It feels and handles like a…..Tele? The 21 frets and slightly slimmer fretwire give it a bit of an old school feel
but the slim neck makes it easy to pick up. Balance is good and the whole thing feels lighter than the Bajas I’ve recently played. Certainly the lightness seems to translate into a very crisp, open acoustic tone. Unplugged it all feels very lively – suggesting that the tonewood is properly seasoned (the number of 80s Fenders I’ve played with a muddy unplugged response….)
I did feel a moment of hesitation before plugging the guitar into my nice valve Yerasov. The Nocaster pickups are normally bridge units and so having the same pickup in all three positions promises an aggressive response and that is what you get. The bridge unit has a clangy, puppy-ish liveliness to it – clean you get a very pushy country tone and with any overdrive you have a crisp, articulate and responsive punky row. This tone is very vintage – many of those 51-52 Nocasters and Teles are very aggressive tonally.
The middle pickup (on a Tele? Sacrilege!) tempers the rawness with a warmer, sweeter sound – it’s bright enough for pretty much any of the classic Tele tones but responds to overdrive with a deeper, earthier feel, perhaps more P90 than you’d expect. It’s a lot more incisive than most Strat middle pickups I’ve played.
The neck tone is pure nectar – rounded and full with all the bell-like response you like but with a lot of clarity.
The quality of these pickups is outstanding and give all three positions powerful, assertive tones of great character. But you also get those in-between tones as well and these are especially interesting – darker and richer than you’d expect from a Strat, with the hint of P90 coming through slightly stronger. Indeed, if you like a Strat but think them a little quiet, this could be made for you.
So, what is the Triple Tele? Coming to a conclusion on the Baja Teles was pretty simple, they were outstanding, outstanding distillations of 60 years of the Tele, with the classic tones you wanted and extra magic through that S-1 switching.
The Triple is different, brilliant but different and another triumph for the Classic Player range. It’s madly versatile but the tonality of it pushes it towards the player who wants something more aggressive and spikier. It’s beautifully made, has tons of character and sounds absolutely brilliant in every position – if those are the tones you need. For a lot of players out there, this is the perfect guitar for them and even as a second guitar, everyone would benefit from a bit of Triple Tele in their lives.