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How To Setup A Fender Telecaster [Part 2]

Welcome to Part 2 of our Authentic Guitar Setup Video Series on How To Setup A Fender Telecaster, and make it a roadworthy instrument the name deserves.

Guitar Niche - How To Setup A Fender Telecaster Part 2

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Part 2 of How To Setup A Fender Telecaster.

In this segment, we continue to tackle the job of making this killer ‘52 Reissue roadworthy.


Teardown and Neck Adjustment

Tearing the instrument down to it’s bare essentials is a relatively simple task.

The real trick with setting up a Telecaster, especially these old school Teles, is dealing with screws and hardware that may be deteriorated. The slot screws that hold everything together on a vintage style instrument can be particularly troublesome because of the lack of tool grip.

Pleeeease be careful.

It’s VERY easy to slip and wind up with a big headache. Watching a flathead screwdriver skate across a premium instrument’s finish is no fun.

For a complete list of recommended tools, check out our Guitar Setup Tools Guide page.

Whether you have an original vintage instrument (lucky you) or one of the fine reissues, they setup just the same.

There are tons of variations on the theme that share this same early family trait:

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Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Vintage Blonde

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The recent and very affordable Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster, the very fine Japanese FujiGen TL52-75, excellent Custom Shop editions, cost effective MIM models and of course our current 90’s era patient.

Which leads to the next question, which one is better?

If you really love Teles, they’re all good. If you’re a purist, they’re still all good – they’re Teles!

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What’s covered in the video:

  • Tools needed
  • Removing the old strings
  • Dealing with a loose ferrule
  • Adjusting the neck
  • Tips and tricks to make the job less painless

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Telecaster Setup Video Tutorial Part 2

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The U.S. made ‘50’s Vintage Telecaster first hit the market in 1982 and featured the expected 4 numbers stamped into the bridge plate. Later in 1988 it changed to 5.

According to many Telecaster Reissue fans with a broad range of experience, Custom versions such as this Road Worn 50’s Telecaster is about as close as you can get to the real deal.

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

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Of course there are winners in every rendition. I’ve handled some that were just stellar.

Once in a while you get one in your hands and it just has… that sound, that feel that is just right.

All that without the price gap that will set you back $30,000.00 investing in an original instrument. Think about it, those original beauties have approached the average person’s retirement age.


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Coming Up:

A little housekeeping and some preliminary adjustments that get us closer to Tele nirvana.



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Steve Blundon is a business owner, published author, former music teacher and active master guitar tech who's been servicing instruments for over thirty years. Visit Author's Page.

1 Responses

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    Thanks for this amazing post. I’m a long time reader but ive never commented till now.

    Thanks again for the awesome post.

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