Many of us started our guitar playing journey on Fender guitars - and we certainly noticed all of our idols playing them - so to be able to work with the Dream Factory in CA and spec out our perfect Fender guitars? A dream come true to be sure.
Our goal with these builds was to, in essence, retell the Fender story while also tipping our hat to the players who made them famous. Each mark, ding, or worn spot telling a story of countless hours on the road or in the studio. There's a magic to that idea that we can't help but be inspired by, and as we all know, Leo and crew got it right from the start. Why mess with a great thing?
With this idea as our starting point, we tried to get as close as possible to the vibe, feel, tone, and specs of the old guitars - in this case, a '53 Tele. Considered by many to be the holy grail of Teles, the '53 model has been favored by greats like James Burton, Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton, and Boston's own Duke Levine. Ash body, vintage blonde nitro finish, round string tree, serial number stamped on the bridge plate (vs the neck plate), flat pole bridge pickup...the only modern touches we spec'd were a 7.25-9.5" compound radius and modern wiring. To our hands, a 7.25" radius is part of the Fender magic, while the 9.5" higher up on the fingerboard insures easy bending. Perfect!
Fender absolutely nailed all the details and the results are phenomenal. The aging is very tastefully done w/little wear on the neck (at our request), it's very loud acoustically, it's lively, lots of great snap, the finish is sinking into the grain like an old guitar...an incredible guitar that reminds you how much can be done with a stripped down, focused design.
The Fender Custom Shop has always produced killer instruments, but we have to say, they are at the top of their game these days. Just a phenomenal guitar, period. Priced with hardshell case.