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Full disclosure - I'm not a Jimmy Page fan boy. Before labeling me and this review sacrilegious, hear me out. Now and again, I enjoy a good Led Out. And like any self-respecting gear guy, I like and respect what the legendary guitarist and his music has done for the world... I just don't live and breathe it.
That said, I will also disclose upfront that the Jimmy Page Tele is one of the most beautiful musical instruments I've had the privilege to lay hands on - and I don't give a damn about the mirrors.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Unboxing the Jimmy Page Tele is a bigger deal than most other new instruments, because of the sheer amount of stuff that has been included with this guitar. I'll talk about the main event - the guitar itself - in the next section.
The case itself reassures that you've spent your money wisely, and no expense was spared in the presentation of this very special experience that you've just purchased. It's a vintage-style tweed case with brown leather trim.
Opening it up reveals what could be the finest resting place for the most regal of miniature vampires. It's red, it's velvety, and it's lush. A fine layer of the red fuzz coats the drop-dead gorgeous finish on the guitar's body (sorry, getting ahead of myself). Oh, and the smell. The intoxicating aroma of a Corona California-crafted Fender Custom Shop instrument. Yes, it's a thing, and it's wonderful.
After looking on reassuredly at the certificate of authenticity adorned with Mr. Page's signature and serial numbers, my attention goes to the storage compartment, which is secured shut with two brown leather tabs.
Opening it up reveals a jubilee of stuff that has been methodically crammed in there. First, a coiled Fender cable for that period-correct vintage vibe (you're gonna hear be say "period-correct" a lot in this review, and you're gonna have to trust me even thought I was born in the 80s, not the 60s). I don't own any such cables, so that's cool.
Next, an Ace strap with a stained-glass pattern.
Ok, so what of these mirrors? Did Fender forget to put them in here? Good because I don't even... ah never mind, here they are. A plastic baggie with 8 of them, protected by 3M tape on either side. And of course, a handy-dandy diagram of exactly where to place them so you can mimic Jimmy Page's artistic expression.
Fit & Finish
After carefully removing the paperwork and tags, I carefully lifted the axe from its coffin, and rested it in my lap. Good weight (mine weighs in at 7.5lbs). Ah, there's that intoxicating smell again. Like a new car, I pray it never goes away.
The White Blonde lacquer finish is downright stunning. It's a nitrocellulose finish; not an easy feat getting that on a Fender instrument these days. Look, I'm a sucker for white Fenders. The Squier Tele we have in the Equipboard office is white, as is my 1964 vintage Jazzmaster.
The White Blonde lacquer finish is downright stunning.
This is a special kind of white. You can look through the translucent nitro coating and see the rippling in the wood grain underneath. It's a beautiful sunny day in Austin as I'm marveling at this guitar for the first time, and the sun rays through the window make the finish almost appear like a soft pink. From some angles it looks light gray.
Nothing much to say about the pickups (they are Jimmy Page Custom ’59 Tele pickups), pick guard, knobs, and 3-way selector switch. Pretty standard Tele fare here.
The neck looks great, with a glossy maple back and rosewood fingerboard being a great match for the body.
The bridge is interesting, as it's a reproduction of a rarity from 1959. You have 2 options: You can pass the strings through the body, or what they call "top loaded," which supposedly affects the tone (warmer, they say) and puts less tension on the strings for easier bends. That's how Jimmy had it, and I don't feel strongly compelled to make edits.
Here's a pleasant surprise - the "Jimmy Page" touches are minimal. His signature is etched in the chrome back plate, and appears on the back of the headstock. I love how minimal this guitar is. The two signatures are in fact the only things that I would say are not minimal - everything else is stripped back to just the essentials - again, period correct.
Before moving on I should mention I kept grazing my fingers lightly on the two-piece ash body of the guitar, almost expecting it to talk aback to me and thank me for the love. Yes, the nitro finish is that good.
Playability & Sound
I love Telecasters - my go-to is a late 70s Tele Custom, so I'm very accustomed to they way they feel. So I felt right at home with Mr. Page's signature axe.
Fender did a lovely string-up job on it with Fender USA 250R NPS strings (.010-.046), and all of 6 were slightly flat by the same amount - consistent, I suppose. I tuned it up and launched into "Whole Lotta Love" - I mean, c'mon. I had no choice in the matter.
I tuned it up and launched into "Whole Lotta Love" - I mean, c'mon. I had no choice in the matter.
It Teles, and thus it Twangs. As I mentioned before the pickups are Jimmy Page Custom '59 Tele single-coils, and they sound great to my ears through the Blues Junior, Bassbreaker 15, and Orange amps I had available at the moment.
The "Oval C" neck width feels just right. I was able to glide effortlessly up and down the glossy maple, and the rosewood fingerboard provided the perfect amount of "stickiness" on any of the guitar's 21 frets.
The included black coiled cable is too, supposedly, a vintage touch. The increased cable length adds some "tone suck" by design to the signal. I'll let you decide how much you buy that, but hey, it looks cool.
I haven't spoken of the mirrors yet. Well, honestly I don't care for them. I see that as something artistically unique that Jimmy did, and hey if you are into that aesthetic and for you this is more of a tribute instrument, the mirrors make sense.
For me, I would be covering up one of the most gorgeous guitar finishes I've ever laid eyes on, and that's a hard no.
Fender Custom Shop has once again outdone themselves with a signature instrument. Together with Jimmy Page, they've crafted an instrument worthy of crown jewel status. The details are period-correct and faithful to Jimmy's original. The Fender Jimmy Page Mirror Telecaster is dripping with vintage character, and sure, it has all the evocations of Zeppelin's first album.
But even more remarkable is that this is quite simply a stunning Telecaster specimen. So whether you're a Jimmy Page or Led Zeppelin fanatic, a Telecaster fan, or a lover of exquisitely finished and appointed guitars, do yourself a favor and hold one of these for yourself. If you do, let me know in the comments... and if you slap the mirrors on, just leave that part out.