Roger Sadowsky needs no introduction. He's a legend in the guitar making community and many phenomenal builders have spent time working at his shop in NYC. His artist user list reads like a who's-who of greats - Will Lee, Walter Becker, Dean Parks, Lee Ritenour, through to Keith Richards and Andy Summers.
Why We Love This
The name of the game with this 1996 NYC T-Style, like all of Roger's guitars that we've encountered, is versatility. This is a Tele in terms of shape, but this guitar carves its own path with a humbucker-single coil-humbucker pickup arrangement and Wilkinson tremolo bridge. Of course there is also Roger's fantastic mid/gain boost as well, more on that in a minute.
The build quality is exactly what you'd expected from such a lauded builder - which is to say, it's damned near perfect, resonant, and alive. Perfection can sometimes come at the price of sterility but that is definitely not the case here. This guitar is a blast to play and had us playing things beyond our standard licks - always the sign of a great guitar, right?
The neck has a slightly flat / wide feel which we love. Combined with stellar fretwork, it's an incredibly easy to play instrument. Deluxe is the word of the day here. Think: slightly wider Strat C carve.
"So, what's up with this mid/gain boost you mentioned?"
The built-in preamp adds a ton of versatility to the tonal range of this NYC T-Style guitar and is accessed by the 3-way mini-toggle switch (located in a very accessible yet out-of-the-way spot). The middle "tone" control acts like a volume / mix for the boost. All the way to the left, the boost is out and you're treated to glassy, modern-leaning Strat tones. In the middle position (again, mini-toggle, not the 5-way switch which functions like any Strat 5-way you've used) the boost kicks up the mids and the middle tone knob let's you determine how much of this fattening effect you want. Flick the switch to the right, and look out. Tons of boost on tap via this gain boost. It'll slam the front end of your amp driving it into a creamy breakup which is perfect for leads.