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

Encore "blaster" for a beater Tele

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Adam-T, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    My main Tele is a MIJ 62 Custom Re-issue and have been also using the superb Classic Vibe version as a backup / beater, a job its wasted for really so when a Friend asked me to sell her it , I did...
    anyway In search of a cheap tele which looks like my MIJ, I came across an Encore Blaster E2 in a Cash converters shop for £25. grubby, dinged a bit, the pots loose, the action better suited to archery than music, I thought I`d give it a go..

    These are £99 new and made by the same guys who make the Vintage brand best known for their full weight les paul copy V100, and are full thickness solid wood bodies of some unknown "Tonewood", amazingly it`s a string through body which is a big plus in my book and rare at this price level . maple neck (Mildly Flamed on this one) proper dark rosewood fretboard, Vintage 3 saddle ashtray bridge (all steel, no potmetal), Gotoh style tuners of questionable quality (but easily replaced unlike Squier Trapezoids) and a pair of "Guitar tech" Generic Chinese ceramic pickups . pretty good spec for a £99 guitar -even better for £25 ;) .. This is the lightest tele I`ve handled, it`s 6Lbs dead, even lighter than the thinline I had a while back and it is solid wood too..

    I stripped it down to bare bits, shimmed the neck so the saddles could be set to all action levels and not rip my hands on the screws, replaced the pots with full size Alphas I`d kept from the upgrade of the CVC and put a decent cap in (.033 Poly) .. the fretwork isn`t bad at all for this level of guitar , no sharp edges (unlike some MIM teles I`ve played) one near the top needed had high spots , now sorted and all playing well. It`ll never be as low as my MIJ can get but its more than low enough, I had to re-mount the neck pickup as it used Foam rubber underneath as springs like Fender basses do but ineffectually, its cover came off with the pickguard so I left it off, the Bridge one is mounted on springs ..

    Soundwise, it`s excellent acoustically with tons of sustain and it`s resonant too (the light weight wood ? ) plugged in, the neck pickup sounds much like a Ceramic Mexican one, sweet with plenty of gain, the Bridge has attitude and bite but no depth and it squeals like a pig at high gain , I`ll replace this with someones cast of MIM one, it`ll be fine then ..

    All in all , impressed for what they cost new , especially the string through body and the fret ends - I`d strip even a new one down and reassemble "properly" and replace the pots etc but then I`ve had to strip and reassemble Mexican standards before now because of sloppy assembly, Neck pocket debris etc . these are worth a punt as a beater so long as you know how to fix guitars and IMO a lot better bet than a Squier affinity . of course a Classic vibe is way better, even a Chinese made Tokai Breezysound is too but a used Tokai will cost 1.5 to 2X the cost of a new Encore and a used CVC 3X the cost of new Encore.

    Encore-E2-Tele-3.JPG Encore-E2-Tele-4.JPG Encore-E2-Tele-Elecs-o.JPG Encore-E2-Tele-Route.JPG
    Blue Bill, TeleMan59 and Telesphere like this.

  2. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Cool, like you say, if you have the bits lying around its a low cost beater.

    Looks perty.
    gtrwrks likes this.

  3. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    Yeah, the routings are clean, the neck pocket is better than a few MIMs I`ve seen and the lacquer isn`t tonesuckingly thick (even the Classic vibes suffer that) , in fact it`s very thin for poly

  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    lacquer doesn't suck tone on electric instruments. At least not once the're plugged in. Just sayin ;)

    cool guit

  5. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    I have my doubts about lacquer differences even on hard tail guitars like Teles but they almost plastic coat the Classic Vibes and MIM Bajas it`s that thick, its gotta have some affect surely compared to very thin ... this thing really does sound resonant and full acoustically, almost as if it was chambered , but you can`t chamber this kind of body, needs a top like a Thinline

  6. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.

    Nicely rebuilt!

  7. Telesphere

    Telesphere Tele-Meister

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Telesphere
    Great find for a great price! Lovely grain on the back of the headstock and neck. One piece and light is a dream. All the dodgy bits you can replace at your leisure... when your wallet recovers from that £25 hit!

  8. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    Great looking piece of wood, whatever the species is it has a nice straight grain and looking at the cavities it's solid and not a veneer.

  9. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    Thanks guys - thankfully the Dodgy bits aren`t as dodgy as they are on Squiers - EG:- no horrible hard to replace trapezoid tuners - the Fake Gotohs that are on it are OK for what they are and are a standard fitment when replaced ........ the Bridge isn`t loaded with awful potmetal saddles and will perform as good as any Ashtray with steel ones .. the Nut IS crap and will be replaced, the switch isn`t a Grigsby but it works and isn`t resistive .

    I`m amazed at the neck`s flaming and the grain in the body too, amazed that a guitar that retails at £99 should be better figured than my Fender MIJ 62 Custom re-issue ..

    here's the back (showing the flaming of the neck especially near the heel, please ignore the reflection line across the body near the string ferrules), veneering would be too costly on a guitar of this price - also the elecs as they are now with the rescued pots from the CVC . the CVC had the same switch.

    Encore-E2-Tele-2.JPG Encore-E2-Tele-Elecs.JPG

  10. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 13, 2011
    Southcentral Pa
    Nice! Looks like it has lots of potential. I'd buy it at that price!

  11. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jan 12, 2012
    Great find! Congratulations!

  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Nice looking...and a bargain!, let's see.... 25 pounds...that's what?....$10-12 American?

  13. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    while the pound is plummeting it's still worth more than the dollar, £25 is probably $35 but still not a bad price for any guitar that can be deemed playable.

    edit: $33.75 at the moment
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017

  14. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It's most likely Paulownia, aka "Asian Balsawood" o_O

    Very light but also VERY soft and fragile. Almost always coated with polyurethane (and MUST be at the new price-point of that guitar) to act as a sort of "eggshell".

    Be very careful is you change parts or remove the neck. Screw everything back together gently - best to not use power drivers at all as it can strip in the bat of an eye.

    The grain of it can vary widely - sometimes Paulownia has identifiable grain lines like that; sometimes it's "smeared" looking, so makers often stick veneers over it.

  15. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    I`ve had the whole guitar in bits and the wood seems no less fragile than the solid woods Squiers are made of despite the weight difference ..

    I never use power drivers on guitars, pickguard screws etc strip even in finest Custom shop Alder at the drop of a hat .. the Poly coating as I mentioned is very thin, nothing like the thick plastic coating Classic Vibes and MIM Classic players get..... they don`t mention what the wood is but my first thought was some kind of Balsa wood given the weight .

    to Quote "" made from a fast growing, environmentally friendly tonewood, used in making musical instruments for literally thousands of years. Light and vibrant, this tonewood has an attractive, open grain structure, reminiscent of swamp ash, which contributes to the fast attack, definition and tone associated with this classic body style""

    Hmmm.. Nice pitch Trev .. anyway it`s resonant and sustains well .

  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    The guitar in my avatar is a 60's Encore ES330 clone. It doesn't have a serial number on it so can't say what year exactly.
    I rebuilt it. Has a new Maple neck with Rosewood board, GFS Mini-buckers and painted Black Metalflake.

    Attached Files:

  17. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2017
    Great find! I'd've snapped it up for 25 smackers, too.

  18. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    JHS have been importing guitars for decades, amazing to see that the Encore name was going back then though ...... they`ve been made everywhere, the models previous to Trev Wilkinson's "Blaster" endeavour were indian and very low end Korean, they weren`t the worst out there by a long mark but the Blasters are better.. I`d suspect the 60s ones were Japanese..

  19. Adam-T

    Adam-T TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    Interesting info regarding the wood ............

    ""Paulownia was recently used in the making of a Brad Paisley Fender Telecaster Guitar""

    Maybe Gibson ought to have used it instead of Chambering the heck out of all those Les Paul Supremes, it`s not as if they`re scared of trying different woods

  20. VintageSG

    VintageSG Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    I once took a flyer on an Encore P bass, cheap as chips second hand. I wanted another P to remove the frets for some slidey-glidey fretless action.
    As delivered, it played OK, sounded not too bad amplified, but was all but dead without an amp. As the days rolled by, I started noticing a few things about it. Firstly, the action varied from day to day. The neck was resistant to neck bending when playing, but needed truss rod tweaking with every change in the weather.
    Secondly, the sound varied from day to day. Most odd. It seemed humidity dependant, as did the neck issues.
    Then came the day to strip it down to begin the task of removing the frets. I discovered the body was MDF as two of the four bridge screws all but pulled the MDF apart as I loosened them. Dang it!.
    Oh well, I could always fit the neck to my Fender. The neck was slender and a joy to play. Next, could anything be salvaged from the electronics?. No.
    The changes in sound could be attributed to the corroded pots, the hair-slender wire and the corroded output jack. A few of the 'guard screws came up with large sections of the MDF attached.
    On to removing the frets. They were well fitted!. The neck was well done in terms of fret ends and overall finish. Out came the frets and in went the filler material. Leave it for a day or two, and sand.
    One nice looking 'Jaco' neck. The nut was well finished, so I left it alone. It bolted straight on to my Fender, which was nice. Strung with D'Addario flats, a tweak of the saddles, and I'm away. I expected to have to tweak the rod a time or two as it settled, but this was getting silly. Every day, it shifted. I couldn't get it stable at all. Most days, the neck had curved further. Tweak, tweak. Play. Next day/couple of days later, tweak tweak, play. One day, the rod couldn't be adjusted further without exerting extreme force. Sighting down the neck showed a distinct bow. I took the strings off and watched the neck straighten, then twist. Dang it! Refit the strings and watch the neck come back up.

    I got a rather good bridge and some very good indeed tuners out of it, should I ever need them.

    This rather soured me to the Encore brand.

    Roll forward to last year and in a Crime Converter type shop, there sat an Encore LP style for £75. I wanted to mock it. I so wanted to mock it. Rip it apart as a piece of junk, suitable only for the bonfire. Err, no.

    Set neck, flawless 'burst finish, slopless tuners, finished fret ends, well cut nut, low, even, playable action. A quick play revealed no dead notes and an unplugged sound that was more than acceptable.

    'It comes with a bag, an amp, a tuner and some leads', piped up the drone. In I plugged. Damn, if it didn't sound just fine. The amp was an Encore brand. Typical little 'My first amp' thing, but at low levels, acceptable. The guitar however?. What a little sweetie!

    It too was an Encore Blaster. It seems Trev has turned the brand around from joke shop novelty to really rather good, bordering on excellent in places.

    I had egg on my face after that. I'd been prepared to rip it new orifice, but that LP clone changed my mind completely. If I liked LP style guitars, I'd have bought it.

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