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Best Tele Being Manufactured Today?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by bglaze, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. bglaze

    bglaze Tele-Holic

    Nov 6, 2006
    Other than Masterbuilt or Custom Shop models, what would you all say is the best Telecaster that is currently being manufactured? I have seen a lot of love for the '52 AVRI's. Would this be it? Or is there some other gem out there that you would claim as the best?

  2. chabby

    chabby Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    For the money, the Baja but its now discontinued. I am absolutely heartbroken too cuz I had my eye on the last one at my local GC and it was gone today when I went to get it. Over all the different teles I have no idea which one would be considered the best build. A few years ago when I owned a 52RI it was consensus around here that it was the best non custom shop tele to most folks. Don't know if thats changed as I haven't been a regular on this site for a few years now. I now inhabit the strat pages, but it aint cuz I don't intend to once again own a tele.

  3. justapasinthru

    justapasinthru TDPRI Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Medford Oregon
    one experience

    Since the 80's I was mostly a Strat Player, somewhat modified...then built some partscasters in 02, 03. I have since bought a new am delux Ash Strat...and modified it with a custom neck and will soon change the trem block and saddles.

    I just last month bought a new AV52RI primarily to match the "850" Color of my 50th aniversary Pass, and my ASH Strat. I just ordered it from my guy at the local hometown music store who matched GC's current price with no committment to buy if i didn't like it. I was the one who opened the box and played it since it left Fender...(It was still mostly in tune) and it's a keeper....w/o ANY mods or changes...even the narrower neck...except to lower the action a tad. It's the first new guitar I have owned in 25 yrs or so other than a Taylor i had made that i don't want to change....It's the most accoustically responsive electric guitar I own. I hope others have as much satisfaction as I buying sight unseen....

    I know we can all build partscasters that will do many different types of things better than a production guitar..especailly with changes...and i love my partscasters very much.....but for "out of the box tone".....for what it does it very well..
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008

  4. davis502

    davis502 Tele-Meister

    Aug 25, 2006
    My vote, 52AVRI ! - Jim

  5. Bhodie

    Bhodie Tele-Meister

    Dec 29, 2007
    Well, I know it is not fashionable or in line with what people consider "real teles" but I really like my AM Deluxe with the body cut. I just do not like that hard edge pressing up under my ribs! The neck is outstanding, the individual saddles make intonation a breeze, and if you don't like the SCN pickups, you can change them out..

    As an old fart, I can tell you I am glad I am not driving my 50's pickup around compared to the trucks you drive today.. and I feel improvements can be made on just about anything! I guess progress is not all bad :D

  6. bobthecanadian

    bobthecanadian Tele-Afflicted

    Hi Bhodie,

    Welcome to the forum.


  7. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Id say as far as non Custom Shop models a 52ri 50's-60's Classic MIM Teles and the 50's Classic Esquire are all great guitars. So is the Muddy Waters sig and GE Smith.

    The Cs Nocaster is the best one tho. But its a CS model and doesnt count in your survey.

    The MIJ/CIJ models are also very nice.

    They are making some great Teles now a days.

    I like the ones with Leos specs its gotta have a 3 saddle bridge.

  8. AjayTele

    AjayTele Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    American Deluxe Series :cool: - without doubt in my mind...;)

  9. Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 7, 2007
    They're all good right now. It's down to personal preferences, these days.

    A huge improvement over the 70s, I might add, when you'd see the strings veering to the edge of the fretboard, towards the 14th fret or so... on more guitars than I care to remember. :rolleyes:

  10. JamonHamon

    JamonHamon Friend of Leo's


  11. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

    Mar 12, 2006
    Central New York

    I like all the Classic Series Telecasters (though I have a special place for the 60s Classic). The Muddy Waters sig is also wonderful!

  12. ganzua

    ganzua Tele-Meister

    Dec 24, 2006
    In a local shop there was a 3 piece body av52ri, is that possible or could it be a fake?

  13. RumorsofsurF

    RumorsofsurF Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2007
    Independence, OR
    In my opinion, the AVRI series ('52, '62 Custom) are the best non-Custom Shop Fenders produced. They are fairly accurate to vintage specs. Nitro top coat looks nice, and will age nicer than Poly, which won't age at all.

    The American Deluxe series are very nice, too, but not too vintage styled. Modern pickups, tummy cut, 6 saddle bridge, 9.5" radius. I prefer a vintage style Fender. The modern ones feel weird to me.

    I would steer clear of the American Standards. They are great instruments, but they really have nothing on the higher end MIM stuff. The Am Std. pickups are so-so at best. Better off with a Baja...The HWY 1 stuff is okay, but the pickups are just super-hot, and the jumbo frets aren't my favorite. I do like the nitro finishes, though.

    CIJ/MIJ stuff is nice, as far as wood and fit/finish, but the electronics really aren't very good. The cheesy little pots and usually microphonic pickups leave much to be desired. I've had 3 CIJ Fenders with microphonic PUs. Two of them now have upgraded pickups and CTS pots, and the other I just bought today....It's still stock.

  14. RumorsofsurF

    RumorsofsurF Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2007
    Independence, OR

    Pretty much all Fender bodies are more than one piece. ;)

    Some have more obvious joints than others...

  15. ganzua

    ganzua Tele-Meister

    Dec 24, 2006
    This one was not matched at all and I don't think it should be in the best tele range. BTW I was conviced that all av52ri were 2 pieces. :confused:

  16. Guitar1959

    Guitar1959 Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

    May 5, 2007
    South Carolina
    How about the Hot Rod Tele with the mini humbucker in the neck position?

  17. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2003
    Cochise, AZ
    MIJ 52 RI, body replaced with 1 piece ash by Rob DiStefano. it's the one in my hand in my Avatar


  18. ganzua

    ganzua Tele-Meister

    Dec 24, 2006
    Do you have a bigger picture? and did you matched the "vintage natural" color? I'm having a 1 piece body gas attack!

  19. pwilly

    pwilly TDPRI Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    I just got this one from Santa Claus...and it's Da Bomb. I've owned many Teles over the years...Fenders, Fernandes, G&L, Epi and partscasters and ths one is the best I've ever played.


  20. Snide

    Snide Tele-Meister

    Nov 4, 2004
    Dallas, TX

    From Fender:

    1) The CS Nocaster is the standard by which I compare all other teles
    2) Best production model: Hot Rod Tele
    3) Best bang for the buck: Take your pick from the Mexican Resissue Line- I personally like the 69 Thinline

    It gets a little more complicated if you open it up to non-Fenders. I had a chance to check out Brad Paisley's gear a few weeks ago and those Crook teles (or t-style if you senstive to only Fenders being called teles) look and sound amazing although I have not been able play one.

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