‘Cause there’s more to life than malts…
So. I decided I needed a Telecaster. That’s how the story begins.
When I recently told a mate that I needed a Tele, he asked “besides wanting one, which I totally get, what makes you think you need one?” My reply: “guitar people don’t differentiate between want and need.” To which he immediately shot back: “As soon as I hit send I recognized it was a dumb question.”
I can’t lie: I was on the hunt for something with Classic Tele vibes. You know, three saddle bridge, block body, vintage tuners, 50s pickups, etc. I played a couple and found nothing that really grabbed me. Then the gent at the shop showed me this Fender American Ultra Luxe.
Let me just say it: this thing is an illusion. It looks entirely retro (excepting the aforementioned saddles), but make no mistake, is one badass modern machine. Stainless steel frets, six saddle bridge, compound radius neck (10″-14″), locking tuners, tapered neck heel for comfortable access to the higher frets, S-1 switch in the volume knob to run the single coils in series for a bigger Humbucker sound, noiseless pickups, contoured back makes it a great couch guitar (something Teles have never been). Truly a stunning piece of work.
But anyone can a guitar based on impressive-sounding specs, aye? What it really comes down to is a) feel and b) tone. I’d argue a) is more important. You can always change out electronics, hardware, etc, but you can’t (easily) change the way it feels in your hand. This thing is built for speed and comfort. It’s unquestionably one of the best necks I’ve ever played. And yes…it has all the snap, snarl, quack and twang you’d want in a tele. She’s a beast. And I love ‘er.
I shouldn’t have picked it up. I did look at the price tag before even lifting it off the wall. And still, I picked it up. I’ll not be so gauche as to mention price, but suffice to say, it wasn’t what I was hoping to spend. I went looking to drop about $650. Oops.