This is a remarkably musical, beautiful, and inspiring guitar that feels quite a bit more like a boutique instrument than your typical Custom Shop guitar.
So you're into boutique guitars or perhaps you've already got a more traditionally spec'd Tele and are looking to add a different flavor to your collection? This Artisan P90 Telecaster would make an excellent choice.
The Artisan Series finds Fender exploring atypical woods and pickup combos (atypical for a Fender, that is). This show-stopper Artisan Tele features a 3A flamed maple top, a chambered mahogany body, a 4A roasted maple neck w/rosewood fingerboard, a "flipped" Tele bridge, and a Custom Shop P90 and Nocaster pickup combo.
Why We Love This
If you're thinking these specs sound a bit like a Gibson style guitar, you'd be correct. This is essentially a Tele with some Gibson-isms, if you will, in the mix. The results are fantastic. Aside from the killer looks/vibe, the first thing we noticed when sitting down to play was the gorgeous, caramel-colored neck, and more importantly, the 60s Oval C neck carve. It immediately felt like home and is the perfect blend of depth and width - meaning, this is the sort of neck carve that a wide range of players will find comfy. This is a slinky, inviting, comfy playing guitar.
Plugged into our trusty Victoria Victoriette? Wow. Really inspiring Tele-like tones with a great range - fat yet clear P90 neck tones that push the amp in the best way, and clear Tele tones that don't quite twang like a traditionally spec'd Tele, but we weren't missing it either. It's clear you're playing a Tele when on the bridge pickup, the mids are just a touch fuller and the treble is a bit rounded and not brash. It's a great combo and Fender has utilized their Dual Tone control setup which simply means each pickup is optimized to sound it's best (humbuckers and P90s typically want to "see" different potentiometer/cap values than single coils and visa versa).