If you're a player looking for a truly unique sound, you may not know where to look. But if you want a versatile guitar that offers excellent value, look no further than the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe.
While this guitar has the already distinctive classic Telecaster model look, its semi-hollow body and P90s give it a sound that's all its own.
fender modern player telecaster thinline deluxe
PRO's & CON's
Before we jump into our Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe review, let's look at some pros and cons:
Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe
Features and Benefits
Now, let's dig into some of the features of the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe.
Tonewoods And Body Style
The tonewoods used for an electric guitar aren't quite as central to tone as they are on an acoustic. However, they're still important to consider. And since the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is a relatively affordable guitar, you might be thinking that it's made of basswood or something similarly inexpensive. However, it's made of mahogany. This wood offers a thick, midrange-heavy tone, which is a departure from the brighter sound of alder (a common wood for most Telecasters).
Aside from the mahogany body, you might think that this is another of the already distinctive classic Telecaster model designs. However, the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe has a semi-hollow mahogany body with a single f-hole. This body style makes it especially versatile -- its resonant clean tones are great for blues and jazz, and they also make it a good choice for electric folk music. But unlike a fully hollow electric guitar, this one can handle some distortion without becoming overly muddy or developing feedback issues.
This guitar also has a string-through body which increases its sustain. There's a hard-tail bridge, so there's no tremolo -- something that some players may see as a disadvantage. However, the hard-tail bridge makes it easier to maintain tuning stability. And if you've done any digging into both modern and vintage-style Telecasters, you already know that a hard-tail bridge is fairly common. If you're curious to see how the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe fits into Telecaster history, check out this interesting video.
Pickups And Sound Quality
The Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe promises a departure from the distinctive classic Telecaster model, and it certainly delivers. One of the most striking differences is the pickups. Most Telecasters have two single-coil pickups -- a neck pickup and a bridge pickup. Usually, these pickups are made with Alnico V magnets for high-end sparkle and the traditional Telecaster twang. The neck pickup is covered, and the bridge pickup is uncovered. The pickup is slanted to fit into the "ashtray" bridge that you see on most Tele's.
However, the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe comes with a pair of single-coil Modern Player MP-90 pickups. These are Fender's version of the P-90, a pickup that is technically a single-coil but sounds more like a cross between a humbucker and a single-coil.
The single-coil Modern Player MP-90 pickups offer a departure from the traditional Tele tone. (Especially when you consider the fact that they're placed on a semi-hollow mahogany body.) They have a lot more midrange presence, and while the highs are noticeable, they aren't overwhelming. When you first hear this guitar, you might not think it's a Telecaster. It has a distinctive bite to its tone. And thanks to the P-90s, it can handle effects fairly well and with minimal noise. The only exception would be very high-gain effects.
A three-way toggle pickup switch offers you a lot of tonal versatility. Each member of the pair of single-coil Modern Player MP-90 pickups has one volume and one tone control. The four skirted amp knobs offer a touch of vintage style, and the three-way toggle pickup switch lets you select the neck pickup, the bridge pickup, or both. However, the three-way toggle pickup switch is closer to the front of the body -- not by the volume and tone controls like with most electric guitar models.
Tonally, the Modern Player MP-90 pickups are ideal for players of almost every genre. As part of the Modern Player Series, the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is designed to welcome newer players to the world of Fender, and we think it's well-suited to the job. Check out this guitar's surprisingly thick tone in this video demo.
Neck And Playability
The Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is designed to be a new take on the classic Telecaster. And while its semi-hollow mahogany body is a departure, the maple neck is a classic. Modern Player Series guitars are designed to be, well, playable, and the C-shaped maple neck is thin without being too thin. However, it has a gloss finish, which is something some players may not like. gloss on a maple neck can start to feel sticky or sluggish over time.
As is the case with most Fenders, the maple neck does not have a separate fretboard. The maple fingerboard is just the surface of the maple neck.
The scale length is 25.5", and you get 22 medium jumbo frets. The nut is made of synthetic bone for better sustain and vintage-style tone. To get a closer look at this guitar and see one player's experience with the unique finished maple fingerboard, check out this video demo.
Finish And Appointments
The finish probably isn't the first thing you look for when choosing a guitar, but it is somewhat important. In mid-range guitars like this one, some players may worry that the gloss polyester finish will be cheap or too thin. The gloss polyester finish on the body is fairly thick and looks nice, and you can find the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe in three vintage-style colors -- white, black, or sunburst. Combined with the already distinctive classic Telecaster look, these colors give you a truly vintage look.
While most players seem to be largely satisfied with the appointments on this guitar, several have noted that the tuners on the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe are not especially high quality, and they don't hold tune as well. However, it's expected that there will be some sacrifice of quality somewhere -- after all, the Fender Modern Player series of instruments is made in China, while higher-end Fenders are usually made in the U.S. or Mexico. There are some quality control issues, but they seem to be fairly minor -- some guitars arrive with pickups not completely screwed in, and a lot of buyers don't like the stock strings. Luckily, these are all easy fixes. And if you want to go the extra mile and upgrade your tuners, too, this video will show you how.
Social Proof of the Pedal
Before you invest in this guitar (or any guitar), it's a good idea to see what other players have to say about it. On our search, we found largely positive reviews of this one.
This thorough review of the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe highlights this guitar's versatility. It's great for a lot of different genres, especially alternative rock. And for the price, it offers a lot of great-sounding tonal options.
This review is especially helpful because it offers an efficient rundown of the guitar's features. Like a lot of reviewers, this person praised its surprising tonal versatility and great value. They do point out that the neck has a smooth glossy finish, which may not be for everybody.
This is another detailed review of the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe that can offer you a look into what it's like to play this guitar. Because it's semi-hollow, you get a fuller sound than you would normally get with a Telecaster. This person also points out a few potential issues with this model -- the pickup selector switch is in an odd location, and there may be quality control issues with the way the nut is cut as well.
The Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe might not be the most expensive Fender around, and purists may look askance at the fact that it's made in China. However, we think this is a guitar that shouldn't be missed. Its unique semi-hollow sound, tonal versatility, and quiet yet powerful pickups make the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is an excellent choice for players who want a great all-around guitar. Click here to check it out!