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‘50s Telecaster® vs 52 RI

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Marshall Thinline, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Marshall Thinline

    Marshall Thinline Tele-Holic

    851
    Mar 22, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    No, it was the American Ash. I was not impressed at all. It was so heavy, that I would bet the body was made of water-logged wood. The salesman and I were comparing the two, and we both agreed that the 52RI was a much better sounding instrument. The price was about the same for the pair.

    I wish I could of compared it to the 50's tele.
     

  2. sidneystreet

    sidneystreet Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 7, 2005
    I own a few 50's Classics and each is a great telecaster. That being said, the majority of '52 Reissues I've played have been slightly higher quality. By this I mean better fretwork, richer sounding pickups, etc.

    However, I don't think the '52 Reissue is worth double the price. A 50's Classic with a decent fret dress and setup, and a new bridge pup, is 99% the equal of the '52 Reissue.
     

  3. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 26, 2005
    Germany
    Yep, looks better than my 52 RI...mine has quite a gap.
    I doubt that it matters much (at least I can't hear a difference) but it sure would look nicer when the necks is fit tight...
     

  4. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    59
    Nov 6, 2005
    ROCK!linghausen/germany
    the 52 ri is a great guitar out of the box. i just changed to modern wiring. i have a partscaster on a mim james burton basis and i change stuff all the time. in the long run the 52 is much cheaper, because its so good. it will age nicely. i will not leave it alone in the rehearsal place, what i do with the mim guitars that i have. i play it all the time at home too. sounds great unplugged. strings never break. the guitar is very inspiring.
     

  5. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    Denver
    Some luthiers prefer a tighter pocket over just about any other fit item. They think it is more important than finish type.
     

  6. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 26, 2005
    Germany
    That's what I heard as well...but unplugged my 52 RI is loud, sweet and even (I A/B'ed it with a few other guitars that I've got sitting around) and I cannot imagine it having a significantly better sound with a tighter neck pocket.
    But yeah...if I was to assemble a guitar myself, I'd pay attention to a good fitting neck pocket...
     

  7. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

    A very interesting point, TeleTurkey - and one I've often wondered about myself.

    I love my 50's Classic in white blonde, but look at it sometimes thinking "Man, that would look SOOO cool in butterscotch". Maybe that's why they don't offer it as a finish for the 50s Classic?
     

  8. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Then they haven't seen many really old Fenders - all over the shop for gap. The 52RI I have has as tight a pocket as the MIM Thinline, or the 69RI Strat I used to own.

    My '52 also looks better under the guard than that 50's Mark posted - no double-hit lip on the pickup route.
     

  9. MRAY

    MRAY TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    43
    Jul 12, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have a 50's in sunburst and I am pretty impressed with the fit and finish. The sound is great, but I'm still going to put in some Keystones and upgrade to brass saddles. I love the neck on it, too. That being said, I also love my MIM standard which I upgraded with Vintage pups and 3 saddle (brass) bridge. Unbelievably wonderful sound.

    BUT...I have to get a 52RI someday. Just love the butterscotch and black pickguard look, truly a classic.
     

  10. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Apr 15, 2005
    UK
    '50s Tele vs 52 RI? 52 RI wins hands down...

    I bought a Mexican '50's Classic Tele in sunburst when they first came out. While it looked good and sounded OK, it weighed about 10lbs, and I could never get the action how I like it. Also, I didn't like the skinny steel saddles.

    Fast forward a couple years, and I bought a used '99 52ri, to see if they are as good as folks say they are. This baby is light as a feather at 7.0lbs on the dot, rings like a bell and plays like butter, with no choking.

    Needless to say, I sold the heavy '50's Classic straight away, while I still play my '99 52ri to this day.

    In fact, at the risk of sounding like that guy from the Remmington advert, I liked my first 52ri so much, I went out and bought a new 2006 52ri with all the accessories, for a great price. But like my '99 52ri, the new one is 7.2lbs, rings like a bell and plays like butter. Also, it has a beautiful 2-piece, centre-seamed body, with tight, straight grain.

    The 52ri is more of a financial stretch than the '50's Classic, but it holds it's value better, and the look will never go out of style.
     

  11. Mark Byrom

    Mark Byrom TDPRI Member

    75
    Apr 28, 2005
    Georgetown, TX

  12. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    Denver
    That phrase always foncuses me! So I buy a Mercedes for $50k, and I can sell it three years later for $35k. I buy a Subaru for $20k and can sell it three years later for $14k. I still lost twice as much money with the Mercedes over three years, even though it retained a higher resale value.

    This argument is illogical. A 50's classic will resell for about the same percentage of purchase price as a 52 RI. So you lose MORE money with the more expensive guitar.
     

  13. maestrovert

    maestrovert Poster Extraordinaire

    This jes' shows ta go ya how much guitars of the same make & model can differ, even guitars made side by side on the same day....my black '50's Classic is somewhat under 7 lbs all up, and the steel saddles are my personal preference....after i set it up (i'm rarely satisfied with factory nut work/setup anyway) the playability is great also....
    t.e.h.o., y.m.m.v.
     

  14. giraffecaster

    giraffecaster Tele-Meister

    224
    Sep 13, 2003
    bay area, ca
    New prices are from musiciansfriend. Used are completed ebay average.

    AV52RI 1350 new 1100 used = 81.5%
    MIM 50's Classic 670 new 500 used = 74.6%

    I'm not taking sides, I just think that there's a certain value and desire that high end guitars retain.

    But more importantly, resale shouldn't even be a factor because what are we doing selling tele's anyway!?
     

  15. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    Denver
    Thanks for proving my point! Losing 18.5% on $1200 is more than losing 25% on $600. You STILL lose nearly $220 from the RI value and $125 from the 50's. That's about $100 of absolute loss.
     

  16. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

    Yep - mine too. Just a shade over 7 lbs. All guitars are going to vary in weight.
     

  17. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    Denver
    Huh? What does that mean? I guess you'd prefer to put a 1960's engine in a brand new car also. Many older Fenders sound great despite design flaws that have since been fixed, that does not make the better design pointless.
     

  18. Marshall Thinline

    Marshall Thinline Tele-Holic

    851
    Mar 22, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ok, I stopped by another music store today to see if I could find a 50 RI. Again, they did not have one but they had a couple of "50s Esquires" and some American Vintage 62 RI (the bound ones) teles. The salesman said that the Esquires are almost the same guitar as the 50s RI. The only real differences being it says "Esquire" on the neck and it has one less pup. He said it is routed for the neck pup. Anyways, the Esquires blew the other guitars away tonewise, and at much better price. I wanted to love the bound Teles (they looked great), but they were not even in the same ballpark tonewise. The workmanship was very nice on the American 62 RI guitars, and the hardware and looks were a step up. But when the sound started flying it was coming out of the Esquire not the American Vintage 62 RI.
     

  19. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    Denver

  20. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Errr, no. Just pointing out that many of the old guitars we revere are less than ordinary in that department - running a router around a template by hand means some look pretty poor but still sound great. Old Fender Teles had more hand manufacture by semi-skilled labour - so comments like 'most luthiers think' are essentially meaningless, given guitars with sloppy neck pockets can still sound darn good, no?

    New US 52's are made on the same CNC machines as 50's Classics, so there should be virtually no difference in tightness of neck pockets, and in the dozen I've seen including the one I own there isn't, so that is a moot point.
     

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