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Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #1 
If I understand some comments here correctly, the '52 Fender Telecaster reissue is based on Ted's personal 1952 telecaster.

Has anyone played one of these and if so, how is the jazz sound of the neck pickup?  Were you satisfied with the tone?

They're going for about $1600 which (I'm amazed I'm saying this) doesn't seem too overly expensive if the feel of the neck and the tone is what we expect. (I really can't believe I'm not floored by a $1600 telecaster.  I only paid $650 for my dot neck ES-335 back in '79.  A $1000 electric guitar was beyond belief for most of my life.  Oh well, times and prices change.)

What's your opinion? Is it a good jazz guitar?


Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #2 
Greg, I see there hasn't been a response so I'll chime in.  I had one, purchased new in around 2006.  It was stock and came with a ton of goodies (strap, cable, soft polish kit, tweed case, etc).  It was a stunning guitar to look at, especially as it reflected my love of all things Ted. 

The stock neck tone is not particulary good because it has 'vintage' wiring which basically introduces a capacitor into the circuit on the 'neck' position which rolls almost all of the highs off of the tone.  It is extremely dark and smear-y, but apparently authentic to 1952 (I hear it was to simulate bass guitar).  They do have instructions and parts for wiring it in the more usual way where you get full access to all three pickup switch positions.  I did have it wired this way since it was like the other, more modern teles I had.

The stocks pickups are not bad at all, but I found them not quite as full as I like so I replaced them with a custom set from Don Mare.  The tone of the guitar was really stunning.  I played a wide range of music with it and my old Pro Reverb...from playing w/ an orchestra to a gospel gig.  It, in combo w/ the amp, always sounded great.

I ended up selling the guitar because of the neck.  It is a very unusual shape, curved and round with small frets.  I developed hand cramps so intense I had to play w/ my thumb off of the back of the guitar neck at times.  It was just too difficult for me to play comfortably and no amount of practicing seemed to make it any better.  I had a '62RI that had the same impact on my hands. 

I still see them in stores and do find myself wanting to get another one, mostly because they just look so beautiful to me.  I play a butterscoth G&L ASAT now which is one of the best guitars I have ever owned.  It doesn't have the cache' of my '52, but it sure gets the job done.

Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #3 
Well, I decided to go a different direction.  Instead of buying a '52 reissue I decided to build my own.  I'm down to the wire now with only the finishing of the body left to do.

It's a bit more straw colored than butterscotch, but the neck came out really well.  I'm looking forward to playing this guy soon.

The pickups are Fender original vintage but I will wire them with a 4 way switch to get both series and parallel combinations.  I put in a 0.047 orange drop cap but without the bleed capacitor that rolled off the high permanently.

The neck came out with the standard 1 11/16" nut width and with the standard taper, but I carved it a bit thinner so it feels more like a "thin flat" neck than a C curve neck.  The neck is dyed antique maple and has an oil finish.  It feels great and I can't wait to play it.

My goal would be to build another one in a true butterscotch blond color and put in Jason Lollar pickups like Tim Lerch's guitar.  I've actually already started building 4 new necks and a 2nd body so yeah, I'm hooked.

In the mean time I still have to finish this guy:


Posts: 209
Reply with quote  #4 
Wow Greg!  I applaud your skill and dedication.  I have neither the knowledge nor the patience.  Heck, I barely have the patience to change my own strings!  Can't wait to see the finished products.

BTW>>You could do much worse than model Tim!
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