Some of you are probably wondering... "didn't this guy just buy a Trussart? What's his deal?". Long story short, I tried doing some tracking with it (playing some lead on some recordings my friend is working on with me) and found that there was some playability issues I didn't initially pick up. There were two saddles that were buzzing when I'd dig in that I didn't care for and some of the notes just didn't resonate right. The Guitar Center guys were great to deal with and offered to do a full setup on it at no extra charge. Long story short, the guitar still had some issues that couldn't be overlooked. Expensive guitar + playability issues (regardless of how killer it sounded and looked) = return. Still my benchmark telecaster tone. Maybe when I can afford it, I'll buy one new from a dealer that will be a better example. I will say this though, Guitar Center was excellent to deal with (and you don't hear that every day). I had initially intended on keeping it and sent e-mails back and forth to James Trussart and he was a very responsive and nice guy that clearly stands behind his designs. Responsive guitar builders (especially ones that have been successful) are rare and James is a true class act.
So, long story short.... I went on the search for my "rebound" tele. It was heartbreaking sending back the best sounding tele I've ever heard. It had that twang, but also had this warmth and response I haven't heard from other guitars. I played several dozen telecasters from a few different local places. Some sounded really great, but they all had this high end presence that was borderline piercing. My objective was simply to find a warmer sounding telecaster that still sounds like a telecaster.
I went through a lot of stuff, everything from $200 Squier Classic Vintage Teles (hoping to find that magical one that would be a no brainer), to the custom shop La Cabronita, lots of American Standards and American Deluxes (I am pretty fond of the American Deluxes in general FWIW). Went onto TGP and found a seller about an hour away from me unloading a 2010 1963 Fender Relic Telecaster.
First thing that struck me about the post is that he mentioned it wasn't as bright as some of his other telecasters and I went "this could be it". Met the guy yesterday (good guy), played it, found it resonated well (I was afraid it was going to sound like mud) and the price was a grand less than what I paid for my Trussart. More money in my pocket w/ a guitar that plays right and sounds really good = epic win.
So, without further ado, here's my new Tele (and this one doesn't come with a return policy, so it's a keeper ):
Kinda understated, pretty classy, really resonant and lightweight (only around 7 lbs. like the Trussart). The electronics needed to be cleaned up a bit, but that's been taken care of already. Only thing it needs is Duncans (the stock Fender pickups don't have quite the clarity that I remember from that Trussart w/ those original Antiquity Is). I think this is the perfect base for Antiquity IIs. Hopefully with a quality set of Duncans, this guitar will sound so good that the difference will be almost negligible.
I'm really not much of a relic kinda guy, but the guitar feels right, plays right and the relic job was pretty tasteful. I thought the neck was going to be pretty slim (as is most 60's stuff), but it definitely has a medium C girth that feels good and doesn't get it in the way.