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

Baja vs. Nashville Deluxe

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by gungnir, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    Howdy, fellow telecaster players :D

    I want to state from the start that I have seen a couple of topics about this subject, but they weren't of so much help, so I thought that another thread won't harm anyone and may help others as well.

    I am looking to buy in the near future a new telecaster. So far I have secured my dream LP and my dream Strat, but as far as telecasters go, I only owned a Squier Affinity.

    After a pretty long search for best bang for the buck under 1000, I have reduced my options to two: Fender Telecaster Classic Player Baja and Fender Telecaster Deluxe Nashville. The difference in price is not huge(around 100$ more for the Baja) but I would like some certified opinions.

    Pros for Baja: brass saddles, CS pick ups, S1 pot and 4 way switch, chunkier neck, designed by CS.

    Pros for Deluxe Nashville: Noiseless pups, Fender Locking Tuners, Middle strat pickup, 22 frets

    The mid pup in Nashville Deluxe is not a must, I do not have a band at the moment(even though I will start college in the fall in a larger city, maybe I will get an opportunity of joining a band) so it is not about versatility as it is about genuine tele sound.

    Now there seems to be a lot of love for the Bajas and not so much for the Deluxe Nashville, why is that?

    For the owners of any of them, did you find necessary to replace anything on them?(Locking Tuners on Baja? Bridge/electronics on Nashville?)

    What would be your personal opinion over each of them(or at least the one you tried, anything helps)?

    I have read a fair amount of reviews, but would like to get some direct input from you.

    Thank you in advance! Your help is deeply appreciated.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  2. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Oct 12, 2010
    New Joisey
    I can only speak as a Nashville player. I have heard good things about the Baja although I personally never got much use out of an S-1 switch.

    I have converted both my everyday Teles into Nashvilles, one with Lace Sensors and one with Gen 4 Fender Noiseless. In addition both have the "Strat/Tele" mod with the push-pull tone knob for switching between Middle pup alone and Bridge/Neck options.

    Bottom line is, there is no style I play that I cannot achieve with these guitars. My Strats, Gibsons, etc. sit idle. YMMV.

    It is, of course, possible to add a third pickup to a Baja...
  3. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    It’s funny - I spent time with both of those guitars when I was getting back into playing and looking for “the one”. I liked teles but I really wanted a good approximation of a strat sound and those were the two that came closest. I ended up with a strat instead and later bought a classic vibe tele but never played it with the strat there, so I didn’t keep it long...

    I liked the strats sounds of the Nashville more, but as a semi-pure tele, liked the Baja better. Also, the difference in the neck isn’t just the fatness of the Baja but the FB radius - the Nashville is a flat 12” while the Baja is 9.5”. Not everyone cares that much but I loved the Baja neck and didn’t like the Nashville at all...

    But honestly if you’re looking for a pure tele and aren’t buying either for their non-tele sounds, there are others out there I’d give a long look to also. Maybe a 50s series or roadworn, which are just basic two pickup,three way switch teles...

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  4. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    I have a Baja. Never played a Nashville but I have a Strat.

    I love my Baja. The S1 is useless to me, I sometimes use the neck+bridge positions, but hardly ever use the out of phase switch.

    I do like the neck/middle & middle/bridge sounds on my Strat. That is what I assume people like about the Nashville. Baja & S1 won't get me that.

    The Baja neck is a selling point for many. I like it, not too big, but not sure it is that important to me. I never think "what a skinny neck!" on my other guitars.

    They both can sound like a "genuine tele". The Baja may look more traditional with 2 pickups, although who cares?

    Play both before deciding.
  5. kaynray

    kaynray TDPRI Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    I've had both. I had a Baja that I sold (like a fool!) because I got a great price for it (still a fool!). I currently have a Nashville. I hardly ever use the Strat pickup, but it's nice to have the option. I do bemoan the fact that I sold that Baja, but my Nashville is still a great guitar. In fact, I think that the Baja and Nashville can hold their own with any production Tele out there, and be better than most. It's true. The Baja has a neck that most folks either love or hate. I loved it. The S1 switching was wasted on me tho. Never used it or liked it. The Nashville, however, does require a bridge replacement to really get up to snuff. Easy enough to do- just need the bridge/saddles and a screwdriver. Stay away from the Nashville Power Deluxe though if you're planning on replacing bridge. Not easy on that one.
  6. BGTele

    BGTele Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2008
    West New Jersey
    I have both and they are very different as far as tones and feel.

    I love the Nashville and use it a lot. The neck PU has a very useful thick tone and the 2 position, bridge and middle, is my favorite country Tele sound.

    I love the Baja too and don't use it out as much because of the weight. It is heavy and I ordered it shipped. It is an early one and I don't know if they are still typically heavy. The PUs on it are amazing Tele tones and I recommend it because it is such a good sound for the Tele lover. Beware of the S-1 out of phase tone. I congratulate anyone who found a use for it. I totally agree with Lies&Distortion on that point.

    They are both beautiful guitars with nice necks and 1st rate sounds. I don't know why some people don't like the Nashville, I guess some players have very specific likes and dislikes.

    With all those boutique expensive Teles out there, I don't know how Fender makes such great Telecasters for less money. Some of those "maker" Teles go for $4000.
  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I like the noiseless pickups on the Nashville. If you get one you'll want to do a little rewiring. Like your Strat, there is no bridge/neck combination without a push pull tone pot. No big deal if you can wire it yourself. GC may threaten your warranty though.
  8. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    I love my Baja's pickups and I like the look & feel of a 3 saddle bridge. Those are it's "pros" over the Nashville for me.
    badger51 likes this.
  9. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    Between your two choices I’d take the Nashville, I like the looks of it better and that’s the only reason lol.

    The Classic Series 50’s and 60’s are pretty good bang for the buck too, so might be worth a look.

    I’d agree with other posters though; try them out if you can and decide for yourself which you prefer. They’re both quite different as you know.
  10. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    Thank you all for your opinions! Unfortunately I won't be able to try any of them, there isn't any shop in Romania which still has either in stock. I will have to place an online order to Thomann(biggest music shop in Europe, placed in Germany) as soon as I gather the money and decide. I want to make an informed decision so I won't have to overcomplicate things with sending it back&buying another etc.

    Please, if everyone else has something to say in the matter, feel free! :)
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Get a regular MIM Tele and add the 4-way switch to it. The switch is $11. Wiring is easy.

    Not many like the S1 switch and it is often removed. The 4-way gets added to a lot of guitars because it is so useful. The Nashville Deluxe seems like people don't like noiseless pickups in general and get another model or pull the pickups to put others in. Some of us just like to mod guitars.

    SonsOfMoog likes this.
  12. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Oct 27, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Find a way to play both and pick the one that moves you. If neither one stands out to you, then save your money until you find a guitar that feels right.
    thegeezer likes this.
  13. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    Unless I'll gather twice the money I want to spend on a guitar so I can pay for the plane to Germany or even Hungary or Austria and hotel and such, it is not a viable option. In Romania the only chance to try one would be to find somebody that owns one and, unfortunately, on Romanian Guitarist Community website there hasn't been one present for many years now. :(
  14. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Holic

    Jul 5, 2010
    West Michigan
    I know this may not be helpful but...the only mistake I ever made in buying a guitar was buying one without playing it first. Oddly, it happened to be a 2017 Nashville Deluxe. For me, the neck wasn't my cup of tea and I really disliked the narrow, tall frets. But, that's just me.

    Nevertheless, I can't emphasize them before you buy one. Somebody got a smokin' hot deal on a virtually new Nashville Deluxe when I unloaded mine and I was out a fair amount of money.
  15. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Holic

    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    Buy the Baja, because it might re-sell for more if you don't like it? Just a thought.
  16. MahoganyStratDZ

    MahoganyStratDZ Tele-Meister

    Mar 5, 2012
    Tough choice the necks though are pretty different, myself I like the bajas better but I like the neck and electronics better.
  17. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    Of the Baja and Nashville, I'd take a Strat.

    I have a Baja, and I demoed a Nashville extensively in 2007 when I bought the Baja. I needed a change of pace with the Baja, and it turned out to be great. It is still my most gigged guitar.

    I didn't like the Nashville because it wasn't enough to mimic a Strat, and it didn't sound like a Tele at all. But if you will be taking one guitar to college the Nashville will be great because it would be versatile. Did you ever hear the phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none", is how the Nashville was for me. But locking tuners and 4th generation noiseless pickups will make this guitar a keeper for a long time. The Baja could be noisy because the pickups are old school single coils.

    I had 2 Strats at the time, so the Nashville wasn't a good mix. But if you learn to use the bridge and the tone control you'll have PURE Tele magic. The Tele has a bridge+ neck position which isn't accessible on a Nashville, so it really becomes 67% Strat and 33% Tele. Also in college, you'll be the only one with a Nashville, so you'll fit a hipster look and sound great.
  18. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2009
    St. George, UT
    I agree with a great deal of what QB says above here. I'd take the Baja. I have a Baja and played several Nashvilles. As QB says, it's not enough like a Tele and too much like a strat without really sounding like a strat either. I love, LOVE my Baja.

    I also have a Chris Schifflet Tele Deluxe. It's fantastic! If you're looking around, check that one out, too.
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I've got 7 of these 50's style, ash bodied, maple board Classic Player Bajas. Yup, all in the same color.

    And I've got 4 of the previous version of the Deluxe Nashville, once again, all in the same color. Which I happen to prefer in every way over the replacement Nashville model - better neck carve, better fretwire; better pickups.

    Straight off, I would say the Baja is probably an easy $ 200-300 more guitar than either form of Nashville.

    In the USA market, for whatever reason, the Baja is traditionally much pricier on the used and retail market. But for some reason, the prices on the Nashville for the EU, the UK and so on, are abnormally high vis a vis the Baja. We've seen instances where TDPRI members in France, Germany and Britain acquiring new Bajas for prices similar to what Stateside buyers were having to spend - Meanwhile any Euro player so stubborn as to buy the Nashville, was spending about TWICE what the guy in the USA was spending for the same guitar.

    I would lean towards the Baja anyway, but if the prices are that close in your market, that's a Landslide win for the Baja, for you in Romania. And even more, given you have a nice Strat already, you don't need another guitar with 3 pickups and a five way - you got that covered.
    Owenmoney and thegeezer like this.
  20. gungnir

    gungnir TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2017
    Guys, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your opinions :)

    It will be a Baja, I am confident that it is the right choice. Hopefully I'll join the Baja enthusiasts as soon as mine gets to me.

    Thanks to all of ya!
    Owenmoney likes this.
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