- Well-Built yet Affordable
- Light and Resonant
- Brad Paisley Spec Vintage-style single-coil bridge pickup
- 9.5” Fretboard Radius
Brad Paisley is one of the top 5 Country Music guitar slingers and has collaborated on a signature guitar pedal (Wampler Pedals) and amps (Dr. Z Amplifiers) but never a guitar until now. As a worship team guitarist, I know how popular Telecasters’ are on the platform, so I was eager to put this one through its paces.
The new 2017 Fender Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster was built in cooperation with Brad because he wanted to be involved with an instrument that an average player could afford. Paisley is known for playing his original ’68 Paisley Telecaster early in his career. When I asked him about his new Fender he stated, “This guitar can last you a lifetime and it is really well made.” Singing the National Anthem at Game 2 of the World Series, Brad played his signature guitar for millions of fans! When our review guitar first arrived, I thought it was damaged in shipping due to the checking on the back of the headstock and throughout the bodies silver sparkle finish – then I realized that Fender did an incredible job of relicing it!
First impressions, the guitar is very light and resonant thanks to a body made from sandwiched together spruce/paulownia/spruce. The neck is maple with a 9.5” radius fretboard that feels a bit thicker than a standard Tele thanks to its enhanced “V” shape, it comes loaded with 21 medium jumbo frets and a synthetic nut. The top of the headstock above the Fender logo features Paisley’s signature hat symbol.
Hardware consists of the standard Telecaster metal tray with triple-brass barrel style saddles that are compensated and vintage style Fender machine heads. The pickups include a 64’ custom wound vintage-style Tele single-coil in the bridge position (wound to Brad’s specs) and a Fender twisted Tele single-coil in the neck position for warmer Stratocaster like tones. Controls are standard Tele style with a volume, tone and a 3-way pickup selector.
The finish over the sparkle finish paint job is nitrocellulose allowing the wood to breath. The Road Worn relic-ing treatment by Fender is very tastefully done and not over reliced as many builders will do. Besides the finish checking on the neck and body the only worn through areas are where your strumming arm rest and at the lower bout where the body would rest on your leg. The transparent pickguard is thick with the paisleys on the underneath side allowing areas of sparkle finish to be visible.
Playing Brad’s signature Tele I didn’t want to put it down due to the neck shape and I was able to achieve country, blues and rock tones from the custom pickups. It surprised me in that for a Telecaster it handled distortion and overdrive very well without feedback issues and the bass wasn’t muddy as some Teles’ with humbuckers in the neck can sound. Street price this made in Mexico Fender Brad Paisley Road Worn Tele is $1,199.99 with a Fender Deluxe Gig bag. It is an excellent value considering all the features, playability and wide diversity of available tones. This is a Fender instrument that will allow you to push your musical boundaries much as Brad Paisley has and give you enough tonal flexibility to play confidently through any worship team set list.