The Half Nelson model from the brilliant Thomas Rodriguez can be thought of as an "Esquire Jr". Astute fans of both Fender and Gibson will certainly notice the mash-up - the Gibson references come via a lightweight Honduran mahogany body, 24.9" scale, Mojoaxe compensated wraptail bridge, Fralin P90 (5% over-wound), and a very faded Pelham Blue-like Metallic Green color (which is just gorgeous in person).
The remaining specs fall under the Fender Tele umbrella - soft V neck carve, early style volume and tone control plate, and an early "snakehead" Telecaster style pickguard.
Visually, we absolutely love the way these elements come together in a nod to the past while also creating a more sophisticated take on these two classics. Small details like the offset neck dots are very cool touches that signal to the viewer that there's more going on under the hood than simply "a Tele variant" / attention is being paid to the little things, etc...
This Half Nelson feels solid, stout, responsive, alive....we immediately recognized that Thomas is one of the rare builders that simply has "it". Everything you love about vintage guitars and newer boutique instruments rolled into one - folks, that's not easy to do and not every builder has this ability. It's an intangible, but it's that extra % of vibe, soul, mojo, whatever you choose to call it, that some guitars have - his work has it, no question.
Tonally this guitar maintains a surprising amount of Tele twang, but the emphasis is on that classic Gibson midrange snarl. It's the kind of guitar that had us laughing out loud at how fun it was to demo, how well it plays, and how amazing it sounds.
Thomas is a builder to keep your eye on. From what we've seen and experienced with his work thus far, he is a true master builder that can quite literally build anything with exceptional results. Not to be missed - trust us! Priced with hardshell case.
- Serial #: 338
- Neck: maple
- Body: Light weight Honduras mahogany
- Fingerboard: Indonesian rosewood
- Scale length: 24.9” with 22 frets
- Fretboard radius: 10”
- Frets: #141 wire width .095 , crown .045
- Neck profile: soft V
- Nut width: 1 5/8”
- Nut: Unbleached bone
- Controls: Volume and tone, new old stock .022 oil filled cap.
- Pickup: Lindy Fralin P-90, 5% over.
- Bridge: Mojoaxe compensated wraparound.
- Tuners: Gotoh 6 inline vintage tuners.
- Finish: Light metallic green
- Weight: 6.75 pounds