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All Tele addicts are chronic technophobes. So when we clock the extra dials on Blade’s Delta Standard, it’s only natural that we’re gonna screw up our faces like a grandparent who’s just been handed an iPod.
Founded by Gary Levinson, Blade’s mission statement to create “advanced concepts” sounds a bit pretentious until you get the results on your lap. The Delta is built on a traditional base - “the alder body highlights the smoother sounds of the late ‘60s,” agrees the website, “while true singlecoils deliver the punch and bite you’d expect” - but innovation points are scored with a selector boosting highs, lows or mids.
“The onboard Variable Spectrum Control expands sounds to a veritable rainbow of tonal versatility,” reckons the Blade brigade, “from basic blues to raunchy rock.”
If all the contenders are this good, we’ve got a problem. The Delta not only feels fantastic (with a weighty slab of alder meeting a chunky maple neck) but offers a twang-tastic clean voice that even beats a Fender when it comes to bisecting a rhythm section. Better still, the VSC proves to be more than a science project, fattening your tone for rhythm or lead, and bringing innovation to the fusty Tele format.
In fact, the only reason this axe isn’t popping the champagne is a slight lack of balls under heavier distortion and a bridge that hurts when you rest your palm on it.
Pros: Tele vibe, imaginative flourishes.
Cons: Not the best distorted tone.
Buy: Blade Delta Standard is currently available from Thomann.