Andy Summers Telecaster Wiring

I just noticed Fender has released/sold-out of the Andy Summers telecaster. I think the guitar is pretty cool, although I don’t think I would pay as much money as it goes for. Plus, I never really looked closely at his modifications to it (the overdrive and preamp units, as well as the phase-shift).

Anyways it got me to think about actually crafting my own “Andy Summers” tribute guitar, except in a more affordable manner. What would be the easiest/best way to do this? Order/buy parts and put them together or buy a cheaper Tele and modify it?

I was thinking about buying a Tele (possibly a 50’s Tele or an American Ash) and modifying it by installing a humbucker in the neck. I would probably pick a guitar with a neck/fretboard similar to Andy’s.

Andy Summers Telecaster Parts

Tonight in between spraying coats on my archtop project, I started my next guitar project (and probably the last for a while). I am making myself a copy, as close as I can of Andy’ Summers’ telecaster.

I dont have any alder on hand so I am using poplar for my body. I first laminated a 3 piece body blank (just because I had a few pieces I wanted to use up, and since the finish will be a 3 colour opaque burst I dont care about the grain appearance) and rough cut it out on the band saw.

Then, I planed it to 1 3/4″ thickness and put it through my thickness sander to clean up the faces. Then after retracing the outline, I sanded the edges on my edge sander and drum sander.

(if you want to see rough wood, being jointed and planed check out my other build threads.. this one will be step by step from here on but I did the blank while I forgot my camera at home).

Andy Summers Telecaster Project

Through his ground-breaking, hit-making work in the Police, Andy Summers influenced a generation of guitarists with a highly creative and seemingly endless sonic palette of everything from straight, searing rock ‘n’ roll to jazzy, even avant-garde atmospheric textures. And when a guitarist can incorporate such musically diverse elements into so many songs that become enduring hits, believe us, that’s no accident—Andy Summers knew exactly what he was doing.

And he knew what guitar to do it on. The battered and unusual ’61 Fender Telecaster guitar that Summers worked his magic on with the Police had been by his side long before the famously blonde trio startled the pop world in 1978 with its reggae-tinged, infectiously minimalist first hit, an ode to a Parisian working girl named “Roxanne.”

Andy Summers Telecaster Mod

You may have seen this but there’s a Frontline catalogue/supplement in stores now that lists the following about the Andy Summers Tele:

* Ferocious humbucking pickup
* Bridge pickup mounted in body
* Control plate mounted mini-toggle phase switch
* Body mounted premap on/off mini-toggle switch
* Rear mounted overdrive unit controlled by a third knob
* Soft brass bridge pieces

can’t help ya with the mod parts but that, I guess, is what distinguishes it from yer regular Tele!

Andy Summers’ Modified Telecaster

The frets are vintage flatter frets that are easy to play chords on…like any vintage Telecaster, it is not very forgiving when making fret bends or lead work. Every nuance of your playing is picked up through the pickups. Speaking of which…I personally think that this is where this guitar really shines. The bridge pickup reads about 7.2k output, however it is mounted into the body of the guitar, not the bridge. This does change the tone a little of Tele pickups doing this – its an old Tele trick mounting the pickup this way (The only other current Fender that has this feature is the G.E. Smith Tele). The bridge plate is heavy solid brass, with individual heavy brass saddles. There is a crack on the bridge plate just like the original, and you can pluck it with your finger and it goes “boing”. The bridge also changes the color of the tone, you won’t get the typical Tele twang out of this bridge, it has a smoother attack and a little more sustain than the ashtray bridge as well. The bridge does have another very useful feature – it is flat with no “ashtray” side walls that sometime gets in the way on the older Teles. Also there are no sharp saddle height screws to cut in to your muting hand like an original.

Andy Summers Telecaster Neck

You are looking at a really exciting piece! This is the exceptionally limited edition Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Andy Summers Telecaster! Fender’s very own Dennis Galuszka spent a year developing the prototype recreating every scratch, nick, wear mark…even the crack in the brass bridgeplate! It’s crazy how close they came- it looks exactly like the original! But, how does it sound? Incredible! Grwoing up listening to The Police, I always wondered ‘how the hell does he get that sound?!?’ now I know. There is the onboard preamp/overdrive, phase switch, neck humbucker- which- when combined- will give you all the tools you need to recreate those classic tones at home! Another important piece of the puzzle is the brass bridgeplate & saddles AND the fact that the Custom Shop ’69 bridge pickup is screwed directly into the wood! And the fact that this beast weighs a mere 7.6 lbs also plays a part- this guitar is insanely resonant! Strum the guitar even unplugged and it is loud! And that’s important! If a guitar is loud unplugged- it is a real sweetheart plugged in! The ’65 C shaped neck is amazingly comfortable- fits right into your hand- getting around is a breeze! This baby is mint- taken out of the box just for photos and a small run through my favorite Police tunes(couldn’t help myself)! This auction includes the Flight case, Biography, Cd’s, Strap, COA…everything! This is a limited run of 250 guitars! Lists for $15 grand!!!! Get the incredible guitar you need- at the price you want! The tribute model is so sweet- Andy used it himself on the last Police tour! Don’t pass this by!

Andy Summers Telecaster Neck Pickup

The Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® Guitar

Andy Summers was just out of college in Southern California in the early 1970s when one of his guitar students offered to sell him a beat-up 1961 Fender Telecaster that had obviously been modified by a previous owner.

Summers had already had some modest music business success in the late ’60s Britain. Lately though, he’d stuck mainly to his classical guitar studies, and hadn’t played an electric in quite a while. Strangely, however, something about this particular Telecaster grabbed him. As he put it himself in his 2006 memoir, One Train Later:

“When I start to play it, something stirs within me … it shakes me … I find that I can’t stop playing it; this guitar sparks something in me and I have to have it. ”

Summers bought the guitar for $200, and you and the whole world know the rest. Back in London a few years later, he joined a noisy so-called punk outfit called the Police that rose to become the biggest band in the world, thanks in no small part to the deftly innovative and influential sounds Summers conjured from that beat-up Telecaster.

Hit after hit was recorded and performed on it—”Roxanne,” “So Lonely,” “Walking On the Moon,” the breathtaking “Message In a Bottle,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “Synchronicity II” and “King of Pain.”

Now, in 2007, Fender couldn’t be more proud and excited to unveil a very special 250-instrument Limited Edition run of the Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster as part of the Fender Custom Shop’s legendary Tribute Series. It’s a note-perfect replica of the 1961 Tele® that Summers used to help propel the Police to untold heights of worldwide pop superstardom.

The prototype, built by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka over the course of a year, is currently in use with Andy now. The guitar features the same “eccentric” modifications that the original had when Summers first bought it, most of which were unchanged throughout the nonstop work and excitement of the Police years:

 

  • Ferocious humbucking neck pickup.
  • Bridge pickup mounted in the body rather than in the broken brass (not chrome) bridge plate.
  • Control plate-mounted mini-toggle phase switch.
  • Body-mounted preamp on/off mini-toggle switch (the original preamp “died,” Galuszka said; the Custom Shop has recreated the Police-era preamp).
  • Rear-mounted overdrive unit controlled by a third knob below the two traditional Telecaster volume and tone controls.
  • “Soft” brass bridge pieces.
  • Schaller® tuners.

The alder-body, maple-neck guitar also features an immaculately recreated highly worn finish, with extensive chips, scratches, dings and nicks identical to the original, and, as Galuszka noted with a grin, “Getting lacquer to crack is no small feat.”

Pick it up, and it’ll take you back. The unforgettable slashing staccato opening chords of “Roxanne” (back pickup, no distortion); the off-the-wall solo in “So Lonely” (out-of-phase position, plus overdrive), the space jam of “The Bed’s Too Big Without You” (front pickup plus Echoplex), and so much more.

Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster

My review of the Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster. I acquired the Telecaster a few months back and have really got to spend a lot of time with it, in essence to wait until the “honeymoon” period was over to make an objective an honest review of the piece.

 
Background: As you probably already know, the Fender Custom Shop made only 250 of these guitars a couple of years ago to coincide with The Police’s reunion and subsequent world tour. They are all “Masterbuilt” by a builder – Mine was crafted by Yuri Shishkov. Retail on these were a little steep at over 10k, street price at Guitar Center 8k. The tribute series guitars have quite a bit of work in them, and are not cheap as you see.
The guitar comes with a gigantic anvil case with stencils of “Andy Summers” written all over, also comes with Andy’s book (autographed) a box set of The Police’s complete anthology, and a DVD with the history of the Guitar from the man himself.

 

The original guitar was a 61’ Telecaster Custom, and was heavily modified when it was purchased by Andy from a guitar student in Los Angeles.
Review: So here goes…Immediately when you look at the guitar it has the look and patina of a vintage guitar. The relic work is pretty heavy but I think they got the color just right. The body is a very resonant Alder with a light to medium light weight.

 
The neck shape is unlike any I’ve ever felt, especially from the custom shop. It is very reminiscent of a mid 60’s Gibson neck, fairly thin near the nut tapering up to a very chunky “C” shape near the 12th fret.

 

Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® Guitar

Introducing the Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® Guitar
To be played during massive worldwide Police reunion tour …

Summers and his Telecaster. But is it the original or the replica?
Hard to tell …

Photo by Steve Pitkin 

Andy Summers was just out of college in Southern California in the early 1970s when one of his guitar students offered to sell him a beat-up 1961 Fender Telecaster® that had obviously been modified by a previous owner.

Summers had already had some modest music business success in the late ’60s Britain. Lately though, he’d stuck mainly to his classical guitar studies, and hadn’t played an electric in quite a while. Strangely, however, something about this particular Telecaster grabbed him. As he put it himself in his 2006 memoir, One Train Later:

When I start to play it, something stirs within me … it shakes me … I find that I can’t stop playing it; this guitar sparks something in me and I have to have it.

Summers bought the guitar for $200, and you and the whole world know the rest. Back in London a few years later, he joined a noisy so-called punk outfit called the Police that rose to become the biggest band in the world, thanks in no small part to the deftly innovative and influential sounds Summers conjured from that beat-up Telecaster.

Hit after hit was recorded and performed on it—“Roxanne,” “So Lonely,” “Walking On the Moon,” the breathtaking “Message In a Bottle,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “Synchronicity II” and “King of Pain.”

Now, in 2007, Fender couldn’t be more proud and excited to unveil a very special 250-instrument Limited Edition run of the Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster as part of the Fender Custom Shop’s legendary Tribute Series. It’s a note-perfect replica of the 1961 Tele® that Summers used to help propel the Police to untold heights of worldwide pop superstardom.

The prototype, built by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka over the course of a year, is currently in use with Andy now. The guitar features the same “eccentric” modifications that the original had when Summers first bought it, most of which were unchanged throughout the nonstop work and excitement of the Police years:

  • Ferocious humbucking neck pickup.
  • Bridge pickup mounted in the body rather than in the broken brass (not chrome) bridge plate.
  • Control plate-mounted mini-toggle phase switch.
  • Body-mounted preamp on/off mini-toggle switch (the original preamp “died,” Galuszka said; the Custom Shop has recreated the Police-era preamp).
  • Rear-mounted overdrive unit controlled by a third knob below the two traditional Telecaster volume and tone controls.
  • “Soft” brass bridge pieces.
  • Schaller® tuners.