SOLD WTS: 2003 Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster

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Hi all, up for sale is my beloved 2003 Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster Relic. I've recently came across another guitar that I simply have to have, but this has to go first. In the event however, that the aforementioned guitar is swiped before I'm able to make the purchase, this ad will be withdrawn so act fast, before it's too late! This particular piece comes with it's original COA(nicely laminated) as well as a beautiful tweed thermometer case, complete with lock and key.

This guitar, being what it is, needs little introduction but I'll go ahead anyway. The '51 Nocaster is a faithful reproduction of early 50s Telecasters, specifically those that were assembled after Gretsch issued a cease-and-desist letter to Fender regarding their use of the name "Broadcaster" when they were first made public. As such, Leo simply cut the "Broadcaster" logo out of the Fender decal, prompting collectors to call Telecasters sporting this feature(or the lack of it) "Nocasters".


There is actually some flame figuring on the neck that is not shown here, making this piece even more unique!

- Premium selected Swamp Ash body
- 1-piece Eastern Hard Rock Maple neck and fretboard
- Fat "U" profile neck
- 25.5" scale length
- 7.25" neck radius
- Vintage-sized frets
- Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster neck pickup (7.1k)
- Fender Custom Shop '51 Nocaster bridge pickup (7.3k)
- Black Bakelite pickguard
- Vintage-style tuners
- Traditional ash-tray bridge with 3 brass saddles
- Bone nut
- 3-way pickup selector
- 1 volume, 1 tone
- Nitro-cellulose lacquer coating
- Set-up for .10s

In case some you are wondering, the differences between a Nocaster and a Telecaster are somewhat unsettled. As guitars back then were carved entirely by hand, final specs were always in a state of constant flux, making it impossible to settle on a truly "correct" example. But the most common and significant difference between these two models was that Nocasters usually sported pickups that sounded fatter and thicker in the low-mids as compared to the ones that came with the more recognised mid to late '52 Telecasters, and this modern reissue is no exception.

The '51 Nocaster pickups are equipped with Alnico III magnets and sport a Zinc base plate just like the originals, and are exceptionally clear-sounding. When played clean, they exhibit a very open and bell-like chime on the top-end with a nice, rounded bass response. Through an overdriven amp, it maintains its trademark clarity along with a growling midrange that is sure to please rock tone-hounds. One thing that I've come to really appreciate about these pickups is that it is nearly impossible to get them to sound harsh. They also respond really well to your guitar's controls and playing dynamics. Roll back a little bit on the tone knob on the bridge pickup and you've got yourself a pretty convincing Les Paul tone; Lighten up on your pick attack and the guitar's signal cleans up accordingly.

Three mods were made to this instrument, but they are completely reversible. I've switched out the stock Nocaster "blend" wiring for the more familiar "modern" wiring which gives you access to each individual pickup and both in parallel. I've also changed the stock pots out for the much better CTS True Vintage Taper(TVT) 250K Audio pots. These pots are specifically engineered by CTS to sound like the old 50s pots and have a very tight tolerance of under 10%. They are incredibly resilient and have a very nice and organic taper to them that I absolutely love. I've also made a slight modification to the wiring called the Ted Greene/Fezz Parka mod. Basically, what this mod does is to blend the idea of the 50s Les Paul wiring with the modern Tele wiring. What it achieves is to allow the user to roll back on the volume knob without losing any treble content, which is great for players who use this approach to clean up their signal. I've always found this wiring to be much better than the more common "treble bleed" wiring as the latter never really sounded natural to my ears. The current tone cap is a .022 NOS ceramic cap. Now I know most people knock ceramic caps for sounding sterile, but trust me when I say that this cap complements this guitar perfectly!

For the sake of posterity, the original "blend" wiring harness along with the original switch, pots and cap will be included in the sale should the buyer ever want to revert it back into its original state. I will also include an official Fender 4-way switch should the buyer want to make this popular mod. Just have your tech add a ground wire to the neck pickup before hooking it up and you're good to go!

Condition's a 9/10 but since it IS a relic model after all, there WILL be dings, scratches, etc. This is strictly a CASH sale and the price is set at $3500 firm. Bank transfers are also acceptable but they will have to be carried out in person for the benefit of both parties. The prices for pre-2012 Nocasters have been rising due to the newer batch of Nocasters no longer sporting vintage-accurate specs, so this is definitely an investment opportunity. Interested buyers may reach me at 9070 9160. Cheers, and thanks for reading!
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