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Fender Introduces Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis Telecaster Guitar

Fender, J Mascis Join Forces To Recreate One Of Mascis’s Favourite Guitars: An Original 1958 Top-Loader Telecaster

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24 August 2021

Sticking to his unique style, Fender worked closely with Mascis to recreate his infamous original 1958 top-Loader Tele guitar, the main axe he used in the mid-90s when he wrote some of his most iconic songs and lead work throughout his career.

“Already, the Tele represents three decades of leads that I’ve recorded with this guitar.  It’s been my go-to for recording leads since I got it. It feels amazing to have a signature guitar,” said J Mascis.

J Mascis’ penchant for running Fender guitars into stacks of amps to create massive fuzzy riffs, incendiary leads and huge hooks have made him an alt-rock icon. While primarily known as a Jazzmaster player, Mascis’s Tele is one of his favourite instruments in his collection. Growing up in Amherst, Massachusetts he became a drummer at age nine and pivoted to guitar when he founded Dinosaur Jr. in 1984. The band went on to help create alt rock as we know it, releasing dozens of hits including “Start Choppin,” which was recorded with Mascis’s original ‘58 Top-Loader Tele. “I find I play leads that are more interesting to me when I pick it up,” added Mascis. “Even if I try another guitar, I usually end up liking what I played better on this guitar. I improvise all my leads when recording and my best stuff comes out of this guitar.”

Uniquely made for Mascis’ playing style, the custom J Mascis Telecaster pickups are voiced to replicate the sound of the original 1958 Telecaster pickups in Mascis’s guitar; these single-coil Tele pickups have a classic vintage tone. Additionally, the Tele is made with a Top-Loader Telecaster Bridge. A unique bridge type originally introduced in the late 50s, this top-load bridge offers reduced string tension and a shallower break angle compared to the traditional string-through bridges for a slinkier feel. Finally, the ”C” neck with 9.5” radius and jumbo frets recreates the feel of J’s original Tele, while the 9.5” radius fingerboard and jumbo frets provide easy bends and playability.

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