American Special Series

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Puttheteleon, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    Hi everyone. First post here. I’ve been playing for over 15 years and never owned a Tele!! (Oh the shame). I’ve got a shot at getting a 2017 American Special, blue, rosewood, little ding. Currently available at £450. Would I be crazy to turn this down!?

    Anyone with experience and a list of pros/cons?

    Should I pity the money toward something better or grab a bargain now?

    Much appreciated!

    Rob
     
  2. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    That sounds like a great deal if the small ding is the only issue. They've been replaced by the Am Performer series, but were $1000 US new. I almost bought one in that color. They have a great neck and beefy sounding Texas Special pickups. The only reason I didn't get it is because I'm mainly a Strat player, so I bought a Squier Classic Vibe Custom for half as much. But the Am Special is a lot nicer guitar overall.
     
  3. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    The American Special line are great guitars. Given your pricing in pounds, I can't really comment on value, but it seems at first glance to be a fairly low price for a nice-condition American Special Tele. Could be quite a bargain, actually.

    Where is the ding? If on the back of the neck - that's a NO GO for me. And on top of the guitar would bug me, as well. BUT, your mileage may vary?

    I consider a guitar to be mostly residing in the neck and the pickups. The body itself is usually important to me only for desirable color and routing options for possible pickup replacements. Pickups, pots, switches, bridges are all expendable items if I love the neck and the body color - two things which are very difficult/costly to change.

    I have a number of American Special necks, both maple and rosewood, and they're all great necks. I have no clue what pickups you might be looking at in that example, but to me, pickups in any Fender are a lot like tires on a car - easily replaced with better options, if desired, which will feel/sound quite different!

    I'd say if you love the neck and the body color... everything else can be re-tuned to your personal preference, if the price is right!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  4. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

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    Sounds good for an LPB Special. I payed about £750 new for mine. It's my number one.
     
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  5. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    Welcome!

    So thats about $570 USD. I agree that the placement of that ding might be worth considering carefully, i.e. is it just a cosmetic issue or is it on a playing surface where you will constantly be reminded of it? Is this a guitar you can get your hands on for a test drive, or is it on the internet?

    The Tele in my profile pic is an American Special. It has been my primary electric for 4-5 years and I love it. It is probably my favorite electric guitar that I've owned. I've upgraded just about every component on it, but it was still pretty sweet when it was stock. Assuming the ding is minor, it seems to me like you'd have to spend a fair chunk more than that to get a much better Telecaster.
     
  6. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    Amazing. Thanks everyone!

    The ding is just a little chip in paint work so nothing to worry about.

    Think I know what I’m doing this weekend.....!

    What did you guys upgrade on yours pickup-wise?
     
  7. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    It's a very fair price, but not a crazy deal. Dings are just cosmetic, but that is a personal thing just as the jumbo frets on a special are personal preference.


    I like the Specials a lot and would prefer it over something like a Baja anyday, so if looking for a sub 500£ guitar was my thing I'd buy it without blinking.
     
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  8. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Give it a couple of months before "upgrading". You might just like the stock pups. But in the boutique end of pups I find that Bare Knuckle makes outstanding stuff.

    If you want to be sensible, just find something used or go with the big brands like seymour duncan or dimarzio tht usually offer great bang for the buck stuff
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  9. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    As DougM has said the American Specials have been replaced by the American Performer series: the UK list price for those (from fender.com) is £999 so £450 for an Am Special in good condition sounds pretty fair.
    Maybe your next post will be an NGD (with pictures of course!)
     
  10. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Depending on the year the pickups will be Custom Shop Texas Specials. There is really no "upgrade" from there, you might prefer something a little less hot.
    Earlier models had different pickups, that weren't really Texas Specials, I don't know the year they changed to real Texas Specials.
     
  11. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    My #1 tele lately is a Special. Don't know that you're going to find "better" pickups, just different. I find the Texas Specials in mine to be really versatile, and I don't mind that they push an amp a little harder. Lots of different sounds in there. Play them for a good long while before you decide to switch.
     
  12. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    As a prior owner of an Am. Spec. Tele I would grab that one asap if I were you. That is one of the few guitars that I've had the pleasure of owning that I miss. Loved those CS Texas Specials.
     
  13. TLR_

    TLR_ TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, that's a really good point. Take as much time as possible to allow yourself to become accustomed to the current pickups. Strings/string age, differrent amps and rooms, picks etc can all have an effect on how you perceive pickups.
    But generally speaking, as much as I like all Telecasters the American Special is particular favourite.
     
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  14. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    I’m going for it. Hope the wife doesn’t mind....!

    Thanks everyone. I’ve only ever swapped pups out of one guitar as I generally like to keep guitars as I buy them. Buying for a reason right!?

    I’ll let you know how it goes when I pick it up this weekend. Feels almost too good to be true at this price!
     
  15. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    I think tou made a good choice. The Am Spec teles are the best bang for the buck in the US series.

    Ive played many and all were good guitars.

    Same neck, body [sans the tummy cut on later STDs] and tuners as an AmSTD of the same year.

    When I got my AmSTD I had narrowed the field down to a LPB Spec and a Jade Pearl STD. For the life of me both necks felt almost identical. I prefer the vintage bridge on the AM Spec but the pups and maple board on the AM Std pushed me in that direction.

    Both are great choices and I'd have been just as happy with the AMSpec.

    I tried the elites, AVRIs [I just had to say no to 7.25 radius], and a couple discounted CS smuggler teles.

    They all had good points to them but the bottom line came down to these 2 play and sound as good or better than any of the others that cost considerably more.

    I thought the TX spec bridge was a hair nicer than the broadcaster bridge but I totally dug the twisted neck pup and in the end that was probably the deciding factor.
     
  16. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    What does NGD mean?
     
  17. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    LPB?
     
  18. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    NGD= New Guitar Day
     
  19. Puttheteleon

    Puttheteleon TDPRI Member

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    Excellent!! Thank you!
     
  20. Kid Telecaster

    Kid Telecaster TDPRI Member

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    IMG_5212.JPG I think an American Special at that price is good, and they're a good all rounder, with those great Texas Special pickups. As someone has already pointed out they have been superseded by the Player series so I'd be grabbing it if it resonates with you.
    The only thing I've had to do to mine is swap out the pickguard for a ritzier red tortoiseshell one, just cosmetic
    And here it is...
     
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