This is a follow up to the Telecaster article I did a few months back. That was very popular and also as you probably know last year was the Fender Telebration year – the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Fender Telecaster. So why write this article now? Well I was looking through the Fender site and it seems like as the launch of these limited edition guitars was staggered through the year that only half of them are now shown on the official Fender page! So if you go and look up Fender Telebration now you will be missing half of them or just have to look at some online store which has sold out of this and that model but still has the pictures up there on their website.
That’s not a very satisfactory way of doing things so I thought I would gather here all the pictures of all the models that were made available. There were 12 models in all, I thought I’d found 13 but it seemed like while many of them were available in only one colour/finish a few of the models actually had a choice of finish/colour.
As Fender themselves said; these are all original guitars designed within the Telecaster shape. So we have lots of different woods on show here, quite a wide variety, a lot of them you don’t often see in guitars. So it was great to see the Fender Telebration models made of pine and bamboo (bamboo sandwiching alder). While those two woods are rare in guitar construction others are rare in Telecaster construction like the mahogany body Telecaster and the Rosewood/Spruce laminate version. Another unusual wood used in this series of guitars is that of the Empress Tree, which is a particularly light tonewood used traditionally in construction of the Japanese Koto. The Empress Telecaster is available in two colours – honeyburst and white. Personally I like my guitars heavy, lightness isn’t something I look for when perusing the guitar emporiums.
As well as the woods there are a lot of pickup variations on offer which I assume were chosen to combine well and offer a good variety of sounds from this famous tone machine. Among the usual suspects of vintage and hot single coils we have a couple of humbuckers in the mix, sometimes in the neck or in the bridge position. The Cabronita version looks very different; only it seems that the body shape remains, the control plate, bridge, scratchplate and pickups are all uncharacteristically Telecaster. The TV Jones pickups are supposed to be a good combination in this model according to several discussion forums.
My favourite models I think would be the Telebration Cabronita or the Mahogany version for rock tones. The others are similar to Teles you can buy any year… If I had to choose my least favourite it would be the Old Pine model. Here is a marketing quote that is supposed to stir you up or inspire you or something?; “This Tele is made from Old Pine salvaged from a barn over 100 years old in Indiana.” Just think – IKEA was founded nearly 70 years ago, Fender could’ve made a Swedish pine Telebration model 🙂 What are your favourite and least favourite variations? Please leave a comment below!