Monday, July 25, 2011

Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster


It looks like I have fallen down the relic hole again. Intentionally worn-out looking new guitars are contrived, but every now and then I happen upon one that plays and sounds so incredible that it is worth it. And this one is worth it.

Today we are looking at a Fender ’63-reissue Telecaster that is a real peach. It is finished in Fiesta Red nitrocellulose lacquer over an alder body, and it was built in 2008 by the Fender Custom Shop.

The neck is the best part of this guitar, and it is a boss piece of quarter-sawn maple with a rosewood fretboard. It has a C shape, a 9.5-inch fretboard radius and 6105 (tall/narrow jumbo) frets seated into it. The extra work they put into sanding down the back of it during the relic-ing process gives it a super smooth feel.

The next-best part of this guitar is the electronics package, which is a bit different than your usual re-issue Telecaster. There is a Seymour Duncan ’59 humbucker at the neck, and a vintage ’63 Tele single-coil at the bridge. The 3-way switch is wired as follows: position 1: bridge pickup, position 2: neck pickup with tone control (Bright Vintage Circuit) and position 3: neck pickup with no tone control (Dark Vintage Circuit). This is the way it came from the factory, and I see no reason to change it as this guitar is amazing. In position 3, this guitar gives a tone that would make any Les Paul on the planet jealous, and this Telecaster could actually make one think that the Stratocaster was not a very good invention. Really.

The rest of the specs are as expected: it has nickel/chrome hardware with Fender/Gotoh vintage style tuners and a 3-saddle bridge.

As far as the appearance of the ’63 Telecaster, it is reliced beyond reason, but it is what it is, and I will learn to love it. It is, after all, a great playing and sounding guitar.

These guitars all shipped with a nice G&G hardshell case and the Fender Custom Shop certificate of authenticity, as well as a bridge cover that came in a nice accessory pack.

Alas, these guitars do not come cheap. A Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster like this has a list price of $3400 and a street price of $2889.


No comments:

Post a Comment