In the heady days of Britpop, Blur’s Graham Coxon was one of the biggest guitar players on the planet. rather belatedly then, Fender honours him.
Back in the mid-nineties, two guitar players dominated the Britpop pack: Oasis’ Noel Gallagher and Blur’s Graham Coxon. 15 years on Coxon, thanks to a series of well-received solo albums, not to mention Blur’s 2009 reunion, is still a player who commands respect.
So it’s good news, then, that Fender has finally acknowledged the appeal and influence this archetypal anti guitar hero’s attitude and his approach to playing has had on a generation of players.
“Unplugged, there’s certainly plenty of new-string Tele zing, and this translates to the guitar’s amp’d sound.”
Known for his use of ’52 Tele reissues during his Blur days, this (European-only) signature is modelled on a later acquisition, a ’68 Tele, “that some lunatic had butchered and put some PAF pickup in where the neck pickup is,” Coxon tells Fender News.
“But that’s the one I’ve been playing pretty much all the time… it’s kind of a Frankenstein, but it’s my favourite guitar to hit.”
It’s hardly a new concept, of course, and pulling it from its gigbag, the ash body gives this guitar some serious weight. but, that aside, it’s typically well done.
The milky translucent blonde poly finish allows the bold grain of the body wood to show through subtly, with the edge radius slightly bigger than fifties vintage contributing to slightly more seventies vibe – certainly in terms of weight.
But the neck appointments stick to the older style with a four-bolt neck joint and body end truss rod adjustment. The maple neck sports a pretty standard ‘C’ profile, while the clean rosewood ‘board features a flatter, modern radius and chunkier medium jumbo frets.
The set-up is good, if a little low and buzzy when you dig in, which makes for an easy player, albeit lacking some of the character of the older, smaller radius/thin-fret Teles.
The primary twist, of course, is the neck humbucker, mounted here in a shallow black ring on the tortie-faced laminate pickguard – although the pickup is sunk down under its edges. We have only master volume and tones here, so balance between the two pickups can only be done via height adjustment.
On the subject of pots, a subtle change is the use of 375k ohm pots instead of the more usual 250k ohm, which in theory should produce a subtly brighter tonality enhanced by the presence of three 1958-68-style threaded steel saddles.
Unplugged, there’s certainly plenty of new-string Tele zing, and this translates to the guitar’s amp’d sound.
There’s less depth to the Coxon than last issue’s American Vintage ’72 Tele Custom, which sounds – and feels – a lot older, while our similarly spec’d vintage ’69 Tele also sounds deeper and darker.
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