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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

’52 Tele acquisition… My gamble pays off!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AxemanVR, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Well, I finally made the leap.

    I've been craving a vintage style Butterscotch Fender for years but always hesitated because I wasn't sure how it would work out for me; however opportunity recently slapped me in the face, forcing me to come up with a couple of creative solutions and, despite making some concessions that a few "purists" may cringe at, I think a lot of performing guitarists will appreciate what I have done.

    To make a long story short...

    After a somewhat lengthy process I finally ended up with an All-American-Made custom Fender '52 Reissue Telecaster that benefits from the finest "best of both worlds" features in my opinion: In a nutshell it is a 2008 Fender "American Vintage ’52 Telecaster Reissue" guitar with a 2011 Fender "American Vintage Hot Rod ‘52 Tele" neck. As a result I get the much desired tone and vibe of a vintage instrument coupled with the far more popular "modern" feel and refinement that today’s players prefer.


    Now for the long story...

    I bought this body - which included everything except the neck - off eBay in November of 2011. I purchased it on a whim, so I was convinced it'd turn out to be one of those hasty decisions that I would end up regretting.

    It was well used by the time I got it, as revealed by various surface scratches and a couple small chips here and there. The front still really looks great though, with a nice "relic" appearance, while the worst blemishes can be found on the back where a previous owner's belt buckle obviously made continuous contact.

    I really don’t know all that much about its storied past, but can easily imagine a burley redneck hillbilly (with a Texas-size belt buckle no doubt) working it like one of his farm implements in a variety of smoky honky-tonk bars... and I can only assume the neck was missing because he broke it over some drunken cowboy’s head ;) In any case, I’m sure if it could talk this guitar would have some wild stories to tell! Fortunately it's still as solid as a rock and I feel like I saved this poor thing from a life of thankless servitude.


    I got the neck (brand new) off eBay also. It is from a Fender "Vintage Hot Rod '52 Tele" - the body was not included - and is basically a '52 neck with a modern (flatter) radius fingerboard (9.5" vs. 7.25") and superbly dressed medium-jumbo frets.

    101_2598edit 6.jpg

    For the sake of improving intonation I also decided to substitute the vintage barrel type saddles with updated Wilkinson "compensating" saddles' which provides a surprisingly precise setup without resorting to individual saddles for each string, thus retaining the all important vintage appearance and tone. I still have the original saddles - which can be easily swapped back if desired.

    101_2587edit 7.jpg

    Well, I'm happy to report that it plays like a dream, with a sound and feel that is so awesome I can hardly get myself to put it down!

    I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel a little strange though... now when I see a modern Tele there definitely seems to be far too many screws on the pickguard and way too many saddles on the bridge! :confused:

    Is it just me?

    P.S. I still love my other "modern" Tele too.
    brookdalebill and AndrewG like this.

  2. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    Great looking guitar,congrats! Play it to death!

  3. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2011
    Lowell, Mass
    Sweet tele. How much you got into it?

  4. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA

    The body (including everything but the neck) was $435 which was a bargain, but the damn neck was over $700. Unfortunately I really had to have it to make the whole package work and there weren't any others available - and no way of knowing if there would ever be!

    All told I probably have $1200 into - still cheaper than a new one.

    I'll never get my money out of it, but I love it so much I really don't care!

  5. Aiden

    Aiden Tele-Meister

    Nov 13, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    Wow that's a nice acquisition.

  6. tombm3

    tombm3 Tele-Holic

    Apr 24, 2003
    Only one person needs to be happy. Well, maybe two, if you're married.:rolleyes:

    Looks great! Thanks for sharing.

  7. xagyg

    xagyg Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Oct 26, 2010
    Very nice. I want one. This forum is bad for my wealth, but I already knew that - can't keep away from it.

  8. oramac7891

    oramac7891 Friend of Leo's

    Sep 10, 2009
    I think it sound perfect. Looks great too!

  9. Hiflyer

    Hiflyer Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 31, 2006
    Nice wood grain. Congratulations !

  10. ayetee

    ayetee Tele-Meister

    Feb 25, 2009
    I really liked my 52RI until I got the 52 Hotrod RI. Maybe I need to find a HR neck for it also.

  11. Sacdubro

    Sacdubro Tele-Meister

    Aug 21, 2007
    Sacramento, Ca.
    Great idea getting a HR neck for the '52ri that would be my choice, well done congrats.

  12. dcooper830

    dcooper830 Tele-Meister

    Feb 8, 2010
    Urbana, IL
    I've often thought about getting a Hot Rod neck for my '52 AVRI Tele.

    Just like you say ... it's a way to combine vintage looks with modern feel.

    I do prefer a 9.5 / med. jumbo fretted neck.... but im happy with the 7.5 on my '52.

    I did look up hot rod necks on ebay and.... yeah... they're like $700! Damn!

    Oh well.... I'll be getting a 60th Anniversary bsb Tele soon and that'll give me fix for vintage looks with modern features.

    6 saddles don't bother me none.

    Cool guitar OP! I love it! Enjoy : )

  13. rogerzilla

    rogerzilla Tele-Meister

    Feb 4, 2008
    A lot of people would pay good money for the natural "relicing" caused by your hillbilly's belt buckle. It's a great axe.

  14. Telepi

    Telepi Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 22, 2009
    Outstanding!!! Very creative combining the best of both worlds. When I was looking for my tele, GC had both side by side. I told the sale guy, I liked the sound of the 52 AVRI better than the Hot Rod. But Liked the neck on the Hot Rod better. Both for color and feel. The 52's frets didn't feel as good in comparison and the color was too orange for me.

    I don't think you have more in it than what it's worth. You combined two great choices and it's worth exactly what you have in it. GREAT JOB!

  15. Mister Ed

    Mister Ed Tele-Meister

    Oct 13, 2011
    $700 for the neck? Wow, that seems like an awful lot to a penny-pincher like me. Still, since it turned out to be cheaper than buying a new guitar with all the features you wanted, its a good deal. Play the hell out of it.

  16. dmarg1045

    dmarg1045 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 28, 2006
    Congrats--nice guitar.

  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    If you gotta have that added shoulder of the HR52 there's not much else you can do. (I'd do a USACG neck but that means no "fender provenance")

    If the fretwire and radius are driving guys away from a regular AV52, look around for a "Thin Skin" AV52 such as can be found on the Dave's Guitar website or at Wildwood. There was also a place in SW Washington state but I hadn't checked if they're still involved in that. A Thinskin will have the same neck section as an AV52, just 9.5 radius and 6105 fretwire.

    Another cheap sub for these expensive HR52 necks might be a neck from a MIA Highway One "Texas Tele". That's actually a 12" radius and you can find the whole guitar for $ 700.

  18. Rockbreaker

    Rockbreaker Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2011
    Long Island
    Boris, I could be wrong but I think only the TEXAS HWY1's came with 12" radius, I think the regular Hwy1's had 9.5 fb's

  19. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Tele-Holic

    Feb 1, 2018
    San Clemente, Ca
    I love the big "baseball bat" Fender necks. Nice build, nice guitar!!!

    Here's mine:

    rich815, jimilee and lp special like this.

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