FANCY SOMETHING SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT? BUILD IT YOURSELF!


To date I have collected 9 Telecasters - all different, all great players, and I love 'em all! There are probably many other Tele models that I would love to own, but I just wanted something TOTALLY different, if not unique. I was looking for a Tele with that wonderful simplicity, that great feel, that fantastic sound, but with a bit - no, a LOT - more "bite". I looked round for something to fit the bill, then towards the end of last year I decided the only way to get just what I wanted was to build my own "Custom Tele".

I wanted a solid body, so I contacted Justin at his eBay Store 'N.Aalox' - he always has a good selection of Fender Authentic Replacement Parts - and bought a nice Fender body in Arctic White. The white Fender scratchplate was another eBay purchase, along with the Fender control plate, Fender "F" neckplate, volume/tone knobs, 3-way switch and strap buttons, from the wonderful Guitar Parts Resource eBay Store.

* Click on each picture for larger images *

I already had the Fender vintage re-issue bridge (although I added the brass saddles), and the authentic '52-style slot head screws came from a local ironmongery store! They buy old bankrupt stock, and the guy said that these screws had been in his storeroom for years. The neck was the very LAST ONE of the old vintage Tele necks from Brandoni. I love wandering round their "Aladdin's Cave" showroom - so many wonderful old bodies, necks & parts. I'm told that Roberto bought up all the old Fender necks that had been sent over to Japan in the early days of Fender Japan. This neck hadn't been touched for years, and was still wrapped in old Japanese newspaper. Beautiful vintage profile, amber laquered finish, and straight as an arrow; the rosewood fingerboard needed several generous applications of Lemon Oil before fitting (and yes, it fitted into the body absolutely perfectly - as tight as you like). Vintage Kluson split-post machineheads again courtesy of Guitar Parts Resource.

Up to now, just a basic "Partscaster", albeit with high quality parts, but now comes that special touch - the pickups. I hunted everywhere for something that would give me a little "extra", and finally discovered the wonderful GFS pickups, distributed by GuitarFetish.com. Check out his eBay Store here. The "Hot TC Alnico" bridge pickup, just as GFS describe it, is big, fat and warm - a nice balance between Tele "Snap" and P90 growl. The overwound coil reads at approx. 10K, and comes with vintage styled Alnico 5 magnets, correct vintage cloth leads, vintage cloth coil wrap, ultra thin vintage style copper windings, and all vacuum impregnated with genuine Paraffin wax. The neck pickup is a "Vintage Split" humbucker - a recreation of the Seth Lover designed Fender pickup used on the Tele deluxe and Custom models of the late 60's, with a warm vintage bottom end and a biting upper mid like the originals. Again, these are high quality, wax potted pickups with thin vintage style copper windings, and the sound they create is just amazing. The neck pickup will overdrive my Fender Twin reverb without even trying - huge sound with incredible tone. The cost? 40 - 50 each? Not even HALF! I'm not telling you - check out their eBay Store for yourself!

Add the Fender headstock decal, a vintage-style string tree, a nice set of D'Addario 11-49s, tune her up, plug her in, and WOW! This baby rocks! A superb quality guitar that does exactly what I want it to. The cost? Well, I suppose by the time you've added up all those little extras, we must be looking at around 350 (my own assembly time is f.o.c., of course!) so not much more than a MIM Standard. But this is no "Standard" - far from it! If you think you are able to carry out the basics (soldering, drilling, wiring, etc.) and you have the necessary skills to set up the guitar correctly, give it a try. I'm really, really pleased with the end product, both in terms of looks and sound. My very own "Custom" Telecaster.......

Back to PICS & STUFF index page.....