saddle height to suit me, but that was easily done. The American Ultra ships with an excellent hard shell case, and includes a Fender-branded truss rod allen wrench, as well as a small allen wrench to adjust the bridge saddles. They also include Fender-branded strap locks, which I'm pretty sure are Schaller brand, re-branded with the Fender logo. They installed easily on a black leather Levy strap I also bought from Zzounds.The neck shipped with perfect neck relief, so no truss rod adjustment was required.You really can't go wrong with the American Ultra Telecaster. It's a beautifully made instrument, and plays even better than it looks. Sure, it's not cheap. But once I picked it up and started playing, well, I can't even remember what it cost. I'm lost in the joy of playing this wonderful guitar.
Rock, country, blues, punk, whatever.
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