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Jim Root Telecaster: Ultimate Guide + Review

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The Fender Telecaster is a remarkable guitar known for its classic and truly versatile tonal character. Depending on the selected pickup, the Tele can smoothly swing from a bright, rich penetrating tone (twangy tone) to a warm, mellow, and bluesy jazz tone. 

Because of this tonal versatility, the Telecaster has graced the palettes of different genres and styles of music. From the most modern styles to the more traditional ones, you will somehow aurally spot the shine and warmth of the Fender Telecaster. 

Legendary players like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Keth Richards, Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jim Roots (whom this brand was designed for), and many others have all played and owned the legendary Fender Telecaster.

That being said, the Fender Jim Root Telecaster is a signature model of the remarkable Fender Telecaster electric guitar. This model is specially customized for the famous American musician and guitar player Jim Root.

In January 2010, Fender unveiled a Jim Root Signature Fender Telecaster on their website. This model was quite similar to the one Jim has been seen using on stage for his performances, as of March 2009.

The major difference was the headstock. The prototype originally made for Jim came with the 1970s-style Fender Stratocaster headstock, which Jim Root had had Fender shave down to a standard Fender Telecaster shape.

Upon release, this customized model became an “instant hit.” Designed with inputs from both Jim and Fender, this guitar is labelled as a “truly modern Fender Tele built for big sounds.” The sound of this amazing guitar is everything tonally beautiful.

In this article, we will give an in-depth review of this amazing guitar. If you are looking for an ultimate guide and a solid review of this amazing piece of equipment, then this is the article for you. Just read on!

Jim Root Telecaster – Features/Specs

  • Mahogany Body: The guitar features a strong and resonant mahogany body that provides a rich, warm tone. The body has a satin finish, offering a muted matte appearance versus the glassy sheen of conventional gloss finishes.
  • Flat Black and Flat White Satin Finishes: These finishes give the guitar a sleek, modern look. Pretty cool!
  • Ebony or Maple 12”-Radius Fingerboard: The guitar offers a darkly alluring ebony fingerboard for smooth performance and a touch of elegance. The 12″ radius is substantially more flattened than both a vintage-style 7.25″ radius and a modern 9.5″ radius, which is great for bending notes without fretting out.
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Frets: These frets are larger than standard frets, making it easier to press down on the strings and achieve a good tone.
  • EMG® Active Humbucking Pickups: The guitar is equipped with EMG® 60 (neck) and 81 (bridge) active humbucking pickups. These pickups produce a fearsome, crushing nu-metal sound.
  • Single Control Knob (Volume) and Three-Way Pickup Switch: This sparse control layout allows for easy adjustment of the guitar’s sound. Simple is always good.
  • Hardtail Strings-Thru-Body Bridge: This type of bridge provides excellent sustain and tuning stability.
  • Locking Tuners: These high-performance tuners offer increased tuning stability and make changing strings substantially faster and easier than conventional tuners.
  • Black Hardware: The guitar features an all-black bridge, controls, bridge pickup bezel, tuners, strap buttons, and more, adding to its stark, utilitarian look.

Review of the Jim Root Telecaster

Many times, brands design products in collaboration with artists or sports professionals. Think of the Air Jordan Sneakers (Nike and Michael Jordan) or Beats by Dre (Beats Electronics and Dr Dre) as a few examples.

And more often than not, the result is quite interesting. The Jim Root Telecaster is not an exception. The Jim Root Telecaster is characterized by its heavy, aggressive tones and streamlined functionality.

The guitar stands out with its mahogany body, instead of the usual ash or alder used in traditional Telecasters.  This gives the guitar a denser, warmer tone that works wonders in heavy music genres.

The guitar’s tone is further shaped by its EMG active humbucking pickups, which deliver a thick, powerful sound. It is in heavy music contexts where its aggressive tone and high output pickups can really peak and be at its best.

It’s also very pleasant to play, with a comfortable C-profile neck and a 12-inch radius fingerboard that allows for fast, effortless fretting.

Naturally, the most famous user of the Jim Root Telecaster is, well, Jim Root himself, and you can see this short video where Jim actually talks about it and shreds. 

But even John Mayer has spoken wonders about this model, saying that “It’s smart. It’s awake. It’s doing something completely new.”



We could say this is where the magic of its build and the electronics come together. An internal preamp (powered by a battery) amplifies the signal before it reaches the guitar’s output. 

This design allows for higher output and less noise compared to traditional passive pickups, which do not have an internal preamp.

Specifically, the Jim Root Telecaster is equipped with EMG’s 60 and 81 active humbucking pickups. These pickups are known for their high output and thick, powerful tone, making them a popular choice for metal. 

The EMG 60 delivers a thick, chunky tone that’s great for rhythm playing, while the EMG 81 offers a more cutting, aggressive tone that’s perfect for lead playing.

Image 1 of the pickups

Image 2 of the pickups


The 12-inch radius fingerboard is flatter than the fingerboards on many traditional Fender guitars making it easier to play fast runs and complex chords, as the flatter radius reduces the amount of curvature the fingers have to deal with.



The locking tuners offer improved tuning stability compared to traditional tuners. In said heavy music styles, aggressive playing techniques and frequent string bending can often lead to tuning instability. 

So these come in quite handy and it just proves how they thought about every little detail when designing this guitar. They look pretty cool too.


The ebony fingerboard is dark, with a smooth feel and it looks luxurious. I had times when I leaned more towards maple and other times when I preferred an ebony fretboard. But I do believe that the ebony wins when it comes to shredding, speed and heavy metal.


The guitar’s body is crafted from mahogany, a type of wood renowned for its deep, resonant sound quality. A satin finish is applied to the body, lending the instrument a contemporary, smooth aesthetic and tactile experience.


The final touch of the black hardware gives it that tougher look that definitely adds up when you’re playing in a metal or heavy music band. It includes the bridge, tuners, control knobs, and pickup bezels.

Where is the Fender Jim Root Telecaster Made?

While most of Root’s signature Stratocasters are made in America, this guitar is made in Mexico. You can confirm this by the “MSN” serial number prefix used for this model. It’s not the only Fender artist model that is produced in their Mexican factory.

How Much is the Jim Root Fender Telecaster?

On Fender’s official website and on Sweetwater, this guitar is listed at $1,549.99. But never forget that instruments that have been used with care can be as good as new, so if that’s above your budget you can consider getting a used one, for example, here we found one for around $1,000

Pros and Cons of Using the Jim Root Fender Telecaster

To start this section, we’re going to give the floor to Jim Root again for 3 minutes, check this video out:

Let’s be completely honest, we got a lot of Pros and not so many cons, so let’s start with the cons.


What are the negative aspects of this guitar? It’s a little bit heavier than the average Telecaster. Also, it’s more expensive than the average electric guitar, considering the median price for an electric guitar is approximately $550. 

So it might not be the best choice for beginners who are starting to learn and want to see if music is for them or not. 

In my point of view, as we said before, it’s not a big deal because instruments in good shape usually don’t lose a lot of value (sometimes they even get more expensive), but anyways, its price is definitely something to consider.


Now let’s talk about the Pros of this model. The sound quality of this beast is outstanding. Its tone is rich, being versatile for many genres and giving you an extra edge if you play heavy metal. 

It is also very comfortable to play, so not only the final result – the sound people and/or you hear when you play – is amazing, but also the feeling you have while you play it! You get the feeling that your fingers fall effortlessly into the frets. 

This is totally subject to personal taste, but I think many people would agree that this guitar looks amazing, and is also a conversation starter because it’s not a guitar you see every day. 

Finally, being a great quality product with a solid construction, it’s built to last and it will definitely be able to join you in numerous gigs, live events, recording sessions and more. Frequent use will not be a problem for this guitar.

Where to Get the Jim Root Fender

You can get the Jim Root Fender Telecaster in various marketplaces and stores depending on your location, here are a few websites:

  • Fender’s Official Website: You can buy it directly from the manufacturer, ensuring authenticity and warranty coverage.
  • Sweetwater: This is a well-known and trusted online retailer for musical instruments, offering a wide range of guitars including the Jim Root Telecaster.
  • Reverb: This is a marketplace for musicians where you can find new, used, and vintage musical instruments.
  • Amazon: The world’s largest online marketplace also offers the Jim Root Telecaster, often with various shipping options.

For local stores, considering that Fender is one of the most famous and well-sold guitar brands out there, the Jim Root Telecaster is not your average Fender, so not every store will have it. 

Make sure to call in advance or visit their website if you’re planning on buying this model in your favourite physical shop.


The Fender Jim Root Telecaster stands as a powerful testament to the enduring legacy of the iconic Fender Telecaster guitar. Designed in collaboration with renowned musician Jim Root, this signature model offers a modern twist on a classic instrument. 

With its mahogany body, EMG active humbucking pickups, and sleek black hardware, the Jim Root Telecaster is tailor-made for heavy music genres, delivering aggressive tones and exceptional playability.

While its price and weight may pose challenges for some beginners, the Jim Root Telecaster more than compensates with its outstanding sound quality, versatility, and durability. 

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring guitarist looking to make a statement, this guitar is a worthy investment that will serve you well on stage, in the studio, and beyond.