9/22/2016

2000s Korean-made Fender FMT HH Telecaster Electric Guitar





This electric is sold as a Telecaster but the only thing "Tele" about it is the outline of the headstock and body and a through-body hardtail bridge. Everything else is borrowed from the PRS and 80s SuperStrat playbook -- nato (like mahogany) body and neck with a carved, flamed-maple top, skinny 70s Gibson-ish modern neck profile, two humbuckers with a coil-split push/pull pot at the tone control, and a "crimson red" transparent finish with cream binding for trim. Mix-in a contoured body and a big weight reduction over a normal Tele, and this just becomes more alien to the purist.

So -- what about if you don't care for Teles? Then... it's a perfectly-good guitar. It's more comfortable to hold, has a quick feel, won't give your back spasms after a 3-hour set, and the single coil/humbucker mode switch is a feature that gives it two distinct personalities. This is all nice to have for a player looking for something more modern (the pickups are hot and will drive an amp readily), but I have to admit that my own tastes run vintage.

I spruced this up for a customer -- I replaced the broken (and cheesy) push/pull pot with a better-quality unit, fixed some wiring issues, and gave it a good setup.


The flamed-maple, curvy top is decidedly un-Fender, but attractive in a PRS way.



This has jumbo frets, a rosewood fretboard, and giant abalone dot markers.



The controls are recessed and a Gibson-style 3-way is used. The saddles are some sort of really hard steel and the owner had trouble with broken strings. I smoothed the slots in them so hopefully that solves that issue.





The serial number appears to be meaningless per Fender's serial charts, but examples on online forums with close numbers suggest this was made around 2007-2009. The model is still made to this day and -- sheesh -- I'm so out of the loop with modern instruments that I didn't even know Fender was selling Fender-branded Korean-made guitars. I suppose they're doing the same with Chinese-made ones, too, so why not?





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