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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. fungusyoung

    fungusyoung Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 8, 2004
    CT & PA

    This really is the shame about the QC going on with the Baja, but I totally agree with you. It's been my experience as well. I know others here found GREAT ones, but I've played several that ranged from dogs to just very good. Several had obvious flaws and the weights are very inconsistent.

    For my $, I'd go with a CIJ 72 Thinline or Custom RI... or a US Highway 1. For more dough, the AV 52 RI and Hot Rod are both great Teles too... though I'd probably go with a Nocaster, 52 or 55 Thin Skin if I was going to spend that close to "custom shop" money.

  2. brgminicooper

    brgminicooper Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2007
    Englewood, CO
    Agreed. I own a Tribute model and feel that it is a much better guitar than a MIM Fender or equivalent model.

  3. Tele Jr

    Tele Jr Tele-Holic

    May 15, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN

  4. BroadMaster

    BroadMaster Tele-Afflicted

    Hello FMSM, Happy New year! I guess I didn't make it clear. The first two AmStands I owned were by choice to play for my own pleasure and to gig with. #1 was a vintage white, lackluster pups and skinny little neck. Sold it. Did a strat or two as replacement and sold them and tried a black AM ST tele in hopes that maybe the first one was just a bad representation. Wrong... same lackluster pups and the neck was a tad bit bigger, but not right for me.
    Sold it. Working in a music store (LMM) and hanging out with lotsa folks that play at all levels, you get a lot of offers to buy at a price with room to make a buck, so the rest were for profit only. I don't think I ever got a shot at a SB, but every other color and more than one in some colours;)

    A lot of folks like those necks. That moniker of AMERICAN STANDARD is, to me, a bunch of ad hype. Like I said in my previous post, VERY generic sounding. None of the ones I owned blew my hair back. I still dislike the polyester, puffy paint, finishes they put on those. That's just me, to each his own. I would not recommend the AM Stands to anybody I was trying to convert to tele lover. It's a bad way to start , for my 2 cents. There are several models (classic MIM and MIJ) that I prefer for the Tinker toy approach to guitars. If i was to fix an AM Stand for me, all of it would be for sale and I'd build what I like. They are great 'side' money makers if you keep some buying on the spur of the moment cash available. I've bought several for 300-400 dollar range. Sold every one for at least a 75-100 dollar profit. You just gotta keep you ear open for somebody looking to dump one and have a market for your purchase. Lotsa times, I'll get one with serious upgrades... high dollar pups. I merely use some pull parts from other work I've done for someone on an AS, put 'em back original, sell that one and sell the pups to some one else for an additional $$$

    This a great time of year to buy, as taxes and Christmas purchases need to get paid for. I'm happy to take 'em off anybody's hands that are looking to sell ( if the price is right), just not on this forum. That's a NONO. Unless I stumble across a deal in CLASSIFIEDS. Even 50 bucks profit is 50 more than I had:D :p

    Hey, if ya like American Standard teles, go for 'em. I DO NOT care for the American Standard , as I don't like the pups, necks or finishes, but I do like to make a buck here and there. It supports my main habit: the teles I build from outsource parts mainly. I paint and assemble and do specialty things that folks request or I want to try for my self.

    Paul, none of the aforementioned info is an offer for sale of guitars or my services to work on or assemble for the members here. It's merely in response to FMSM's query about previous ownership of too many American Standards to not like them.

    FMSM I hope this clears up your understanding of what I was vague about in my reply to your post.
    My point is: I would not recommend them for a good *doesn't need an upgrade* guitar to a working musician. That's just my take. EEMMV. I'm only guessing here, but I think you must like them, box stock maybe, maybe not.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008

  5. frogger

    frogger Tele-Holic

    May 10, 2003
    Lincoln Nebraska
    My 52RI FSR 60th Anniversary...but oops they they are all sold by now. Well let's go with the regular production 52RI..same guitar except for color, body inlay, and pups. Mine came stock with Nocasters. Yes the 52RI rules.

  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Hadn't heard the 'Inlays' called that, but that is in essence what they are. The body finish may also be all nitro, from what I hear.

    That has me thinking about the G + Ls. I like the four bolt ones, with the bi-cut neck. That actually means my favorites are not plekked, so you have to select them very carefully. I think if Leo was still around they'd still be bi-cutting them; I love the substance to a neck built this way. But kudos all the way for a properly sized heel and neck pocket, Fenders are too skimpy above the 14th fret. Too bad so few G + Ls are Nocaster big in neck section.


  7. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Japanese Fenders are nowhere near the best being made in the country today...and I own and love several MIJ Fenders, but my top end Seymour Duncan that was made with ESP, and the Van Zandt teles are as good as it gets anywhere...and I own a F/USA custom shop team built Keith that was made for the domestic market here.
    There are lots of other Japanese builders that are completely unknown outside the country. Come and see...but bring your gold card.

  8. serialsteve

    serialsteve Tele-Holic

    May 14, 2003

    You read my mind. My two '62 RI AVRIs are among the best Telecasters I've played in more than 25 years and I've had a bunch. Maybe not as many as Ol' Fuzzy, but a couple dozen or so.

    For non-Fender inexpensive Teles, the Hamer T-51s (USA made) are fantastic guitars. Used, you can snag 'em in the $400-500 range and they're built WAY too well for what they cost.

  9. kingalingus

    kingalingus Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2004
    Charleston, SC

  10. Scotele

    Scotele Tele-Meister

    Aug 27, 2007
    Moray, Scotland
    Tried the Korean, MIM, Squier, Baja, and none measure up to my American Dlx. (If only I could get a good sound from those SCN's)

  11. Jellecaster

    Jellecaster Friend of Leo's

    Dec 12, 2006
    New Hampshire, USA
    Ruling out CS models - I would have to say that the Hot Rod is the best of my nearly thirty Teles.

    On another note - I love the Baja and can't find anything (other than speculation here) about it being discontinued. :?:

  12. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006

    if not by Fender, but I am pretty sure, definetly by GC.

    In fact, looks like the entire Classic Player line is targeted. The new American Standard will have a thinner, six vintage strat saddle bridge and most likely a form of S1 switching and more vintage style pickups.

    I bought one of the 60's CP strats for $499. Believe me, GC would not wipe $300 off their regular price if they were going to carry them after Winter NAMM.

    $800 was the selling point of the CP line
    $675 is the selling point of the Classic line
    $750 is the Highway One
    $950 is the Standard/American Standard

    How much intra-brand competition do you need in the $600-$1000 range? Better yet, how much overlap in the $800-$1000 range?

    In my opinion, with the CP line out there, there is no real reason to buy much else. Yeah you get the fake Nitro-finish. But the 60's CP strat for example, has features that would cost you another $600 to get in the American line. Highway 1's have vintage hardware and "nitro" - I often thought the best possible tele would be a Highway one body and a Baja neck.

    Plus have you noticed all the Baja's for sale in our own forum recently? As I posted before, it seems the bigger neck profiles aren't selling well with the kids.

    But this could all be nothing. I know in the past three weeks I have gotten a Baja and the CP strat for just $150 more than one of the two would have cost earlier.

    I am holding out hope for the New Am. Std Tele. IF they give it a proper neck and put some good pickups in it, and whatever else.

    Have you noticed how the picture of the New Am. Std looks like it has a buffed up Highway 1 finish?

  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm not sure what to believe. We were told the Highway One was toast, and yet several shipments have come in since the $388.60 blowout took place.

    Fender has a lot of moribund models, supposedly still available but not really. Some of this stuff is about semantics, I guess. I have a real hard time strongly recommending a guitar if I know the supply is really manky.

    As for sales of Bajas, I see no more now for sale than I'd have expected to see given the length of time over which this model has been available. Guitars aren't all that expensive, and if folks wanna be on the cutting edge, owning the very newest offering, more power to them. All I know is the neck on every one of my Bajas is a joy to grab hold of; these are the last of my guitars that I'd care to part with. I'll bet the same phenomenon took place when the 50's Classic Teles and Esquires closed out, or when the California Tele went out of production.

    The thing that makes me wonder about the model termination is the failure to blow out in some markets. The thing that makes me more sure it is the end is cracking open a Baja for $ 460 and finding a Sept. 2007 body date. I dunno.


  14. rumblejett

    rumblejett TDPRI Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    kansas city
    My vote is the G.E. Smith, very nice!!!

  15. odiemann

    odiemann Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 24, 2006
    I see your points.

    Even more, the GC here had two Bajas, both new and Desert Sand. One was marked at $499 the other $699. Some of the clerks agreed about the lower price, others would argue.

    I really don't know what to expect from Fender. I know I would like to see fewer "models" and more of the options available on them. Like getting a Highway 1 with a more substantial neck or the CS pickups in an American Standard.

  16. Sargeslide

    Sargeslide Tele-Meister

    Dec 29, 2006
    NIles, Michigan
    SneakyJapan, I have to agree with you. There are many great builders in your country. Takahiro Shimo is one of my frteinds and he makes some of the most amazing instruments I have ever seen or played. I have one of his strats, and I judge all other strats by it. I keep asking but he doesn't have the time to build me a tele!


  17. aram

    aram Removed

    Jun 13, 2007
    new york
    i just ordered a bowery pine tele after seeing yours
    what are the specs on your neck?
    any pics of neck or full guitar?
    6 to 8 months delivery time
    just like birthing a baby!![/QUOTE]

    Here's some more pics. Honestly, when I got it I asked Rick "what's going to give me the best SOUNDING guitar"

    He said a fat neck and shellac finish. So that's what I got.

    He's a big proponent of fat necks. The neck on the guitar feels perfect in my hands.

    I've never played a bad Kelly guitar. They all sound great. But something about the Pine ones. They're in a class by themselves. You won't be disappointed!





  18. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    " I often thought the best possible tele would be a Highway one body and a Baja neck."
    This is exactly what I used to produce my partscaster ,a HW1 sunburst body with Keystone pickups and a Fender modified cut away brass compensated bridge with a CP Baja neck .I also used a Classic Player 50's maple neck on a loaded HW 1 2007 Strat body .They turned out very well ,very playable with that Nitro vibe .

  19. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    The nicest Fender I've played in the last few years was a mild relic CS Nocaster Thinline by Chris Flemming (i believe). It was $4.3K but friends, it was a great axe.

  20. Bhodie

    Bhodie Tele-Meister

    Dec 29, 2007
    GC managers will tell you that GC is discontinuing carrying the Baja tele as well as the Hwy 1 (SSS) and the MIM 60's strats due to low sales.

    They will keep selling the HSS Highway Ones (I guess they are selling well enough)

    In case your local GC was out, I saw 3 Baja teles in Minneapolis (two in Edina, one in Maple Grove) as of today.


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