Should you buy a Nash guitar?
These are the Fender copy guitars that players both love and hate at the same time.
Nash guitars are all made in the USA, all made with premium woods, all have premium hardware installed, all are finished using nothing but nitro.
Guitarists love Nash because you get premium grade guitars at around 40% less (sometimes even less than that) of what you would otherwise pay to get the same from the Fender Custom Shop.
Guitarists hate Nash because as far as I can tell, every one of them is a "relic" (meaning distressed-on-purpose when built,) and the vast majority of the models they have are Fender copies...
...and if you're wondering how Nash is able to get away with such a close match of Fender guitars (especially the headstock) without being sued off the face of the planet by Fender, that I can't say. Maybe they have an agreement with Fender and are licensed to use their headstock designs. Maybe something else. I honestly don't know.
Primary models of Nash are T (Telecaster), E (Esquire), S (Stratocaster) and JM (Jazzmaster). Nash's own model is the Wayfarer. They also have "non-traditional" where they'll take a design and do something special with it. One example is they made a 12-string T model.
Are Nash guitars passé since so many people hate "relic" guitars?
Here's my take on that.
I do wish Nash would produce at least one guitar that is not distressed at all. They currently don't do this. The closest you can get to a not-distressed guitar is one with "light aging." I went through a bunch of their T models on their web site, and they all have that aging crapola going on.
And if you think you can contact them and request a custom order for a non-distressed model, think again, because they don't do that. Nash states outright that you cannot buy direct from them, so no custom orders. Not possible. The fact they even mention this means some buyers - possibly many - have asked this question before. Is it possible to request a custom order through an authorized Nash dealer? That's also an unknown. Maybe it's possible, but I doubt it.
What this means is that with all Nash guitars, what you see out there is what you get.
There is also something I take into consideration however. There is a niche market for distressed electric guitars. There are players who really like the distressed look but hate the high price of the Fender Custom Shop.
I'll put this in perspective for you. When you buy a relic model from Fender Custom Shop, you're spending at least $3,000. You want that FCS relic, you're gonna pay for it and pay big. But then there's Nash who has pretty much the same thing and it's almost half the price. In this respect, Nash guitars are a bargain. Remember, these aren't Asian guitars. These are American.
So in other words, a Nash is the closest you can get to a Fender Custom Shop relic model with a much nicer price.
There is something else about Nash guitars that cannot be denied. They are good guitars. Really good, actually. So good that Nash warranties all their instruments for two years (which exceeds the standard Fender 1-year warranty, by the way.) Nash is confident enough in their builds to take care of any issues that may happen for an entire 24 months. In this day and age, that's darned impressive.
Am I saying you can buy a Nash with confidence? Yes.
Whether you agree with the idea of distressed guitars or not, Nash does stand by their work. They do have a specific niche they cater to (guys who like distressed guitars without the FCS price tag,) do it well, and what you get is truly good. There's just no arguing that point.
My only real complaint is what I said above. I really wish Nash would offer at least one non-distressed model. If they did a Mary Kay S-57 model with no distressing, that for some guitarists would be the perfect Strat look. (And yes I am saying the distressing ruins that guitar, take a look and see for yourself.)
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