Fender Baja Tele Guitar Review
The word Baja conjures up images of sand, surf and seafood in many minds -- and that’s just the image the Baja Tele is going for.
This guitar is a steal, Custom Shop craftsmanship and Mexican-factory pricing come together in the Classic Player Baja Tele.
Neither vintage in styling nor modern, the Baja strives to be the best of everything, and it succeeds on most counts, according to the majority of reviewers.
Truthfully, it’s an odd hodgepodge of features that somehow works together to create a sound that’s all Tele, but just a bit new and interesting, too.
It’s a refreshing sound that also has the versatility needed to make it work in front of any band brave enough to thrust it forward.
The Baja is the brainchild of Fender Custom Shop master builder Chris Fleming -- and its array of features shows what a creative brain the man must have.
First, it features a thin polyester finish over an ash body and a soft V-shaped maple neck with 21 medium jumbo frets.
The neck shape makes it fit some hands better, and the thin finish is a good thing, not a bad one.
Thick finishes restrict resonance, but thin ones let the wood sound through.
Its two pickups are interesting choices, too.
A custom vintage-type Broadcaster single-coil bridge pickup joins a custom Twisted Tele single-coil pickup at the neck.
A four-way switch controls them, and an S-1 switch allows the other switch to do double duty, making for more possible pickup configurations.
A vintage-style three-saddle strings-through-body bridge is also included on the Baja.
It’s offered in a blonde finish and a slightly less popular desert sand color.
Available online for around $800, it’s certainly not the least expensive Tele on the market, but the lower manufacturing costs at Fender’s Mexican plant keep the price below most models made in the company’s United States plant.
With the collaboration between the Custom Shop’s builders and the Ensenada, Mexico plant on Baja California, special features take on lower prices.
It may be hard to categorize the Baja Telecaster, but one thing is for sure: A lot of thought and lots of fancy little doodads went into making the Baja Telecaster something unique and unusual.
And Fender also went to the trouble to send its manufacturing down to Mexico so you could afford it.
Unique, affordable, beautiful, interesting and a little bit strange -- all those words describe this model.
Could you use something affordable that’s unique, interesting, beautiful and strange? If so, you now know where to get it.
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