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When Fender first introduced the blonde, black guard Tele to the world in the early 50’s, I bet few would believe the granddad of the electric guitar would still be so popular, so many years later – In some form or another, then I bet there is not a stage in the world, that has not heard the sound of a Tele, at some point or another – Then look at how many genres of music it might have performed within – So was it a lucky accident or did Leo and his team just get it right ? – Either way an original 50’s blackguard model will cost you a fair wedge of your income today – It is still a regular best seller within the replica market – So as part of the 2018 collection can I introduce you to this new Fender Custom Shop 51 Relic Nocaster, that is loaded with goodness – Highly spec’d throughout, including narrow jumbo 6105 frets + 9.5″ fingerboard radius, to enrich the playing performance – Hand wound pick-ups – As well as vintage period correct details like slot screws and a Fender Broadcaster logo, with the ‘Broadcaster’ cut off, hence the ‘Nocaster’ tag

Aged vibe :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe of many  Custom Shop models, so with that in mind, this Nocaster may well wet your appetite  – It possesses a faded worn vibe, plenty of lacquer checking, plenty of played in character without being over the top, yet it still has to capture the mojo and appeal of a guitar that is over 65 years old and as such should have retired – As such 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 Nocaster

That chunky 10/56V neck profile :-  Is it big compared to other Teles ? – A tad smaller than the 54 U profile, but a tad fuller than a late 50’s model – Is it to big to handle ? – No – Does it enrich the tone ?- Probably a Yes for this one, as it will certainly help – Even with a  set of 10’s you can make that big lump of wood vibrate and that will be further increased with a set of 11’s – The more vibration you can get out of the quarter sawn, lightly figured,  maple neck and the select lightweight ash body, then the bigger the tone – I certainly think if you play a big neck with a set of vintage frets and fingerboard radius, coupled with a highish action, then yes you’ll find it far harder to play and certainly less forgiving  – Yet thanks to a set of 6105 narrow/jumbo frets, a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, plus set up with a well balanced fluid action, then it will respond to a light touch, hence it is far more easy to handle – I find you quickly get used to it, so before to long you don’t notice the size of the neck, but you will appreciate that big tone – A thin nitro finish, with a medium honey tint, is spec’d with more of a satin ‘played in’ vibe, to ensures it feels familiar and user friendly – The 10/56V profile starts of meaty at .930″ at the top nut end then gently fattens out to 1.00″ at the 12th fret

Tonal character :- An unplugged test is always a good place to start any tonal evaluation of a Fender – ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring’ is a favourite phrase of mine and this Nocaster is certainly not short in the vibrant acoustic department – Lively, springy and big open voice is clearly audible when you play a few big open chords at the top nut end – This bodes well when you get round to hooking it up to your favourite amp, to hear a pair of hand wound ‘Loaded’ 51 NoCaster pick-ups  – Start of on a clean amp setting and it instantly sounds full, rich, warm and organic – The bridge pick-up possesses body, twang and bite in a musical way, without any of that nasty clang that you’ll find on so many budget Teles – Big chords and riffs have power and body with that tight controlled edge that allows them to cut through in the mix – The neck pick-up is chilled out and warm with a laid back character that sounds sweet , crisp and clear on single notes and lush on jazz flavoured chords – Roll off the tone pot as required for a deeper jazz flavoured voice – Lots of character to prevent it sounding bland in anyway – Both pick ups on together and you’ll hear that jangly pop voice that is instantly Beatles pop

Add some gain on the amp and you’ll instantly find it is loaded with character, especially as you play around with the volume pot, to adjust the level of gain that you require – As such you and the guitar control the amp – Utilise this approach with the guitar’s volume pot around the 6 mark and you’ll find this is great place to set up base camp for the hard core of your tone – Now wind the volume pot back towards 10 as and when you require more gain, bite, snap and attack for lead work, hence a built in turbo boost as and when required – Hit the hi-gain amp setting if you require more overdrive – With the guitar volume pot on 10, you’ll just about reach the point of going out of control, as you approach the red line, so again just roll off the volume pot a touch to control the fizzy edges, yet retain the gain, so again all the soul, emotion and passion that is in this guitar is at your finger tips – So from succulent warm and chilled to brutal attack and everything else in between this Nocaster can mix it with the best of them – Hot country, classic rock, raw blues, sweet blues, jazz, indie or pop and somehow, such a Tele can find itself on home turf  – On overdriven amp settings the neck pick-up is so rich and smooth with just enough sparkling highs – Add more gain and you can almost obtain those smoldering LP flavoured tones with excellent sustain – The bridge pick-up can morph from tight crunch to hot lead – Controlled or on the verge of kicking down a barn door

Full spec and details :-

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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 journey, now in excess of 40 years, 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.