Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Review & Prices

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Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Review
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  • From Fender Custom's 2017 Time Machine series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • 2-Piece Select Ash body
  • Quartersawn Maple neck
  • 1-Piece Maple Neck fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Compensated Brass Barrel Saddles bridge
  • 1959 D Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender Custom's 2017 Time Machine series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • 2-Piece Select Ash body
  • Quartersawn Maple neck
  • 1-Piece Maple Neck fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Compensated Brass Barrel Saddles bridge
  • 1959 D Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 75
Build quality 69
Value for money 58
Overall Score 73
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

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Price: is the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $4000, which means that the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple costs around 14% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

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Heavy
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Slightly heavy
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Lightweight
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Very lightweight
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Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
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Sightly unstable
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Not bad
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Holds tune well
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Won't get out of tune
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Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
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Slightly chunky
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Balanced
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Fast
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Herman Li fast
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Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
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Hard
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Normal
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Easy
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Very Easy
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Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
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V
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Asymmetrical
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C
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D
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Fret edges

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Very sharp
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Slightly sharp
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Smooth
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Pickups noise

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Noiseless
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Slightly Noisy
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Noisy
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Pickups power

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Clean
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Slightly Hot
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Hot
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Is The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Easy to Play?

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Scale Length Comparison
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Neck Profile
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple has a 9.5" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is the most common radius for Stratocaster guitars. It's considered curved when compared to most other models. This allows you to play chords very easily without muting strings accidentally and gives you more space between strings for fingerpicking. However, this curve also gives the guitar less allowance for lower action. If you bend too hard at the high frets, some of your notes might get muted because the curve will make the string fret out.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Nut Width
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Nut Width

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple has a nut width of 41.9mm (1.65''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

Frets

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Fret Size Comparison
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's frets are Narrow Tall size. These are similar to Jumbos, but they might be slightly shorter (or taller, depending on the maker), and they tend to have a narrower crown width. You'll be able to press the strings easily, but if you're not used to them, you might get the notes out of pitch if you press down too hard on the strings since their height won't let you feel the fretboard.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 75

Does the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender Custom. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's configuration is SS. This is the classic Telecaster configuration and it's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

More guitars with the same pickups

21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Seth Lover SH-55 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple's switch options

What music genre is the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 75
Versatility 55
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 75

How well is the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Built?

Where is the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

More guitars made in United States

Bridge

3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Compensated Brass Barrel Saddles: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 56
Features 50
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 69

Most Popular Comparisons With The Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple

Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple Specs

General
Brand: Fender Custom
Year: 2017
Configuration: SS
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Time Machine
Colors: Sunburst, Black, Green
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: 2-Piece Select Ash
Bridge: 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Compensated Brass Barrel Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage Style
Fretboard: 1-Piece Maple Neck
Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple
Decoration: Micarta Black Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: 1959 D
Frets: 21 Narrow Tall
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Tele Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive)

User Reviews of the Fender Custom '59 Tele Custom Relic Maple

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