As hard rock became more popular during the late 60s and early 70s, new Tele designs evolved in order to meet demand while existing models fell by the wayside. By 1970, both the Esquire and Esquire Custom guitars were discontinu­ed, followed by the original/sunburst Telecaster Custom and the George Harrisonen­dorsed Rosewood Telecaster in ’72. The Telecaster Deluxe made its debut soon after in ’73, hoping to compete with Gibson’s Les Paul Standard directly with a dual-humbucker-loaded guitar.

Like its contempora­ry Telecaster Custom model, the hybriddesi­gn Telecaster Deluxe features Les Paul-style controls and a large scratchpla­te. In addition, it has a CBS-era Stratocast­erstyle wide headstock,“micro-neck-adjust” three-bolt neckplate system, and ‘belly cut’ rear contour. Early on, the Telecaster Deluxe was also offered with a Strat-style “tremolo” option. Larger frets and a 9.5-inch radius complete its unique feel. It remained at the top of the Telecaster price list throughout its production.

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