NGD Jason Isbell Telecaster

526THz

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
185
Location
Italy
Can anyone tell me what pickups are in the Isbell? I thought they sounded amazing on every demo I watched.



Whoops after reading the description of the guitar I see they are custom pickups


They're custom made for this guitar. Owning a Tele with Twisted Tele on the neck I can tell they sound similar (not exactly the same) while on the bridge They're not as high frequency as the Nocaster. In my opinion They're very good pickups
 

Fenderdad1950

Friend of Leo's
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Feb 4, 2019
Posts
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Age
71
Location
Albuquerque
Very nice guitar. I wondered who the artist was so I went to YouTube and found the artist playing guitars other than a Tele. He was very talented, but it made me wonder why Fender chose this artist, who really isn't known for playing a Tele, produce a Tele named after him?
 

Trunkard

NEW MEMBER!
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Posts
1
Location
Columbus, OH


This is the custom shop guitar that the sig is based on. Before the sig version, I don't think he's been associated with any one type of guitar. He did buy Ed King's Red Eye Les Paul funded by doing a bunch of private gigs for corporations and bitcoin dudes or whatever.
 

526THz

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
185
Location
Italy
Very nice guitar. I wondered who the artist was so I went to YouTube and found the artist playing guitars other than a Tele. He was very talented, but it made me wonder why Fender chose this artist, who really isn't known for playing a Tele, produce a Tele named after him?

He has so many guitars from different brands (there's an interesting rig rundown on YouTube). This is modeled after a custom shop tele he has, but it includes also features he liked in other guitars.
Anyway it's a great guitar in my opinion!
 

SPUDCASTER

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Posts
10,537
Location
Grangeville, Idaho


This is the custom shop guitar that the sig is based on. Before the sig version, I don't think he's been associated with any one type of guitar. He did buy Ed King's Red Eye Les Paul funded by doing a bunch of private gigs for corporations and bitcoin dudes or whatever.


Plus sold his soul at the crossroad for that LP.:eek:
 

Mikelo1966

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 22, 2022
Posts
7
Age
54
Location
U.K.
It's been at home for a week now, but due to some family issues I couldn't play and enjoy it till yesterday. I wanted to share some initial impressions on it.

Background
I'd been looking after it for a while (see other thread)... Then I found it as B-Stock with a 200€ price reduction: I hit the "buy" button right away! When I received it I immediately noticed 2 things:
1) The switch cap was black and not cream --> I contacted the store support who replied "in our website it is black". I checked and, yes, it's black both for the B-Stock that I purchased and for the regular one. Strange... Anyway, I can live with that!
2) The B string did a strange sound --> when hitting it there was a strong vibration all over the body and the neck, sustain was extremely poor and there was a sort of "sitar-like" sound in the background. I immediately thought "that's the reason why the previous owner returned it". I was a little disappointed. Then I started hitting the string and following the cause for the strange behavior with my ear. Ending on the saddle. The string was "touching" the saddle screw on top, where you adjust height. I detuned, moved it by 0.5 mm aside, tuned it again and... it was perfect! (BTW: if this was the reason for the return, I saved €200 on a perfect and stunning guitar... thank you previous owner!)

My First Impressions
Neck
I really love this guitar. I wanted it because of the nitro finish as I love the one on my Road Worn 50, but also to try a different neck, fretboard and pickups. The difference that I notice the most is on the neck. The back is not raw like my Road Worn, but I enjoy it, there's a very tiny nitro coat. I think it will wear off in time. I can say that the Road Worn one is the one that makes me feel at home (on this specific aspect), but I like the Isbell's too. Another difference is the neck shape: it's a "C" rather than "U", but strangely this doesn't have any impact on my feel and my playing. I can tell the difference of course, but I'm pleased with it.

Fretboard
I prefer open grain woods for fretboards. I have Ebony on a Les Paul, Rosewood on another Les Paul and a Firebird, and the "non-coated" maple on the Road Worn. The fretboard on the Isbell is very good. It's good looking, dark (not the darkest, but quite dark, which I prefer) and when playing it is very comfortable. All in all the Neck-Fretboard combo is great value, in my opinion. I'm not an expert at all, but in my opinion this confirms that MIM guitars are definitely worth.

Body
I will start by saying that the pictures on the Fender website don't do justice to this guitar. Especially on the back: on the website it looks like two pieces of wood randomly picked, matched and glued. The grain in my guitar body is, in my opinion, great. I can't even tell if it's more than one piece. I include some pics below to show what I mean as it looks like a single piece of wood (again, not an expert here, maybe someone will say "sure it's 1 piece, what did you expect", that's why I'm asking! Any comment is welcome on this).
The binding is awesome, the contrast between the white binding and the dark burst gives this guitar a classic and elegant look.
About the Road Worn "relic" job: I honestly prefer the one on my Road Worn, but if I give a "A" to the Road Worn, I'm giving a "B+" to this one. The dings you have both on the front and the back of the body look a little "artificial" in their position. Not a big deal for me, actually. And it's not heavy relicing at all, I guess this would fit to many players' taste. The guitar isn't heavy, I will weight it maybe next days, but I can confirm it's very comfortable.

Pickups
Pickups on this guitar are great. The neck pickup sounds (to my ears) very similar to the Twisted Tele I have on my Road Worn and I've said this a thousand times, I love that pickup. It's full and very very clear. The bridge is also good, I think it has less high-frequencies than the Vintage / Nocaster, but it's still twangy. It's a very well balanced set and I think they did a very good job (in both design and assembly) as it's very low noise. This is the first thing I noticed after I plugged in and I started playing. My Road Worn has more noise especially when overdriven

Last thing: this comes with 10s and I find the action a little high. I have 10s on my Gibsons/Epiphones and 9s on the other Tele. I think I'll move to 9s also on the Isbell. Question for you: will changing to 9s also slightly lower the action (because of the reduced tension)? Maybe I should try and see what happens... It could fix the action "issue" (that is not an issue actually...)


That's it, I'm really excited and happy for my purchase and 100% satisfied. I cannot but recommend this guitar to all of those who are evaluating the purchase! And now some pictures!


View attachment 922987


Sisters:

View attachment 922988

Front:
View attachment 922989

and back:

View attachment 922990
Great review, thanks. A quick question if I may, does the neck have a subtle rolled edge at all? I’ve seen conflicting reports on this point. Many thanks.
 

Fenderdad1950

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Posts
2,757
Age
71
Location
Albuquerque
It's been at home for a week now, but due to some family issues I couldn't play and enjoy it till yesterday. I wanted to share some initial impressions on it.

Background
I'd been looking after it for a while (see other thread)... Then I found it as B-Stock with a 200€ price reduction: I hit the "buy" button right away! When I received it I immediately noticed 2 things:
1) The switch cap was black and not cream --> I contacted the store support who replied "in our website it is black". I checked and, yes, it's black both for the B-Stock that I purchased and for the regular one. Strange... Anyway, I can live with that!
2) The B string did a strange sound --> when hitting it there was a strong vibration all over the body and the neck, sustain was extremely poor and there was a sort of "sitar-like" sound in the background. I immediately thought "that's the reason why the previous owner returned it". I was a little disappointed. Then I started hitting the string and following the cause for the strange behavior with my ear. Ending on the saddle. The string was "touching" the saddle screw on top, where you adjust height. I detuned, moved it by 0.5 mm aside, tuned it again and... it was perfect! (BTW: if this was the reason for the return, I saved €200 on a perfect and stunning guitar... thank you previous owner!)

My First Impressions
Neck
I really love this guitar. I wanted it because of the nitro finish as I love the one on my Road Worn 50, but also to try a different neck, fretboard and pickups. The difference that I notice the most is on the neck. The back is not raw like my Road Worn, but I enjoy it, there's a very tiny nitro coat. I think it will wear off in time. I can say that the Road Worn one is the one that makes me feel at home (on this specific aspect), but I like the Isbell's too. Another difference is the neck shape: it's a "C" rather than "U", but strangely this doesn't have any impact on my feel and my playing. I can tell the difference of course, but I'm pleased with it.

Fretboard
I prefer open grain woods for fretboards. I have Ebony on a Les Paul, Rosewood on another Les Paul and a Firebird, and the "non-coated" maple on the Road Worn. The fretboard on the Isbell is very good. It's good looking, dark (not the darkest, but quite dark, which I prefer) and when playing it is very comfortable. All in all the Neck-Fretboard combo is great value, in my opinion. I'm not an expert at all, but in my opinion this confirms that MIM guitars are definitely worth.

Body
I will start by saying that the pictures on the Fender website don't do justice to this guitar. Especially on the back: on the website it looks like two pieces of wood randomly picked, matched and glued. The grain in my guitar body is, in my opinion, great. I can't even tell if it's more than one piece. I include some pics below to show what I mean as it looks like a single piece of wood (again, not an expert here, maybe someone will say "sure it's 1 piece, what did you expect", that's why I'm asking! Any comment is welcome on this).
The binding is awesome, the contrast between the white binding and the dark burst gives this guitar a classic and elegant look.
About the Road Worn "relic" job: I honestly prefer the one on my Road Worn, but if I give a "A" to the Road Worn, I'm giving a "B+" to this one. The dings you have both on the front and the back of the body look a little "artificial" in their position. Not a big deal for me, actually. And it's not heavy relicing at all, I guess this would fit to many players' taste. The guitar isn't heavy, I will weight it maybe next days, but I can confirm it's very comfortable.

Pickups
Pickups on this guitar are great. The neck pickup sounds (to my ears) very similar to the Twisted Tele I have on my Road Worn and I've said this a thousand times, I love that pickup. It's full and very very clear. The bridge is also good, I think it has less high-frequencies than the Vintage / Nocaster, but it's still twangy. It's a very well balanced set and I think they did a very good job (in both design and assembly) as it's very low noise. This is the first thing I noticed after I plugged in and I started playing. My Road Worn has more noise especially when overdriven

Last thing: this comes with 10s and I find the action a little high. I have 10s on my Gibsons/Epiphones and 9s on the other Tele. I think I'll move to 9s also on the Isbell. Question for you: will changing to 9s also slightly lower the action (because of the reduced tension)? Maybe I should try and see what happens... It could fix the action "issue" (that is not an issue actually...)


That's it, I'm really excited and happy for my purchase and 100% satisfied. I cannot but recommend this guitar to all of those who are evaluating the purchase! And now some pictures!


View attachment 922987


Sisters:

View attachment 922988

Front:
View attachment 922989

and back:

View attachment 922990
Nothing like a Tele and a Pro-Jr, played that combo for years
 

526THz

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
185
Location
Italy
Great review, thanks. A quick question if I may, does the neck have a subtle rolled edge at all? I’ve seen conflicting reports on this point. Many thanks.
Well I don't know if it is "technically" a rolled edge, but I'd say yes (subtle as you say not fully rolled) and I find it very comfortable to play.
I'm out now but once home I can see if a better picture can show how it is.

I don't know if it's off topic, the only thing I've noticed playing a lot is that I sometimes bend the high e string out of the fretboard when pulling of from 2nd / 3rd fret to open string. It might be because of my poor technique, as when I pull off I tend to bend a little to have the open string properly sound...
I have less of that issue with the road worn 50 (another very comfortable neck+fretboard in my opinion) while it never happens on Les Pauls
 

526THz

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
185
Location
Italy
Well I don't know if it is "technically" a rolled edge, but I'd say yes (subtle as you say not fully rolled) and I find it very comfortable to play.
I'm out now but once home I can see if a better picture can show how it is.

I don't know if it's off topic, the only thing I've noticed playing a lot is that I sometimes bend the high e string out of the fretboard when pulling of from 2nd / 3rd fret to open string. It might be because of my poor technique, as when I pull off I tend to bend a little to have the open string properly sound...
I have less of that issue with the road worn 50 (another very comfortable neck+fretboard in my opinion) while it never happens on Les Pauls
@Mikelo1966 Here's a couple of pictures (sort of macro taken with phone, so not top quality) that show what I mean... you see, they're not exactly rolled but, in my opinion, quite... "round" :)
I don't know if it makes sense!

Fretboard_1.jpg
Fretboard_2.jpg
 

Mikelo1966

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 22, 2022
Posts
7
Age
54
Location
U.K.




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