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MF MD HG July Financing 7-22-14

Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar 3 Color Sunburst Rosewood Fingerboard

  • Write a Review
Product #H78829
Silver Coverage

Overview

  • Alder body
  • 27" Scale c-shaped maple neck, rosewood fretboard, 9.5" radius, 22 medium jumbo frets
  • Blacktop Tele single-coil neck and middle pickups
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $699.99
  • Your Savings:
    - $200.00
  • Your Price:
    $49999
1 Used From $399.99
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  • 3 Color Sunburst Rosewood Fingerboard

    $499.99 Silver Coverage

    In stock

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  • Classic Copper Rosewood Fingerboard

    $499.99 Silver Coverage

    In stock

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  • Ghost Silver Rosewood Fingerboard

    $499.99 Silver Coverage

    In stock

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Fender

How Low Can You Go?

The Fender Blacktop series presents a truly unique new model in the deeply resounding form of the Blacktop Telecaster Baritone guitar. A true baritone Telecaster, it creates a rich sound of distinctive depth and character with a 27” scale, lowdown B-to-B tuning, and a tonally versatile triple-pickup configuration-including a full-throated humbucking bridge pickup-that covers the entire sonic spectrum from tic-tac twang to full-on kerrang!

Features

  • Alder body
  • 27" Scale c-shaped maple neck, rosewood fretboard, 9.5" radius, 22 medium jumbo frets
  • Blacktop Tele single-coil neck and middle pickups
  • Blacktop Tele humbucking bridge pickup
  • Master volume and tone, 5-way pickup selector switch

A Baritone is a unique addition to any guitar collection. Order one today.

 
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
FenderBlacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar
 
4.1

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (11)
  • Good feel (11)
  • Good pick up (6)
  • Good tone (6)
  • Solid electronics (5)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (6)
  • Poor pick up (3)

Best Uses

  • Recording (9)
  • Jamming (8)
  • Rock concerts (7)
  • Practicing (4)
  • Small venues (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Fun, but Comes With Some Caveats

I bought this guitar as a complement to my mains: something to knock about with for a fresh perspective. For this purpose it works great, providing solid sound, and a fun and interesting...Read complete review

I bought this guitar as a complement to my mains: something to knock about with for a fresh perspective. For this purpose it works great, providing solid sound, and a fun and interesting playing experience. It has certainly given me some new ideas.

However I have to say that out of the box it is not a professional instrument, and will require some modification before it becomes a serious working guitar:

1) The low B string cannot be properly intonated without modification to the bridge. You'll get close, but not spot on. This issue has been noted elsewhere and is not specific to my guitar. There is simply not enough room on the bridge. I'm considering various fixes: clipping or removing the spring, filing the saddle, or moving/replacing the bridge itself. I wouldn't say this problem makes the guitar unplayable unless you're an absolute tuning purist, but does require some workaround "tempering," for example tuning the open low B a tiny bit flat to compensate for the unavoidable sharpness higher up, or tuning to specific keys/positions.

2) I've only had it about three months, but I'm already itching to replace the pickups and electronics. The pots and switch have a delicate, fragile, well...cheap feel. (And those big ugly "Blacktop" knobs had to go!) I haven't heard any extra noise yet, but it won't surprise me when it comes.

The pickups are pedestrian at best, at least to my ear. They work ok: I can pull some cool tones out of them owing to the baritone construction, a basic richness that can be enhanced with a decent amp/attentive EQ (a bass cabinet is a plus). But the stock pickups lack real character. They just don't have a distinct voice, and so feel somewhat like placeholders. This is particularly noticeable at high gain settings. I haven't been able to get a really satisfyingly heavy down-tuned "stoner rock" sound out of this guitar quite yet: I'm probably going to go for some higher-output Duncans in my quest for this. (A good 7-string might be a better choice if that's what you're after too.)

3) The tuners are probably inappropriate for a baritone. Tuning present difficulties that a higher gear ratio (16:1 or 18:1) would probably rectify.

Having said all that, it is a solidly built guitar in terms of its basic craftsmanship. A proper set-up and fret dressing is probably called for, but this is true of most new guitars of course. It's well-finished, comfortable, well-balanced, and quite a bit of fun to play. The neck feels like a Fender should, but with a little extra heft: smooth and solid and substantial. Given the dearth of baritone models, it's definitely worth a try if you have the extra scratch and want to play with some new sounds, but be advised that you will probably have to put it under the knife before you are completely happy with it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Blacktop Tele Baritone...good/bad

Out of the box, it needed some serious work if to be played professionally. Right off, the intonation problem with the instrument would be solved if the bridge were set back 1/4...Read complete review

Out of the box, it needed some serious work if to be played professionally. Right off, the intonation problem with the instrument would be solved if the bridge were set back 1/4 of an inch. It's next to impossible to precisely intonate it unless you do some saddle filing. The stock volume and tone pots, as well as the selector switch are junk. They had to be replaced with CTS quality parts, and a Fender 5-way switch. The tuners are not the right gear ratio for a baritone...adding 18:1 locking Grovers solved this problem.
The strings were also inferior out of the box. Replaced with D'Addario Baritone Lights did the job. That said, not a bad guitar, providing you want to add on $200.00 worth of parts and labor. I do like the neck, finish and "vibe" of the guitar. It IS a bit on the heavy side for a Tele...but that's a minor issue.

Reviewed by 16 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Sometimes ya gotta have that STRANGE...

By LaroldC

from New England, USA

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Beautiful finish
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Solid Basic Construction
  • Sturdy Hardware

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Tuners Are Wrong Ratio

Best Uses

  • Function Halls
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • Small Venues

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

It's a MIM, which is, in my experience, pretty much the working musician's standard Fender mfg level these days, essentially as good as any American Std in the practical sense, and at a third of the price.

A baritone is exotic and definitely fun to play for the first time. And happily, once you get a feel for 'er and learn how to dial in the most suitable tones, it just gets better. It loves a warm, tube-barky, semi-clean setting, as it responds well to the dynamics of your pick hand. One huge benefit of a baritone is that with the thicker strings you get more sustain all around - even in a crystal clean channel - and it picks up more of the tonal attributes of the wood, so chording is pretty - once you toughen your fingers up for the big strings. You'll buzz a little for a while, but don't give up!

Visually, this one's very pretty, with a typically flawless Fender finish. The hardware is sturdy, but I do have one notable critique: The tuners are not suited to the thicker strings. They should use ones with a larger gear ratio. It's too easy to overshoot your note while tuning and it goes out of tune over time. The 5-way toggle and knobs are Fender quality. The back of the neck is high-gloss, not satinized. The pickups are not really high output. You might want to try some hotter ones, but the stock ones are OK for general applications. I love the string-through design. I think it was smart not to include a tremolo system, as it wouldn't be of much use in such a low range instrument. Overall, the construction is very good. After a thorough setup, which is not as easy as with a standard guitar, the neck plays quite well. You do, as I said, have to acclimate your hands to the thicker strings, but here's a perk: Once you get used to the baritone you'll find that your other guitars are all easier to play!

Comment on this review

(5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Diamond in the rough.

By Mazzith

from Fife WA

About Me Experienced

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Intonation problems
  • Needs New Bridge Saddles
  • Needs New Tuners
  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

Best Uses

  • Good Metal Guitar

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

If you want a guitar that is ready to rock out of the box this guitar is not it.

A customer brought me this guitar to set up today and while I really liked the guitar it was going to need some work.

Problem #1 Intonation
I could not get the intonation set without replacing the current saddles. The saddles can go go far enough back as if the bridge was installed in the incorrect spot.

Problem #2 Tuners
The tuners are very poor and would need replaced. They must have a 8:1 tuners as they are very touchy and makes it hard to get a precise tuning.

Problem #3 Neck and Frets
The neck needed a little adjustment but was unable to get the action really low due to buzz around 14-18 frets. Need to lower those frets.

Over all thoughts:
The overall tone was pretty good for the price and it weight was good. The neck was comfortable. I see a lot of good things in this guitar after you put the work and money in.I told my customer that if he decided to sell it I would buy it, or trade him another guitar or amp for the guitar.

If you enjoy working on your own guitars this is a great project, if you do not want to work on it, or pay others to do it, do not bother with it.

Comment on this review

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

That low end.

By jp189

from Denver, CO

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Pick Up

Cons

  • Bad Factory Setup
  • Bad Setup
  • Stock Strings Are Awful

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

All the other reviews hit it on the head. If you love the Fender feel and want a baritone, look no further. Just know you'll have to adjust the intonation (as said elsewhere, the bridge isn't placed correctly for the scale length; you won't get perfect intonation without some spring removal/saddle filing). The stock strings were absolute garbage and had no sustain whatsoever. About as much sustain as if I was fretting out constantly. And replacing the tuners with the Fender locking tuners was the icing on the cake. When I pulled mine out of the box, she felt toyish and out of tune. Now she feels like a real, quality instrument. So plan up front for the extra investment on the tuning machines and new strings, and you'll be set to rock and roll.

Comment on this review

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Baritone

By Ryan

from Santa Cruz, CA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • GREAT sound
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Needs Set Up Work

Best Uses

  • Whenever

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

First of all, what a great value. It has a really cool sound and for only about five hundred its a bargain. Also for being made in Mexico I don't really have any complaints, it was built really well although it does need a few minor adjustments to make it perfect. I got it in Ghost Gray and the paint job is stunning, not only is it metallic but it will also show shades of blue or purple depending on the light, awesome color. I would definitely buy this guitar again or recommend it to a friend.

Comment on this review

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Well Made and Finished

By DAVE

from San Francisco

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Feels Like A Tele
  • Not Too Long A Scale
  • Once Adjusted Good Feel
  • Volume Knob Perfect

Cons

  • A Lot Of Pickup Adjustmen
  • Had To Set Everything Up
  • Pickups Way Low
  • Strings Too Light For It
  • Tone Control Lousy
  • Truss Rod Needed A Lot

Best Uses

  • Getting New Ideas
  • Jamming
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • Strengthen Your Fingers

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

Very decent guitar, especially for the price. Not heavy, and the scale length isn't ridiculously long-- 27" is about right, 30" is for Bass VI stuff. So it doesn't feel like the neck is miles long--- in fact, it just feels like they added one more fret at the nut. You can't play rough, you need good technique or you'll pull or push all the strings (especially the bass strings) out of tune--- badly. But if you remember good technique, it stays tuned, right where you put it. I thought I might miss the whammy, but in fact now I think it's not right for a baritone.

I suppose I could have just gotten a seven string guitar, in order to keep the high E, but Fender doesn't make one and I like Teles. I'm replacing the pickups, I always do that. The guitar is worth the best and it will get them. There's nothing else I'd change except the next set of strings is heavier.

The baritone has to find its place in a tune, between guitar and bass, has to find that hole that needs filling. It takes some time. You can't just grab it and play it like a guitar. It's not meant for that and it doesn't WORK that way. But if you can find that hole, it's real sweet.

Comment on this review

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Solid Baritone

By baujos36

from Pennsylvania

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Fast Action
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Solid Build

Cons

  • Intonation Issues
  • Poor Pick Up
  • Poor Tuners
  • Subpar Electronics

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

This guitar is a great addition to any guitarists arsenal whether you play on stage professionally or in your bedroom. Out of the box, there are some set up issues that I highly recommend to get this guitar sounding at its best. These are the modifications I made to mine.
TOGGLE SWITCH- I don't need a 5 way toggle switch and personally it makes it difficult to switch pick ups on stage on the fly, so I replaced it with a 3 way Fender Tele switch.
VOLUME KNOBS- This was a matter of preference but I found the volume knobs to be distastefully bulky and cheap feeling so I replaced them chrome knobs.
PICKUPS- This was a must! the pickups in this thing are sub par and had to go! I replaced all three with just two humbuckers in the neck and bridge position, one being a Gibson 490r and the other a 498t.
BRIDGE AND INTONATION- I adjusted the bridge as best I could but there are some intonation issues that need to be dealt with by a professional. The low B string, as many have mentioned in reviews is slightly sharp in pitch. This means that in order to play higher notes, you have to tune it slightly flat to compensate for this. It's barely noticeable but to a trained ear can get obnoxious so I suggest having a luthier file the bridge or remove the spring as I feel its the only option. Moving the bridge further back would've solved this problem when the guitar was built.

OVERALL- This guitar is a high level guitar with a few modifications needing made stashed at a mid level guitar price. I play hard rock (Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Crossfade, etc) and use this instrument as my main stage guitar. It really packs a punch and in my opinion is the best baritone on the market right now.

Comment on this review

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Love it!

By Loki777

from LaCrosse, WI

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

Best Uses

  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

The Guitar needed some setup when I opened the box, to be expected. When I peeled the protective plastic off the pickguard a small piece of the top laminate came off with it. About an inch of the guard. Musicians friend said I could return the guitar, but I opted to keep it. I'll contact Fender directly to get a replacement guard. Other than that the guitar is great!

Comment on this review

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A great guitar but needs work out of box

By Fountains

from Ottawa, Canada

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Unique sound

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Needs Work Out Of The Box
  • Poor Pick Up

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

I do like this guitar mainly because the neck and fretboard play like a dream, however it needs serious work straight out of the box before this will be ready for the studio/stage.

1) The tuners HAVE to go. Like other reviewers have said, they're completely inappropriate for a baritone guitar and make fine tuning the guitar a total pain. 18:1 gear ratios are in order ASAP.

2) There simply isn't enough room on the bridge to properly intonate the guitar. You will have to have a guitar tech either file down the bridge or remove the spring.

3) The electronics aren't bad. The neck pickup is a bit muddy, but I like the bridge quite a bit.

Comment on this review

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Sounds Great. Needs string change ASAP.

By DirtyDrummer

from St. Louis

About Me Experienced

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • String Sizes Are Wrong

Best Uses

  • Good Way To Spice It Up
  • Jamming
  • Recording

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

If you are looking for a good baritone do not hesitate to buy this beauty. The copper color is flawless. Its just a plus that this MIM is affordable as well. This is most definately a real guitar. I have mine tuned to drop C and the bridge pickups screams!!! This guitar can be very deep, bassy, muddy on the neck and then change to crunchy warm with the flick of a switch.

Comment on this review

(9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Fun, but Comes With Some Caveats

By ProceedsTheWeedian

from Bellingham, WA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone
  • Inspiring

Cons

  • Intonation Issues
  • Sub-par Electronics

Best Uses

  • Experimenting
  • Jamming
  • Practicing

Comments about Fender Blacktop Baritone Telecaster Electric Guitar:

I bought this guitar as a complement to my mains: something to knock about with for a fresh perspective. For this purpose it works great, providing solid sound, and a fun and interesting playing experience. It has certainly given me some new ideas.

However I have to say that out of the box it is not a professional instrument, and will require some modification before it becomes a serious working guitar:

1) The low B string cannot be properly intonated without modification to the bridge. You'll get close, but not spot on. This issue has been noted elsewhere and is not specific to my guitar. There is simply not enough room on the bridge. I'm considering various fixes: clipping or removing the spring, filing the saddle, or moving/replacing the bridge itself. I wouldn't say this problem makes the guitar unplayable unless you're an absolute tuning purist, but does require some workaround "tempering," for example tuning the open low B a tiny bit flat to compensate for the unavoidable sharpness higher up, or tuning to specific keys/positions.

2) I've only had it about three months, but I'm already itching to replace the pickups and electronics. The pots and switch have a delicate, fragile, well...cheap feel. (And those big ugly "Blacktop" knobs had to go!) I haven't heard any extra noise yet, but it won't surprise me when it comes.

The pickups are pedestrian at best, at least to my ear. They work ok: I can pull some cool tones out of them owing to the baritone construction, a basic richness that can be enhanced with a decent amp/attentive EQ (a bass cabinet is a plus). But the stock pickups lack real character. They just don't have a distinct voice, and so feel somewhat like placeholders. This is particularly noticeable at high gain settings. I haven't been able to get a really satisfyingly heavy down-tuned "stoner rock" sound out of this guitar quite yet: I'm probably going to go for some higher-output Duncans in my quest for this. (A good 7-string might be a better choice if that's what you're after too.)

3) The tuners are probably inappropriate for a baritone. Tuning present difficulties that a higher gear ratio (16:1 or 18:1) would probably rectify.

Having said all that, it is a solidly built guitar in terms of its basic craftsmanship. A proper set-up and fret dressing is probably called for, but this is true of most new guitars of course. It's well-finished, comfortable, well-balanced, and quite a bit of fun to play. The neck feels like a Fender should, but with a little extra heft: smooth and solid and substantial. Given the dearth of baritone models, it's definitely worth a try if you have the extra scratch and want to play with some new sounds, but be advised that you will probably have to put it under the knife before you are completely happy with it.

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