New New New for 2008 is my favorite all time (for now) Fender Custom Shop guitar, the '60's Heavy Relic Telecaster with S1 switching. Think of her as a beaten up old Tele with all the mod cons - I do.
Firstly let's look at the pickups. As Mike Eldred will explain in the video, The bridge pickup is a staggered pole-piece '63 (Alnico beveled) to give that sharp "what-the-f" Tele sound that we all know and love. The bridge pickup is a John Cruz special with an extra tall bobbin and a Nickel Silver cover (not Chromed Brass). That makes for a clearer, cleaner, almost Strat sound - fatter than a standard Tele but somehow still very definitely Tele sounding.
The S1 switch is hidden in the volume knob and pushing it puts the pickups in series parallel - it's a bit like going to a humbucker. Fatter sound, higher output. If you're winding up a big solo this will give you the extra oomph you need.
OK so the next thing is that this is a limited run. 100 guitars worldwide. Here's yours. Now you do know that every Custom Shop guitar is different because they are hand made from production parts. This one is going to be different from the next one and it introduces and interesting social opportunity; anyone who has a Custom Shop Relic will be really really interested to see another one to spot the differences and talk about others they've seen.
This sucker plays like butter on hot toast. Big fat frets that have been hand lowered, leveled and crowned let you bend cleanly to breaking point and what's really cool about these things is that even though they have a vintage three bar bridge, they play in tune. Lastly it has a big fat C neck with a flatter 9.5" radius with the finish removed from the back like it had been played every night for the past 40 years. It has medium jumbo frets and modern geared, staggered height tuners so it's a real players guitar.
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