Product Review: The Fender Spalted Maple Tele


Here’s a mouthful: Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster Spalted Maple HH Electric Guitar. (Say that 10 times as fast as you can without getting tongue tied.) Anyway, it’s my honor and privilege to review this very fine instrument.

Let’s start with its looks. The Spalted Maple Tele is absolutely stunning. Its carved maple top and bound mahogany body make it a work of art. It’s the kind of guitar which improves the ambience of any room it’s in. Hang it on the wall and it becomes a great conversation piece.

But hey, it’s great for playing too. The mahogany neck is very slender, ultra thin, and lightning fast. The rosewood fretboard sports jumbo frets, making string bends effortless. Did I mention that the neck is set, so there’s no annoying heel getting in your way as you play those superfast runs in the upper registers.

For the money this guitar has incredible tone and sustain as well. Loaded with two Seymour Duncan coil tapped humbuckers, this guitar can rock out or mellow out. The coil taps give you just enough finesse to play anything from light jazz to country twang. But when the humbuckers are fully engaged, buckle your seatbelt and get ready for a sonic joy ride. The bridge humbucker is crunchy without sounding thin, while the neck position humbucker gives you plenty of searing blues tone and to spare. You won’t want to put it down.

The only thing negative I have to say about this instrument is that the coil taps are very noisy…to the point of annoying if you don’t have noise reduction to filter it out. Still, at roughly $800 you’re getting your money’s worth. And I should know…I own it.

Leave a Reply