Nashville session ace Brent Mason is one of the hottest players in the business. He’s been playing a Joe Glazer-modified 1968 Tele for the past 15 years or so. Now the Valley Arts folks have teamed up with Brent to produce one of the most unique hybrid guitars we’ve ever seen. Dubbed the Brent Mason Signature Custom Pro and clearly based on the classic Tele, what first catches your eye are the pickups. Okay, it has a Seymour Duncan vintage style stack in the bridge position, which you’d expect, but in the middle position you have a bright magenta Duncan Strat Hot Stack and wow, that makes quite an impression! Finally, in the neck position there’s a Gibson mini-humbucker, which is the same pickup used on the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Series and some ’60s Epiphones! A separate volume control allows the middle pickup to be blended in with the other pickups, while a push-pull function on the tone control activates a coil tap on that pickup. It all adds up to a unique blend of disparate elements.
The ash body is finished in a Matte Pewter color and the black pickguard is a perfect complement. The matching headstock — also Matte Pewter — is a nice touch, but next up is a mix of chrome-, gold-, and nickel-plated hardware, which gives you the impression that the parts were scavenged off several other guitars. The Signature’s big maple neck has been lightly tinted to look like a guitar that’s been around a while. Those who favor beefy necks will absolutely flip over this one.
Finally, the Signature’s passive electronics yield a fascinating range of tones: The pickup and wiring scheme delivers classic Tele spank, but with bigger neck-pickup tones and a whole lot of additional sounds in between.