This Fender Custom Shop 61 Telecaster Journeyman Relic in Black is a much-needed breath of fresh air! We tend to focus on the 50s Tele and their Swamp Ash body, so we've kinda neglected the Alder and Rosewood combo. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw some notable changes in the Tele from tonewood choice, to pickup material, to saddle material. These changes made this Tele play nicer with louder, distorted amps. Just ask Jimmy Page!
Our 1961 Telecaster Journeyman Relics start with an Alder Body. This guitar weighs 7 lbs 5 oz, which is a good weight for an Alder/Rosewood combo. Alder is less bright than Swamp Ash and has a more prominent low end and mids. The result is a guitar that pairs incredibly well with overdrive. Where ash and maple can get ice-picky in high-volume/gain situations, alder and rosewood get the job done without that top-end harshness. Speaking of Rosewood...
Our 61 Tele's come with an AAA-rated 9mm thick slab of Rosewood for the fingerboard. This sought-after, revered and loved tonewood rounds the top end off compared to maple. If you love a Tele but want warmth in place of a very strong, bright plosive, then Rosewood is for you! 21 x 6105 frets are installed for a Taller-Than-Vintage feel. The fingerboard radius is carved to 9.5" for a fantastic feel from nut to heel.
The neck is made from Quartersawn Maple. This is a very rigid and stable cut of maple which means fewer adjustments. The neck on this guitar is carved to a 60s Style Oval C that measures in at .790" at the 1st fret and .930" at the 12th fret. It feels pretty darn close to the necks we order on our 63 Strats. 1.650" Nut Width, a bone nut, and 25.5" scale length round out all the important specs.
The pickups are a set of Handwound Texas Special Single Coils for the Telecaster. These pickups have become the stuff of Legend with their added heat. Simply by rolling off the volume and tone, you'll experience the added benefits of the hand-wound pickups. They sweeten up incredibly well. Warming up without losing clarity is a tricky thing but these Handwound Texas Specials nail it. A master volume, master tone, and three-way pickup selector switch cover all the electronics.
Well, *phew, that about covers it! Pete and I (Matt), we're very excited to see this model as they have been months in the making! And a Telecaster better suited for Rock and overdrive versus Country-Clean? This. Is. It!