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Fender Broadcaster vs Telecaster (ALL Differences + Pros & Cons)

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When Fender finally perfected the design of solid-bodied electric guitars, the birth of this new magical and beautiful instrument changed the world of music forever. 

After debuting the Fender Broadcaster in the 1950s, Fender made a remarkable statement in the world of guitar and music. 

Although electrified guitars had always been around in various forms since the 1920s, Fender worked tirelessly throughout the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the new decade just to perfect something that didn’t exist before.

The mass production of new solid-body electric guitars known as the Fender Broadcaster was something the guitar world had always been waiting for.

However, when Fender got a telegram from Gretsch demanding them to change the name “Broadcaster,” things changed. 

Although this wasn’t the most exciting telegram for a company to get concerning their new product, it, however, didn’t mean that Fender should stop the production of guitars.

They still had to continue, and this is how “Broadcaster” metamorphosed into “Nocaster,” and finally, “Telecaster.” 

In this article, we will look not just to compare these two guitars side by side, but we will also look at the history of these two amazing guitars.

Although one seems to be out of production, we, however, will still compare the former with the latter.

About the Fender Broadcaster 

Fender’s electric instrument company presented the Fender Broadcaster in the fall of 1950 in the USA. 

Leo Fender and his group of workers had been involved in designing an electric Spanish guitar since late 1940. 

The simple layout of the guitar would aid in effortless repairs. Regardless, the simplicity would also aid full spread in the guitar world market. 

Leo Fender also had the touring musician in mind with the Fender Broadcaster. They Broadcaster was to be easily preserved and suitable for touring musicians 

The Fender broadcaster guitar came with a readily replaceable bolt-on neck with a modifiable truss rod. It is important to note that the electric guitars that came before did not have bolt-on necks. 

The solid-body Broadcaster two pickups were capable of playing high-stage volume with no feedback issues like most hollow-body guitars. 

The two pick up on the Fender Broadcaster guitar was to produce the exact bright clear sound of the Fender’s steel lab guitars. 

Furthermore, to achieve that exact sound, a 3-saddle adjustable bridge was added for what we could describe as a “finer intonation.” However, the 3-saddle didn’t achieve the intent. 

However, the Fender Musical instrument corporations had to discontinue manufacturing the Broadcaster in 1951. 

The Gretsch company had a drum set with the name Broadkaster already. The company reached out to Fender and lawfully solicited a change of name for the Fender Broadcaster. 

Fender conceded but continued to manufacture the Broadcaster without a name for a while until the Telecaster began to appear in the decals. 

That is how the Telecaster became the broadcaster’s modern descendant. The broadcaster is, hence, the original Telecaster. 

There are only an estimated 500 or fewer original Broadcasters in existence. Because The manufacturing of the broadcaster later also called Nocaster only lasted a few months. 

The Fender Telecaster is made and manufactured in China. You can check the original Broadcaster here or visit the Fender website

Nonetheless, Fender has just debuted a similar model with the brand name 70th-anniversary Broadcaster. 

About the Fender Telecaster 

The Fender Telecaster was one of the first electric guitars to take over the world of country, Rock, blues, and punk. Leo Fender and his workers in southern California introduced the Fender Telecaster in early 1951. 

The Fender Telecaster had a Simple layout, two knobs, and a three-position switch with a complex combination function at that initial stage. 

Complex in that, they made the front knob to control the master volume. However, the rear knob was not always the master tone knob. 

From making and repairing amps, Leo Fender also started making electric guitars. We are not sure if they knew that the Telecaster guitar would be revolutionary. 

Initially, people sneered and giggled when the Fender Telecaster was officially introduced at the industry’s largest US Trade show. 

They were considered snow shovels and boat paddles. It would appear that Fender Telecaster would not succeed or have a place in the guitar world market. However, this response didn’t last long.

It didn’t even take guitar players to notice the revolutionary features of the Telecaster. 

Leo Fender and his team did not just introduce a new guitar in 1951 – it was a kind of guitar that numerous players needed. The Fender Telecaster was affordable, efficient, had a new design, great sound, and was easy to play. 

The Fender musical instrument corporation had been working since the 1920s throughout the 1940s to create a unique guitar that had never existed before – a solid body Spanish guitar-style electric guitar. They went on to mass-produce this revolutionary guitar. 

The Fender Telecaster’s strings were pulled straight over the nut, with all the tuners on one side of the headstock, unlike various guitars of the time. 

As inventive as the Fender Telecaster was, it still had some similarities to the Hawaiian steel guitar made by Fender in 1945.

Steel guitar features such as Klusion tuners, ashtray bridge covers, knurled chrome knobs, etc were all present in the Telecaster. 

Nonetheless, in1951 a conventional Telecaster layout was made. This was a solution to the complex combination function. 

These changes made Fender more versatile than any guitar of that time. As a result, players began using it a lot more. 

Great guitarists like Buck Owen, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, and others are all seen playing the Fender Telecaster. 

The Fender Telecaster has a remarkably bright, clean, and cutting sound. Also, a piercing high-end and thick mid-range bass. 

Fender Broadcaster vs Telecaster Review

The Fender Broadcaster is regarded to be the ancestor of the Fender Telecaster. Let’s run a review and see the thin lines separating them. 

The 1920s through 1948 had been an experimenting period for the Fender company. This may seem complicated to describe both the Broadcaster and the Telecaster side by side. 

Fender had to change brand names, materials, specs, designs, and even shapes. They implemented considerable modifications you can’t even imagine. 

From 1950 to 1951, you can find Broadcasters and Telecasters with subtle combinations of old and new features. The artisanal edifice made it a nonstandard variable. 

You could find a Fender Broadcaster and Telecaster model with different knob shapes, pickup selection variations, pickup wound material, and neck profiles. 

From 1952, the telecaster begins to look a bit different from the original Fender Broadcaster and, later, Nocaster.

The Fender Broadcaster features what they refer to as “blend knobs” that enable the bridge pickup to mix with the neck pickup smoothly. 

Unlike the Broadcaster, the modern Fender Telecaster features a tone knob Wired differently from the “blend knob” of the Broadcaster.

The Fender Broadcaster and Fender Telecaster both have two pickups that sound exceptionally clean and bright. 

The Broadcaster pickup uses a copper-plated steel base plate while the Telecaster uses a zinc-plated base plate. 

Although the comparison is small, let’s consider the following also; 

Bridge PickupWound with 43 gauge wireWound with 42 gauge wire
KnobsBlend knobTone knob
Neck profileU shape neckSmaller v shape neck
FinishingRose WoodRose Wood
WeightVery heavyLighter

Fender Broadcaster Pros and Cons


  • The Fender Broadcaster produces clean and bright sounds. 
  • The Fender Broadcaster is well-designed. 
  • They are made for ease of playability. 
  • The Fender broadcaster has 2 pickups.


  • The Fender Broadcaster moniker. 
  • They are not still in production. 

Very rare to own one now. 

  • They do not last long. 
  • The Fender Broadcaster does not have standard variables. 
  • They are considered experimental models.

Fender Telecaster Pros and Cons


  • The Fender Telecaster is less heavy. It is considerably lighter than the Broadcaster. 
  • They produce unique tones and sounds. 
  • The Fender Telecaster is simple and robust. It features a very instinctive layout. 
  • They have nice and comfortable necks. 
  • Can stay tuned and be easily tuned due to the lack of a tremolo bridge. 
  • The Fender Telecaster produces stronger and more precise lead tones because the bridge pickup is more heavily wound.


  • For guitar players that love to stand and play, The Fender Telecaster may be a little uncomfortable to carry or hang. 
  • The Fender Telecaster also has a limited tone option. This is due to its two pickups. 
  • It is very hard to do volume swell with the Fender Telecaster. 
  • You cannot add a tremolo or whammy bar without doing some serious modification that might likely damage the guitar. 
  • The neck pickup is not that strong. 
  • Lacks body contours and may be uncomfortable playing for a long time. 
  • The Fender Telecaster also has Less comfortable upper fret access. 
  • The Fender Telecaster is very costly. The price ranges between $500 – $2,500.

Fender Broadcaster, in Summary…

The Fender Broadcaster is the original Telecaster. The broadcaster was the first brand name given to the revolutionary two-pickup guitars made by Fender. 

When Fender introduced the revolutionary Broadcaster in 1950, some guitar players belittled it. However, the dual-pickup Broadcaster has changed the world of music. 

Leo Fender and his group of workers aspired to produce an electric Spanish guitar style that would be played upright and easy to manufacture. 

The Spanish guitar style was to sound clean and bright like the lap steel guitar Fender had already made, and easy for the guitarist to uphold. 

The Broadcaster was simple but well-designed, affordable, easy to play, rugged, and efficient. The Fender Broadcaster also had two audible and precise pickups, and versatile wiring for three distinctive tones set up. 

The Fender Broadcaster had a sturdy maple neck with a rear-installed truss rod for reliable equilibrium alongside the Walnut skunk stripe. 

All these features and more, including the single-ply black generic pickguard and an ash body with a translucent blonde nitrocellulose finish, made the Broadcaster popular. 

Unfortunately, the Gretsch company had a drum set already called Broadkaster and demanded Fender consider a change of name. 

During this period, the Broadcaster was manufactured with no decals and later was called Nocaster, then finally the popular Telecaster. 

The introduction of the Fender Broadcaster and the change of name all happen in less than a month. 

Nonetheless, the first original 1950 Fender Broadcaster is very collectible. Although there are estimations of about less than 500 Broadcasters that were being produced. 

The Fender Broadcaster will serve both beginner guitar players and touring musicians. 

The simplicity of the layout is great for a newbie. The fact that it is easy to maintain makes it perfect for music gigs and tours. 

The broadcaster can be used to play a variety of musical styles such as Rock and blues. 

Less Christian is seen rocking the Fender Broadcaster with his band. He is regarded as the first electric guitarist to be heard by a large audience in America. 

Regardless, Blues guitarist T-bone Walker, and guitarist, and inventor Les Paul are reckoned to have made The Broadcaster a blues guitar. 

Fender Telecaster, in Summary…

The Fender Telecaster, also known as Tele, is a solid-body electric guitar produced by Fender in 1950.

The Fender Telecaster is the changed name for the 1950 Fender Broadcaster. Fender changed the name from Broadcaster to Nocaster. It is now popularly known as Telecaster.

The Tele has become a popular model and has remained successful in the guitar world market. 

The revolutionary Fender Telecaster has a simple design layout with a great sound that has become an integral part of contemporary musical styles. 

As the first Spanish electric guitar with a dual pickup made by Fender, it shared the clean and bright tone of the lap steel. The flat asymmetric single cutaway body of the Fender Tele is usually made from ash or alder

The Fender Telecaster features 2 single-coil pickups, a single volume control, a single tone control, and a pickup selector. 

Over the years, there has been a tremendous modification to the Fender Tele design. Yet the important features are still consistent and standard. 

They are also known for producing rich cutting tones, mellow, warm, and bluesy jazz tones. 

All these can be achieved by selecting the bridge pickup and neck pickup respectively and altering the tone control in the Tele. 

The bridge pickup produces a higher output due to more winding. This output settles the lower amplitude of vibration of the strings at the bridge position. 

This makes the Fender Telecaster very adaptable and used for a variety of music styles. Blues, Rnb, rock, country, reggae, pop, and even punk. The legendary Clarence Gatemouth Brown was seen playing the Telecaster. 

Albert Collins (master of the Tele) is regarded as the king of the Telecaster guitar. He created his original blues sound using the minor open tuning and a capo placed high up at the neck. 

The Fender Telecaster is also recommended for beginners. Due to its simplicity and affordability. 

Their strings stay tuned and can be easily adjusted. The Tele is an objective picking for any newbie starting to learn how to play guitar. 

Buying Guide/Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you get the Fender Broadcaster?

You will have difficulties getting the original 1950 Fender Broadcaster, as they are no longer in production. They estimated mass production by Fender at the time it debuted is considered less than 500.

Most of the original 1950 Fender Broadcasters are found in museums and the hall of fame. The good news is since Fender now owns Gretsch, they have just introduced the 70th anniversary Fender Broadcaster.

Buy the original Fender Broadcaster or Fender Telecaster?

Whether it is the original Fender Broadcaster or the modern Fender telecaster, you are likely to get the same guitar with a different name.
There is just a slight difference between the broadcaster and the tele.

However, you will quickly see the tele as it is still in production.
You are likely to buy a second-hand Fender which will be far more expensive or get the brand-new 70th anniversary Fender Broadcaster.

Why did Fender name it Telecaster?

Leo Fender and his company initially introduced the Telecaster as Fender Broadcaster. It happens that the Gretsch company then used the same brand name except with a different spelling (Broadkaster)for their drum.

Fender considered a change of name, meanwhile still manufacturing the guitar without the brand name. It was later called Nocaster and then Telecaster. Associating with the new inventory as at the period in the world of electronics, the television.


We have been conversing and comparing the same guitar with different names that have evolved and been modified over the years. 

From the 1950 Broadcaster to when Fender company received a telegram from Gretsch demanding the change the model name from Broadcaster as it was similar to their BroadKaster. 

And Fender had to manufacture the Broadcaster with no name, which was later known as Nocasters, and then the final official name ‘Telecaster’.

Not so much for a revolutionary guitar that has gotten to the mainstream and is heard in popular music. 

If you are still interested in the fender Broadcaster, then you may want to try the latest 70th-anniversary Broadcaster. 

This is only possible because the Gretsch is now part of the Fender Musical instrument corporation. 

Regardless, if you inherited the original Fender Broadcaster, I advise you to show it some respect by making the best out of it. 

But for whatsoever you may have heard about the Broadcaster now telecaster Remember this, ‘It is a revolution’.

If you can sound good with the telecaster, then you are a good guitar player. Keep enjoying your Broadcaster and Telecaster.