The Fender Telecaster Elite series was the top of the line range that was launched in 1983 and sadly was short lived as they were discontinued in 1984 when CBS sold Fender to the management buyout. The 1983 Fender catalogue proudly boasts of the guitar’s many advances: “Elite Series instruments incorporate no fewer than 14 new patent-pending inventions by Fender. This alone lends substance to our belief that the rest of the industry will be years in catching up with Elite technology.” All this adds up to one hell of a guitar.
This guitar is totally original and is from the first year of production. This is a well cared for guitar and has been my main guitar for recording over the years. Tonally it is slightly brighter than the other Telecaster Elite that I own. Dan Smith said at the launch that the Telecaster Elite was aimed to pick up some of the Gibson players. The neck is made of maple with rosewood board and Elite Tele necks featured a Bi-flex truss rod, jumbo frets, and a 12″ radius fretboard. What I like the most is the necks, the 12 inch radius and the soft “V” profile makes this a very fast and easy to play.
The pickups are mini humbucking, noise-cancelling pickups with alnico 2 magnets, active TBX and MDX tone controls capable of creating fat humbucking and cutting single-coil sounds. The special tone circuit using the TBX and MDX (Tone bass expander and mid boost control) which can change the tone of the guitar while also functioning as part of a noise reduction system. These system Fender continue to use on the current Eric Clapton Strats.
The Elite has a Gibson-style 3-way toggle switch and easy grip serrated rubber inserts on the knobs. The bridge is a heavy cast 6-saddle top-loading bridge which makes it easy to change strings. This guitar also has a bound top on a alder body. The neck is perfect with no dents or chips and the frets show slight wear. The body has slight buckle rash on the back of the body
The guitar is in totally excellent collectable condition and you will not find a nicer 33 year old example. Sound wise this is simply one great playing and sounding Telecaster. It can provide all the classic telecaster sounds with most of the humbucking sounds that you may need thrown in. Due to the sounds available this guitar is very flexible tonally and well worth adding to your guitar collection.