Up for sale, a 2006 Fender Custom Shop 1951 "Nocaster" NOS in exceptional condition and in perfect working order with numerous premium upgrades, complete with the original COA and a tweed hardshell case. In its stock configuration, this guitar commemorates the brief moment in history when Fender's first electric guitar had no model name on the headstock, as the original "Broadcaster" moniker was dropped and rebranded "Telecaster," but not before a number of instruments shipped with the headstocks left blank!
With a hand-selected one-piece lightweight ash body and substantial U-shaped maple neck profile, there's plenty to love about this Nocaster that's decidedly vintage, with the clarity and complex midrange of ash paired with the detail and crisp attack of the maple. Numerous thoughtful upgrades include a Lollar Charlie Christian neck position pickup, custom cut one-ply bakelite pickguard, Mastery M4.1 Telecaster bridge, Bigsby B5 vibrato tailpiece with '50s-style
aluminum arm and Callaham front roller and string anchor, bone nut, and electrosocket jack cup.
The original flat-pole Nocaster bridge pickup is pure twang and sparkle, and the highest treble frequencies have a smooth, bell-like response. With both pickups engaged, it's the perfect cutting rhythm sound that balances sinewy snap and low end fullness, and the Lollar Charlie Christian delivers a rich, deep tone with round top end and ample sustain. The output is comparable to a P-90, and while ideal for Jazz players it also responds very well to a gritty overdriven tube amp. The Lollar CC is made with a low resistance coil wound with 38-gauge wire, just like the original Charlie Christian pickups, along with a nickel-plated blade pole piece and alnico bar magnets. Acoustically, the voice of the guitar is very powerful and clear, and the authority with which this guitar rings out and sustains translates well through the pickups.The guitar weighs 8lbs 2oz, dialed in with low action and spot-on intonation with Thomastik JS111 Jazz Swing flatwound 11s.
The neck has the quintessential early '50s "U" Fender shape with generous shoulder and plenty of depth and chunk. While the profile does fill the palm, it's never overwhelming and the neck chords easily even for players with smaller hands, measuring .960" deep at the 1st fret and 1.005" at the 12th. The slender vintage-style frets are flawless with perfectly rounded crowns, and the guitar plays easily up the 25 1/2" scale. The nut measures 1.650" in width, upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. On the headstock, the Fender waterslide decal is present sans-model name in keeping with this "Nocaster" reissue.
All of the electronics work as they should, and the neck pickup cavity has been professionally routed to accommodate the Charlie Christian. The one-ply bakelite pickguard was produced by AllParts and despite its modest origins is exceedingly accurate in material, thickness, and edge bevel, also flawlessly cut for the Lollar CC. The Mastery 4.1 bridge works in concert with the Bigsby B5 vibrato, and the Bigsby actuates easily with its upgraded 50s-style aluminum arm and Callaham components. The chrome plating on the control plate and knurled knobs is positively gleaming, and the Butterscotch nitro lacquer gloss finish has gently settled into the broad grain of the ash body. Cosmetic wear is limited to just a few faint finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss central to the back.
A Fender-branded tweed hardshell case is included, along with the original COA and manual.