Submitted February 16, 2020 by Harlan Stephens in Bay city, TX
"A critical review after a month of so."
zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
When I saw the American 50s with a 9.5 radius I knew it was time, zZounds did not disappoint sending me a 6.8 pound beautiful Telly, I would have been hard pressed to pick a better one out of a big batch....and I have played a few, I knew this one was a keeper.The build quality is typical fender now a-days, I could not find one flaw, one issue though is the nitro was just not dry, now I know what people who complain about a gummy neck are talking about, I have many nitro guitars, this was the first with that issue, it has stopped feeling that way over the last few weeks, I think it’s dry now.Tone, at first I was blown away, because that classic Telly spank, but something was just off. With further critical listening and tracking.A rawness, slight string balance issues, and balance between pickups regardless of set up, and struggling to get it to sit in a mix. the telly sounded good, but I knew it could sound great, installed some custom shop 51 Nocaster pickups.Everything changed, string balance, pickup balance , and how the guitar would sit in a mix, all much better. Still plenty of spank, but less of that raw, thing I did not care for with the 52, pickups, I must say however this is pretty ocd, playing to drums, recording, playing to other tracks....the cs51 pickups made this guitar perfect for me.This guitar joins two other mainstays In my recording lineup, a les Pual and my strat.I have not been able to put this guitar down after a pickup change, it does, country, chicken picking, Bakersfield type stuff, to zeppelin, in a very clear and articulate way.Very happy with this Telly!
Sound wise, it’s all 50s Telly, a bit raw. And was ok...The classic Telly sound is apparent , a pickup change, however put the sound and tone in much different class. I could track with this guitar all day now, and do.
A simple build of a Telly, with all the classic parts, make this what it is.However a few modern touches were added, and to me are significant, the radius change over the old 52 reissue , is why I pulled the trigger on this! a modern 9.5 radius, yes! and modern wiring, the 50s fender wiring I do not like , called the “dark circuit “.Used till about 1967.
Ease of Use
As stated above, and after critical listening, I kinda struggled here, With set up , with tone , and sitting in a mix. a pick up change vastly improved this guitar to excellent! It will be a studio staple for sure.
I have never had a bad fender, in the last 10 years, fender is just nailing it.Other brands I have sent back...Had an slight issue with finish. Seems to have dried out, on the plus side the finish is very thin, shows sinking into the wood grain like old nitro does...minor issue that just needed a little time.
If one takes into consideration what a telly cost in 1952, and adds inflation it’s about right, it’s a professional guitar, well below custom shop prices.Price I would say seems appropriate.
Never have used fender support, so I don’t know.
The Wow Factor
This to me is a solid 5.What a telly should be. Simple, elegant , and traditional.And made in the USA!
25+ years. Play, track, mix, some mastering.
Country, blues, rock.
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