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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Birmingham Uk
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Help needed please.

Hi, I'm going to buy a telecaster today for a new tribute band where I am trying to get a James Burton sound. I've tried some guitars already and am trying to understand something. I originally intended to get a USA standard, and may still do this. But looking at the Baja spec I see it has the same custom shop pickups as the USA standards and they are both made of Ash. So why would I pay double the price for a standard?

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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm in the middle of a similar dilemma. My choice is between the USA special and standard models, and as far as I can tell the only difference is that the Special comes with a two piece ash body whereas the Standard's is one piece. Maybe the Baja has a three piece body or something, I don't know. Whatever, it wouldn't put me off buying one.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I tried the USA special yesterday and the neck was very fat and uncomfortable. Also there was much less twang to the hotter pickups, didn't sound authentic enough for what I need, I guess it would be good for rock but I have my Gibsons for that. I guess I'm just looking to.justify spending double on a US standard over a Baja and I don't know if I can.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you tried a Baja and a Standard side by side?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes and felt they were on a par. If anything I prefered the banja. But for some reason I found it hard to accept that it could be as good as something double the price. Maybe that was just the shop assistant wanting me to part with more cash!
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The Baja may need more setting up and may have some minor defects such as poly finish over the frets.

The Baja has a very fat neck. I find it very comfortable.
The neck on my American series (AmSer07) is the modern slim C.

The Broadcaster bridge pickup is certainly most excellent.
The Twisted neck pickup OTOH is not, it is a curate's egg, a strat pickup in a can.
The "American Tele(R)" neck pickup was transplanted from my AmSer07 into my Baja06, excellent match, great telecaster sound. (My AmSer07 received other pickups).

The AmStd is, or should be, the better finished off the peg. The Baja are ash, this is used where grain is visible. The grain match varies from one example to another. The AmStd may be alder if it has a solid colour paint finish.

Try different examples of the same model, they all vary. My AmSer07 was playable straight out of its case, my Baja06 needed some extra work to sort it out but it vibrated like a live animal when I tried it out and put that smile on my face that you get when you find a great guitar. My AmSer is a very good does-everything guitar but my Baja bites and snarls like only a really good tele can.

Always try before you buy. Go away and come back with your own amp. They may even have a rehearsal room for you if the shop is noisy.

The James Burton Standard is 730 alder in CAR with Texas Specials
http://www.gak.co.uk/en/fender-james...red-maple/2303
The James Burton Teleis 1623 in basswood and a fat neck w three blade pickups on a 5-way "Nashville" (The AmSer has three pickup routes too)
http://www.gak.co.uk/en/fender-james...y-flames/22555
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's not your imagination, they are that good. The Baja is (IMHO) a better design with better components where it counts. The Twisted Tele neck pickup of the Baja is often criticized for being too "Strat-like," however, for someone chasing James Burton tone, this may be a desirable quality. The higher price of the USA Standard comes from the greater cost of labor here in the States, although one could absolutely argue that the craftsmanship of the Ensenada builders is right on par, or even better, than their American counterparts. I would take a Baja over an American Standard any day of the week and twice on Sunday, especially for the sound you're looking to nail. Good luck!
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Very helpful. What about the Mexican 50s??
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've got to say that my AmSer07 is probably my No.1 best guitar, and I have more than a few. True, mine has been modified with a full humbucker neck and a Barden and a 4-way. But it was a great player from the start and very easy to set up.

But I do fear that with the new AmStd model that they have removed many of the best features, the neck pickup, the bridge unit, the neck profile, they have downgraded it and stuffed the price up. Shot themselves in the foot.

OTOH my Baja setup is more Cropper/Richards than Burton if you see what I mean.

The Twisted is 5.7k, similar to strat sets.
The "American Tele" neck pickup is 7.2k, more powerful, and clearer.
The 'Burton' pickups are powerful.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Imo, you should go into one of the big stores on a wet Wednesday, take a "known" practice amp with you and pull all their telecasters off the pegs and try them all out. Scribble some notes. Take your time, go to the pub for lunch to think about it, then start over again on a short list. Buy the one that suits your hands and ears best.

Brum is a big place. Which shop(s) are you using?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I use guitar guitar on the hagley road and pmt
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