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The Fender Custom Shop team produce many fine replicas of guitars from the pre-CBS glory days – Yet equally,  as the name ‘Custom Shop’ implies, they will take the chassis of a vintage model and update it with a few modern tweaks, that are chosen to seriously enhance the playing performance – Many of these modifications can now be found on the guitars of our hero’s – So let me introduce you to this used/2015 Fender Custom 52 Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Tele that is highly spec’d and includes a few modern tweaks – It still possesses the overall vibe of a pure vintage guitar, so a detailed tour is required to view such tweaks, yet a few minutes of the Tele in your hand is maybe all  that is required to let you know this feels, plays and sounds like a very special guitar

A few key details to touch upon first

Aged vibe :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe of many  Custom Shop Strats, so with that in mind, a Journeyman nitro finish takes more of a  lightly aged approach, that some might say is more authentic – The classic Nocaster blonde finish possesses a faded worn character  – You’ll find no shortage of lacquer checking , yet overall it receives far less dings and dints, with very little in the way of a worn finish that reveals the ash body – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark, therefore the Journeyman finish is a far more subtle approach to finding a Tele  with some played in character – Hence you can  buy it and play it, without having to give it the kids gloves treatment, then getting upset regarding any nicks and grazes that it will inevitably acquire – It is generally accepted that a thin base coat and finish allows the guitar to ‘breathe’ so as to maximise the guitars natural vibrant character and this is a big plus factor of the aged approach – So if you like a dirty blonde that is not to worn then, check out this ’52’ black guard Tele

Neck profile and feel :- Normally an early 50’s black guard Tele would have that seriously meaty 52 U neck profile – Fine for some players, yet others find such a chunky profile to much of a handful – This Tele has been spec’d with a ’65’ large C profile, so whilst it still retains some meat, it is both more comfortable and user friendly – The traditional 52 U profile measures around .950″ to 1.00 (top nut to 12th fret) whereas this Tele comes in at .890″ around the top nut end and .965″ around the 12th fret  –  As with most of today’s Custom Shop Fender Guitars, it retains the classic vibe of a good old ‘un, yet a few select modern features enhance the guitars playing performance – So you’ll find a set of 22 medium jumbo frets, along with a 9.5″ to 12″ compound fingerboard radius on the one piece maple neck/fingerboard – It is very hard to view the compound radius and it is certainly not a ‘step’ as it gently morphs from 9.5″ to 12″, but it does allow chords at the top nut end to feel comfortable – Yet equally a 12 ” radius, further up the fingerboard, suits a slick action that responds to a light touch and allows flash licks and party tricks to be played with ease  – To further enrich the playing performance, the  thin nitro finish has been cut back just enough for more of a satin vibe, to enhance the ‘played in from day one’ character – All in all a black guard Tele that is comfortable and very user friendly

Tonal character :  Played unplugged you can clearly hear a vibrant, responsive and full bodied voice – I often state that it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring, so that unplugged test is a great place to start any evaluation of the tone – I know I have the benefit of handling it in the flesh and you can only read about it, but this Tele is a TONE MONSTER that includes a pair of hand wound pick-ups – From a clean amp setting, to a subtle blues overdriven amp setting, or hi-gain amp setting, this Tele will handle it and enjoy it – Little did Leo Fender know that when he invented the Tele, that over 60 years later, it will work, so well, in so many different musical environments – It is so responsive to you and the amp – Leave the volume and tone pot on 10 for more bite, and edge, with just enough hint of attitude, yet a subtle ‘roll off’ on either pots will soften the guitars character for more of a chilled out voice – The neck pick-up can even deliver smooth overdriven LP flavoured tones if required, but you won’t hear a bridge pick-up with more twang, bite, body and balls – It can kick dirt or talk smooth and seductively – The taper of the volume and tone pot helps to give you so much more soul and expression, so much so that leaving them left on 10 seriously restricts the guitar character and personality – This now allows you to run both pots on or around 6 as your base tone for more of a chilled out voice, then roll them back towards 10 for more of that turbo boost option as and when required – The more you play it and the more you use these pots the more soul, expression and emotion you’ll get out of it – As I said earlier, this is a mighty fine Tele with a big big tone

Full spec and details for this Fender Custom Shop 52 Limited Edition Journeyman Relic Tele

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 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, so you want a softer voice, that sounds more in control, but still require plenty of gain and sustain, this simple mod will work in your favour

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Guitars4You Offers Reliability, Integrity and Expertise

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.

For our returns and cancellation policy relating to mail order sales, on the above menu bar click on shop info then select mail order.