I ran into the Tradition Jerry Reid Signature Pro quite by accident and kismet. I had been looking at Tradition guitars and found the Jerry Reid line to be really appealing. I wanted a guitar that would define my playing and give me access to many different tones and this guitar seemed to possess that quality while also being beautiful and very well built. I had actually inquired into the price and resolved to save up for one.
One day I walked into a Guitar Center and there she was. It was like a promo ad come to life. I was stunned because I found only one Tradition dealer in my part of the world and he never seemed to have the Jerry Reid line. I didn’t want to special order one if I wasn’t sure I was going to keep it, I’m funny that way. But here was one that I could try out before I made any decision. I plugged her in and must have spent the better part of an hour going through all the settings and was totally mesmerized. I bought it on the spot.
The Jerry Reid Signature Pro features a solid mahogany body with a 3/8” figured maple cap (quilted laminate) with a 25.5” scale maple neck with a rosewood fretboard with dot inlays (the current production run available July 2009 features a maple fretboard and Tradition’s signature “T” inlays). The neck is fitted with fat frets on a satin maple neck with low action and is a dream to play. Tuners are terrific; I play this guitar hard and it stays in tune.
Tradition has spec’d out their pickups before they had them produced and did a great job providing incredible tones in every position. This is essentially a Nashville Tele with some real power with a splittable humbucker in the neck, splittable rail humbucker in the middle, and traditional Tele styled bridge pickup; that’s 11 different tonal combinations! Both humbuckers are clear and powerful. The middle rail humbucker is a real tonal weapon adding power where many guitars place a tone you just simply pass by and the bridge sounds like a traditional Tele, very ballsy with great snap and pop. The mahogany body and maple cap give this guitar depth and warmth while retaining the brightness of a Tele. Here is a description of all the possible tone combinations:
Neck Humbucker – Thick and warm.
Neck Humbucker split – As sweet as a single coil in that position
Neck Hum and middle hum – Powerful
Neck Hum and middle Hum split – quacky but ballsy with a touch of bassines
Neck hum split and middle hum – also quacky but ballsy with more treble
Neck hum split and middle hum split – Like a strat quack but warmer
Middle – Double rail. Very articulate and punchy
Middle split – Like a middle pickup on a Strat
Middle and bridge – quacky with balls
Middle split and bridge – like a Strat quack with more treble
Bridge – One of the best Tele bridges I’ve ever heard.
The Tradition Jerry Reid Pro is as extremely high quality instrument that I believe competes against any top quality guitar including the MIA brands.
Price: ~$700 USD
Pros: Great playability, quality components, and well designed pickups with very versitile switching...
Cons: Not as bright as a traditional Tele and missing the traditional middle Tele position.