Reader Guitar of the Month: Theseus Tele

After a lefty player finally experienced a Tele for the first time, he turned it into his dream tone machine.

Name: Alex Poterack
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
Guitar: Theseus Tele

When you're left-handed, you don't get to play a ton of different guitars. That's how I managed to play for 15 years without really experiencing a Tele. I used a rather large Amazon gift card I got for my 27th birthday to buy a Squier Classic Vibe Tele on a whim.


Name: Alex Poterack

When it came, I was skeptical. It was insanely heavy, the tuners were clunky, and its thin strings sounded dull. When I plugged it into a cranked-up amp, however, it roared with that dirty-yet-defined Keith Richards tone that I'd been trying and failing to get forever. I knew the Tele bridge pickup sound was IT for me.

Still, there were things I didn't like about the guitar. Like many players, I found the stock neck pickup basically useless. I replaced it with a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbucker, and a new switching system based around a 4-way switch and two push-pull pots, which I used as a phase switch and a bass cut. This worked wonderfully, vastly increasing the versatility. Emboldened by this success, I went crazy with upgrades, replacing the bridge, tuners, body, and neck. For those keeping score at home, I replaced literally everything except the bridge pickup, and in doing so made my number one guitar, which, in my mind, is perfect. The Warmoth body is as light as they come, and the Musikraft neck came with a slightly thicker profile than I ordered, but is the most comfortable neck I've ever played. I've had the guitar in its final form for a couple years now, and it's still the one I play 90 percent of the time in my rock band, Wild Accusations. I even bought a new bridge pickup and reassembled the old parts into an Esquire (pictured below, on the right).

Theseus is the mythical founder-hero of Athens. A classic philosophical thought experiment considers a ship of his preserved as a museum in a harbor. Whenever a piece of it wears out, it's replaced. Eventually, every part has been replaced. Is it still the same ship? I don't have a strong opinion on that, but I do know that my Tele, "Theseus," is the most killer guitar I've ever had, and likely ever will.

Send your guitar story to submissions@premierguitar.com.

[Updated 9/22/21]

Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

Read More Show less

"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

Read More Show less
x