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

Best Telecaster under $500

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TheZ, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

    Nov 13, 2009
    Northwest USA
    I used to own an early 90's American Standard Telecaster. It was a great guitar but I had a trade for a really nice Strat that I couldn't pass up. I've been without a Telecaster for over a year now and I'd love to get back as close to that feel as possible (9.5" radius, bigger frets) but I don't have the cash to get into another American Standard.

    I think the obvious answer would be a used Highway 1, but they really don't come up in Seattle so I'd be looking at getting something new, and I haven't been really impressed with the MIM Standards that I've played. Any thoughts? It doesn't have to be a Fender brand. Thanks for your input :D

  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I think you could get an American standard for that

  3. Brandon mac

    Brandon mac Tele-Holic

    Jun 9, 2009
    north alabama

  4. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

  5. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

    Why does it have to be new? Used Road Worn 50's have been coming up for sale recently.. I see the asking $450 - $650 for them but most end up selling around $450 shipped. HELLOMUSIC.COM has been moving a lot of Fenders lately.. I'd check them daily until something interesting comes along.

  6. cutter2001

    cutter2001 TDPRI Member

    Sep 3, 2012

  7. TheZ

    TheZ Tele-Meister

    Nov 13, 2009
    Northwest USA
    Hi all, thanks for your input so far! It would likely have to be new because I've had a heck of a time finding one used and I need to play the guitar before buying. I don't know what it is about Seattle, but deals on used American Telecasters are hard to come by around here.

  8. benhenny

    benhenny Tele-Holic

    Nov 1, 2005
    G&L Tribute ASAT new
    G&L ASAT Classic used

  9. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2011
    charlotte, nc
    What he said. You may be a traditionalist and find yourself unable to pull the trigger on a more modern design, but sitting up in bed in the dark this morning playing unplugged, it would be very easy to forget I was playing my G&L Tribute, it feels so much like my G&L Custom Creations. The Tributes are that good. In their price range, I don't think they have any serious competition.


  10. muzicmaken

    muzicmaken Tele-Holic

    Apr 8, 2011
    Wheelersburg, Ohio

  11. dogfootblues

    dogfootblues Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 6, 2011
    New Jersey
    If your going new for $500 I'd grab a MIM standard tele. It's what I started with. It's still my number one out of 8 teles in varying expense. They have a natural one with hot pickups I believe for $400 at musicians friend. Actually I think there all going for $400 with the little summer rebate thingy.

    Sent from my iPod touch using TDPRI

  12. AndyLowry

    AndyLowry Friend of Leo's

    May 1, 2012
    Prescott AZ
    The Squier Classic Vibes are hard to beat, if you can handle the thin neck.

  13. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006
    If you buy a used guitar from Guitarcenter you can return it after 30 days.
    They will ship to your local GC for free.

  14. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006

  15. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Holic

    Apr 5, 2010
    Evergreen, CO
    Beat me to it. This is what I was going to recommend too.

  16. 73Fender

    73Fender Friend of Leo's

    Feb 28, 2010
    Jersey Shore
    A new Tele for $500 and if the op doesn't like MIM Standards is not leaving much to go on.

  17. stratBP

    stratBP TDPRI Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    I live in Seattle too and waited for months not seeing one American Standard listing on craigslist. You see Strats all day but no Tele's.. I eventually gave in and bought one new for $999.. no regrets at all. That said, I don't really have any advice if you want to only buy site on seen.:neutral:

  18. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

    GC's website pricing is interesting.. I assume that the store that has the used item in stock sets the price. I have gotten some fantastic deals on pedals, practice amp and guitars. Not much risk with their liberal return policy.

  19. guy.wilson

    guy.wilson TDPRI Member

    May 7, 2011
    Barberton, Ohio
    Keep looking. I found an American Special at a smaller guitar shop here in Akron, Ohio for $450.
    It had a dime size ding on the side about two inches from the jack. New CTS pots, Duncan Broadcaster pickups and some vintage capacitors with a late 60's wiring. A total investment of around $650 with the upgrades and couldn't be happier. Modern features, 9.5 radius 22 fret fingerboard with medium jumbo frets. The best of both worlds.
    Happy hunting!

  20. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 18, 2011
    Hopkinton, MA
    What didn't you like about the mim standard? If you buy a used one, upgrade it. $500 should do it unless you can't stand the neck (which are the same exact dimensions as an MIM strat....I've measured). My partscaster, based on mostly mim parts is the best tele I've ever played, bar none. Plenty of upgrade parts out there.

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