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Joe Bonamassa has revealed the ‘best’ guitar in his incredible collection

Joe Bonamassa's 1951 Fender Nocaster electric guitar
(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Future)

Few, if any, guitarists have a vintage electric guitar collection that can rival Joe Bonamassa’s, but even with hundreds of instruments to choose from, the blues hero has managed to pick what he considers to be the best of the bunch.

In a recent Instagram post (opens in new tab), JoBo - who last week was filmed shredding on an EVH Striped Series model - named his 1951 Fender Nocaster as the ‘best’ guitar he owns, despite the fact its condition is far from original.

“It is as much a tool as it is a weapon,” Joe enthuses.

“It is the most dynamic instrument I have ever played in my life. I purchased this from Guitar Center in Hollywood from [Vintage Sales and Inventory Manager] Nick Conte who bought it from an old guy off the street. The case says O.Z on it.”

Joe Bonamassa's 1951 Fender Nocaster electric guitar

(Image credit: Joby Sessions/Future)

According to Bonamassa, the neck humbucker was fitted when he purchased the guitar, which bears the serial number 1755, and its only modification is the replacement of the first seven frets.

“The humbucking pickup in the front is out of an SG Custom, like a 1961, so it’s got a gold cover,” he told Guitarist magazine (opens in new tab).

He went even further in an interview with MusicRadar (opens in new tab), stating, “It howls in all the right ways, and quite frankly, kills my ’59 Les Pauls on occasion. It is a lifelong guitar that I will play and cherish.”

(Image credit: Joe Bonamassa)

The Nocaster was only available for a short period of time during 1951 while Fender thought up a new name for the Broadcaster, following a complaint from Gretsch, which produced the Broadkaster drum kit.

That name, of course, was the Telecaster, which was introduced in August 1951.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).