Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fender Japan Custom Shop Keith Richards Sonny Telecaster

Good day! Here is another rare bit from the Fender Japan Custom Shop: a rare 1967 Reissue Keith Richards signature Sonny Telecaster. The serial number on this one is P021121, and it is marked Crafted in Japan, which according to Fender means that this was produced between 1999 and 2002.

This guitar is expertly crafted with a white ash body, sprayed with a 3-tone sunburst finish, so that the grain shines through. A single-ply flat black pickguard is mounted.

The neck has a medium C profile with vintage frets. A late 60’s type logo is used. Gotoh tuners are used on these Fender Japan Custom Shop models for their stability, although they look really out of place on this guitar. A four-bolt F-stamped plate holds the neck to the body.

The most unique feature is that the bridge is machined from a block of brass, with six solid brass saddles. It makes a huge difference in the tone of the guitar.

Ah, the pickups. This one uses a Fender humbucker at the neck and a traditional vintage single coil at the bridge. The pickup used in the neck position has that Gibson PAF '57 reissue humbucker sound. Sweet!

The craftsmanship on this guitar is impeccable. The fretwork, nut-detailing and finish is superb. The neck pocket fit is as tight as they come. There is a good reason that these guitars are not exported to the US, as they are a tough act to beat.

It plays as nicely as it looks, and I had it set up with 0.010 Slinkies when I owned it. It is SO crunchy with the pickup selector in the neck position. And it plays as well as any Telecaster I have ever owned, even the US Custom Shop models.

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