Fender John English Master Built '59 Custom Telecaster 'NRG Special Release' - USA 1998
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John English has long been regarded as the greatest of all the Fender Master Builders. His artistry, attention to detail and understanding of the instrument were unmatched. His guitars have been played by some of the world's greatest guitarists, if they are lucky enough to find one. Sadly, we lost John English some years ago, but his legacy only continues to grow. This gorgeous Master Built 1959 Telecaster was made for the world-famous Los Angeles based Norm’s Rare Guitars in 2005, and bares an engraving stating as such on the neck plate.
The Telecaster Custom was developed in 1959. As standard it featured an alder body, slab rosewood fretboard, binding on the back and front and a sunburst finish although custom colours were available. Early 59 examples feature the standard spaghetti telecaster logo. With “Custom Telecaster” coming later 1959 and still later “Telecaster Custom”.
This guitar has an extremely authentic feel. It has a resonant and light weight alder body, with the grain just lightly visible through the finish. The light checking on the body is true to a guitar that has been played but not abused. It has a lovely worn-in feel. The crowning feature of this guitar is its neck. It has an incredibly accurate feel of a late 50s Fender. We’ve seen a lot of original 50s and 60s Fenders as well as a large collection of Master Built instruments at Premier Guitars. With regard to reissue instruments, this has by far and away the most authentic vintage feeling neck we’ve played. The 1 11/16ths nut width is ample for most players and the profile is a slender 21.7mm at the 1st fret. The rolled edges on the rosewood fretboard give the feel of a guitar that has been played for decades. However, with medium frets that have zero wear, it is apparent that this guitar has been locked away for some time.
The underwound neck pickup gives great Strat like clarity, matched well with a 7.8k bridge, adding some mid-range thickness to the twang in the bridge position. The neck of this guitar is hard to let go of. Its sleek and smooth feel are conducive to hours of enjoyably picking.
This is a classy looking and masterfully constructed telecaster by arguably the greatest Master Builder to slap on a Fender decal. Whether you are a collector or a player who appreciates the best, this ‘59 Telecaster Custom will not disappoint.
Scale length: 25 ½"
Fretboard Radius: 7 ¼"
Action at 1st fret: 0.5mm
Action at 12th fret: 2mm
Neck depth at 1st fret: 21.7mm
Neck depth at 12th fret: 24.8mm
Nut Width: 42.3mm
12 fret width: 52mm
Neck material: Maple with rosewood ‘slab board’ fretboard (59-62 spec)
Fretboard inlays: clay dots (59-65 spec)
Body: double bound tele custom - Alder
Front Pickup: 5.8k
Bridge Pickup: 7.6k
Tuners: Kluson no logo
Pickguard: 3 ply nitrate mint green
Bridge: traditional ashtray with brass saddles
Case: Non-original HSC