Looking for a top-of-the-line Custom Shop Tele? Best-of-the-best? Read on...
Fender's Masterbuilt series are the pinnacle of the Custom Shop's work. Master-builder Dennis Galuszka made this wonderful '55 Esquire Relic and the hands-on time is evident from the second you pick it up. There's just that extra 10% that's hard to put your finger on, but it's there. Having played so many guitars over the years - both factory and handmade - our theory is that it simply comes down to the person building the guitar. There's a bit more heart and soul that comes through in handmade instruments, simple as that!
The fit, setup, and overall build are as top-notch as you'd expect. This is a very resonant and lightweight guitar. The neck has that wonderful mid-50s shape - slightly V'd, and chunky but definitely not early 50s chunky. This shape, combined with a very well done relic job, create a very broken-in feel that's both subtle and convincing. We love the bigger fret wire as well. Smaller vintage frets are cool and period correct, but these larger frets are so much more comfortable for modern playing. If you bend strings even 15% of the time, you'll appreciate how much easier these frets are to play on.
Plugged in? Glorious. Killer Tele twang that is bright but not brash or harsh. It truly sounds like a old Tele in this way. The neck pickup is darker and woolier just like the 50s Teles but still very musical and useable. Blended, there's lots of cool bell-like tones to be had. Simply put, we had a hard time getting a bad sound while plugged into a cranked Victoria Vicky Verb.
Hard to imagine how a Tele could get much better - certainly without spending 4 times as much! Priced with hardshell case and case candy.
On consignment, no trades please.