Ray Carlton Custom Guitars
Carrum Downs Victoria Australia. email 0404 094 150
The Broadcaster No. 52-040117
This guitar is based on the first run of twin pickup "Electric Spanish" guitars built by Leo Fender at the Fullerton, California factory in 1950-51 that are known as Blackguards. The earliest were named "Broadcaster" but after a legal copyright run in with a local drum maker Gretsch, who made a drumkit called The Broadkaster, Leo Fender decided not to waste money on a court case and began snipping the "broadcaster" part off the headstock logo's and thus was born the famous "Nocaster". By the time he ran out of clipped Broadcaster labels in 1952 it was decided the very popular Fender twin pickup electric spanish guitar would be known henceforth as the "Telecaster". By 1954 the finishing process had changed to combat "yellowing" and the post 1954 guitars maintained more of the white colouring.
The bridge or Lead pickup as it was known in the original Broadcaster run was a modified six string lap steel pickup. These were wound fairly hot to get the warm thick tone required for a steel guitar and by today's standards is a resonably hot pickup. It has a powerful, muscular tone with a strong upper mid focus. There is plenty of bite if you want that making it ideal for cutting through the densest mix. The rhythm pickup is sweet and airy and in some settings almost P90ish. Tones range from raw heavy rock and blues to country, jazz and everything in between.
Mick Brierley's Broadcaster set used in this guitar has the heavy duty slugs, galvanised steel baseplate and the same guage and type of wire as the originals. The Rhythm or neck pickup is also built to the original spec.
The guitar is built from premium grade 2 piece Louisiana swamp ash. The neck is one piece maple and has the typical fat C back profile and 9.5" radius as used in the earliest Broadcasters. Unlike the earliest examples this one has a truss rod. Instead of the narrow tall vintage frets of the originals, a nice comfortable set of medium jumbos is used. Also unlike the originals the frets have been stripped of lacquer and meticulously levelled, crowned and polished for a perfect playing experience.
The wiring and switching is my take on the widely used modern 60's style which I have "Carltonised". Hardware is chosen for quality and how true it is to the original design without going over the top on cost. I have used slotted screws and brushed nickel hardware on thisd particular guitar to give the guitar a kind of "lived in" 50's vibe. The finish is nitro throughout and I have left the ageing to the owner.
Since the covid pandemic and the shake up of manufacturing the aquisistion of early 50's spec slot headed screws has become increasingingly difficult. in 1951 Leo Fender decided to move away from these and start using Phillips head screws. Blackguard T-Types such as the reproduction below used philips head screws from the earliest times. For the sake of consistency philips head screws are used in blackguard reproductions at Carlton Guitars.
Serial Number:: #52-040117
Neck: One piece Maple 9.5” radius, Fat C profile nitro tint
Body: Louisiana Swamp ash - "50’s Yellow" nitro lacquer
Wiring and switching: Typical modern T-type
Hardware: Brushed nickel
Neck plate: Heavy duty 3mm stainless steel
Tuners: Gotoh SD91
Pickups: Mick Brierley – Broadcaster [supplied by client]
Bridge Plate: Gotoh Cold rolled 16 gauge steel
Saddles: Gotoh InTune Bell brass
Assembled weight: 3kg [6.6lbs]
Strings: EXL110 - 10 - 46
Action setup: 12th fret .045" bass.
Screws: 50's style stainless slot head
Switching: Carlton T-Type
Electronics: CTS pots, OD caps, CRL switch, treble bleed, SC jack
Carlton custom built instruments are made to exacting standards using top quality air dried tone-woods and the finest quality, industry standard hardware available. They are built by my hands from start to finish specifically for you. I I won't compromise quality for price. I am dedicated to creating fine tone unlike the multinational guitar factories that are dedicated to making money.
or text - call - 0404 094 150 or
My work shop is in Melbourne’s South East side. Contact me any time for a chat about how I can help get your instrument playing the way you need it to.
The workshop is in close proximity to the following suburbs
Carrum Downs, Frankston, Langwarrin, Skye, Seaford, Kananook, Karingal, Bangholme, Dandenong, Keysborough, Lyndhurst, Noble Park, Springvale, Aspendale, Bonbeach, Carrum, Chelsea, Chelsea Heights, Cheltenham,Clarinda, Clayton South, Dingley Village, Edithvale, Heatherton, Highett, Mentone, Mordialloc, Parkdale, Patterson Lakes, Waterways, Mornington, Mount Eliza, Cranbourne, Lynbrook