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Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster Electric Guitar Butterscotch Blonde

Item #: 
1273888000108   POS #:104229893
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Product Description:

The Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster takes the best of old and new Fender craftsmanship to create a fantastic guitar built for the serious player! Visually very accurate to the look of a '52 Telecaster, it has a list of sought-after Custom Shop upgrades to make any Tele player drool. It's got a top-of-the-line thin-skin nitrocellulose lacquer finish ...  Click To Read More About This Product

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The Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster takes the best of old and new Fender craftsmanship to create a fantastic guitar built for the serious player! Visually very accurate to the look of a '52 Telecaster, it has a list of sought-after Custom Shop upgrades to make any Tele player drool. It's got a top-of-the-line thin-skin nitrocellulose lacquer finish that ages quickly and beautifully as well as letting the natural tone of the wood shine. The neck has been streamlined for smooth playability with a satin-finish back, 9.5" fingerboard radius, and medium-jumbo frets. The three brass saddles on the vintage-style Tele bridge are compensated to allow for more accurate intonation. And a Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini-Humbucker at the neck and a custom-wound Tele bridge pickup deliver the hot tones called for in modern music.

The rest of its features are true-blue '52 Tele, like the American Vintage model it's based on: a premium ash body, one-piece maple neck with U-shape profile, Fender/Gotoh vintage-style tuners, a one-ply black pickguard, and chrome hardware.

The U.S. Vintage Hot Rod Series from Fender offers new instruments with specs, looks and features that make them feel as if you were the third owner of a vintage instrument. Here's your chance to own that beautiful player's guitar, but in brand new shape and freshly set-up from the Fender factory!


Thin-skin nitrocellulose finish
Premium ash body
1-piece maple neck
U-shape profile with satin finish on back
9.5" fingerboard radius
21 medium-jumbo frets
25.5" scale length
Nut width: 1.650"
Chrome hardware
Fender/Gotoh vintage-style tuners
Vintage-style Tele bridge with 3 compensated brass saddles
1-ply black pickguard
Custom Vintage Tele bridge pickup
Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini Humbucker neck pickup
3-position blade pickup selector
Master volume and tone controls
Setup with Fender Super 250R Nickel Plated Steel strings (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046)
Includes Vintage Tweed Case, Strap, Cable, and Meguair's care kit
Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 18 customers

Displaying reviews 1-18

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(40 of 42 customers found this review helpful)


Better than Custom shop

By Bluesfan64

from Dallas, TX

I always loved the look of a butterscotch tele. To my eyes, it is one of the classic beauties. In my mind I thought I wanted a 51 Nocaster, because I believe Fenders Custom Shop guitars are the coolest guitars out there. But the two samples I tried out had poorly finished fretwork and poorly set up for the money. I saw this new 52 Hot Rod Tele on GearWire and knew immediately that was for me. All Nitro cellolose neck body, butterscotch blonde finish plus a vintage humbucker to boot. This guitar far exceeded my expectations for quality! And my instrument has one of the lightest weight Ash bodies I've ever sampled. By the way, the specs show pickup selector to be wired like the standard '52 Tele, but that's not the case. Position 2 is both pickups together. Great great tone!!!

(24 of 36 customers found this review helpful)


great vintage telcaster sound

By Jensen John

from Jensen Beach, Fl

I have had this American 52 Vintage Telecaster re-issue guitar for about 2 yrs, and it has the best action of anything I've ever played. Lightweight, easy to play, great telecaster sound. Versatile, great clean sound, but with effects can do almost anything with it. I love the Jerry Garcia style, and this guitar is great for it, but you can also use it for the most up to date thrash if you want. Again, the playability is unmatched, and the action is even better than an old Strat I used to play.

(16 of 17 customers found this review helpful)



By vaillantk

from Rockville, MD

I just got this beauty- The tone is amazing especially in the middle position when both the humbucker and the hot bridge pickup are firing. To my ear the sound is the best of a Les Paul and a hot traditional Tele. The tones, especially when combined with my Fender Princeton Recording tube amp is inspiring me to write and play a new kind of music! A priceless investment.

(14 of 16 customers found this review helpful)


Fender American Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster Ele

By Robert E Kane

from Concord, Ca

Simple Beauty Fender American Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster Electric Guitar I love this guitar. It's superbly light and comfortable to play. Of course it sounds awesome! I feel like I am channeling Luther Perkins when I hold this baby. Thank you Fender. Get it!

(13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


Best non-custom shop Fender out there.

By Adam

from LA

I love this guitar. I have 2 Teles and a Custom Shop Strat and since I picked up this one it has been my go-to guitar for shows and the studio because of its playability and its tone. It has so much body and presence and that neck pickup is fantastic. I always say you can judge how great an electric is by how it sounds before you plug it into in amp. This thing is great and is definitely worth a look for anyone out there looking for a new guitar.

(13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


Hands down amazing guitar

By Hobnocker

from Florida

I picked this guitar up at GC and it sounds amazing. It's nitrocellulose finish is very pretty and glossy. The wood finish really adds a nice touch. I LOVE the tuners. It strings like a bass guitar and is a ton easier to take off and restring unlike other standard tuning systems. It is VERY light. Although it's expensive it's WORTH IT! It has the tele twang but you can also make it soft sounding. The only problem I have with it is that the sixth string buzzes like crazy! But i'm sure it can be fixed.

(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


True Perfection

By Blaine

from San Francisco, CA

I went to GC in SF to check out some amps - this little piece of heaven was sitting right next to the amp row. I picked it up - not paying allot of attention thinkng it was just an MZ Tele - little did I know what I had picked up. This is hands down the most amazing guitar - the sound is perfecton - the quality amazing. You cannot get a bad tone from this tele - the mini-humbucker and tele-birdge are perfectly balanced. No matter what amp I plugged into the guitar sang and at this point the tele was all I could focus on. So, I didn't end up with an amp - I was just so blinded by the guitar. I went home empty handed to wait for my tax refund so I can go back and buy one of these beauties. The amp can wait for awhile. This is the only guitar any good guitarist would ever need. Its been 2 weeks and I still can't forget about this beauty. Don't really need another amp anyway. Probably don't need another guitar either - I have a dozen high end ones already - but, I think this is "the one" - somehow I think Leo himself would have loved this tele.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Great guitar

By Henrik

from Nashville

I bought my sample last September based on advice from Danny at Guitar Centre in Nashville. Since I'm a "guitaroholic" with more than 20 guitars at home, this guitar was meant to be a backup guitar for my other 3 CS Teles. This guitar has become my main piece. There is no doubt it is as good as my other CS guitars - and they are great, but it has a tone which I just find unbelievable. I don't think there is any Les Paul nor strat sound here, it's definitive Telesound, but deeper and richer. I use two amps, a cranked up Marchall JCM 800, and a Fender Junior Pro at just a bit dirty, simultaneously which gives a fat rock sound which I just love

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Better than CS Heavy Relic Tele w/ Humbucker I played!

By Nick

from nashville, tn

I am stunned with this guitar and am so pleased that I got one--for the money, it's an absolute steal and truly plays/sounds like a dream. The first time I played one I also played a Heavy Relic Custom Shop Tele ($3600) with a Humbucker in the neck position, and the custom shop sounded flat and lame compared to the Hot Rod! My friends and the people listening to me play agreed too. The Hot Rod also played MUCH better, (wonderful, effortless neck) and it only had a factory setup--the CS Tele had an in house tech set it up before it went on the wall in the Platinum Room, I was told, and it still didn't play as well. It's an incredibly versatile guitar, and can go from punchy rockabilly riffs through my blackface 65 Fender Super Reverb, as well as "strat like" surf tones, to "les paul" type tones, as someone reviewed, though I think it sounds better than my Les Pauls. Haha, but I'm a true believer when it comes to Fender. Every Fender I own is a true workhorse for me, and that's what I want out of a guitar! You will have no regrets! I was told by a good friend in California who deals in collectible guitars that Fender regards this as the best American Vintage piece that they have ever made, and most seem to agree! Oh yeah, I must also mention that the Butterscotch finish is gorgeous and certainly worth noting, and that the satin finish neck feels perfect!!! The pictures can barely do this Tele any justice. Enjoy for a lifetime!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Best in show

By Skyler Phillips

from Virginia Beach, VA

I first picked up this guitar based on its classic vintage look. They also had the vintage 52 as well hanging next to it. Aside from the mini HB, they look very similar. Playing it however was a different story. This version has a 9.25" radius neck with 6105 frets. You will immediately be drawn to this one more due to the fact it plays much better along the fretboard. The true vintage spec is very curved and has small vintage frets which make made me put it right back up on the wall before even plugging it in. I did want a more vintage look, but not at the expense of making a hard time of playing it. This had the best of both worlds and all the differences are not noticed when comparing side by side on looks alone. I will add in that the 1 ply pickguard with no side screws will arch up off the body with changes in weather. This also raises the mini HB. I wish they could have made it a point to keep the thing secure a little better.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


got what I paid for!

By Gabriel Becker

from Indianapolis, IN

I wanted a Fender that would hold its value, and justify repairs such as refretting some day. I wanted a Fender that I could hold on to the rest of my life and pass down to someone else when I'm an old man. This is a nice nice nice instrument. completely flawless, craftsmanship is stunning. thin skin nitro feels wonderfull. when I really think about it, I got what I paid for and more. If you are looking to just "get a guitar" this may not be for you. There are plenty of other fenders that cost much less, and are still very nice, but if you are looking for a seriously rocking guitar, and hope to take good care of it for years and years to come, you've found yourself a bargain with the 52 RI hot rod. Couldn't be happier.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Show quality, Stage performance

By andrew Hurt

from Okinawa, Japan

I bought this guitar as my first "show piece," meaning more than $1000. Basically when I felt my playing was getting better than the other guitar I had. Honestly, I wasn't much of a Fender guy, and I especially did not like Telecasters - until I saw this on the wall. It hit me like a tractor beam. I sat there and stared at it and eventually the sales guy (at Nashville GC) sensed my lust and took it down for me. The guitar fit like a glove, with a great, heavy weight. When I said I thought Telecasters were normally very light, he explained the swamp-ash could get really heavy, which I noticed also contributes to the long sustain. The SD in the neck sounds so sweet! The middle position is also super juicy. The bridge pickup is classic hot Tele. There's not too much bad I can say about this guitar - it sold me on Fenders and especially the Telecaster. The maple neck is nice and hard and very easy to fret notes on. Simply put: This is a classic guitar and is an inspiration to play. It has caused me to explore new types of music and tones. Also, I call it a show piece because when you open the case, it actually causes people to say "wow" because of it's striking beauty. If you have an inkling of curiosity toward this guitar, buy it. I've had it for two years now and I still feel like I just bought it yesterday. FOUR STARS: why? The bakelite can be VERY sensitive to heat changes, causing it to warp ever so slightly - for vintage guys, this can be desirable, but I was a bit surprised when it happened. Very common, and I like the look, but just wanted you to know ...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Tele tones and smooth overdrive capability in 1 guitar!

By Dave Welch

from Brandon, Florida

OK, I always had to have a 52 Tele, but could never get past the standard neck pickup of the regular 52 model, it had a pretty weak output and bassy sound. The Hot Rod model took care of all that, with the mini humbucker it produces unbelievable jazz tones. Now you can quickly go from smooth overdriven sounds or mellow jazz notes to the very familiar rich Tele twang as fast as you can flip the 3 way switch over. There's nothing bad about this thing, all the selectable tones are full and chimey with no trace of harshness or ear piercing trebly sounds sometimes associated with some Tele bridge pickups. The vintage Tele pickup on the 52 Hot Rod is perfect for me. Use a good tube amp, you'll be amazed. And the in between sound with both pickups engaged is a beautiful blended sound, well balanced with full rich piano-like notes. Beyond the sound, it's just an awesome piece of craftsmanship. Beautiful nitro finish, extremely well shaped neck making it so easy to play smoothly. It just feels right when you hold it and play it. And it's a real eyecatcher, gets lots of compliments. You won't regret getting one to call yours.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


If I could only have one guitar, it would be this one

By moguelator

from Mexico

This is an extremely versatile guitar. In the bridge pick up you can hear that classic Telecaster twang. But on the neck pick up, this guitar sounds more like a Les Paul, pretty fat tone. Now I can gig with one guitar and have amazing cleans and great hi gain tones. Try Gibson Vintage Strings with it (sounds great)...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By Scott

from Cincinnati, OH

This guitar is unbelievable! Everything about it is perfect, from the blonde finish, to the wood grain, to the neck shape, to...everything. Out-of-the-box, this is the best setup Fender guitar I have ever seen. I literally tuned it, and it was ready to go, no setup needed. The pickup sounds are incredible, and you can achieve just about any sound you want. The neck feels and plays fast. The vintage bridgeplate and saddles are aswesome. I could not be happier!!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


The Karma Sutra of Teles

By ddada

from Smashville, TN

First off, I wasn't lucky enough to get the one-piece ash slab, but I did manage to get this guitar for 1600, new. Sweet. As the title suggest this is the Karma Sutra of Teles: each position leaves you wanting more, and more, and more. Position 1 is your classic tele twang, just a little bit hotter. Position 3, with the mini HB, gives you that fat dark tone, great for jazz and blues. Position 2 was most surprising, soundiing some-what like a strat. You can get nice funnk and rhythm sounds. Really nice and unique. As far as the build goes,top notch. Like I said earlier, a one-piece slab would put this guitar at a 9.9. As for now it's a 9/10.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


A True Classic

By Betancourt

from Miramar, FL

I love this guitar and the Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini Humbucker neck pickup sounds amazing. It has soul and sounds great for blues, classic rock, etc... Love playing Rolling Stones classics on this guitar. You wont be dissapointed with this true classic. I have a Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster and each has an amazing sound. This is a must to your collection.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


How to Get Keith Out of Your System

By William White

from Salt Lake City, Utah

I bought my 52 Hot Rod while still owning a American Standard Tele with Texas Special pickups and a Eric Clapton Blackie Strat. So why would I buy another Telecaster? Because one of my favorite rhythm guitarists in the world's greatest rock n roll band, Keith Richards crunches monster chords with incredible tone-often times with this very model guitar, that's why. With a 65 Twin Reverb, a little bit of tape echo and just a tad bit of distortion my tone is incredible (although a dry signal is awesome too). I keep mine in permanent open G with the bottom string removed. With it and a capo I play, Brown Sugar, Jumpin Jack Flash, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Start Me Up, Street Fighting Man and Honky Tonk Women. Talk about burnin down the house and gettin people up. I started wearing attenuators to keep my hearing for a while longer, but our listeners don't mind a bit.

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