Fender Rustic Ash Telecaster: our hands-on review

When we posted a picture of the new Fender Rustic Ash Telecaster on Facebook recently, you liked it. Quite a lot in fact. Given that observation, we thought we should tell you a little more about it…

Fender Rustic Ash Telecaster at Red Dog Music

Looking at the Rustic Ash Telecaster

It’s certainly a bit different from your regular Fender Telecaster. With the woodgrain clearly visible, and feelable, through the thin sonic blue finish to the striking aluminum pickguard, you will get a few glances when you play it out from people thinking, “just what sort of Tele is that?”

Once you get past those two obvious aesthetic changes though, you’re pretty much back in classic Telecaster country. With deluxe staggered tuners and the 6-saddle bridge from the American Standard Tele, this is still a proper Telecaster, although turn it ’round, and there is another thing…

As for how it feels, just like you’d expect a quality Telecaster to feel. The neck feels ‘robust’ without being too chunky, and the satin finish means that moving up and down it isn’t too sticky. Classic Tele really.

Where things to get a bit more interesting is the rear body contour for a bit more comfort. If you’ve played a Strat, you know how comfortable they are. Well, with the Rustic Ash Telecaster, Fender have added a bit of that comfort to the Tele by giving you some of that Strat comfort on the rear of the guitar, without ruining the timeless Tele looks from the front. Nice touch, and perfect for session players with a long day of recording ahead of them…

Listening to the Rustic Ash Telecaster

Make no mistake, when you plug this in, it’s still a Telecaster. Very, clearly, obviously, but believe me, that is a very, very good thing. Telecasters aren’t just about country twang (which of course they can do), but plug in to a nice amp and play and you can get all sorts of tones. I’m more of a fan of the neck pickup to be honest, thick and responsive, offering tones that get close to Les Paul creaminess. I do love a good Tele, and this is one.

Fender Rustic Ash Telecaster at Red Dog Music

Speaking of Telecaster pickups, the Rustic Ash Tele is kitted out with the Texas Special Telecaster Pickups from the Fender Custom Shop. Offering that bit more output and mid-range clarity, these pickups are great for cutting through a mix, or for when you need to push the front end of an amplifier just that bit harder.

I really like the Rustic Ash Telecaster. You may have been able to tell. I wasn’t sure about the finish when I first saw the pictures online, but it really does look pretty good in the flesh. You know what gets me though, I mean, it’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it might bother you, so think carefully…: because the pickguard is metal, if you touch it, it feels a bit cold.

Still really want it though.

Marketing 101 states I should end this blog post with a call-to-action, suggesting that you call in and give it a try, but I’m not going to. All my 50 pence pieces are going in a jar until I’m the person to take it home…

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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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