2022 MB Guitars 52-T Blackguard Butterscotch + OHSC

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At A Glance:
Model: 52-T
Year: 2022
Finish: Butterscotch
Modifications: None
Repairs: None
Weight (kg): 3.23

Case: Original Hardshell Case
Fingerboard: Maple
Neck wood: Maple
Body wood: Swamp Ash
Tuners: Gotoh vintage style
Pickups: Radioshop
Hardware: Gotoh / Callaham
Neck Profile: Fat C
Pots: CTS Vintage Taper

    The original 50-54 Blackguard Telecasters hold a truly special place in music history, as the first solid body electric guitars to enter production. They are the very definition of simplicity and great tone, and are rightly revered for both their historical significance and the fact that they are outstanding musical instruments. However, with 52 Blackguard prices pushing £60k they are unfortunately out of reach for many…

    Enter this very nice MB Guitars 52-T Blackguard in Butterscotch! Handmade in the UK by Mike Bowles, MB Guitars make beautiful homages to the best guitars from Fender’s golden era. 

    We have to say that this is a really great Blackguard style guitar, it completely captures the vibe of the originals, while offering outstanding build quality and playability. We like it a lot…

    Here’s some info from the MB Guitars website about the build process:


    I offer both 1 piece and 2 piece Swamp Ash and 2 piece Alder for my bodies, these are cut to original vintage correct spec and dimensions, and hand shaped in house until they look and feel perfect, with correct routing depending on the year/style. I pride myself in ensuring my bodies are nicely contoured with flowing round-overs on my Double Cut guitars, and early blackguards which are more rounded than later Single Cut guitars. All Single Cut guitars have the correct router hump at the neck pocket. Whilst good lightweight swamp ash is getting much harder to get hold of, I currently have a good amount of raw blank stock built up.


    I offer plain maple, birdseye maple or lightly flamed maple. My 50’s spec necks are true 1 pc maple with walnut strip and plug, and I offer an early 60’s true ‘slab’ dark rosewood board with curved fingerboard join at the headstock, or a mid 60’s ‘veneer/curved’ fingerboard... very cool, and not many builders offer this! My 60’s spec necks have aged clay dots, and 50’s spec have black fibreboard dots, just like the originals. I only use the very best Jescar fretwire, and offer a few sizes including 6125 - medium jumbo and most popular, 6105 - tall and narrow, 6100 - Jumbo.. as BIG as it gets, and 6150 - wide, similar to Les Paul fretwire. . 

    I offer a few neck profiles, all very popular and feel great and played in with heavily rolled fingerboard edges on every guitar: 

    .89C - FAT C shape (0.890” at the first fret / 0.990” at the twelfth fret) - a bigger version of the .86C.. think 59 Les Paul - (this is the neck profile on this guitar)

    .86C - Chunky C shape (0.860" at the first fret / 0.960" at the twelfth fret) - based on my '63 and most popular 

    .83C - Medium C shape (0.830” at the first fret / 0.930” at the twelfth fret) - based on mid-late 60s spec

    .89V - Soft V shape (0.890” at the first fret / 0.990” at the twelfth fret) - based on '56/57 spec

    .90C - Baseball Neck - for FAT neck lovers!! 0.900” thick across the whole neck.. no taper - based on '50-'55 spec


    I only use the best hardware on my guitars, which includes Gotoh vintage style machine heads as standard. These are higher quality than the original Klusons and I personally prefer these as they are more solid and offer smoother, more precise tuning. When it comes to other hardware, I use a mix of Gotoh and Callaham as they are the best quality parts available. Tremolos/Bridges, I use Callaham as standard which are considered the best in the industry. These feature period correct specs such as cold rolled Steel Blocks with shallow ballends on tremolos, and compensated brass saddles for correct intonation on Single Cut style bridges. These are the best vintage inspired, improved reproductions on the planet, and I use them on all my guitars AS STANDARD! All my guitars come with a vintage correct serial number’d neckplate, correct to the year the guitar is based on. All blackguard builds have period correct slotted screws throughout made by Callaham.

    Electrics & Pickups

    When it comes to achieving that original sound, it's important to use the highest quality components out there. I use the same components that were used back in the day. CTS true vintage taper pots, CRL spring loaded switches, Switchcraft jack sockets, Gavitt cloth covered wire, and 'wax in paper' vintage style capacitors made by Luxe. This is all included as standard in each and every one of my guitars. I also use full aluminium sheilding plates on my 60’s spec Double Cuts, and the smaller cavity aluminium sheiling plates on my 50’s Double Cuts. All my pickups are hand wound for me to exact vintage spec by Alan Dingwall right here in the UK. Alan is regarded as one of the best pickup makers in the industry and his pickups sound incredible. I now fit these as standard to all of my guitars going to my dealers, but for custom orders I am open to use other brands of pickups if you would like to try something else or have something in mind. I have also used Radioshop pickups which are great, aswell as Ron Ellis, Lollar just to name a few. To check out the sound of my guitars with Alan Dingwall's pickups, head over to the demo videos page.

    This guitar is fitted with Radioshop Pickups.

    Pickguards & Plastics

    Just like my bodies and necks, all my guards are cut in house. I offer a mint green plastic as standard on my 60’s builds and also offer some original nitrate material guards from the 60’s as an upgrade. This material has been stored since the 60’s and is very limited! It is closer to the original smokey greyed yellowy colour in comparison to the mint green plastic. It is the real deal and really brings that authentic look to my guitars! I use a single ply white material for my 50’s guards and all my blackguard builds have real bakelite guards which are cut in house and the nitro lacquered and meticulously aged to look just like the originals. A lot of time goes into making these special guards. My guards feature all the characteristics of the originals including a wide beveled edge with a thick black layer on my 60's style green guards, machining marks, shrinkage, warpage and cracking. On my 50's style Double Cuts I use white covers, knobs and tips and age them to look like the original bakelite parts. I dub these my ‘fakelite’ parts which I am very proud to offer, again these are meticulously aged and look fantastic!

    Nitro Finishes & Ageing

    All my guitars are finished by myself in 100% old fashioned nitrocellulose from the wood up, giving a nice thin, brittle finish, no thick polyester undercoats here! I offer a range of the classic and custom colours, bursts, blondes and metallics from the 50's and 60's, all mixed to original examples to achieve that vintage correct look. All of my guitars come lightly aged. I no longer offer ‘as new’ finishes. I prefer making things look worn and loved! My lightly aged guitars have a low gloss finish with an ‘orange peel’ look to the lacquer, lacquer checking, dings in the all the right places, lightly oxidised hardware, worn plastics, discoloured and warped pickguard etc. This is done through a series of processes over a period of time to ensure everything looks and feels correct. I do everything by hand and take a lot of time on this until I am happy with the result. All of my instruments come set up with the very best Curt Mangan strings, and ship in a Gator vintage style hard case. 

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