Im new to this great forum, and Im the lucky new owner of a Greenwich Village Custom Guitars (GVCG) Ultimate 55 Telecaster relic. This is such an exceptional instrument, such a wonderful piece, that I feel compelled to write this review. First, a little backgroundIve been playing guitar for about 30 years, lately as a serious hobbyist only due to family, job, etc. During this time Ive owned and played a ton of guitarsvintage, Custom Shop, boutique, ordinary, you name it. Im really not a gear snobif it plays and sounds good, it works for me. In fact, after years of collecting, I think my stock Mexican Jimmie Vaughan Strat is the best playing (but not sounding) Strat Ive owned. True, this JVs exceptionalIve played and owned several that dont comparebut even a basic, stock guitar can have the goods... Now, to the GVCG Ultimate 55. It is absolute magic. Jonathan Wilson, who builds each GVCG by hand, has a unique gift. (He also seems like a helluva nice guy.) Somehow, I dont know how, he has done the impossible. Hes managed to create a guitar that absolutely looks, feels and even smells like a 50 year old, well-used Telecaster. Pick it up (it weighs only 6.5 pounds), and you just feel that the wood and nitro has air dried for many, many years. I dont know if Jonathan actually uses old wood, but it certainly feels like it. The relicing is just unbelievable. Ive owned and played Fender Custom Shop relics, as well as boutique relics, and they just dont compare to the GVCG in these respects. Ive also been lucky enough to own a real 57 Esquire, and this GVCG Tele could be mistaken for such a vintage instrument, except... The GVCG plays better. Much better. I find myself sitting in my office at work, or driving in my car, just thinking about how it feels in my hands. This may seem odd, but Im sure some of you understand! As for the tone, it is fabulous. Huge, warm, punchy, complex, woody (an overused cliche, I know, but really appropriate here) and just damn fine. Clean, it can sound big and deep, or smooth and warm. Dirty, it just rips. The pickups are specially made by Lollar, and theyre fantastic. Ive always favored John Suhrs Tele pickups, which sound great in my Custom Shop Nocastera bit more modern than typical vintage style pickups, but with great vintage tones on tap, too. The Lollars definately sound more vintage, not quite as in your face or liquid as the Suhrs, but ballsy and warm, and with plenty of cut but never too thin or piercing. The best way I can describe the GVCG overall is that to me its the Platonic ideal of a vintage 55 Tele. Like no real one in existence, but a compilation of ideal characteristics. I know there are a lot of superlatives in this review, and Ive read glowing reviews of lots of guitars in other forums, but this guitar really is special. In my opinion, if you can scrape up the bucks for one of these GVCG guitars, get yourself one and you wont be sorry. Ill just close by saying that Im in no way affiliated with GVCG, and I dont know Jonathan Wilson personally. However, I feel that true genius and dedication deserves to be recognized. Id also like to say that Cliff Cultreri, a great guy and a real gentleman, was extremely informative and helpful in providing me with information on GVCG guitars. Thanks so much Cliff-- you were 100% right! Sorry if Ive rambled here!