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I know that many guitar players don’t buy into the aged mojo that is part and parcel of the majority of Fender vintage replica models – But like it or loathe it, relic guitars are big business for the Custom Shop team – However I still come across the odd shiny gloss version of  popular models, from time to time – It’s a fairly regular occurrence for the Custom Shop team to release a number of Limited Edition models at the annual Guitar Show in LA – Such Limited Edition models are rarely revolutionary or flamboyant, as their criteria is to release a run of highly spec’d replicas, based on classic models from their own golden era – I’ve listed all the appropriate details below, regarding this used Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 52 NOS Tele, released in 2019, at the LA NAMM Show – Note the ‘Limited Edition’ engraved neck plate, whilst a similar decal can be found on the rear of the headstock, as well as on the appropriate certificate of authenticity – Highly spec’d throughout including a select ash body, that is married to a maple rift sawn  one piece neck/fingerboard – Then add a set of hand wound Loaded 51 Nocaster pick-ups – Set-up with 10-46 strings, along with a slick action – Includes the deluxe vintage style tweed case, certificate, tags, plus travel/spec sheet

Yes this 52 Tele, from 2019, is used, but I can vouch for the previous owner and the fact that it has been barely played and well cared for – I originally sold it brand new a few years ago – Looking at it now and it is still just about in the same condition  – Even the shiny gloss pick guard barely displays any pick marks – If it doesn’t quite earn  that 100%, as new, mint condition tag, then it is a mighty close call – You’d have to be very fussy to have any issue, whatsoever, with any marginal hint of a graze that you might find – Equally you’d have to be eagled eyed to find any subtle graze – In short it is bloomin’ clean

51 Nocaster or a 52 Tele :- Effectively the same guitar – Many players/collectors just bundle them into one package and refer to them  as an early 50’s black guard Tele – The only real difference between the two models is the decal/name on the headstock – The original 2 pick-up model, released late 1950, was called the Fender Broadcaster and as such all headstock decals were pre-ordered and printed this way – It turns out that the Gretsch company already ‘owned’ the legal rights to the Broadcaster name (albeit Broadkaster, as part of their drum catalogue) – So Fender decided a new name was required – By late 1951 it was simply known as the Fender Telecaster – However the usual production schedule issue applied to built guitars already in the pipeline and waiting to be shipped, in that the new Fender Telecaster decals had not yet arrived – So Fender simply cut off the ‘Broadcaster’ part of the decal and shipped them out with only ‘Fender’ remaining – Hence the nick name ‘NoCaster’ – It was literally just a nick name and Fender never released such a guitar back in the day – It is estimated only 500 ‘NoCasters’ were ever shipped during this transition period – Collectors will pay big money for them and have done so ever since, hence the legend was created

Full spec and details for this Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 52 NOS Tele :- 

That chunky ’52 U’ neck profile – Is it to big to handle ? – No – Does it enrich the tone ?- Yes  – The more string vibration you can get out of the 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 the 7.25″ fingerboard radius, coupled with a ‘less slick’ action, then yes you’ll find it less forgiving  – Yet thanks to a set of 6105 ‘medium 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

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 52 Tele is not to be found wanting in the unplugged department, with a big vibrant acoustic voice – 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 hear on so many budget based Teles – A good Tele has so much more of a bigger voice than a Strat, especially on the bridge pick-up  – 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 possesses a laid back character, that sounds sweet, lush and warm, yet still with enough clarity and sparkling highs, thanks to the alnico V magnets – Roll off the tone pot as required for a deeper laid back jazz flavoured voice – Both pick ups on together and you’ll hear that jangly pop voice that is instantly Beatles 60’s 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, to obtain a cleaner voice 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 and/or tone pot a touch, to control the fizzy edges, yet still retain the gain, so again all the soul, emotion and passion that is in this guitar is at your finger tips – From succulent warm and chilled, to brutal attack and everything else in between, this black guard Tele 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, hence instant Robben Ford – Add more gain and you can almost obtain those smouldering 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  – Play such a guitar and you can see why the voice of a black guard Tele is so legendary

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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.