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New Fender Custom Shop 65 Tele Custom – faded aged sherwood green metallic – Closing Down Deal – £2999 – Previously listed at £3199

I can order a new guitar from the Fender Custom Shop team, based on experience, plus a gut feeling, along with the relevant info that they release on their own web site, with the perception that when it arrives into stock, it is what I hoped it would be – This is how I came to acquire this new Fender Custom Shop 65 Tele Custom with a supa cool ‘faded aged sherwood green metallic’ finish , that is aged to reflect a ‘good old ‘un’ from Fender’s glory era – I have to admit that part of the reason I ordered this Tele was purely on how it looked – It is so easy to get blasé about a traditional sunburst or white finish, but Fender do know how to concoct many cool finishes – Yet how a guitar feels and plays surely takes priority over how it looks – Therefore I was glad that it only took a minute or so, playing a few licks and chords, to realise this Tele has a lot going for it  – It certainly wet my taste buds

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Feel/playability :-  I don’t think you to get to know the full inside of any guitar until you’ve played it a while – Yet equally I think I can tell within 10/20 seconds that I won’t get on with the feel of a particular neck – That is why my initial evaluation and test drive is always unplugged, as I want to check out how it feels, plus is it comfortable and easy to handle – This Tele instantly felt like I’ve known and played it for many year – The neck profile is pure vintage territory from the 60’s – Not to slim, but certainly not meaty – The modern trend on many Custom Shop models is for chunky modern frets + a 9.5″ fingerboard radius – This Tele has been spec’d as a halfway house stage – Frets are larger than vintage, but not to chunky – Whilst the fingerboard starts of at 7.25″ so old school, and gently morphs into 9.5″ – As such it feels more old school then modern, but not as ‘stiff’ to handle as a pure old thoroughbred – For chord work it feels so natural to play – Maybe an out ‘n’ out speed player would favour a set of chunky frets, but for more regular players who’s licks ‘n’ tricks are more melodic, then I can suggest that this is a Tele you can enjoy playing – Set-up with a set of 10-46 gauge strings, with an easy and fluid action – The rear of the neck has been cut back just enough for more of a ‘satin’ vibe, so it doesn’t have that new ‘sticky’ feel

Tonal character :-  I start of any evaluation with an un-plugged test – It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ring, is a phrase I will often quote – This Tele has a big vibrant acoustic voice – You can both feel and hear it when you play a big open E chord – So a great place to commence any test drive – I then sit down with the amp and select a clean voice, a light overdriven voice and a hi-gain overdriven voice – Then play around with a few licks, chords, different styles – Then tweak the  volume + tone controls to see how the Tele responds to subtle tweaks on the pots – This Tele has no shortage of character and expression – The issue was I was enjoy the test drive so much, for so long,  I probably forgot what I was going to write about, as I heard so much variation – Many more ‘affordable’ Teles have to much of a clangy thin character, that is brash, especially on the bridge pick-up – Not so this Tele – It shows why a good Tele can work, so well in so many different genres of music – From chilled out jazz, to aggressive punk and a host of options in between – On a clean amp setting, the neck pick-up is clear, full and crisp – Roll off the tone pot as required for a chilled out smooth jazz voice, that still retains good string/note definition and articulation  – The bridge pick-up has plenty of depth to it as it delivers that classic throaty Tele twang – Tight, with bite, body and balls – Great for country, rock n roll etc – It only needs a touch of gain to add character and start to sing

Playing around with a hi-gain amp setting, or a low gain amp setting obviously produces different results – Yet now bring into play the guitars volume pot and roll it off as required – So a hi-gain amp setting with the volume pot rolled off will still deliver a different voice to a lower gain amp setting and the Tele now back on full volume – It is subtle yet effective tweaks on the volume and tone pot that helps to deliver so much soul, expression and emotion – So from a chilled out voice to a more dynamic voice that has more bite and energy, this Tele delivers the goods – On overdriven amp settings, the neck pick-up puuurrrrrs – Robben Ford smooth with good articulation – Less gain and the bridge pick-up is great for the raw blues styles of Muddy Waters, boogie style riffs and chords or rock a billy twang – Add more gain as required for bone crunching power chords or  hot lead licks – As I mentioned earlier I never got bored of this test drive and evaluation – Not all Teles are as good as this Tele

Grease bucket tone cap :- A very and easy mod on the tone pot – It simply means that when you roll off any highs, it doesn’t reduce the gain on the amp, or indeed reduce the volume a touch, as is common on a conventional tone pot – No battery or anything required – Leave the tone pot on 10 and effectively the grease bucket mod is by-passed

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.