Home Page             070911          The REAL   Fender 60th Anniversary Telecaster      Contact

 

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Scale
Tuners
Frets
Pickups
Switching
Neck Joint
Strings
Weight
Price
ZT-C

Padauk
(one piece)

Maple
Maple
25.5"

Gotoh Sealed

24
Large/Medium
*Dual Size
Neck:
ZachAttack
A3

Bridge:
Zachary Custom Tele

3-way pickup select

2-way coil select for neck pickup

Screwed
ZOG 9+ RW
8.25 lb

$2800
with case

 

The FENDER 60th Anniversary Telecaster

By chance I built this latest Zachary guitar without even realizing that Fender is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Telecaster. I took a look at what impressive Tele offering they may have for this special occasion. It seems like they have a special anniversary model every year for marketing purposes, just to get all the dentists excited and get them into the guitar boutiques. I am actually offended and feel let down. What they call the 60th Anniversary Telecaster is pathetic as usual. It is nothing but a standard Telecaster with a sticker on the back of the headstock, claiming that you bought a “special” model. Its not even a reissue model. This is not surprising, they will not even give you anything unique. They think so little of you as the guitar consumer that they know they can get away with some phony plastic Telecaster that offers you nothing over their standard assembled in the USA from Mexican parts Telecaster. What do you care? I am sure they made several thousand of them and they will all be sold anyway. You have to understand that these large guitar companies know you are an idiot as much as I do. However, instead of telling you that you are an idiot, they exploit your stupidity instead of educating you. You love them of course.

Gibson does the same thing with many of their so called signature models. What’s wrong with your Joe Bonamassa? Are you that desperate for money? Are you that much of a putz? If you are to have a signature model, offer something substantial, creative and new. Make some waves. Why would anyone want to buy your signature model Joe? A standard gold top Les Paul with two mismatched knobs will just not cut it. It makes you look like a pushover, intimidated by the corporate machine. It seems like you had absolutely no input into your own “signature model”. Shame on your Joe, I expected more from you.

I was just thinking. Who exactly represents the continuation and the progression of Leo Fender's work? Is it the Fender Corporation of today? I don't think so. I mean, what have they done which would cary on the legacy of Leo Fender, other then the usual overheated soup of marketing, cliches and the continuous regurgitation of those old designs Leo invented so many years ago? Its sad to see that this giant of a corporation, the very essence of "BIG GUITAR”, with its ties to who knows what other giant and imposing international corporations, has offered very little in terms of impactful, unique or lasting products. In fact even CBS, Fender’s previous owner, has done more meaningful things, by introducing the Thinline Tele among others.

Fender's sole existence is still built upon what Leo Fender did 60 years ago. Take away these iconic achievements and you have no Fender Corporation. What do you have left? What would Eric Clapton be endorsing? The current CEO could go right back to working for Big Oil or Big Pharma or wherever he comes from because the Fender Corporation would cease to exist, without Leo's achievements that is. What would people buy from Fender if its not a Tele or Strat or a vintage reissue amp. Leo’s work from decades ago is the foundation and main content of this whole Corporation. Its rather embarrassing and shameful when you think about it. In essence when you buy any Tele or Strat or tube amp from the Fender Corporation, you are buying Leo’s creations not that of the Fender Corporation. In terms of pride, I would be embarrassed if I was the Fender Corporation, knowing that this whole corporate empire hinges on the work of a humble tinkerer from 60 years ago and without Leo’s achievements they would have nothing. So they must rehash Leo’s work constantly in every possible variation and offering nothing new. Not wanting to offer anything new for fear that you the idiot will not buy it if even the slightest of Leo’s design mistakes is corrected. Any divergence from Leo’s work makes the products illegitimate in the eye of the guitar consumer. Goofy dentists everywhere will not care for it and buy a PRS instead.

What the Fender Corporation did do as soon as they grew in size and capital, was to buy up as many music industry brands as they could. They almost have a complete monopoly in the industry. With Fender your will find all the typical and expected corporate travesties, which are under attack these days and rightfully so. A few brands Fender owns which come to mind are Gretsch, Jackson, Guild, Ovation, Takamine, and many others. They basically own and distribute most of the products in the industry, or at least the key brands in the industry, the ones which Gibson does not own. Fender have tremendous power in the distribution of most musical products, even those they don’t yet own, they still distribute them to your local music store. This means they control what products the consumer has access to, unless you are unlucky enough to stumble on this web site.

In these times of blatant exposure of large corporations, Fender is not different in acting as such, yet it really has nothing to show for it when it comes right down to something as inventing the simple "Telecaster" for posterity. Leo did that. Thus constant marketing of Leo’s work becomes crucial and a central element in their survival. They must convince the consumers that they are a small personable and attentive company and downplay their actual corporate size. They may have led you to believe that they are still a privately owned company and down to earth as Leo’s was. Their goal is to make you think that Leo Fender, at least in spirit now, is still walking their halls or sitting at his desk designing the latest digital amplifier, which mimics a 58 Tweed Deluxe amp he designed in the 50s. What a horrible visual that is. The Fender Corporation is metaphorically nothing more then a disingenuous modeling of Leo’s past reality. The same as a large food processing plant calling themselves something “Farms”, with no farm in sight but just repulsive industry and financial speculation. This deception is a must for their advancement and survival, even if very little of their products are even made in the USA. The image of the company and its true identity are worlds apart but its the deception which is so contemptible. Does anyone care? Probably not. Fender knows their customers and they know their ignorance. Why continue Leo’s methods and philosophy when a "custom shop" with CNC machines can produce computer-made guitars and sold as if they were made just as Leo made them with his archaic tooling. Nobody objects or even questions it. These corporations have stooges among you on the circle jerk forums monitoring your ignorance.

Let's see, what has the current Fender Corporation done other then major corporate speculating? They did rescue Fender form bankruptcy caused by mismanagement of CBS in the early 80s; that's good, we all would agree. They did maintain all of Leo's iconic products but they had to because they had nothing else to offer. Leo made them who they are. However, while Leo's people made these guitars and amps by hand and sprayed them with real lacquer, now the Fender "Custom Shop" makes them with computerized robots and sprays them with plastic. They also disrespect all of Leo's creations by making countless versions of each model at every price point. This is the business model of the Fender corporation. Leo made one Strat and made it as good as he could. Players may have aspired to own the true and only Stratocaster or Telecaster. There was an undeniable reverence associated with these guitars. Now you can buy a Strat for $150 or one for $6000, they are both Strats and the differences are a matter of opinion. This is a perfect way to deprecate iconic products. This practice goes for the current state of most Leo's creations. Not to forget that all of Leo's products were also made in the USA and thus had a very strong American identity, actually defining Americana. The new Fender products have no such identity and your Strat may have been made in any of the countries where Fender farms out their work. The current Fender Corporation certainly has not advanced or improved upon Leo's designs but interestingly has not even been able to add to Leo’s catalog as CBS did, to whom Leo originally sold his business. Oh, it has just occurred to me that the Fender Corporation may be the originator of one highly creative process called relicing new guitars. Who would have thought of that one? I am humbled, I must admit. What’s cooler than owning exact relic replicas of SRV, Jeff Beck, and Van Halen guitars, among others? That would be like owning and living in your own wax museum. Kind of creepy and pathologically idiotic when you think about it, unless you believe these relic replicas hold magic powers and will make you play like your idols. We can thank the Fender Corporation for this novel concept which is so well received universally.

Leo wasn't perfect by any means. Every one of his creations are awkward and flawed in some ways and pure genius in others. After all, Leo had a major blind spot, he was not a guitar player. The good news is that these iconic products could be very easily improved without loosing any of the essence of Leo's designs or the defining characteristics of what these instrument are. The Fender Corporation has chosen not to actually continue Leo's work. They have taken his work and watered it down, bastardized it, adulterated it or simply cheapened it, in order to sell as many units as possible at every price point. Harvard business school comes to the guitar industry. Before, one aspired to own a Fender guitar but now you can buy one, made in a Banana Republic for a kid’s saved allowance. Some would applaud that as a virtue of a benevolent company, bringing affordable instruments to every person. You be the judge.

The question remains; who then carries forward the legacy and who represents the linear continuation of Leo's work?

Take a look at the guitar on this page. Its everything Leo would have, or may I be so bold as to say, should have done, if he could play the guitar and was still working with the fervor he had in the 50s. Very simply, you are looking at the Telecaster perfected.

Take one example, the headstock. Leo had really simplified, strengthened and improved the headstock over what was traditionally done before, but he did not go as far as he should have. I took it all the way. Leo made the effective Tele body shape but did not take the design as far as he could; but I did. I gave it a more pleasant appearance by cutting away the bulky and awkward lower horn and giving it more high-fret access. Leo invented a novel neck joint with screws but only used four screws with only vertical but no lateral anchoring to the body. I use 5 screws a super tight fitting neck joint and lateral anchoring. Leo then squared off the heel, resulting in it being aesthetically, structurally and ergonomically compromised. I make it nicer and better in all of these areas. Leo’s bridge is restricting with the sidewalls not cut away and also with the pickup under the bridge, its very hard to access it. The whole bridge must be removed to get at the pickup. I also wanted to get rid of the magnetic and conductive effects the steel bridge plate has on the pickup. I also wanted the bridge to be both through-body loading and also top loading. By top loading, string tension is decreased and minor down tuning of any string can be compensated by through-body loading only those strings which are down tuned. Leo’s knobs were heavy brass and so are current Fender knobs, which is absurd, I made them out of light weight aluminum and still retained the exact vintage shapes and specs of the knobs. What purpose do heavy knobs have on any guitar? Leo only gave you 21 frets, I cannot live without a 2-octave 24-fret neck, so I make it like that. Leo did not contour the Telecaster body and instead invented the Strat body but I contour the Zachary T body as much as possible; getting rid of excess weight and giving you the ergonomics you need. In terms of electronics, I did not want the bridge pickup to be dragged down or loaded by a useless tone pot, so I did not hook the tone pot to the bridge pickup, only the neck pickup. I also wanted to add either a humbucker or a P90 in the neck position in addition to also using the original Tele neck pickup, depending on the vibe I was after. With the humbucker and a coil switch; versatility is unmatched. However, a new Tele bridge pickup had to be developed to balance in power and volume with the neck P90 or a Humbucker. This is very importantly and let me take care of the details. I came up with a modified Tele neck pickup design, a design, which I will not reveal, resulting in a pickup with a lot more more output, being able to balance in volume with a vintage powered humbucker and offering even more highs than a standard Tele pickup. If a Tele bridge pickup does not give you nausea when you play it or just hear it, then it sucks and if you don't like the piercing, then you should not be allowed near a Telecaster, you don't deserve it. To twist the words of James Burton around a bit for my own purposes, a Tele must be "so bright that you can cut a tree down with the lead pickup". It must be piercing and it must sound like a steel guitar, which is what the ancestor of the Tele actually is. My new Tele bridge pickup just screams. (The pickup pictured here is not the actual pickup I am talking about. The New Zachary Tele bridge pickup was not ready for the photo session and was installed later.)

Its like Leo implemented great ideas but did not carry them to completion. ... I take it all to the max.

If you area a naive, casual or new player or a collector, then buy a Telecaster from the Fender Corporation. Buy their pathetic 60th Anniversary model. However, if you are a true player and want the ultimate Tele, it has to be a Z, remember its what Leo would have, if he could have, done.

So, friends and foes, who is the one continuing Leo's work and who took over where Leo had left off?
Is it the army of talentless schmucks who embarrassingly make kit Fender copy guitars? A pathetic crooked bunch they are and they know it.
Is it the current mega Fender Corporation?
Or does the guitar on this page give you the answer?

Do I have to even tell you that on this page you are looking at THE REAL 60th Anniversary Telecaster. The only Tele worthy of this title.
Beating a mega corporation in achievement sure feels great no matter how big and stupid they are. Shame on those worthless fools with the CNC machines. I can do it all with my fingers.

 

Sexy 60 year old Mom :-)            Roger

Wow. Wasn't ready for this. Congrats, Alex. Sweet machine. Cold play some very Badazz Blackened Bluez on this one! YOWZA!
NFS, eh?   Some poor bastard is going to be very disappointed.    Ted Noiz

Nice work again Alex! The natural body grain along with the shape and contours really stand out for me.
The scuff plate in pearloid really “pops” with the red of the body. Would love to hear/see the Zachary Tele Bridge pickup. Yordys

Holy crap, man, I've been waiting for this one. I've only ever written before to order some strings, but I had to drop you a line on 070911. Shearing off the lower horn. Perfect. The modified bridge. Essential. And that neck joint looks seamless and solid. I hear a lot of Z players are thrilled about the neck joint, but for some reason it really stands out on this one. Awesome work.   Ryan

Ooooooooo, looks like a Tele but there is a noticeable difference. I may be biased because I own and play Z's but I can see the quality in your work and it should be obvious to all. I know it is obvious to a few knowledgeable people who view your website but they just won't open their mind. They stubbornly refuse to let go of the hype that has been forced on them by the guitar industry. Hence they attack you. It is a sad state of affairs when a society stops all innovation, closes their mind to all new ideas, and become complacent. There is innovation and originality in every Z you bring to life. I am truly thankful that I have an open mind. A mind willing to learn and a mind willing to change.   Eagle

Splendid!      Best JR

Wow, Alex, you nailed the feel of a Tele. You have to give us a video of this one. Its damn pretty and looks great with the Zachary sweep on the rear end. Looks like it got spanked and liked it that way! Great choice for the pickguard, makes the guitar really pop! Simple and immediate. And the sound of a chainsaw stripping bark.  Anyway, great job, this was quite a nice surprise. Now I feel the need for some Danny Gatton!    Regards,   Jeff (Calgary)

Hi Alex, What a beaut. Strange to say, but this body almost comes across as flesh. You've produced a ton of very original pieces over the years, and this one seems to be a really solid culmination of those learning's. You know, there is some interesting similarities between your early Z1's and this guitar. Like you have come full circle, but higher. More like a spiral really. Higher up the evolutionary chain. It looks like it would be extremely comfortable. Like you have taken some of the ergonomic attributes of the Z2 and molded them into the Telecaster form. All in all a beautiful machine Alex.
Love to hear it, and love to hear what you are listening to these days. All the best. Scott

Hey Alex, I am major grumped at you for keeping every single Tele I want to buy for yourself. I wanted Nestle Crunch (before it was NFS)... No. I wanted 160406- Art Deco (when it came back to you)...No. I would have loved Red Neck. And now this one...NO!
Every improvement you did for this Z Tele clearly makes you the true line of continuation of old Leo's work. Your problem is you can't mass produce these. If you put 1000 of these out and dressed yourself up as the new Fender guy you would have no problem as a small specialist in the main industry. But by the time you get this you are already doing something completely different.That is all the best and all the worst about you. But please keep it up, it would be so boring if you ever became the new Fender guy.
Oh, and it's a "NO" I understand...you keep it a while. If you are willing to part with any of the above mentioned Z's, well...      Tony

Well its almost the F1 but something much more interesting with an original shape. Also, I love the bridge and find it interesting that you can string it either through the body or not. I wonder if there is any tone difference that you could notice? You will have to tell us. Very stylish indeed. Most certainly a fabulous player. I can say I enjoy my F1-C almost daily. This one has a really beautiful vibe and a comfort contoured body.

As you are saying there is not much innovation coming out of Fender. If there was, I think they would sell more guitars. Just the idea that they sell so many non-contour body Teles amazes me. Its almost like it is supposed to be a plank to stay true to tradition. But like its still OK to make them by the hundreds of thousands on (computerized) machines.

You want something special that you can love for its handmade beauty and organic vibe there is nothing like the Z. And of course since no two are alike, you really have something that is special indeed. Even if you can't afford one of these they are something to behold.      Frank B.

just dropping a line to say, nicely done. All of it. and that Fender 60th...holy shit.  Cheers.  Kip


FENDER 60th Anniversary Telecaster

 

Home Page                                                                    Contact