Consistency between 2 units of the exact same Custom Shop model.

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by tommyhk, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. tommyhk

    tommyhk TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    I'd like to know from you experts if 2 of the same Custom Shop model are going to sound basically the same, or if there are noticeable differences between them. I am talking, for example, of any of the new Custom Shop guitars that Fender is releasing these years, is it going to have the same sound regardless of what shop do you buy it from?

    In acoustic guitars, it's sort of "mandatory" to try before you buy, but I never found this to be the case with Electrics, where a special Custom Shop '63 Tele sounds mostly exactly the same as the same Custom Shop '63 in another shop.

    So, I would love to hear your opinions from your experience. (I'm not talking about the relic aesthetic finishings, which vary from unit to unit)
    Thanks.
     
    tonyj and tce63 like this.
  2. VillainSean

    VillainSean TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    76
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yes & No. In theory, they should sound pretty close, but in practice, the wood for each guitar is different, so given all the specs are the same, they should sound very similar. In the past, I've A/B/C tests guitars that are the same model/series, and while they do sound very close, I always end up picking the one that sounds better acoustically and feels better.
     
    tommyhk, tonyj and tce63 like this.
  3. tommyhk

    tommyhk TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Thanks. Could I assume then that:

    1. If I liked one guitar that I tested and I buy the same exact model in a different color or serial number, it is hard that I don't like it.

    2. Unless you are comparing them side by side with the same amps, you am not going to notice any difference.

    Then in A/B tests, as you say, you would bond a bit more with one or the other due to the nuances of the wood, etc.. right?
     
    VillainSean and tce63 like this.
  4. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    As Sean said, in theory they should be very close, but in practice, there are still several factors that could make them sound, and play, differently. As always, the best thing to do is to play each and decide which plays and sounds best to you. If you don't feel or hear any difference, flip a coin....:D
     
    tommyhk likes this.
  5. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    87
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Location:
    usa
    If there are 5 telecasters, all made to same specs, made by the same custom shop masterbuilder, same woods, pups, hardware etc, they will all sound different from each other. The differences may be subtle or they may be not so subtle. No two guitars are exactly alike.

    Having said that, Fender custom shop models generally, and the masterbuilt models in particular, will have greater similarity than differences for various specimens of the same model made at about the same time. Never underestimate the subtle variances in neck dimension and total guitar weight in the calculus of tone.

    Just like acoustics, or any other guitar, you should play several before you buy and buy the one that "speaks" to you. Take vacation time and fly or drive to a well stocked dealer and play many. You will find "the one". Make sure your monetary instruments are in order so you can buy it when you find it.

    This method is a great way to alleviate potential buyer's remorse...and makes for a nice vacation day or two.
     
    dog fart and tce63 like this.
  6. VillainSean

    VillainSean TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    76
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Precisely.
     
  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    4,785
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    As long as the WEIGHT,pickup heights,pickup outputs and SET UP are EXACTLY the same they will sound the same.

    Buy none of these are ever EXACTLY the same are they?
     
  8. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,151
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    It's impossible for someone to craft the mechanical elements of even a single organically sourced guitar to a very precise tone, let alone to do it dead consistently from one copy to the next. We just have very little solid information about exactly how all the little variables shape tone; it's all anecdote. And even if there was concrete proof of exactly how things in the build affect tone, we couldn't exactly control the specifications of each piece of wood anyhow! Builders can make tonal averages in an edition lean a little one way or the other, but they can't tell you exactly what a guitar will sound like until it is done.

    But we have electronics to give us very precise and predictable tonal control...and engineers know a whole lot about how they work.

    In short, you don't know exactly what an assembly of various non-electronic, partially organically sourced parts is going to sound like. But you (or someone, anyhow) do know what you can do to manipulate the tone once you have the thing.

    Bottom line for me, I do indeed think that many of the things that are widely shared and/or accepted as affecting tone do indeed affect tone. I just don't believe that anyone knows exactly how well enough to precisely control them...and I think most people who claim they do are full of it. I do believe electronics techs, though, as they are relying on scientifically tested and accepted knowledge.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  9. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,769
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    South Australia
    No two guitars will sound the same. However i believe the more complex wiring of the Custom shop 62 (?) Telecaster with inbuilt pre-amo etc Andy Summers Replica is pretty well done. Youtube it. I think that minuscule adjustments by you would come pretty close to the original. Andy talks about it with some pride about how he and the Custom Shop crew kept the R&D going till they got it right.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.