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Let me introduce you to this Fender Custom Shop 63 Journeyman Relic Tele Custom that is part of the 2017 collection – Do you find the chunky neck profile on an early 50’s Black guard Tele is just a bit to much to handle  – Or maybe you just prefer a 60’s flavoured Tele with a rosewood fingerboard  –  Maybe you have a soft spot for that classic sunburst finish on a bound edged alder body – If you are still with me, then I suggest you read on, as this Tele may well be your next playmate

Overview :- Based on a 1963 model, from Fender’s golden era, but as in keeping with many Custom Shop replicas, Fender hold a poetic licence to add a few idiosyncratic touches, along with a few modern tweaks that can only enrich the playing performance – To that extent the dark Indian rosewood lam fingerboard now features a 9.5″ radius, that allows for a slick and well balanced playing action, that responds to a  light touch – Whilst a set of 6105 narrow/jumbo frets ensures string bending, even with a set of 10’s is far easier to undertake, so dig in and attack those big blues bends as required  – The 1/4 sawn maple neck is spec’d with that classic early 60’s Large C neck profile that measures .830″ around the top nut end and fattens out to .970″ around the 12th fret  – As stated earlier, it is far less chunky then the 50’s Black Guard casters, yet still has enough meat on the rear of the neck, to let you know that you have something of substance in the palm of your hand – In all aspects, this is a delightful guitar to play, whilst the thin nitro finish on the rear of the neck has been cut back for that ‘played in’ from day one experience with a ‘dirty/worn’ character –  So all in all a guitar that instantly feels user friendly – I’ll touch on the tone further down the page, but for now I hope a pair of Hand Wound Twisted Tele pick-ups will wet your appetite

Aged character :- The thin nitro journeyman relic finish sits on a light weight select alder body, with the whole guitar weighing in at a remarkable 7lbs and 3oz – Played acoustically it delivers a big vibrant voice with good depth and body about it – The Journeyman Relic aged character applies to the finish, the vintage spec’d hardware, as well as the 3 ply parchment pick guard- In this instance the aged character reflects over 50 years of regular work yet not abused – So plenty of lacquer checking but far less dings and dints for a softer approach to the aged vibe

Grease bucket tone mod – A simple mod on the tone pot that many players now utilise on their own guitars, that is subtle yet effective on overdriven amp settings – As you roll off the highs on your tone pot, it still preserves the same level of gain on the amp – So it still acts as a tone pot, but not to the detriment of the level of gain and sustain you require – As such if you find at times that the bridge pick-up is a touch to fierce, with more bite than you require, therefore you require a softer voice, that sounds more in control, but still require plenty of gain and sustain, then this simple mod will work in your favour

Tonal character :- tone starts with a select alder body that is chosen for weight, tone and resonance – We then ‘mike up’ this vibrant acoustic character with a pair of Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele  pick-ups – Tonal palette is so flexible, so like all good Teles, it is capable of working in  many different musical environments, either through a clean amp setting, classic rock/blues overdriven amp setting, or even a hi-gain amp setting – It is loaded with soul, passion, emotion and expression – Played unplugged you can hear it possesses a full bodied acoustic ring, but plugged in and the versatile tonal palette is instantly pleasing and infectious – To get the best out of the guitars emotion then I suggest you  do not leave the volume and tone pot on 10 – In fact, start off with the volume pot  around the 7 mark and let this be your base tone – This approach will allow you to wind the volume pot back towards 10, as and when you require some additional bite and edge, for that ‘turbo boost’ option – This allows you to clean up the sound of an overdriven amp setting, or on a hi-gain amp setting, the volume pot will adjust the level of gain required – As such you and the guitar control the amp – So from that ‘kick dirt’ setting with attitude, to a chilled out jazz/blues character and everything in between this Tele excels – Clean succulent character to dirt with attitude

The  Twisted Tele neck pick-up is crisp and clear with full rounded low, transparent mids, plus highs that shimmer – It still possesses the hallmarks of a vintage Tele pick-up but with more articulation and sparkling highs – It kicks out a vintage flavoured 5.72K, so it is more about the tone and less about power – In contrast the Twisted Tele bridge pick-up can be somewhat of a shin kicker, in the traditional manner of a Broadcaster early 50’s pick-up and kicks out a healthy 10.11K – Hints of a P90 Soapbar voice to it, so it is full, throaty and barks, with tight lows and highs that bite – Yet at all times it delivers a warm musical vibe to it – With the guitars volume pot on 10 it has plenty of bite and attitude, yet to tame the beast and obtain a softer character, just roll off the volume pot a touch until you find that magical sweet spot – On clean or subtle blues overdriven amp settings it is country pickin’ good with a touch of a snarl, but in a very musical way – As I mentioned earlier the whole guitar is loaded with  soul, expression and emotion – Trim the volume and tone pot a touch on a slightly overdriven amp setting, for that chilled out jazz/blues character that you’ll hear on all tracks prior to the mid 50’s days of Elvis – Add a touch more gain for the ballsy style of The Kinks and The Who, or add more gain and take it into the land of Rock, where you’ll hear plenty of harmonics – With the volume pot on 10 it can be a touch brutal with attitude, which is great when you want that character, so roll off the volume pot a touch for more of a controlled character – Here the neck pick-up is so smooth with softer highs, whilst the bridge pick-up does what a great Tele always does – The guitars limitation is how you want to use it

Full spec and details :-

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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.

I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.

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