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Guitar of the Week

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When Leo Fender introduced the original $169 “plank body” Telecaster in 1950, even he had no idea that more than half a century later, there would be so many different incarnations of this guitar. For Leo, a Tele with the standard blonde finish and a black or white pickguard probably seemed like all a guitar player might want or even need. And once the company introduced Custom Colors, you can bet he believed there was no need to come up with additional variations. Yes, over the years there were small upgrades to the Tele, but so brilliant was the overall design that today’s Tele isn’t all that different from the original. The Fender Classic Player Baja Telecaster is the brainchild of Custom Shop builders Dennis Galuzka, Gregory Fessler and Chris Fleming, who put together specs for their own “dream Tele” and to no one’s surprise, it looks very much like the Telecaster that was hanging in music stores in the 1950s. Such vintage masterpieces now cost a king’s ransom, but here’s your chance to own a truly extraordinary guitar without taking on a second job.

The Classic Player Baja Tele starts with a solid ash body and then it gets pretty much the same classic blonde finish as the 1950s Teles got, as well as the single-ply black pickguard (which was changed to white in 1955). It has a vintage-style three saddle string-thru-body Tele bridge and two Custom Shop single coil pickups: a Twisted Tele in the neck position and a Broadcaster reissue in the bridge. All of this is connected using a custom wiring setup that includes a 4-position blade switch and a 2-position S-1 switch, giving this vintage-looking beauty access to sounds even Leo never dreamed of. The trademark Fender maple neck and fingerboard have the popular soft “V” shape and a satin polyester finish, while a “Custom Shop Designed” neckplate proves you are playing a guitar that could please even the most jaded Tele lover. But the most surprising part of the whole package is the price: just $799.99, which includes a heavily padded deluxe gig bag. Your Sweetwater Sales Engineer will be more than happy to give you additional information or take your order for a Classic Player Baja Telecaster.

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