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If you have a strong dislike of aged/relic replica models, then this used Fender Custom Shop Custom Deluxe Tele, from 2013,  with a lush tobacco sunburst finish, could well be up your street – Boutique guitar companies like Suhr, Anderson, Tyler and before them, Schecter, are often seen as the guys who build ‘modern appointments’ on to the chassis of classic Tele models – Yet Fender started such a process in the early 80’s with the Tele Elite and a few years later the Tele Plus – Granted not the best selling Fender USA models, but nevertheless it was a start – Today ‘player’ upgrades can be found on many USA or Mexican models – Likewise, the Custom Shop team offer various replicas of Tele’s from the pre-CBS golden era, as well as classic models with ‘modern tweaks’  – Tasked with the job of blending appropriate pre-CBS vintage mojo, with modern hardware, plus ‘player friendly’ tweaks that will enrich the playing performance,  has resulted in the birth of the Fender Custom Shop Custom Deluxe Telecaster – Some might say it possesses a vintage chassis, with ‘Formula 1’ upgraded appointments – Some might say it is a modern twist on a classic design, that retains key vintage attributes – Yet after all, the most important factor is to play it – Check out how it handles – Listen to how it sounds, then judge for yourself – This way you can appreciate it for what it is and not what it isn’t – Feel, tone and the playing performance surely take priority over spec, features and cosmetic appearance – Yet the feel, tone and playing performance are perhaps the hardest ‘attributes’ for me to describe using only a few chosen adjectives from the English dictionary

Overview of the Custom Deluxe Tele

Feel/Playability :- The neck instantly feels so comfortable – A touch meaty but not to fat  – Tagged as a 65 C profile so it is straight from the 60’s camp and very much influenced by the larger classic C profile found on the likes of the SRV’s Strat, hence a touch more meat, without feeling chunky – It measures .841″ around the top nut end then fattens out to .992″ around the 12th fret – Just enough depth to add tone, sustain and stability, yet not so fat that it can impede the feel and the way it handles – Very comfortable with a rounded feel about it – Dark honey tint finish with a ‘satin played in’ silky smooth feel –  Rolled edges on the fingerboard further enhance its comfort and ‘played in’ character – Add a 9.5″ fingerboard radius, along with  a set of narrow jumbo frets (6105) and you’ll now find a Tele with a slick and easy playing action – Note 43mm top nut width – Equates to around 1 11/16″ so slightly wider than your traditional 1 5/8″ Fender nut width  – Set up with a set of 10’s and an action that responds to a light touch – Of course I can edit the set-up as required, so just ask – String bending is controlled and effortless, as such a few brave players might even try a set of 11’s  – It certainly does not feel like you are fighting the guitar to get the best out of it, but if you like things a touch tougher, then try 11’s, or indeed try a slightly higher action as required – Jazz chords or fancy licks are not a challenge to play on this Tele, so equally if you just want to dig into something simple and old school, then this Tele won’t let you down – As an overview, the feel of the rear of the neck is old school, but the fingerboard is new school

Tonal character :- I always feel that if it plays well, so you are comfortable with what your left hand is doing, then that takes you so far along the way to finding a good tone – If you are fighting the guitar, often it results in you not being so happy with its fluidity, hence the tone suffers  – The tone is pure Tele – No shortage of snap, character and attack, but above all, it is very responsive to you and the amp – Play it with the volume and tone pots on 10 for maximum attack and dynamics, or roll the volume and/or tone pot off a touch, for a smoother, more controlled chilled out voice – The Grease bucket is a simple wiring/capacitor mod that allows you to roll off the highs, without decreasing the level of gain – As such on overdriven amp settings, you’ll retain the same level of overdrive, albeit with less highs – Simple yet effective – The neck pick-up can be soft, smooth and laid back, or more ‘poppy’ with a nice hint of that Strat-esq snap and response, almost taking you to SRV, with the volume and tone pot on 10 – Clear full lows, a touch of scooped mids, with clear crisp highs that shimmer – The bridge pick-up is loaded with the classic Tele twang as well as an abundance of all  3 B’s – balls, body and bite – With the volume pot on 10 it strolls towards the edge of that ice pick attack, for plenty of attitude, yet always sounds musical – So roll off the volume and/or tone pot just a gnats whisker for a voice that is less ‘in your face’ – As such it will respond to you and your needs –  Playing around with clean to different overdriven amp settings, you’ll appreciate why a good Tele is such a great tool that will work so effectively in so many different musical environments

Maybe in the same way that some die hard vintage buffs and supporters of Fender and Gibson won’t or don’t give PRS Guitars a chance, the same may well apply to this modern Tele – It is fair to say that if you don’t give it a chance you’ll never know how good it is – Like any other guitar, it won’t suit everyone, but it is well worth a test drive as the feel and playing performance alone makes this a seriously good guitar

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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.