When Mike Rinkenberger and Gene Baker of b3 Guitars approached us about doing an exclusive run of guitars - a revamped Telstar model - we jumped at the opportunity. Simply put, the Telstar is an original design that brilliantly melds the best parts of a Telecaster with the best parts of a Stratocaster. As long-time Strat and Tele players, the idea of a well-executed hybrid? Sign us up!
Imagine someone at Fender unearthing a long-lost prototype that Leo Fender was working on in the years after the launch of the Telecaster on his way to designing the Stratocaster. That, in a nutshell, is the concept the Telstar conjures up for us. The way Gene has blended elements of both designs is so seamless that its easy to imagine this being the missing link between a Tele and a Strat - and - who better to bring this design to life than Gene, the Fender Custom Shop's first Master Builder back in the early days of the Custom Shop?
The body of the Telstar spits the differences between these two iconic Fender models in a north / south orientation. The "southern" half of the body is all Tele - same body radius, control layout, horn shape, etc...The "northern" half of the body is a Stratocaster with its body radius and contours. The basic idea being that a Tele is more comfortable for seated playing - and some also prefer its control plate layout - while a Strat's tummy cut and arm contour are more comfy overall. Makes perfect sense, no?
A few modern touches include a 12" radius, 22 fret maple/rosewood neck, a Tele bridge pickup in place of a Strat's bridge pickup (strengthening the weak spot on a Strat), beautifully installed 6105 frets, a custom made Mann bridge/tremolo which incorporates 3 compensated brass Tele saddles (very cool), and perhaps the most mind warping feature - a 10-way, yes 10-way, Free-Way switch.
This Free-Way switch is one of the coolest things we've encountered in a very long time. It maintains the look of a traditional Strat 5-way switch while expanding your tonal possibilities in the easiest way possible - in each of the 5 positions you can either push the switch down towards the floor for normal Strat operation, or, click it up towards you for 5 additional options. No push/pull knob to contend with, no mini toggle to navigate....simple & effective access to 10 sounds in total.
Having seen Gene's original Telstar design we knew this was a model that not only needed to exist, but one that needed to be more widely available. We're honored and excited to present the Telstar! Fender fans, you'll find a ton to love here. Gibson players that can't decide on a Strat or a Tele? This is your guitar. Priced with hardshell case.
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We ship all instruments with a 48-hour approval period during which time you can comfortably evaluate your purchase and determine if it's right for you. The prices listed on our website do not include shipping charges or any applicable taxes, duties, or custom fees. Instruments shipped within MA are subject to a 6.25% sales tax. All out-of-state shipments are tax-free though we do recommend you look into your individual state's tax codes to determine any tax liabilities. The Music Emporium has been shipping guitars around the world for 40+ years. Your instrument will be expertly packed and shipped via FedEx, UPS, or US Post, depending on the destination and level of service. If you have a preferred method not listed here, please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate.
Upon receiving your instrument, please inspect it to insure that the condition of the instrument is as described in your communication with us. Please contact us immediately via phone or email if you find any damage to the case or instrument that wasn't previously disclosed at time of purchase. If you decide to return the instrument, you must notify us via phone or email within 48 hours of delivery. We'll instruct you on how to make the return. Please pack the instrument in the same manner in which it was received, using all supplied packing materials, Unless instructed otherwise, you must ship the instrument using the same service in which it was delivered (Next day, Ground etc.) and insure it for its full value. The Music Emporium will issue a refund for the full purchase price once the instrument arrives, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left our shop. All shipping charges will be the responsibility of the customer.