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Fender Telecaster

 American Telecaster
Fender American Telecaster

What's the Difference between the Fender Esquire and a Telecaster?

The Esquire was the original name for what is now called the Telecaster. It was the first solid body electric guitar made and was built in 1949. The name was changed from Esquire to Broadcaster in 1950 which was when the guitar actually went into production. At the time many other Guitar Manufacturers actually called the guitar a Canoe Paddle or snow shovel. Today Fender still makes the Esquire and the Nocaster (Broadcaster with the 'Broad' scratched off read below) as reissue guitars.

The early test versions of the guitar used headstocks from Fenders lap steel guitars which has 3 tuners on each side. The production version had a new headstock that featured all six tuners on one side of the neck. This allowed the strings to align themselves in a straight line. Remember this guitar was made before the Stratocaster in 1949. In 1949, 11 Communists were found guilty of conspiracy to overthrow government, USSR tests its first atomic bomb and Miles Davis came out with 'The Birth of the Cool'.

Some of the early pre-production Esquires had one single coil pickup and no truss-rod which were made in mid 1950. There were some that had two pickups, similar to the actual Telecaster of today. In early 1951 the production model of the Esquire had a single pickup with a truss rod. Fender added a truss rod to the two single coil pickup version in late 1950 and changed the name to the Broadcaster. The name 'Broadcaster' didn't last very long because Gretsch, who makes guitars and drums, complained because they had a drum product named 'Broadcaster'.

For Guitar Collectors: At the time Fender obviously thought they where going to manufacture a number of 'Broadcasters' and had decals made with the words 'Fender Broadcaster'. Since they couldn't use the 'Broadcaster' word they simply applied the full decal and then scratched off the 'Broacaster' part. These guitars are called NOCASTERS and are highly looked for and are collector items. They will do nothing but go up in value. They were only made for a few months in early 1951. By April of that year the name Telecaster finally appeared. The Telecasters today are very similar to the ones made back in the day. There are some versions that are made for vintage guitar collectors.

One of the main points about Fender guitars at this time is they were really a no frills guitar. The body was basically a piece of wood and wasn't hand carved like say the Gibson Archtops were. They had only what they needed and this was to keep the price down as low as possible. The original Telecaster sold for under $200 dollars which was a lot at the time.

The methods of manufacturing allow gave the guitars a more consistent sound. The Gibson Archtops had a warm and rich tone while the Fenders, both tele and strat, had a much brighter tone with lots of attack and not as much sustain. Fender started there own distribution company in 1953 (Fender Sales).

 

  Standard Telecaster
Fender Standard Telecaster
The Standard edition is a pure and simple guitar design that has worked for decades. Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Howe and many others have used this guitar on countless of unforgetable hits. The guitar has two single coils pickups with a 3-way switch that have been standard on this tele.

  American Telecaster
American Telecaster
The American has Deltatone pickups and deluxe hardware, but the body is now made of non-veneer ash or alder for more resonance and tone.

 American Deluxe Telecaster
The American Deluxe was first introduced in January of 2004. It features the famous body; S-1 pickup switching, Tortoise Shell Binding, ‘C’ Shaped Neck, 22 Medium Jumbo Frets, Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Tele Pickups, and Chrome plated Brass Saddles.

 

 

Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline
Fender '72 Deluxe Telecaster
The Deluxe model is re-issue made to specifications of 1972 version. This is one of Fender’s ‘Classic’ guitars and is Mexican made.

Fender Telecaster Highway One
The Highway One Tele is one of the least expensive American made teles currently made. This is a great guitar the professional or intermediate player.

Fender Nashville Power Telecaster
Introduced in July 1991 the Nashville Power is one of the more versatile sounding Fender guitars. It a Deluxe Series guitar that features the Fender/Fishman power bridge as well as a Stratocaster type pickup arrangement with a 5-way pickup selector.