Fender Telecaster

With a P-90 in the neck position, this guitar built from a modified Squier Affinity body speaks a language blending Gibson and Fender.

When you find a guitar that’s been modified exactly how you like, buy it.

Every now and then I see a guitar that's been modified just the way I would do it, only better. This guitar was selling on eBay a few months ago. The seller was very up front about the fact that it actually was a Squier Affinity body and neck that he'd modified. For starters, the body has a handsome blonde butterscotch finish topped off with a cool-looking tortoiseshell pickguard. The neck pickup is an Epiphone P-90 measuring around 9k, and at the bridge is a hot Fender Mexican ceramic Tele pickup measuring 10k. The 3-way switch puts both pickups in hum-cancelling mode in the middle position, so this guy obviously knew his stuff. The seller also upgraded the capacitor with an orange drop .022 µF epoxy cap for smoother tone response. To top it off, he stuck a Fender Telecaster decal on the headstock (something I don't recommend), with plenty of layers of clear-coat finish to make it look really good.

The builder is known for taking parts from various guitars and making very affordable Frankenstein masterpieces.

No question about it—this guy was a true guitar nut, like me. He called it a Custom Shack P-90 Tele. The builder is known for taking parts from various guitars and making very affordable Frankenstein masterpieces. Anyway, the auction was coming to an end with the price around $120 when I put in a snipe bid of $225. I really didn't think there would be much interest, but 27 different bids came in and I won it for $199.99 plus $25 shipping. I was happy because I really wanted it bad, and I still saved a few bucks from where my maximum bid was.


The 3-way switch puts both pickups in hum-cancelling mode in the middle position, so the previous owner obviously
knew his stuff.

When it arrived, it played perfectly for me right out of the box. It was also very light: 6.3 pounds, which was a real plus. The intonation was spot-on and everything was well adjusted—both pickup heights, action, and neck relief. The two pickups were both well balanced in terms of tone and output. Bottom Feeder tip #287: Sometimes you find a guitar that has been modified in such a way that keeps you from having to go through the trouble yourself. It saves you time, energy, and probably money, too. When that happens, just buy it. Don't go through life with any regrets.


A Fender Telecaster decal was applied to the headstock, with plenty of layers of clear-coat finish to make it look convincing.

Funny, but this Telecaster kind of reminds me of a guitar that my friend Tim Page from Buffalo Brothers Guitars designed years ago for G&L called the Bluesboy. It sported a Telecaster style body, bridge, and pickup, but with a more Gibson-ish humbucker in the neck position for more warmth. Tim understood that some players like the melding of Gibson and Fender aspects into a single guitar. I call this one my little Fender Bluesbird because it, too, is a monster that eats the blues for breakfast. So is it a keeper? Yep. For now. She's a sweet little guitar.

A chambered body and enhanced switching make this affordable Revstar light and loaded with tones.

Scads of cool tone combinations. Articulate pickups. Relatively light. Balanced and comfortable. Well built.

Some P-90 players might miss the extra grit the Revstar trades for articulation.

Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T
usa.yamaha.com

4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5

While the Yamaha name is famous in circles beyond the guitar world, they’ve made first-class guitars since the 1960s. And while they don’t unleash new releases with the frequency of some larger guitar brands, every now and then they come down the mountain with a new axe that reminds us of their capacity to build great electric 6-strings. In 2015, Yamaha introduced the first generation Revstar. With a handsome aesthetic inspired by the company’s motorcycle racing heritage, the Revstar combined sweet playability and vintage style touchstones. This year, Yamaha gave the Revstar an overhaul—including body chambering, updated pickups, and new switching. What’s impressive is how these alterations enhance the already impressive playability and versatility of the original.

Read MoreShow less

Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein unveils a new line of strings, collaborating with Josh Vittek of Sheptone.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

x