Fender is the undisputed home of the solid-body electric guitar. You simply can’t go past the trailblazing nature and subsequent longevity of their Tele and Strat models. For 66 years the Tele has been produced in multiple forms, never failing to surprise or surpass its own lofty expectations. It makes complete sense then that Fender would release the Deluxe Nashville Tele – channelling the sounds of Music Row in the home of country music. The guitar represents a total embrace of the typical Telecaster twang and bluesy warmth, with some juicy Strat-like additions.
SUNRISE TO SUNSET
A two-colour sunburst alder body is dressed in a gloss polyester finish, accompanied by a maple, modern C-shape neck, and maple fingerboard. It’s complemented by the noticeable grain of the alder body; visually the guitar captures the romanticism of its country music origin and inspiration. The 12” radius neck is noticeably thin, and the fret size is described as ‘narrow tall’. It’s a smooth, easy-player, with a contoured neck heel and a four-bolt asymmetrical neck plate, ensuring that all 22 frets are well and truly in play. The 12” radius fingerboard is, in turn, considerably flat and easy to traverse.
There’s no doubting that this is an all-round player, made for high velocity leads, winding bends, and resolute rhythm where you can really grab a hold of the neck. Other aesthetic attributes include the nickel/chrome hardware, classic knurled flattop control knobs and a three-ply black/white/black pickguard, all of which add to the guitar’s character.
A SLICE OF TELE WITH A SPRINKLE OF STRAT
There’s no going past the three-pickup design of the Deluxe Nashville Tele. At the bridge and neck are Vintage Noiseless Tele pickups, while in the middle position sits a Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup. The five-way pickup selector and controls for master volume and master tone are your gateway to these highly responsive pickups – a sonic door that leads to classic Tele twang and brightness, with bumped up sustain and enriched tonal depth.
On the bridge pickup the expressive nature of the highs and mids really come to the fore. With some added reverb you can produce some sweet and subtle highs made for fingerpicking and shimmering notes. However, the versatile nature of the guitar allows for greater attack as well, and for richly cutting and more angular passages – that classic piercing Tele tone with a great response.
On the middle position the Strat pickup is used exclusively to create a buttery clean, with warmth and brightness. By adding a slight amount of overdrive you can dial in a nice hazy crunch and colouration, but it’s also great for clean lead. At position five the bridge pickup harnesses the guitar’s significantly rich tone, producing a lush articulation that welcomes OD for a warm crunch, and is sonically thicker than your average Tele.
It’s hard to go past a Tele – and even harder to go past one with an added Strat pickup. This guitar bridges the gap between Fender’s two foundational pieces, successfully capturing that lively country twang with deeper tonal parameters. With the possible exception of metal, this is a worthy choice of weapon for just about every genre.
Hits and Misses
The three-pickup design is an absolute win It’s an abundantly rewarding playing experience Guitar looks the part Affordable price
A hardcase would be nice