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A recent visit from my Custom Shop product specialist allowed me to hand pick a few guitars for stock – Hence the arrival of a Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Tele with a new shiny NOS lake placid blue finish – So for all those who detest the aged vibe of many Custom Shop models, maybe this one has your name on it – Additionally I managed to acquire a more attractive price on it based on it being part of the 2016 collection and also it has the merest hint of a blemish near the neck pocket – chances are many won’t notice it unless it is pointed out to you – Even the pictures don’t pick it up – So no issue but better to mention it – So instead of £2600 then how about £2190 – Complete with case, certificate and fully warranty – And yes it has been on my bench for a check up and set-up – The Postmodern Tele takes the essence of a Tele from the mid 60’s vintage era and adds a few subtle yet effective tweaks to enhance the guitars performance

The golden era for vintage Fender’s lasted around 25 years, all the way through to the CBS buy out in 1965 –  The Fender Custom Shop period for crafting fine detailed vintage replicas started its 30th anniversary in 2017 and if anything, over the last 10 years or so, the quality has moved up another level –  It is easy to see why so many professional musicians now tour and record with Custom Shop models – As Fender quote on their web site ” we’ve taken the concept of reissue instruments even further by crafting meticulous replicas using the same techniques and tooling as the originals ” – The key word is meticulous – I never get bored of buying, selling or playing them and as such I’m always on the look out for the finest examples, so I hope you’ll like this mighty fine Tele

Postmodern Tele :- Before I go any further, there is no shortage of video clips of the Postmodern Tele in action – Just type into Google or YouTube Fender Custom Shop Postmodern Tele NOS 2016 and select one or two options – With nearly 40 years of experience behind me in the guitar business, it is so easy to get blasé about marketing claims regarding new products from any of the big name brands in our trade – After all, how many times can you reinvent the wheel – So when I first heard Fender claim that the  Postmodern Tele ‘is elegantly designed with a reappraisal of modern assumptions and a contemporary take on a time honoured classic’ you can’t help but think, seen it, heard it, played it, but not for me, so let’s move – Maybe in various formats, Fender have tried to blend attributes of an old Tele with features found on a more modern contemporary Tele, yet consistently failed to sell them in any quantity – Granted some faired better than others, but they have always represented a small part of Fender’s sale revenue – I have to say that maybe this time they have cracked the code – I’ve sold hundreds of Teles over the years and whilst I’ve sold plenty that can’t match the performance qualities of this Tele, they are not to many that can compete with it, let alone beat it – If we all adopted a blind fold test, this would be a very popular guitar – We can all be stuck in our ways regarding changes to a classic design – Yet remember the two following points

1) many of the modern tweaks on the Postmodern Tele can already be found on the Custom Shop, Master built and even original 50’s and 60’s vintage models, that are owned and played by our favourite guitar hero’s

2) Let’s assume the Tele had never yet been invented and today saw the launch of a new guitar that was going to take the guitar world by storm, then I can assure you that this new Tele would be more like the Postmodern Tele, than the 50’s and 60’s models that were released so many years ago

I’m knocked out by it  – Don’t get me wrong as I’m not saying all vintage flavoured Teles are wrong or inferior, but I am saying check out a Postmodern Tele when you try a vintage flavoured Tele, then judge for yourself which suits you best – Call me a cynical grumpy old git who is set in my ways, but I’m not easily hooked on new concoctions in the guitar world, yet the Postmodern Tele has a hell of a lot of things going for it, certainly with regards to the playing performance

Full spec and details are as follows :- 

Playing performance :-  The feel of the neck is pure vintage flavour thanks to that 60’s Oval C profile  – The contoured heel allows for easier access to the top end of the fingerboard and certainly more comfortable as your palm rest against it – The fingerboard receives the now established ‘modern user friendly’ updates thanks to a set of narrow/jumbo 6105 frets and in this instance a 9.5″ to 12″ compound fingerboard radius – 9.5″ radius around the top nut end that flattens out very gently to 12″ as you approach the  12th fret, so legato fluid licks are easier to handle thanks to a well balanced slick action – You can still dig in and attack those big blues bends  which are now easy to pull off, even with a set of 10’s, thanks to a more chunky set of frets – With a sensible fluid action there is no choking out as you rip into some of those big blues bends – All in all a Tele that is easy to handle and a joy to play

Tonal character :- I often state that many more budget based Teles possess a harder voice that is more clang, whereas a good Tele has that musical twang – This is a 100% thoroughbred with all of that twang – Classic vintage voiced especially on the bridge pick-up – Here you find bite and plenty of energy but always in a musical way – Attack the strings hard and it responds, like wise stroke the strings and it will deliver a softer voice – Power chords, riffs, licks or tricks and you can easily get hooked on this pick up for so much of your work – Lows are tight and full – Mids are transparent but not thin – Highs are crisp and clear, so with the volume pot on 10 you just about start to approach the edge of that ice pick attack to maximise all the bite and attitude you might require at certain times – So just roll of the volume pot just a touch, for a slightly more controlled softer approach, that still retains all the Tele’s goodness – At times it almost has a touch of a single coil P90 about it – Country, rock n roll, punk, indie or classic rock and the granddad of the electric guitar still delivers

The custom wound and custom voiced Twisted Tele neck pick-up is the new tweak on an old chassis – It adds more clarity, snap and attack with a touch more of a bell like chime in the higher register – Effectively a bit like a Strat neck pick up – So just roll off the tone and/or volume pot as required for a softer more mellow voice for chilled out jazz and blues – Both pick-ups on together and you get that classic ‘poppy’ tone that is so ideal for chord work, or as I call it the 60’s Beatles jingly jangly guitar  voice   – On overdriven amp settings then make sure you play around with the volume pot and even the tone pot to maximise all the emotion and expression that this Tele can deliver – This way you’ll appreciate it is loaded with soul – Try setting it up with the volume pot on or around 7 and use this as your base camp, then wind it back towards 10 as you require that additional ‘turbo boost’ – This way you and the guitar totally control the amp – On overdriven amp settings, the simple ‘grease bucket’ mod on the tone pot allows  you to roll it off  a touch, yet it still retains the same level of gain on the amp – The old traditional way is that as you reduce the tone pot it acts as a touch of a volume pot as far as the overdrive level is concerned – Now you retain the same level of overdrive – Simple, subtle but so effective – In short this Tele is totally loaded with soul, expression, emotion and tonal character – So think along the lines of  Karen Carpenter’s soft angelic voice that morphs into the more ballsy voice of Axel Rose – Then fill in all the gaps in between and this might explain what this Tele is capable of delivering

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.

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