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Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster - Blonde with Maple Fingerboard Reviews

5.0 stars based on 12 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster - Blonde with Maple Fingerboard?

Questions about the Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster - Blonde with Maple Fingerboard?

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  • from Las Vegas May 27, 2017Music Background:
    Former Professional, still gig occasionally

    Love This Guitar

    I was really apprehensive about buying this online, never really bought a guitar I couldn't try before buying, but the HD pics showing the exact guitar you're buying helped ease my mind a little. I actually got the guitar about 6 weks ago but haven't been able to write a review because I haven't been able to stop playing long enough. It arrived packaged great, pulled it out of the bag ( really should come with a real case in my mind) and it was set up great but I changed the strings because I like the Dunlop Willie G strings. Plugged it in and was blown away...I've got a 2014 Les Paul Traditional and a 2009 American Strat but always thought I should get a Tele to round things out. But this does more than give me just another sound. It is a true workhorse, spanky country...check, round and warm or ice pick blues...got it covered...flat out rock machine..absolutely!!! Every time I pick it up I can feel each note resonating through the body, it is a joy to play. The only problem was a bit of fret end pop when adjusting to the dry climate here in the desert, called Sweetwater and they said they would take care of it, but I ended up just putting in my Strat case with a humidifier and things are good. Besides I didn't want to be without it too long. As to the relicing, I like it. When the roadworn first came out I thought they looked like someone at Fender had let a 14 year old loose with a box of assorted grit sandpaper, but this just looks and feels like it's been gigged for a few years, very natural. Buy one, then as the Reverend Willie G says "Spank that plank and grind me a pound or two".

  • from Fort Myers December 27, 2016Music Background:
    Half century of strummin

    Pleasantly surprised. REALLY!

    I'd been using the same 1968 tele that I'd purchased new and modified over the years and was worried about it holding up. So, I started to consider viable, affordable, platforms to duplicate the mods on. The Roadworn had long interested me for a few reasons. The lacquer finish and 6105 frets particularly interesting. The 0 % interest pushed my hand. I like that Sweetwater lists the weights of the guitars shown. 6lb 3 oz is pretty light. I was comfortable with the 30 day return policy too. It arrived set up perfectly and in tune!!! The light weight made it feel like a feather and it had a lively acoustic snap to it that translated to a fabulous amplified sound. Classic tele 100%. The neck is not as small as my '68. But no baseball bat either. I found that the stock tele sound and the spanky resonance of that very light ash body took my playing somewhere else and have decided to keep it stock. Leaving the humbuckers and P 90 off this one. An added caveat is that the fake wear on this one is minimal...I can live with that.

  • from NY December 7, 2016Music Background:
    Rock n' Roll, Blues, Folk, Reggae

    Fantastic Telecaster

    This is a great representation of a modified 50's Telecaster! Ash body, thick maple neck.. Simplicity at its best! The relic job on these recent ones is in my opinion much more tasteful then the previous versions released before 2010. It feels broken in but not over the top. I would say it feels about 10-15 years old verse the heavy relic on prior models which was more like 30+ yrs. One thing I was unsure about, especially purchasing online without feeling it, was the neck shape. I've read "C" shape and "U" to describe the neck and I feel it's probably a good in the middle feel. Not too much of a "U" but certainly not a thin "C" feel. Yet enough chunk to let you know you are holding onto a Telecaster. The ash body is super resonant and has a great acoustic feel to it, harmonic and spongy. Excellent note separation as well.. Out of the box the guitar needed a setup to adjust to the new environment. Once that was complete and I plugged it in I was impressed with the Tex-Mex pickups. Not quite sure I will keep them in, perhaps a more period correct set like the "nocasters" may be needed down the line. I want some more time to mess with pickup height before I jump ship on these pups though. The neck pickup is quite sweet and nice, bell like. You can really here the hot output on the bridge pickup as it puts out some nasty attitude.. Again, further exploration is needed.
    Now, ordering a guitar online is nerve racking for sure. Especially since there wasn't one available in my area to try out. This was almost a blind purchase... However... Sweetwater is an online experience unlike anywhere else out there. First of all, for many instruments you can see HD pics of the exact guitar you are browsing for and and can compare them to the same models in stock. Very handy for choosing color finish shades, grain pattern or even weight differences!
    If that wasn't enough, at Sweetwater you have a sales engineer!! This is like a personal sales representative that can answer questions, keep you posted on promotions and be there for you personally throughout the whole sale process. I am very lucky to be working with/assigned Norb as my sales rep. Norb is an exceptionally knowledgeable musician that provides outstanding customer service, the epitome of customer service!. Thank you for making buying a guitar online so easy and reassuring!!

  • from Texas May 20, 2016Music Background:
    hobbiest, collector, not a professional player but lve to play

    Absolutely Amazing Guitar!!

    I would rate this guitar a lot higher if the rating would allow it. I just received her a few days ago and had my first performance with her last night and she was the star of the night!! The tone, the bite, the sustain, the feel and the playability are just amazing!! Roll the tone up and she bites and you can get country twang with a side of attitude, roll the tone down and she becomes a blues players dream - a very versatile guitar. She is very light weight, which is great for longer gigs or getting older bodies (I am 50). The one thing I would highly recommend is change the strings right away. I am not a fan of the Fender Standard Tension strings (or any tension strings for that matter). I find that they just do not stay in tune and when one goes out they all seem to go out of tune as well, almost like they are trying to compensate for the one string. They also lack bite and attitude, which I quickly resolved by changing the strings to 10g Fender Super 250R Nickel-Plated Steel strings. I have these on all my Tele's and Strat's and they stay in tune and provide amazing tone, spank, and warmth (when the tone is rolled down). The only other thing I would suggest is getting yourself a serious hard shell case to protect this baby. I feel that the deluxe bag Fender provides is a joke and I would not trust this or any other guitar in it. And before I forget the Sweetwater crew (Jason and Olivia) were great at helping me with my guitar and guitar case needs. This was my first Sweetwater guitar purchase and will not be my last. Great work to everyone else at Sweetwater as well, stockers, shippers, etc... Back to more jamming!!

  • from Jermyn, PA March 24, 2016


    So I had one of the original Road Worn 50's Stratocasters when they first came out....And I was not impressed.....But boy have they come leaps and bounds since then with this series!!! I was blown away by this Tele right after taking it out of the gig bag. Neck feels great and the action was nice and fast (but not too low....kudos to the tech that set this up before it was shipped out!). The most notable improvement they have made is the wear on the fret board...when these first came out it looked horrible but now it actually looks like genuine fret board wear that is sure to get better with age. The relic job on the body is very tasteful and not over done. The thin nitro finish on this guitar really makes it sing when paired with these Tex Mex pick ups...It has all the Tele Bite and twang you could ever ask for. I am extremely pleased with this guitar and its a life long keeper for sure!! Thanks sweetwater and Fender!!!

  • from Jonesboro, Ar November 6, 2015Music Background:

    '50s Road Worn Tele Butterscotch

    I've yet to set my '50s Road Worn Tele down since I purchased her from Sweetwater about a year ago or so. I'm very impressed with the quality and setup of this instrument straight out of the box! Thank you guys at Sweetwater! If you want a nice Tele with a broke in feel with the nitro finish, this is your guitar! I've played and owned several Custom Shop instruments and this guitar sounds and feels right up there with them. My Tele has a nice thick neck which I love. I play it through a custom handwired 1995 '59 Fender Bassman reissue and a '76 Fender VibroChamp with a Fulltone OCD(which I also purchased from Sweetwater). It sounds and feels amazing to me. I've never once regretting this purchase!!! Thanks again Sweetwater!!

  • from South Carolina October 2, 2015

    Looks Like the real thing!!

    I would say it sounds like it too, but I've never actually played a real 52. I will say I have spent over 10 grand on really nice telecasters including limited run 52 types. This guitar is my daily player. The relic job is outstanding Not over done. The whole reason I bought this guitar was so I wouldn't have to take my expensive ones out of the house. Well, now I don't have to take them out, but I worry about this guitar just as bad now. It's that good. The pickups have a darker sound than my other vintage style teles. Great for blues and select the neck pickup and roll off the tone knob and awesome jazz sound. Mine weighs a tad over 7 pounds and looks really amazing. The neck is what sold me though. It has a 1.650 nut width and nice round shape with perfect frets. So easy on my hands and truly fun to play. The guitar arived gig ready. I've played it through a Fender hot rod, Quilter Mach II, Egnater Tweaker and Traynor Ycs. All amps loved the guitar. My sales engineer Joel Helton did a great job as usual and I highly recommend this guitar.

  • from Novi, MI March 11, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior, Semi-Pro

    Great Guitar, Great Value, Instant Great Tone

    Seriously blown away by this guitar. I am in a gigging band and have always had a thing for Teles but could never keep one. I must have looked at dozens of different versions of this classic. I even bought 2 and returned them after 2 days each, simply could not bond. To make things even "better", I was not a fan of the Road Worn Relic thing. I have US made Fender Strat that is amazing and US PRS that has a finish as perfect as they come and I like my guitars to look good. I also don't buy "mojo". But in the end I figured I'd give one of these a try, it has 6105 Frets which are common in Custom Shop Teles and my go to. They make a neck for me.

    Maple neck, which was my requisite since my 2 other giggers have rosewood necks... and I wanted good electronics and hardware. Was looking at Americans but this one kept attracting me. It arrived from Sweetwater and out of the box was in perfect tune with 10s, most Teles come with 9s, which I don't play (use 10s). Action was just the way I like it. Played it unplugged for 20 minutes, sounded and felt so good I forgot about plugging it. The neck could be less "relic", but feels like a neck that has seen some awesome nights in a bar, without the smoke smell. It does feel a little "chunky" compared to Tele necks I've played, but don't quote me on that. Just my feeling. The 6105s, on both my Fenders now are at the top of my list as best frets. Many don't like them, but for my playing style, I would only buy these and the modern US PRS frets that are also "Fat/Jumbo" style. I really dislike vintage and Medium/Jumbo frets. YMMV

    Took a bit to check it out and the finish is par with my two other guitars. The neck/body is a perfect fit, the pick guard fit perfectly, frets done right, finish is immaculate, nut is cut properly, tuners hold a tune with me bending like a mad man.

    Plugged it in and... WOW... This is true simple guitar that let's you do what you want. No frills, just awesome tone. The pick ups, while I read are not for all, really let you do your own thing. Straight into my tube amps, holy crap this things sounds good. I use pedals to make my tone, and yup, this thing does a nice job working with what I like to use.

    It's actually pretty quiet for a single coil guitar with "non american" pickups. I will change nothing on this guitar... Just installed strap locks on it and will play it at my next gig.

    The relic thing kind of grew on me now and I like it. Gigging this thing will be fun and I won't worry so much if I nick it, you can't tell if it was meant to be there. This is a great value and these Mexican Fenders are above and beyond what I'd expect.

    Try it out, guitars are very personal but this one is built right. Kudos to Fender.

  • from Massachusetts June 22, 2017

    Beautiful Nasty

    Deciding which Telecaster to buy these days is no small chore. I spent countless hours watching youtube reviews and comparing specs. Originally my two finalists were the Tele Elite and the Richie Kotzen Telecaster. Before pulling the trigger I widened my search to make sure I didn't miss anything, and up pops the Road Worn Tele. The big selling point for me (spec wise) was the 7.25" radius neck and the jumbo tall frets. But still, did I really want to drop down from the Elite or the Kotzen for a MIM classic tribute? After watching a few videos I really liked the nastiness I was hearing vs. the super clean refined tones of the aforementioned models. After waffling back and forth endlessly I ordered the Road Worn. As with all things Sweetwater, it shipped immediately and was packaged safe and sturdy. (my kids love seeing Sweetwater boxes show up, they get the candy!).

    The guitar itself is tastefully relic'd with just enough patina on the metal parts to take away any shine. The body dings aren't overdone, and from a distance aren't much noticeable. Now for the neck: I LOVE this neck; nice and beefy. The relic on the neck gives it a slightly dirty used look but not anything overdone. Before I bought the guitar I thought I might like to make some upgrades: locking tuners, compensated saddles or modern bridge piece, treble bleed circuit, etc. HOWEVER, after putting on a set of 11s and going to town, it's apparent that this guitar doesn't need a thing. The setup is perfect: Zero fretting out and the intonation is just fine, surprisingly so in fact. This guitar wants to be ridden hard and put away wet, I've gone all aggressive Stevie Ray Vaughn on it and damned if it doesn't stay in tune. You can really DIG in when bending and using heavy strings really seems to complement the whole vibe of the guitar. It's a nasty stanky dirty tone machine. I'm running it through a Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe (also from Sweetwater) into the clean channel of my 5150III. Low gain, but big and throaty.

    My only issue, and it's not a big one, is that the frets are pretty gritty. I'm not sure if that's a result of the relic process or just new frets, but to my liking they could use a polishing. Eventually I'll get that taken care of with a setup, but since it doesn't really need a setup out of the box, I'll wait until some future date.

  • from Palos Hills, IL January 17, 2017


    I have had the Road Worn '50s Telecaster now for about a month and cannot put it down. Another great guitar purchased from Sweetwater. Thank you Jason!

  • from New England December 8, 2013Music Background:

    Quality straight-ahead Tele

    My favorite tele. Just a plain 3 position switch and pickups with that classic raw sound. The neck doesn't seem fat or thin -- just normal. The somewhat high frets take only about 15 minutes to get used to.

    The relic job has been dialed back on the 2013's. Mine has a few very small dings, a bit of belt wear on the back, some checking in the finish, tiny spots of rust in the corners of hardware, and light wear on the neck. Much more tasteful and realistic than the previous "drug behind a truck" models. My *only* wish is they would put the same work into the fret ends as the Chinese Squires.

    I'll take this Mexican Road Worn any day over its more expensive American brothers. Easier to play and sounds like a tele should. Plus when you tell tall tales about bands you used to be in, you're guitar will look like you've been there :-)

  • from NEW Mexico USA June 16, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist for 26 years

    The neck is nice

    The 7.25 radius on the neck it just fun to play. The neck is a little chunky too. I love it. The wear pattern looks a little over done on the neck, but it plays so good I don't care. I finish is kinda of a flat gloss which I like. Satin finishes are my favorite, even on acoustic guitars. Because the guitar is beat up already I don't have to be care full with it. It has vintage tuners which are also my favorite because it is easy to string. It has Tex-Mex pick-ups which really aren't "50's" pick-ups. While I like the pick-ups because they sound different than the pick-ups in my other tele's, I think it doesn't make sense to put non-50's pick-ups in a guitar you are advertising as representation of the 50's.

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