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FS: Fred Stuart Silverhawk (1956 Tele Repro)

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Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 183
Location: The Great Northwest

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject: FS: Fred Stuart Silverhawk (1956 Tele Repro) Reply with quote

Things seem to be a little slow around here of late, but I thought it may be worth posting this here. Back in '09, I commissioned Fred Stuart to build a reproduction of a '56 Tele, inspired by the guitar Clarence used on Nashville West, which was entirely responsible for making me forget about Strats, Les Pauls, and most other electric guitars. Hearing what Clarence, James Burton, Roy Nichols, Steve Cropper, and more recently Redd Volkaert can do with an unadorned pre-CBS Tele...I asked myself, what more could I possibly need?

I originally wanted a white guard, two-tone sunburst Tele with a Fender-style headstock (ala Nashville West), but ultimately decided to simplify and go for the basic white blonde with Fred's Silverhawk headstock, which I appreciate very much. I also wanted a unique set of pickups, so I had Fred build a custom version of his highly regarded "Black Guard", this time with raised D and G poles to nail the mid-50's sound. For the neck pup, I didn't want to stray far from the traditional Tele sound or appearance, so I asked Fred to build a "Tall Neck" pickup, based on the sought after Hamel design. In conjunction with a 4-way switch, the result covers all the traditional Tele sounds with a little Strat vibe in the neck position. Simple, but extremely versatile.

For the most part, I entrusted the wood selection to Fred's expertise. Yes, he builds his own necks and bodies, unlike many Tele "builders" these days. He recommended upgrading to a quarter-sawn neck, and to aim for a light, but not too light build, so that's what we did. The rest of the specs are basically true to 1956. I wanted the 7.25" neck radius (again, good enough for all my heroes...), and based on Fred's recommendation, chose slighty larger-than-traditional frets, which he prefers. I'm no fan of modern jumbo frets, but these frets basically achieve the best of old and new, and the guitar plays great. The rest of the guitar is outfitted with high quality hardware, including the straight steel saddles found on white guard Teles.

If you're a fan of Fred's pickups, or follow the TDPRI at all, you're probably well aware of his history and reputation in the industry. He was instrumental in establishing the Fender Custom Shop, has a knowledge of the old guitars like few (if any) others, and has an extremely impressive resume of previous builds ( Also, of special note to Clarence and Byrds fans, he's built guitars for Gene Parsons in the past, and if I'm not mistaken, outsources all of his B-Bender installations to Gene.

Condition, playability, and most importantly sound are all excellent. As life can be somewhat unpredictable, I haven't been in a position to play much electric guitar since receiving this in 2010, and have basically committed myself to Bluegrass and Old-Time music. I'll keep my old Deluxe Reverb, and maybe pickup a Mexican Tele at some point, but unfortunately the Stuart has to go so I can afford tuition and other expenses.

At the time I ordered this guitar, Fred was getting $3K plus, depending on options, with a wait time of over a year. I haven't seem more than a couple of his guitars appear on the used market.

I'm offering it here for $2450.

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