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June 2017 Giveaway

Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus - Charcoal Transparent with Maple Fingerboard Reviews

4.5 stars based on 24 customer reviews
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Questions about the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus - Charcoal Transparent with Maple Fingerboard?

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  • from PA June 20, 2017

    Fantastic Fender

    Since I purchased my new Tele, I now sound just like David Gilmour!

  • from CA June 6, 2017

    Must have a tele !

    This is my first Telecaster. Also my first maple neck. Loved the brightness of these sweet pickups immediately. But lack sustain of most strats. Seems no loss of quality for an instrument made in China. Superb action. Pine body is an experiment to me. We'll see, but has the right weight and density for tele sound. Simply said this is my go to instrument for what I'm doing at this time. Love it ! Oh, the humbucker splitting pot is an added plus.

  • from Greenville NC April 17, 2017


    My first electric guitar. I usually play acoustic but I loved it.

  • from January 21, 2017Music Background:

    Best guitar I ever owned

    Ive been playing for 15 years and had a lot of guitars over the years. For me, this one beats them all even ones triple the price. It feels great, sounds great and it came set up PERFECTLY. Great tone and sustain even with stock pickups. Dont be fooled by the price and being made in china. Feels like a $ tele! Amazing. Buy now.

  • from Council Bluffs, IA December 1, 2016

    Great sounding guitar for the price

    I wanted a tele to ad to my collection without breaking the bank and I'm not disappointed. Plays like a MIA and looks fantastic. Thanks again Jason Coons!!!!! Sweetwater staff is the best

  • from 49024 December 18, 2015Music Background:
    7 string guitarist, composer, performer, gear fiend!

    Versatile tele indeed!

    I tried one and liked the configuration of the pickups. I would drop the boost for a coil tap. I was curious about this guitar for a while. I tested it through an Orange Dark Micro Terror with the small Orange cab. I got some nice tones from the guitar and amp choice. I would love to see a 7 string version of this guitar. The price is decent for this guitar. I did not see a coil split option on the guitar I tried.

  • from 49024 December 18, 2015Music Background:
    7 string guitarist, composer, performer, gear fiend!

    Versatile tele indeed!

    I tried one and liked the configuration of the pickups. I would drop the boost for a coil tap. I was curious about this guitar for a while. I tested it through an Orange Dark Micro Terror with the small Orange cab. I got some nice tones from the guitar and amp choice. I would love to see a 7 string version of this guitar. The price is decent for this guitar.

  • from Nashville, TN October 19, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar player 13+ years, Harmonica player 6+ years. Rock, Blues, Country, Funk, etc.

    Sweet player

    Lots of bang for the buck in this axe! Nice buttery neck that one would expect from a Tele. The Pine body gets knocked by some people, but I can assure you- the roof over your head is built from less quality pine than this guitar haha. It's solid- a noticeable heavy but not overbearing at all. Nice tight grain, and the Charcoal transparent is gorgeous with the chrome trims. The burst finish looks great too but I preferred this one. The pickup options cover just about every tone you'd need, for most genres. I'd have given it a full 5 stars but I think the pickups are a little "weak"... mostly the humbucker. Also a significant volume drop on the split coil- but that just seems the nature of this feature, from the different guitars I've tried. Maybe just not for my taste. Love the neck p'up and the Strat in the middle is nice to have. Between the 5-way switching and Tone knob you can really milk out a lot of sounds and tones. Great player for this price!
    And give Alden Debee a call at ext 1636. Great Sales Engineer and a pleasure to do business with!

  • from Grants, NM October 15, 2015

    Review Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus - Charcoal Transparent

    Very nice, versatile tele! Good workmanship (China).
    I setup to my liking. Only bad thing is a static noise from pickguard which I understand should go away with use...? Other than that, I'm totally satisfied. Great customer service at Sweetwater. I'll do most of my shopping with them.

  • from October 2, 2015

    Modern Player Telecaster Plus

    I was very excited to get this guitar, having been looking at this model for a long time. The body and neck are fantastic.

    I'm a little disappointed int the humbucker as it is a bit weak.

    The tuners aren't the best either, but I've never cared for the classic style tuners.

    Overall this is a good value and great platform for upgrades.

  • from SWCO June 17, 2015

    Incredibly Versatile!

    I bought this guitar on a bit of a whim about a year ago and have been loving it ever since. I changed out the bridge pick up (it was kind of cheesy) to a lace dually green/purple and changed out the coil splitting switch to a 3 position switch that allows me to play the green side, the purple side, or together as a hum bucker. So many crazy tones out of this guitar now.

    Plays incredibly well. I was blown away at how nice this guitar was for the low price!! Really I was not expecting it to be so nice. Of course Sweetwater did a great job setting it up and their service is unparalleled (Thanks Mike!)

    If you're thinking about getting this guitar, just go ahead and get it. Its a great little player. And for $100 to replace the bridge pickup it really takes it to the next level.

  • from United States April 18, 2015Music Background:
    Keep a band together for years in my younger days

    Finder Modern Player Telecaster Plus

    I have had this guitar about two months and really love it. I am thinking about giving this one to my
    son which can play just about anything he picks up and buy me another one. The neck is perfect
    you can adjust it easy for any style picking you do. If you're wanting a guitar to play this is it .
    AND LOOK AT THE PRICE I bet you spend more than that going out to eat each week,

  • from Port Washington Wisconsin April 5, 2015Music Background:
    Lead guitarist composer for over 50 years

    Pleasent Surprise

    I own several Stratocasters and the new Gibson Les Paul Deluxe but I didn't have a Telecaster till I seen this offered, after it arrived I immediately plugged it in surprisingly it was in tune! had to be a fluke I thought and equally surprised with the playability and tones I was able to get and very happy with the good service and follow up from Sweetwater I have recomended this to several musician friends hopefully a left handed model will be made available for one of my students who would love to one one.

  • from Missouri March 16, 2015Music Background:
    50 yr pro

    nice guitar

    The fit and finish are perfect. The neck has some visual burl in it, highly desirable and unusual in this price range. Good playing feel. The "transparent" finish is pretty dark, appears black from a distance, but up close the grain shows through nicely.

    At first I thought the tuners were not holding, but I think the very light strings were just continually stretching. I replaced them with some slightly heavier ones (10-46), pre-stretched them, and the tuners seem to be holding well. A few tweaks of the truss rod to compensate for the increased string tension and the humidity of my area, and it plays great.

    Quite a combination of sounds from the pickups, some of the positions hum, some don't, but that's not a flaw, just laws of physics in certain wiring combinations. Still experimenting, not sure if I will swap out any pickups or change any wiring/switching orders. I want to familiarize myself more with the stock version and its possibilities. Excellent value, fun to play, cool looking, versatile, economical; a keeper.

  • from Batesville AR USA December 27, 2014Music Background:
    Songwriting, guitar off n on for 35 + years.....

    A pro guitar at a beginers price

    I will not claim that I know all there is to know about Fenders,Tele's, Strat,s or elect guitars in general for I am mainly an acoustic player....but the versatility and tone and should I mention the price? The guitar is more than fine right out of the box, it's excellent...yes you can (and I might) go ahead and mod it out with other pickups you feel are lacking, change the strings to your preferred or whatever, I for the time being let the Modern Player do the initial work and when needed I use whatever external effects and or processing I feel I need or what for the occasion, and I'm set...I even run this thru my Zoom A3 and Peavey Vypyr VIP3 for some incredible acoustic sounds.....does feel odd to get an more than acceptable acoustic guitar sound while holding an electric guitar, but I'll get use to it eventually....

  • from Texas December 7, 2014Music Background:
    garage band

    Fantastic Instrument

    Read the rave reviews on this guitar, scratched my head and thought, how could it be? A chinese fender tele? I now own 15 guitars due to one review that stated, "... tired of people calling this guitar good for the money - it's just a great guitar period." I bought it and have played it for a few days and couldn't agree more. Beautiful (quality) and versatile - 5 way switch with the option of splitting the humbucker gets you pretty much any sound you want. Love the middle (strat) and neck (tele) together and the bridge as a single coil and middle (strat) together. Other positions isolating pickups sound as you'd expect. The next road trip with the family will include this guitar and a 15 watt Peavy Vypyr mod amp - that's it. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.

  • from Ohio December 6, 2014Music Background:
    Have played in bands in the past but just play for fun now.

    Great Guitar but.....

    This is a great guitar for the money but it does have one flaw. The height adjustment screws on the bridge are so short, that it's impossible to get the fret buzz adjusted out of the fret board. Also, while this is probably the most versatile pickup configuration in a Tele ever,(you can even play heavy metal on it) if you want that traditional Telecaster sound, this just sort of falls short. It will put out about every other sound you can think or except ironically a Telecaster sound. That really didn't matter when I bought it but now that I'm getting older, I'd like to trade this thing off for a Squier Classic VIbe Telecaster for a more traditional sound at a great price. Also, the Squier doesn't have the bridge issues this thing has.

  • from Washington, DC July 10, 2014Music Background:

    Would pay 3 times as much for this guitar

    I cannot believe the play-ability of this guitar. The slim D neck plays amazing and the response of the pickups via the single volume control let you go from slightly dirty to full blown blues. Combined with the 3 pickup choices and the unlimited combinations this guitar is worth much much more.

  • from virginia June 23, 2014Music Background:
    pro musician

    Best decision ever

    So last year I went to a ZZ Top concert and really loved his guitar! (Especially after me and my buddy got pulled on stage haha!) He was playing an all purple Tele STYLE with only on humbucker in it. It was probably a week after that concert that I decided I needed to get my self one. Needless to say I bought this. At first just the looks pulled me in, and then I played it. It is by far the most comfortable guitar to play that I own, and we have a gibson les paul... too heavy haha, and a 50th anniversery startocaster. It has the pine wood, and it has the glossy neck which I wasn't crazy about at first but now its great, the lipstick tube original tele pick up, a decent single coil, and the humbucker. Now I'll be honest. At first, I liked the humbucker I think just because i wanted too like it. But after playing it for a while, I realized it was pretty thin and flat sounding. I replaced it for a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates (like Billy Gibbons!) Now the things a freaking beast. But over all this is my favorite guitar I own, and it's the only guitar I perform with now. If you have any extra money, go ahead and make the best choice of your life haha!

  • from San Antonio, Texas April 1, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Guitarist for 20yrs, Pro Musician, Instructor etc.

    Fantastic Telecaster for a friendly price.

    I fell in love with this guitar when I was shopping for another telecaster. About 6 months ago, I decided I wanted a very traditional style tele. I narrowed it down to two options, the American Special or the American reissue. Both because they have the traditional ashtray bridge and brass barrell saddles, which all add together to formulate that classic tele twang. Some of the newer models have some classic tele features and sound, but those two harken back to the teles of yesteryear most accurately in my book. I ended up choosing the American special, for its great price tag, its lack of comfort cuts, which allows the tele to have more mass as the older teles did. It's a brick for sure, but it plays and sounds great. It has jumbo frets and came with texas special picktups which aren't bad at all, but were switched out for a pair of fralin split blades due to my personal preferences. All of that to explain the first time I played the Modern Player Tele:

    It had just gotten in to my local shop when I was looking for my american tele, so I picked it up and played it and was impressed. It hadn't been tagged or priced yet, so I was surprised twice by the cost AND the fact that its chinese made. I went back two months later after a good month at work, as my bonus cash was burning a hole in my pocket. I knew exactly what guitar i wanted in the $400 price range: The Modern Player Tele Plus! So far, It's a great buy.

    It has a pine body (which is a good thing according to tele/esquire enthusiasts). It has the comfort cuts I typically shy away from, but in this instance, the body mass still seems to be quite resonant and heavy (A plus for me once again). The pickup routing is well thought out and the 5 way switch and coil tap switch illicit a plethora of tones from an otherwise unsuspecting instrument. I'll come back to the pickups themselves in a second. The finish I opted for is the charcoal transparent. The top is very nice and the finish itself is well done with no runs and doesn't reek of CHICOM cheapness as do many others in it's price range. The vintage tint gloss nitro finished neck feels just wide enough for me, but manuererable enough to burn some serious licks off: Its worth mentioning that the Jumbo frets don't make the process any harder either and will appeal to your inner Yngwie. I gave this guitar 5 stars because for the price, it's simply loaded with features typically saved for more expensive instruments.

    The pickups are the only thing I don't consider excellent about the guitar, but as a whole, theyre still GOOD in my book. The neck pickup to me is the best of the bunch, with deep bell like chime, throaty mids and sufficient but not overbearing lows come across in an intelligible manner. For now, the MODERN PLAYER neck pickup isn't getting replaced, even though I typically opt for noiseless style circuits.

    The Middle, seemingly "strat-like" pickup is not bad at all, but I found certian things about it lacking. It's pretty well balanced between lows, mids, and High, with a noticable spike in the previously mentioned "Throaty" mids that the neck pickups has. To me, I'd like somthing a bit more defined in the middle to bridge the gap between the Bridge pickup's hi's and twang (in single coil mode) and the Neck Pickup's
    lush yet defined low mids and mids. So in my guitar I've replaced the Modern Player Middle pickup with a Dimarzio AREA 67 which to me is a good middle ground between the two, noiseless, and brings forth a bit more output and pick dynamics.

    Lastly, I'm sorry to say that I didn't like the guitar 100% stock ONLY because I'm not impressed with the modern player humbucker. It sounds OK in singlecoil when tapped, but with both coils engaged, it sounds loose on the low end, harsh on the high, and undefined on the mids. As you'll read here, some people don't agree with this analysis, so decide for yourself. I personally replaced the bridge pickup in my Modern Player tele with a Dimarzio 36th Anniversery PAF in zebra/creme exposed coils with black hex poles and I LOVE it. It roars in humucker mode, and when coil tapped, its punchy, twangy and dynamic to the pick attack. It fixed the one and only "problem" I found with this guitar.

    The guitar shipped with a crummy set up, but honestly I saw through that, and remedied it easily and quickly. Even with the initial lackluster setup job, and the Bridge humbucker that I found rather unsuitable for my needs, I loved everything about else the guitar and could tell it'd be a monster player with a proper setup, clean up, new strings, and a new bridge and middle pickup. I now use this appx 70% of the time I need a telecaster IE country, chicken picken etc (and even when I don't SPECIFICALLY need a tele!) and it does quite well. I use my other two american telecasters the other 30% and still love them, but It should be a strong reccomendation that I personally prefer the Modern Player to two american models, one of which is 2.5x the price and the other thats FIVE times the price of the MPTS.

    Bottom line? Get $400 and buy this guitar TODAY. Who knows when they may be discontinued? Worth every penny!

  • from Charleston, SC December 3, 2013

    Telecaster with a versatile sound

    All my life, I looked at telecasters with a disdain until I played this guitar! When I touched this guitar, I wasn't playing Cliffs of Dover, I was pumping hard full power chords with bluesy riffs and in a moments notice I then was laying out some smooth chords from Blue Bossa. This guitar does a wide range of sounds and I am in love with the neck and fretboard. I am never touching mahogany with my fingertips again! Amazing guitar, the price is not even important (whether low or high) for this guitar. It overcomes that materialistic barrier by being so dang awesome!

  • from Niagara Falls, NY January 26, 2013Music Background:

    Great guitar for intermediate, or guitar hobbyists!

    I absolutely love this guitar. Great versatility. If you're looking to move up from a beginner level guitar this should be your next purchase. I have no complaints of this guitar at all. It's beautiful and feels great. Purchasing this from Sweetwater was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made haha. Every penny worth it. Be sure to buy a guitar case for this guitar too!

  • from SE Florida December 4, 2012Music Background:
    Amateur musician, performer, songwriter & recording hobbyist

    Best quality for value guitar

    Really nice build quality, fit and finish. I own three American Stratocasters and the neck on this MP Tele feels of equal refinement. Bought primarily for clean guitar tones. Pickups are just OK - I have nice amps, so it sounds good, however pickups are not stand out. Overall, this guitar is much better than you would expect for an import - especially build quality and neck. Great value (I own many guitars, some classics & this will be a keeper) - which should indicate how much I like this guitar! (Also, great props to Sweetwater - their customer support is superb!)

  • from Exton, PA February 28, 2012Music Background:
    Experienced player of 43 years

    Awesome Quality, Versatility and Value!

    After literally decades of owning and playing a variety of sculpted, maple-quilted-capped mahogany uber-guitars of one kind or another it’s a pleasure to return to the comfortable simplicity that is the Fender Telecaster, which remains one of the great playing guitars, even 60 years after they were introduced!!! That said, I grabbed this $399 guitar off the store’s rack with low expectations, expecting it to be something like a Squire; useable but clearly ‘budget’ in tone and feel although likely to also be acceptable for the money. Instead, I was completely blown away by its unexpected goodness; had it been missing it’s price card I could easily have thought it worth north of $1,000. So I made sure then to try out several other Tele’s in the store (and other stores) for comparison, certain that the higher priced models would reveal this guitar’s every flaw.
    They didn’t. In fact, the high-priced guitars were often the ones embarrassed!
    The neck feel, overall quality and playability of my particular ‘Modern Player Plus’ is second to none. In 43 years of guitar playing I’ve seldom encountered a more holistically satisfying instrument, regardless the price, and I’m including just about every popular electric guitar you can name. I’ve owned or at least played them all. Beyond the fit, finish and playability, the tone, clarity and airy vibe from the pups is surprisingly good, though for sure the more expensive American Tele’s have hotter output (but not better ‘tone’, IMHO). Counting the bridge humbucker’s coil-tap feature you get seven different, musical and useful tones from this thing, including those much-loved ‘in-between’ Strat tones in positions 2 and 4. Even in full humbucking mode the bridge pup has that unmistakable Tele-twanginess though much thicker and fatter; I really like it! With the coil tap engaged the sound does get a bit weaker and thinner but also brighter, snappier and even ‘twangier’. A little boost from my MXR Custom Comp is then added to coax the same singing bridge pup tones you expect from the traditional single-coil Teles. Paired with my newly acquired Fender VibroChamp XD, this thing produces all the Brad Paisley and Danny Gatton Tele tones you could ask for, and plenty more. My five other guitars are all now collecting dust because this one is by far the most comfortable (it has a belly contour relief!), the most playable, the most tonally versatile and the most satisfying of the lot. And for only $399!!
    The pine body seems to matter not in its influence on the guitar’s tone and makes me wonder what the fuss is all about with all these other exotic ‘tone-woods’. The maple neck is a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship and the mid-jumbo frets a delight. The thing was set up beautifully at the factory and required no further action adjustments. In fact, hanging from the neck was a small Q.C. card showing the action settings; 0.5mm and 1.5 mm for the 1st and 12th frets on the first string and 0.55 and 2mm respectively on the 6th string. And it’s finished with that classic old tinted smooth laquer finish Fender uses on their ‘vintage’ high-end stuff and which I absolutely love; NICE!
    I’ve learned that these Modern Player series are all made in China and my sample suggests that their operation there might well be world-class (would need more samples to know for sure). I haven’t ‘popped the hood’ to look at the electrical connections but I don’t expect to see anything unusual there.
    Simply stated, this guitar can’t be beat for $399. Heck, it probably can’t be easily beaten unless you spend $1,500 or more (and maybe not even then)! I've read other early reviews of this instrument where I've seen complaints of one kind or another but if my guitar is typical, then I have to conclude that those critical reviews are fueled by a heavy does of American biased 'snob-ism'. Or perhaps folks are out there trying their best to justify why having spent $1,000 or more didn't truly get them a better guitar than this one. This guitar, in a 'blind' playability and sound test, would delight anyone IMHO. Like I said, you 'might' want to provide a slight boost to raise the pups' output level or, maybe not. I know some players (like me) prefer the lower gain, more 'pure' and clean signal and prefer to let the amp do the heavy lifting. I use a MXR Custom Comp(ressor) on a light setting and set its level to drive the amp just a little harder, at least when I want to play country with that little extra bit of front-end grit. But the tones are otherwise airy and produce those classic bell-like Fender ones very nicely indeed. Give this guitar a long, serious listen, ignore the country of manufacture, and see what you honestly think.
    Oh, and go out and buy the Fender VibroChamp XD ($150 as of 2/25) while you still can. It’s the best tone bargain on the planet for small practice/recording amps, and currently at the price of a single pedal. Together this guitar and amp make an awesome combination for Fender tones for under $600!!

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