2012 Fender American Select Telecaster Violin Burst
When you pop open the top of the Select Tele’s vintage-inspired G&G tweed case, you’ll probably take a minute to just stare and behold how simply gorgeous the guitar is. The violin burst gloss-lacquer finish is handstained rather than painted on, which is a first for Fender. The spectacularly flamed, solid-maple top—which caps a honeycombchambered ash body—looks simultaneously old school and flashy. Together, they make the Fender Select Telecaster about as easy to ignore as Megan Fox on Oscar Night.
Given the guitar’s model-on-the-runway good looks, it will be tempting for some to store it in the trophy case straightaway, but Fender designed this Tele as a player’s guitar above all, and even little touches like the included strap and instrument cable provoke you to put the guitar into action right out of the box.
Fender’s hardware choices also indicate that the Select is designed for performing musicians rather than the vintage-specobsessed collector. Look the guitar over, and you’ll notice details like staggered, sealed locking tuners, Schaller-style strap locks, a synthetic bone nut, and a bridge with six bent-steel saddles and a brass plate. (Note: The locking tuners are only available on the nickel-chrome hardware equipped models. The gold-hardware equipped models come with traditional style tuners with pearloid buttons.)
The Select Telecaster’s electronics include two single-coils designed especially for the Select series, and a no-load tone control that removes the tone pot and capacitor from the circuit when it’s turned all the way up. This yields a more direct, open, and uncolored tone.
Comfort and ergonomics concerns played a big role in the Select Telecaster’s design. First off, if you’re worried about a heavy instrument that will have you hunched over by the second set, have no fear. Fender imposed a strict weight limit on the Select Series guitars: Each weighs less than 8 pounds. The rear of the Select Telecaster also has a tummy cut, and its maple C-shaped neck features medium-jumbo frets, a contoured heel, and a lacquered, compound radius fretboard. Rather than the 7.25" or 9.5" radius commonly found on more traditional Teles, the Select’s fretboard goes from 9.5" to 14", which means it works well for everything from big bends to barre chords and lightning-speed shred moves.