Review of New Nocaster NOS

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by digthosetubes, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Been so long since I've had a new car, but am not sure I would be half as excited as I am about this new '51 Nocaster NOS from the Fender Custom Shop.

    First played the Nocaster when purchasing a '66 Ampeg Gemini II 115 combo about a year ago -- auditioning it with a Nocaster Relic. Have been gassing for that guitar since. But it sold before I could justify the purchase this Christmas. So I settled recently on the NOS, which arrived Tuesday in time for my Birthday. Bought it unplayed -- not something I have ever done nor would recommend. But the price was too good on a new guitar with COA. Imagine having to let it sit in the box for hours before opening it -- to let the finish warm up.

    Looks. Beautiful butterscotch color with a hint of nice wide body grain peaking through. Subtle fine grain figuring on the neck. The black pickguard and gleaming chrome electronics plate and heavy chromed knobs are gorgeous -- and nice to turn. Some seductive blonde package. Not too light. Not too heavy. Just feels right. And what a nice scent from the finish.

    Neck. Big, old, round, deep, honking neck reminds me of some old Martin acoustics I played years ago. I have small hands and yet love this neck. Am playing chords naturally that I didn't know I knew. The "small" frets are just fine. The small radius feels right and good. All quite different than my American Deluxe Strat with the SNCs and S1 switch and flatter board and larger fretwire. The change and connection to the electric guitar roots is great. Grew up playing classical guitars. Talk about big necks. So this neck isn't daunting, but rather fun. I can see this guitar isn't ideal for big bends. But I never really go for more than a one-step-up bend. The neck plays fast. None of that sticky feel common to many Teles. So many Fender maple necks simply have repulsed me through the years. This one feels great.

    Pickups and original wiring. These Alnico 3 pickups sound beautiful. No match outputwise to the more powerful SCN pickups I am used to on my Strat. (I think these Strat pickups are vastly underrated.) The Tele CS pickups sound every bit the vintage vibe I was hoping for and remember from that Relic. Great deep bass vibe on tap from the neck pickup. Lush, wide, nuanced voice. Stunning bridge pickup. All that spank, twang, and punch. And to be able to blend the two pickup together?

    I like the blend setup and plan to leave it just the way it is. I bought this guitar to connect with the past. If I wanted something modern and "improved" I would go with the 52 Hot Rod with the Duncan neck pickup and flatter board and larger frets. (That's a nice guitar.) The blend switch on this old-fashioned Fender really gives you a lot of options. I hope to be exploring it for a long time.

    Have heard these tones thousands of times on the radio and on vinyl. Now I can make them with my own hands -- as best I can. Only tone that might be better (well -- not better but different) would require the guitars and Vox amps the Beatles used to make such sounds as we heard in that ringing chord at the beginning of Hard Day's Night.

    This is a fine musical instrument. You should hear it through that Ampeg. Holy Cow. Killer, too through the '68 Princeton Reverb. Matches made in heaven.

    Hum. I must be blessed with the good wiring in the new sunroom. Sure, I have to angle the guitar for the sweetspot, which cancels the hum. But I don't mind. All my amps are very quiet and this helps keep the hum to a minimum. So for that fantastic tone, the hum is quite acceptable. The Ampeg in particular is a full round sound, and it really cancels out the hum almost completely.

    Have enjoyed reading what people think of these Nocasters. A fine musical instrument.
     
  2. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Congratulations on the Tele!

    It sounds like you found a keeper.

    When your fingers can't take any more, post a few pics!
     
  3. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Thanks for the well wishes.

    I'll post a few pics as soon as I can. Played this thing for 4 and one half hours the other night. Well into the wee hours. I'll try to get the camera fired up.
     
  4. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    Congrats..........best guitar Fender makes.........both my son and I are continually blown away by ours.........it's the type of guitar that just takes my breath away every time I open the case!
     
  5. clmazza

    clmazza Supporting Member

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    Congrats on a fine acquisition!

    I happen to love my 2000 NOS Nocaster.... the neck is simply to die for!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Wow. Look at the nice grain on that neck -- and the body. Mine's not that lovely. But it sure floats my boat. Nice to hear some comments. It certainly is a fine instrument.
     
  7. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Congrats on the Nocaster digthosetubes.

    I know what you mean- I don't remember being so excited about a new guitar except maybe one other time than I was when I got mine.

    I too say it's the very best Fender made.
     
  8. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    that's a flamier neck than i've seen on those, nice grab! by the way with that old school wiring, try the "phantom" 2 and 4 positions using the blade selector. you'll cancel hum and get a nice quack, but to keep em there you might need to wedge a matchstick in there or something. it's worth it for the two free "bonus" tones!
     
  9. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    Sweet rigs for sure!!!

    Just a quick question for anybody that knows - why are the Nocasters and the 52 reissues a slightly different color? Always kinda wondered, but apparently never enough to ask. :confused:
     
  10. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Hey, Jahn. I knew you could do that selector switch thing on the Strat but had no idea it would apply to the Nocaster. Very cool.
     

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