Fender Custom American Custom Tele Review & Prices

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Fender Custom American Custom Tele Review
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  • From Fender Custom's 2020 American Custom series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • 2-Piece Select Ash body
  • 2A Roasted Birdseye Maple neck
  • Round-Laminated Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • '58-'63 Tele Bridge with Brass RSD Saddles bridge
  • 1960 Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Sperzel Die-Cast with White Pearloid Buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender Custom's 2020 American Custom series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • 2-Piece Select Ash body
  • 2A Roasted Birdseye Maple neck
  • Round-Laminated Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • '58-'63 Tele Bridge with Brass RSD Saddles bridge
  • 1960 Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Sperzel Die-Cast with White Pearloid Buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 75
Build quality 75
Value for money 61
Overall Score 76
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Custom American Custom Tele
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

2015 Fender Custom Shop American Custom Telecaster Demo | Fender
Fender Custom Shop American Custom Telecaster - In-Depth Demo
Fender Custom Shop American Custom Telecaster Demo
Fender Custom Shop American Custom Telecaster
Guitar of the Day: 2022 Fender American Original 60's Custom Telecaster RI | Norman's Rare Guitars
More Videos

Price: is the Fender Custom American Custom Tele a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $4000, which means that the Fender Custom American Custom Tele costs around 10% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

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Heavy
0
Slightly heavy
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Lightweight
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Very lightweight
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Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
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Sightly unstable
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Not bad
0
Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
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Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
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Slightly chunky
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Balanced
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Fast
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Herman Li fast
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Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
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Hard
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Normal
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Easy
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Very Easy
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Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
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V
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Asymmetrical
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C
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D
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Fret edges

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Very sharp
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Slightly sharp
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Smooth
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Pickups noise

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Noiseless
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Slightly Noisy
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Noisy
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Pickups power

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Clean
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Slightly Hot
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Hot
0

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Is The Fender Custom American Custom Tele Easy to Play?

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender Custom American Custom Tele
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Custom American Custom Tele's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Custom American Custom Tele's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Scale Length Comparison
Fender Custom American Custom Tele's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Neck Profile
Fender Custom American Custom Tele's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender Custom American Custom Tele's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele has a compound fingerboard radius of 9.5" to 12".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the guitar body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Nut Width
Fender Custom American Custom Tele Nut Width

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele has a nut width of 41.9mm (1.65''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

Frets

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Fret Size Comparison
Fender Custom American Custom Tele's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele's frets are Narrow Tall size. These are similar to Jumbos, but they might be slightly shorter (or taller, depending on the maker), and they tend to have a narrower crown width. You'll be able to press the strings easily, but if you're not used to them, you might get the notes out of pitch if you press down too hard on the strings since their height won't let you feel the fretboard.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 80
Playability 78

Does the Fender Custom American Custom Tele Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Fender Custom American Custom Tele

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Birdseye Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Birdseye Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Birdseye Maple Neck: This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender Custom. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele's configuration is SH. If you like the bright tone of a Tele or Strat, but would also like to use warmer tones for different styles, a single-coil at the bridge and a Humbucker at the neck will give you the versatility you want.

More guitars with the same pickups

21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Fender Custom American Custom Tele pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Custom American Custom Tele's switch options

What music genre is the Fender Custom American Custom Tele good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 75
Versatility 55
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 75

How well is the Fender Custom American Custom Tele Built?

Where is the Fender Custom American Custom Tele Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Custom American Custom Tele is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

More guitars made in United States

Bridge

'58-'63 Tele Bridge with Brass RSD Saddles: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Custom American Custom Tele has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 60
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 75

Most Popular Comparisons With The Fender Custom American Custom Tele

Fender Custom American Custom Tele Specs

General
Brand: Fender Custom
Year: 2020
Configuration: SH
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: American Custom
Colors: Black, Brown Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: 2-Piece Select Ash
Bridge: '58-'63 Tele Bridge with Brass RSD Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Sperzel Die-Cast with White Pearloid Buttons
Fretboard: Round-Laminated Rosewood
Neck Material: 2A Roasted Birdseye Maple
Decoration: Mother of Pearl dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: 1960 Oval C
Frets: 21 Narrow Tall
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" to 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 (Single Coil / Passive)

User Reviews of the Fender Custom American Custom Tele

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