Bruce Stringkiller's Telecaster Shootout

The Fender Telecaster was the first mass produced electric guitar in 1952. It is a tribute to the designers (Leo Fender of Fender guitars and then of G&L before his death) and original builders that this model and design of guitar is still so popular at the end of the 20th century. To view a specific guitar click on the thumbnail.

Five Telecaster type guitars - which one is the best?

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout - Bodies and pickups

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout - Neck Pick up

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout - Pickups

Stringkiller Telecaster shootout - Neck body joint

Stringkiller Telecaster shootout - Pegheads

Stringkiller Telecaster shootout - Here I am having a nice Sunday morning at home !

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout links to each of the 5 contestants !

Click under this paragraph if you wish to hear each one of these Telecasters.
I recorded this in my living room, thank you family for your kind understanding!
The amplifier used is a 28.8k modem stream Mesa Boogie Subway Blues on about Volume two, with all the other settings around 5 (or 12 o'clock) with a little Walkman. The link takes you where it is the first picture on a Dr Pickup concert page. (Using a Paul Reed Smith Guitar - but as you can hear that's another story!). Unfortunately it would be nice to also put each of these exceptional guitars through their paces on amplifiers set to 'crunch' and set to 'full overdrive' or 'scream'.
June 99. I have added concert links for the Tom Anderson, for the Fender 52 RI and the Fender 62 Custom RI. Right click to open in a new window while you continue your Telecasting pleasure.
The little tune is something I promised I would write for a friend of mine in the USA. It is called Dan's tune and I hope you like it. I felt that the chords, which included some open strings gave a good idea of each guitars sound and of the sounds of the individual pickups.

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout - The five contestants.

Tom Anderson Hollow T 1994
Fender Telecaster 52 Reissue model (1990)
Thibaut's Telecaster 1999
Fender Telecaster Custom 62 Reissue model
G&L ASAT Early 90s model

Stringkiller's Telecaster shootout conclusions.

Every one of the these guitars is a gem. As with everything in life, everybody has different tastes and goes through different phases but as of February 1999 the order above is my own personal order. The Tom Anderson is really a special instrument but so are each of the others. The G&L ASAT has a super sound for slide or for dirty blues type things, The 62 Custom reissue has a lovely neck and a great feel. Thib's Tele has a lovely neck and as with all these Telecaster's sounds fantastic before you have even plugged it in and with other pickups (to my taste -but luckily we're all different) it would come closer to getting my sound . The 62 Custom is destined for Joe Barden pickups and I 'm sure will go up in the ratings. The 52 reissue is the guitar I can get any sounds out of whenever needed and that makes it an old favourite.
Also a word for some of the other Telecasters that I have owned over the years. I don't really see myself as owning any of these wonderful instruments but as their current loving caretaker.

'Sparkle' I have already told you about, 'Dustbin' is featured elsewhere on the Dr Pickup web site. My first decent Electric Guitar, as you have probably guessed, was a White 1966 rosewood neck Fender Telecaster that I bought for the astronomical sum of 80 from Anderson's in Guilford (which apparently is still going). I had refinished in Kenya 5 years later before selling it to pay for my first trip to the USA so no regrets - just a great memory and I'm sure I'll bump into it again. This is a link to some of these guitars - the second page of the Dream Guitars part of the web site

Among Stringkiller's Favourite Telecaster users .

First and foremost Jesse Edwin Davis on the first Taj Mahal album. Look if this one of the main guys to inspire Duane Allman to start playing slide you have to hear what he can put down. Danny Gatton and Tom Principato on Blazing Telecaster's, Jimmy Page on the first two Led Zeppelin numbers (and in concert), Roy Buchanan and his crying and screaming tones, Muddy Waters on everything he ever played -most of the electric stuff was his Telecaster, Robbie Robertson of the Band on the first few Band albums, Keith Richards who you might have heard of !, Albert the 'Iceman' Collins whose tone is so recognisable. Steve Cropper and his tasteful fills and backing of all the Stax artists from Otis Redding to Albert King, Mike Bloomfield, Amos Garret .
To finish this brief list the other guitarist in the initial Dr Pickup band Robert Pioneer, who is also a Tele freak and general guitar lover - I wonder where his Fender Telecaster set neck would have scored in the shootout. When I have the time I look around on the net and put up some links to these guys albums and to other sites that deal with this kind of stuff.
Of course a page on this subject could not be complete without mention of the Hellcasters - three cool and crazy gifted guitarists who really inject some fun into their albums. If you have not heard these guys now is the time :-)

More cool information on Telecasters

Zen Pharaohs of Ultimate Love A very cool web site, this is the Telecaster link.

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1998. Reposted 2002/2009