How will this offset T-style compare to the wide range of Teles I’ve reviewed recently?
Cost: $1300.00 from RWMguitars.com
Overview & Final Score: 7.3 out of 10
After reviewing some RWM Guitars back in 2020, we have a few more to go through this year as well. Starting us off will be the beautifully blue offset T-style, which features a bright blue dye instead of a traditional finish. This guitar is made from Pine trees that were cut down along a local highway in Connecticut, and the body is relatively flat and wide compared to your typical offset guitar, though it doesn’t feel too foreign. Featuring GFS vintage wound Tele pickups, you’ll find your standard controls (volume, tone, 3-way selector switch) plus a classic brass Tele bridge. Turning to the neck, you’ll find the Maple neck and Rosewood fretboard feel comfortable, with a 9.5″ radius and 22 medium-jumbo frets. It’s the definition of solid, with great craftsmanship and attention to detail to build a workhorse instrument, that’s just a bit outside your standard find. The pearloid pickguard nicely contrasts the body as well, especially with so much of the wood’s natural grain and beauty shining through the dye finish.
What you see is what you get, but that isn’t a bad thing in any way shape or form here. This is a classic sounding Tele, that could go two to two with the ever increasing prices of the Fender MIM line. It might even sound comparable to some low end MIA stuff, but either way this RWM guitar is studio and stage ready. The GFS vintage wound pro series Tele pickups are really nice, being a higher end offering from the beloved affordable pickup supplier. You can get the twang and snap on the bridge for country and rockabilly, but you can also kick on the gain and hit those sustaining Jimmy Page Tele licks. This perfectly captures the versatility and flavor of a classic Tele, which makes it just a joy to play in any situation. While I have said the same thing in previous reviews about upgrading from GFS pickups, they really do nail the classic Tele sounds here, so there isn’t much to complain about. It’s very much your above-average, everyday Tele, just with with some upgraded looks, a cool finish, and a nice story from a local builder.
RWM does not build their own necks, instead opting to buy high quality, Fender-like necks that really helps each guitar feel very consistent and comfortable. The fretwork and set-up done by RWM is top notch however, providing you with a very stable, responsive instrument. Overall you’ll find the playability and playing experience to be above average, but as it currently stands, this isn’t probably going to wow you. As I interpret this guitar, it is meant to be used and abused, all while staying in tune, sounding like a Tele, and looking awesome. There is real value in that, and I think the build quality and attention to detail could be the main selling point here, as all the RWM guitars feel super nice and super reliable in my hands. At the same time though, I’m not sure you should order this and expect a premium boutique experience. You will get a killer instrument that will never fail you however.
Finish & Construction: 8
If the rock solid reliability isn’t the main selling point, the TransTint blue dye finish might be. It perfectly accentuates the grain and natural beauty of the Pine body, and gives the guitar an almost vintage or worn-in look and feel. Plus, because it is dyed, I bet a scratch or chip or dent doesn’t look nearly as bad as it would on a poly-finished guitar. It’s also a very clean guitar, with not a lot going on to distract from how it’s a great mix of familiar and foreign. With offsets in style now more than ever, I could see literally dozens of musicians picking this up and loving everything about it. As I’ve stated a million times, it’s just well built, and that’s really something to commend RWM for. Pickups are well adjusted, hardware is very snuggly installed, and the instrument feels like one whole complete unit. Quite frankly, the guitar is just better than the sum of its parts, which is always the sign of a good instrument and worthwhile investment.
RWM is constantly churning out some rad guitars, go give them a follow on Instagram!
For $1300, you’d be hard pressed to find a guitar that is as unique, but still high performing. Most of what you’re paying for is the build quality, the construction, the unique shape. It sounds absolutely great, but you’re also not getting the world’s best take on the Tele, you’re getting one of the more fun takes on the Tele though. Gigging musicians would probably get the most out of purchasing this or another RWM guitar, because his whole thing is taking these classic designs, and just making them a bit weirder without compromising their utility and durability. It’s leaps and bounds better than a $400 Squier Offset Tele, but it is way more accessible than the next best thing which is probably ordering a Fender Custom shop take on the Offset Tele for $3000+. I’m also a big fan of the all the reclaimed wood and old wood he uses, so for me, I derive value from the guitar’s story and past life. It’s well worth the money, but unlike some guitars, if is most valuable to a specific core of musicians in my opinion.
Good for: Gigging Musicians, Offset Guitar Fans, Telecaster Players, Country, Rockabilly, Classic Rock