Fender Player Telecaster HH Review 2020 – Before You Buy

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4.5/5
4.7/5
4.4/5
4.9/5

You can immediately tell that this guitar looks stunning, but what about the sound, playability, and quality…and most of all, is it worth your money? Let’s find out!

Fender Player Telecaster HH specs:

Body type: Solidbody

Body wood: Alder

Neck wood: Maple

Neck shape: Modern C

Scale length: 25.5”

Truss rod: Yes, dual-action

Fretboard material: Maple. Pau Ferro fingerboard option available too.

Fretboard radius: 9,5”

Number of frets: 22, Medium Jumbo

Nut width: 1.65” (42mm)

Pickups: 2 Player Series Alnico Humbuckers. Both are passive pickups with a coil-split feature.

Pickup switch: 3-way

Bridge: Hard Tail Bridge, 6-Saddle, String Through Body

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Fender Player Telecaster HH Review

Fender Player Telecaster Hh Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar Tidepool

Sound

The main reason why I like this Tele is the sound, and how versatile it is. This Tele has 2 humbuckers. So the warm, thick, and rich sound are guaranteed. It handles metal, rock, and blues sounds well.

For a long time, I have heavily disagreed with folks saying that Fender guitar with humbuckers suck, and I stand behind this again. Can you find better-sounding humbuckers? Probably. Do these Player Series Alnico Humbuckers suck? Absolutely not.

So the humbucker tones alone are solid, but…

Fender Player Telecaster HH includes maybe the best single-coil (coil-split) option I have seen and heard(at least for this price range). This comes really close to the original single-coil sounds. So, funk and spanky jazz/blues are easy for this guitar. 

I don’t want to sound like I’m just praising this axe, but I really love how versatile the tones of this tele are.

The use of an adler in body wood ensures that the tone of this axe is well balanced, and offers a great variety of both bright and warm tones. Maple neck and fretboard give the tone a small bright twist.

Versatile sounds are one main thing why I like this guitar right now. Especially for the price, these tones are hard to beat.

But of course, you can find better-sounding axes if you spend more. And if you, for example, are looking for a guitar to play metal, you can find better options. But when it comes to versatility and you exploring lots of different genres with your guitar, this is in my opinion one of the best options in this price range.

Hear how it sounds:

Playability

Fender Player Telecaster doesn’t give you too much hard time when played.

The neck shape is Modern C and nut width is 42mm(1.65inches). The neck is thin, narrow, and really smooth from the back, it feels good for sure. This neck is really comfortable for folks with small hands.

Modern C neck is one of my favorite neck shapes and this is why I enjoy playing this and other Player-series Telecasters. I can reach every corner of the fretboard quite easily with my small hands.

The fretboard radius is 9,5. The curve doesn’t make things too hard, and you will get used to it soon, no matter what kind of guitars you have played before.

The edges of the fretboard could be smoother/softer in my opinion. This is a small con, no game-breaker tho, but good to know.

For some reason, in the case of Fender guitars, the action is always a little bit too high for me out of the box. This Tele is no exception. Gladly this is easy to fix with truss rod or bridge adjustments. So this is only a tiny flaw.

I have noticed that picking and especially palm muting is not so smooth with Telecasters(ashtray-bridge) as it is with Les Pauls(tune-o-Matic bridge). Gladly this Tele has Hard Tail Bridge (strings going through a body), in my opinion, this sits in the middle of ashtray and tune-o-Matic-bridge, being relatively comfortable. Although ashtray is the iconic Tele bridge.

But this comes more down to your own preference, picking hand placement and experience, but I just wanted to share my opinion.

But overall, the playability of this axe is really good, and it fits well for my small hands.

Quality

Quality is excellent for the price. It lacks some details and high-quality finish when compared to higher-priced Fenders, but hey, this is why this guitar is so affordable. But the value for money is still super.

The guitar stays in tune well, thanks to good quality tuners. When I’ve laid my eyes on this guitar, the paint job has been flawless.

Looks

The looks are amazing, especially the blue one. For a long time, I have been a huge telecaster fan, and I’m absolutely going to buy a Telecaster at some point.

Summary

Pros:

  • Super-versatile, a wide variety of different sounds
  • Smooth feel
  • Comfortable to play
  • Quality is really high for the price
  • Stays in tune well
  • Nice classic look
  • Split-coil tunes are amazing

Cons:

  • Edges of the fretboard are a little bit rough
  • Out of the box action is too high for some players(for me), adjustments are easy with the truss rod tho
  • Loses for higher-priced Teles sound-wise

Excellent all-rounder with one of the best split coil-sounds I have heard. This axe is comfortable to play too. There is definitely no reason to feel sorry about buying this over higher-priced Telecasters.  If I didn’t own any electric guitars, this would be one of my top choices.

And yes. This guitar is worth the price in my opinion.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

>>Check Price on Musician’s Friend<<

 

What does HH mean on Fender guitars?

These capital letters reveal the pickup configuration of the guitar. It tells us what kind of pickups and in which order they are. Using the first letter of each specific pickup when talking about pickup configuration is common among the whole guitar industry.

HH means that the guitar has 2 humbucker pickups.

HSS means that the guitar has, 1 humbucker and after that comes 2 single-coils. HSH means that the guitar has 1 humbucker at the bridge, single-coil in the middle, and a humbucker at the neck. SSS means that the guitar has 3 single-coil pickups.

Are Mexican Telecasters and Stratocasters any good?

While the Mexican made Tele, and Stratocaster lose in quality when compared to their American made big brothers, they are by no means bad guitars. Mexican Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters offer excellent value for money, sound great, and are comfortable to play.

While ago I tried lots of different Stratocasters in the music store nearby, and the cap between Mexican and American made Start’s was not big at all. You can notice it in the fretboard edges(American made are a little bit smoother), in the overall finish and in sound(American made sounds more complete and full). But there is a high chance that you are not going to be disappointed, no matter which one you buy.

 

Alternatives

Spanky Budget Option – Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster

I tried this out in a music store nearby a while back. I compared lots of different Stratocasters there and I think that this one is a lot easier to play than most Fender Stratocasters. And this Squier didn’t lose much to the higher-priced Original Fender Stratocasters sound and quality-wise either. 

This axe is a great option for small-handed folks, and for people who are looking for a high value for money guitar with spanky Strat tones. This Squier offers your more spanky tones when compared to Fender Player Telecaster HH.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

>>Check Price on Musician’s Friend<<

 

Best Same Price Range Single Cut – Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-top Pro

This one can also do almost everything, but it’s ideal for blues, and jazz in my opinion. Great for rock and metal too. Awesome sounding and comfortable to play. It offers warmer and thicker tones when compared to Fender Player Telecaster HH.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-top Pro Review 2020 – Before You Buy.

This axe is made for people looking for a great sounding, versatile and high value for money single-cut guitar, which has 2 humbuckers with a coil-split.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

If You Want to Play Metal – ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000

I tried this for the first time in a music store nearby, and it has been one of my favorite guitars since. This guitar is just gorgeous. It handles everything, but it’s made for heavy riffing. A pleasure to play and listen. It’s a little bit pricier than other guitars featured in this post, but it still offers great value for money with higher quality and stunning tones. 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

>>Check Price on Musician’s Friend<<

 

Conclusion

Fender Player Telecaster HH offers excellent value for money, great tones and comfortable playability. It’s a great choice.

To be honest, when writing this review my Telecasters fewer started raising again… my wife should hide my wallet again.

In case you want some way to display or give more protection to your new Telecaster, these articles might be helpful:

I hope that this review helped you out! If you have any questions, leave a comment down below. Feel free to share this post too.

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu Suomala

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