Telecasters are guitars which have their roots solidly in the 1950s, usually offering guitarists an superb all-round vintage-inspired instrument. This is not true with the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus — in actuality, the title says it all! While it does not fully shun its legacy, this Tele comes loaded with some modern upgrades that make it even more powerful and flexible. Sounds great to us! Let us take a closer look…
Body And Neck
While the hardware in particular gives this version its modern feel, the total design is timeless Telecaster. It sports the classic single-cutaway shape, with the entire body made from solid walnut — a lesser-seen wood, but one which is actually pretty great for contributing warmth to the tone. This comes with a couple finishes — Honey Burst or Charcoal Transparent — which both show off the appealing, tight grain of walnut.
The playability of this Modern Player Tele is just one of the reasons we urge it as a great guitar for beginners. To keep the prices low, this version is made in Fender’s Chinese mill, although the craftsmanship is very commendable — hardly any flaws in the fit and finish.
Onto the primary event! Straying from the tried-and-tested duo of all single-coils, this Telecaster sport three pickups. In the trunk you’ll come across a conventional Telecaster single-coil, before the appearance of a Stratocaster single-coil at the center. Just once you think it can not get uncontrollable, in comes a humbucker at the bridge. This unlikely trio proves a very versatile combo, as we discuss below. Adding to the versatility is a mini toggle to coil-split that the humbucker, sandwiched between master volume and master tone knobs, as well as a five-way selector change.
The rest of the hardware is free from surprises. There’s a typical set of sealed chrome didie castuners on the headstock, a vintage-style string-through-body fixed bridge with six saddles, and a synthetic bone nut — all contributing to good tuning stability and sustain.
With the addition of three very different pickups — and coil-splitting for the humbucker — the tonal flexibility on this Tele is huge. Actually, there aren’t many tones you can not locate. Obviously, the Tele single-coil in the neck provides the more traditional twang you’d crave from a Telecaster (even if it is somewhat weak concerning power). There’s more sparkle and bite in the middle Strat pickup, whereas the humbucker adds yet another dimension, providing you more dirt and beef for everything from classic rock to modern metal.
The Modern Player Telecaster Plus certainly won’t appeal to everyone — especially Telecaster purists. However, for such an affordable genuine Fender, the playability is great, it looks fantastic, and there is a lot of tone and flexibility on offer.