2004 Fender 8502 American Ash Telecaster

more Callaham and Lollar
more Callaham and Lollar

Another Ebay find: the pimary result of having learned how much I liked teles. This guitar was virtually unplayed when I got it, and I had both the single-layer pickguard and the bridge–a Callaham American Standard plate with three enhanced compensated saddles–ready for it when it arrived.

8502s are well loved for a reason, or a bunch of reasons. There’s an online club, even. http://www.tdpri.com/forum/guitar-owners-clubs/181982-8502-american-ash-telecaster-club.html  I get it. I loved the U shaped, 9.5″ radius neck immediately, and it’s perfect with the medium jumbo frets. The ash used on these guitars is on the heavy side, and it gives them a lot of punch and sustain–like a sinewy thickness, maybe? The original pickups, too, were very good, and I kept them for a long time before switching to Lollar Vintage Ts and 4-way wiring.

The guitar, though, is very much better for both of those changes. They’re the final peices of what made it a really good instrument, and they’re ultimately what made me want to send it to Gene Parsons for a B-bender a couple years later when I learned from Creston Lea that the inventor of that device still installed them himself. They’re beautifully designed gimmicks, perfectly installed. Perfect:

Shut up, that’s condensation.

One of the things that makes this guitar special is the glorious way these pickups roll off, especially into an overdriven amp. The sweetness of that roll-off is a stamp of Lollar design, but this guitar has it in spades.

It also has it in diamonds when this pedal is interposed.

Lovepedal Tchula
Lovepedal Tchula

The original pickups, which were unique to the model, went to my friend Patrick in Seattle, who loves them, unless that set came out of my second 8502.

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