Other Guitars

Advice on a Tele

1

Hello all, I've been shopping around for a Tele. I'm m looking for some advice from those with more experience than me.

What models should I be looking at?

Today I played a road worn 50's, frs deluxe tele, and a classic vibe squire.

I liked the neck on the Frs best with the classic vibe a close second. As for tone, the classic vibe squire sounded best!

I see a lot on Craigslist and can score a 52 RI for a good price. But is it any better than the others?

I like a maple neck, lots of twang!!

Any pointers?

Thanks!

2

It all depends on what you want. I have had several Teles over the years, and have settled on my 'AV '52 and AV '64 Reissues to keep. The 7 1/2' fretboard radius takes a wee bit of getting used to, but I have never found it to be a problem, and I love the sounds both produce.

If you like a maple neck and tons of twang, the '52 RI has all that in spades (I have had two, and they both had it...and it has a very cool vibe. You can upgrade the pickups on any good maple-neck Tele, though, and get a pretty great sound. A bandmate plays a late '90s American Standard that weighs a ton. He upgraded the pickups to Di Marzios (Area 51s, or something like that), and the thing sounds incredible. One of the 2-3 best Teles I have ever heard.

Teles don't need to be expensive. You just need a good body and neck, and you have about a billion pickup choices. I love the 2012-2016 AVRI pickups, but there are so many great pickups out there that with some looking and listening, you can find just what you are looking for.

3

Well I'll tell you, I have owned dozens of Teles. My current number one for the last four years actually, is a fender roadworn. I put a Lollar Charlie Christian in the neck, and a Lollar vintage t in the bridge and added a chopped b6. If I had done that to practically any tele body out there the results would've been pretty close in my opinion. But before we get into any yackety-yack about the distressed guitar concept, I went with the road worn for the unfinished neck. It feels just like my black guard 53 telecaster. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but it feels like I'm playing a really nice pool cue the whole time. It's a bit heavy, and I have picked up Roadworns that were exceptionally light so maybe that might be a minor difference. But for something you should expect to find used for about 700 bucks, maybe less if you're diligent, it does the job for me.

4

Those Classic Vibes are some of the best guitars I've played, regardless of brand. If I had to have a Fender I'd get the Baja or Muddy Waters or 52RI.

5

I have one Classic vibe that's my main gigging tele. Sounds incredible and it's built to near perfection for me.

6

Just keep trying until it's the right one. The CV is well regarded.

Mine is a partscaster built and set up by Josh. I would put that up against any Tele I have touched.

7

I just bought a 2006 52 RI. I have had 3. I paid $1000 for it. I like it a Lot better than the new ones that cost more like $2000. But really pay attention to the radius it's a deal breaker for some people. Good luck

8

Good point. I love the small radius and small frets, but a lot of people get frustrated with them. Be sure you like it before going full vintage on a Tele

9

Also the early eighties Japanese ones can be nice. As NJB said keep playing until you fined one you like. I played a beautiful blonde Mexican esquire in London years ago . Just resonated , rang and twanged

10

I have a bunch of Teles, and my late 70's E-series MIJ is my #1. Amazing maple neck.

12

I have a bunch of Teles, and my late 70's E-series MIJ is my #1. Amazing maple neck.

– Powdog

No MIJ Fenders in the '70s.

13

Sometimes the best Tele is a G&L ASAT.

– Don Birchett

That's what Carl Perkins thought.

14

Some people just put upgraded electronics in Japanese ones... some say the non Fender Japanese ones are ok also.

16

Why not a nice Thinline?

17

You're on the right path: neck, and sound. Having to choose between the 2, I choose neck, because pickups can be changed pretty easily... but a good neck that you really connect with is more elusive... for example, Fender's "Modern C" necks are not all the same. I have 3 teles with modern C necks, and they are all different. The differences are subtle, but on a neck, subtle can make all the difference. While I am comfortable on all 3 necks, 2 of them are great and 1 is THE neck for me.

18

Thanks, some good ideas here

Going out and playing some: i started that yesterday, and i got to play 4 different Tele's. The problem with thtat is; bad set ups, dead strings. So gauging the tone and playability is somewhat hard. It was very helpful for seeing what neck shape/size felt best.

Thee classic vibe, had .9's on it so while it did sound and feel good it was thin sounding as well, but i felt there was a great tone in there!

The road worn felt pretty good, i liked the relic finish better than the older ones. It was way more subtle. And ther FRS looked like a goof value. Nice neck too!

I don't really care about the name on the headstock, Fender or Squire doesn't matter to me.

19

When I can afford it, I'd love to have a Curt Schoolhoused Tele.

The recipe for the NJBob Tele is documented in another thread. It's a good one!

20

I've a Classic vibe upgraded with a pair of 51 custom shop nocaster pickups. it's a killer guitar

21

Consider a Partscaster. Get all of the bits you want, assemble it yourself.

22

Schecter makes a variety of nice teles - their PT models. Very reasonable MIK or expensive USA custom shop.

23

No MIJ Fenders in the '70s.

– sascha

Oops, I stand corrected. Mid-80's. Still, best dang Tele I ever played.

24

I dig both the Cabronita I made from Warmoth body and neck, as well as my Fender 62 reissue Custom Telecaster .
Have you checked the new Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster? Sounds interesting... I'd like to try one.

25

These rock...

– Curt Wilson

Yes they do! Review to come soon...


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