Feel and Sound
On the TV Jones website, the Model 10 is advertised as weighing between six and eight pounds. When I removed the guitar from its hardshell case and placed it on a digital scale, I was pleased to find that even with the Bigsby, it came in at just under seven pounds—the perfect weight for a solidbody, in my opinion.

With its 14.25"-wide body, the well-balanced Model 10 feels equally comfortable to play standing or seated. The neck has a medium-sized C contour, a 1.687" bone nut, and a 24.625"-scale fretboard, making it hospitable to barre chords and single-note runs all along its length. Our guitar was set up at the factory with perfect low action requiring no adjustment for easy playability.

The guitar sounds excellent when played without an amplifier. It has a round, sweet tone, due perhaps to its obeche neck and body, and a bit more sustain and resonance than one would expect from a solidbody of its type.

To test the Model 10’s amplified sound, I plugged directly into a silverface Fender Champ—a great choice for recording. First testing the Custom Wound bridge pickup, I was immediately impressed by the guitar’s Gretsch-like voice, perfect for everything from Brian Setzer-approved riffs to Duane Eddy-style leads. The pickup is very articulate and open—well suited for playing twangy leads and rootsy rhythm work—and it dirties up agreeably.

At a moderate volume, the darker-sounding Classic neck pickup has a roundness that jump-blues players will find appealing. This pickup also works well for Chet At-kins-style harp harmonics. At higher volume levels, the Classic has the creamy sustain and prominent overtones associated with a great humbucker, which makes it excellent for blues-rock soloing.

As you’d expect, the Bigsby tailpiece has a smooth action, but not a wide pitch range. When fully depressed, the arm lowers the 1st and 6th strings by a minor second and minor third, respectively. Though it’s not a dramatic vibrato unit, the Bigsby is perfect for adding a little shimmer to chord work and for creating the ’verb-laden dips you often hear in surf guitar.

The Verdict
The TV Jones Model 10 is a retro-looking, stripped-down guitar that boasts superb craftsmanship and playability. With its TV Jones pickups and top-shelf electronic components, it sounds great in a host of contexts—everything from traditional electric blues to more aggressive lead work. And at under two grand, the Model 10 is within reach of working pros and hobbyists alike.
Buy if...
you want an all-purpose solidbody that feels and sounds terrific.
Skip if...
only that old Gretsch or Gibson will do.

Preliminary Direct Price $1785 (with hardshell case) - TV Jones Guitars - tvjones.com