If you're thinking of buying a new Tele...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I have a feeling that the sister to the hot sister has gotten pretty sexy looking herself! Pics, if you can!
     
  2. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    No problem.
    Some of us own one and know what we are talking about, some of us don't.
    :)
     
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  3. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I have played many at GC over the years and agree they are nice guitars at a good value...basically a poor man's AVRI 52.I even encountered a few lightweight ones with the right grain pattern and great tone that made me seriously consider buying one.I have enough Teles so I declined my consideration but I always thought these were a great deal.The pickups are the Ceramic ones offered on the previous Standard series and they sound really good.If you ever decided to install Fender 52 reissue pickups then you would have a very similar guitar to an AVRI 52 for much less money.
     
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  4. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I guess some of us know how to read...

    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/elect...ecaster---butterscotch-blonde/0140112550.html

    "two standard Telecaster pickups"

    ...and have played enough Fenders to recognize the "modern "C"-shaped maple neck with a 9.5"-radius fingerboard and medium jumbo frets" MIM standard neck when we play it.

    Nothing wrong with any of that, of course- the MIM Standard was a fine, workmanlike axe, I personally prefer the 3-barrel bridge and the cosmetic appointments are cool. But let's not get it confused with the higher end MIMs like the Baja.
     
  5. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

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    Just mocked up. It's slightly more shellacy in person. I put two coats of shellac on the body, then knocked it back because it was too dark. That's it. I want honest wear. It's not the best grain, especially around that forearm section, but it's not meant to be pretty anyway.

    The neck is still raw. You can see the original neck colour under the logo. That's coming off as well for a transfer. Just a few of coats of tru-oil to put on there.

    IMG_2656.JPG IMG_2658.JPG
     
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  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Man, that's beautiful. Ash in all its glory. I'm sure that you love it. Thanks for showing it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Not a lot of need to "read", when you have all three to play! :lol:

    Having both versions of the Baja ('50s and '60s) and this Special Edition, yes... there are some differences, of course, but the Bajas are no "nicer" really, in my view, than this Special Edition. The build quality, fit, and finish are all about the same: impressive.

    I wouldn't consider any of the three to be any "higher end" than the others - just different features, not necessarily "better" features.

    You might prefer these pickups, or those pickups, or different pickups entirely. Same with the electronics. I'm not much of a fan for the special switching.

    As for necks, I prefer the Special Edition Maple neck and the Baja '60s Rosewood neck over the Baja '50s neck. But they're all excellent necks, and none are any "better" nor "higher end" than the others - just variations.

    In fact, I like this Special Edition Ash Aged Cherry Burst better than either of the Bajas. That's just my personal preference - but they're all great guitars to have and in the same quality ballpark.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  8. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    Ok you want detail!

    I have this version...
    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-special-edition-deluxe-ash-telecaster
    Specs are 'hot std' pups.

    You have never flipped a control plate, hey? You have to route the cavity, solder wires and often make them longer. Not 5 min, a structural mod.

    The logo style is often a selling point. That is why it is mentioned in the specs. Many ppl like tge old style logo.

    Ash body looks cool! You said it!

    See pic of my neck and you will notice the heavy grain pattern that I think looks great. None of my other 12 Fenders looks as nice to me.
    .
    IMG_20190319_120759.jpg

    IMG_20181203_140827.jpg IMG_20180720_143035.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm curious what the fret ends look like on these. IME, MIM Fenders need a solid hour to 1.5 hours worth of end dressing and polishing. Maybe a pro would do it faster, but that's about how long it takes me to get stock MIM frets into tip top shape. USA ones still need it, but they're usually a bit better in terms of end dressing and final polish. I also find that the U.S.A. nuts are a bit better. The MIMs seem like pre-fabs that are just plopped in. More attention to fit and finish on U.S.A. versions IME. The mods needed are not as heavy, usually. Normally I keep USA nuts, and just tweak them if necessary, but I end up replacing stock MIM nuts.

    So, all correctable, and I love MIM Fenders...but IME they do not EASILY hold their own against USA instruments. They do so once spiffed up a little bit. I'd take a stock U.S.A. Fender right out of the box on stage long before I'd do the same with an MIM, as much as I realize that MIMs are fine instruments once basic TLC is applied.

    This takes nothing away from the model in the OP being excellent for the money. I just disagree with the "easily holds its own" comment. The final fret and nut work are the number one things that make a lesser quality guitar feel like one, and that make a higher quality guitar feel like one. These are the "where the rubber meets the road" elements of a guitar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  10. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Fret ends? Jeez. :rolleyes:

    Well... each of our experiences represent unique data points!

    I've got eleven Fender Tele necks at the moment, and I play for an average of about 3 hours every day.

    2 - are Fender American Professional
    2 - are Fender American Special
    5 - are Fender MIM
    2 - are Fender Made in Japan

    I agree that USA necks may have a *VERY slight* bump when it comes to what the fret edges may feel like. In use, I really don't notice much difference. Overall... I'd say "meh". :rolleyes:

    I think that what is made of fret "ends" is often a bit overblown, where in ACTUAL use, fret ends are really just a little bit of a very minor point.

    Yeah... if you make the special effort to run your hand up and down the neck, in an effort to try to feel the edges of the fret ends... yeah... there is some variation from neck to neck. Is it really a BIG DEAL??? As for myself, I emphatically say NO! :eek:

    That's are for my Teles. For my four Strats... pretty much same story, though three of my four Strats are USA; no complaints about any of the necks/fret ends on my Strats.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  11. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    Just got my brand new MIA Tele Performer back from Fender warranty repair. Worst cut nut I have ever seen! Had to be completey replaced.

    Never had a bad nut on any of my 9 MIM/MIJs. But that is just my experience.
    .
    IMG_20190304_133610.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Tele-Afflicted

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    It's a big-ol' deal to me. I feel the fret ends on many notes or shifts, either with my fingers or with my palm. It's an annoyance while shifting, glissing, or putting my thumb over.

    Here's what they looked like on my MIM lacquer Jazzmaster (ouch). One of my several MIMs owned over the years (I still have three of them, including this one). Very sharp, steep file cut in lieu of proper edge dressing. Very mediocre polish across the frets (you can feel the lines with yer finger). Haven't played an MIM with frets a whole lot better. Better, of course, but not a ton better. I wouldn't have gigged with this guitar out of the box.

    IMG_6198.JPG

    OTOH, my new American Performer Mustang Bass frets have a nice polish. The ends are still not super rounded, but at least the angle is less steep, and the edges of the angle cut have been smoothed over a bit, and polished. Aside from the wimpy string gauge, I would have gigged it right outta the box.

    On my AV Series instruments (three guitars and two basses), the frets are things of beauty. Nicely rounded ends, perfect polishes when new. I actually did gig the two basses, almost literally right out of the box (I just did string changes the day before the gigs).

    As for the nuts, I don't claim perfection from MIA Fenders...but I've never played an MIM with a great nut. I am quite picky in terms of "passing" string nuts. There aren't that many "right" ways to do it. Most companies don't do it "right." I would say MIA Fenders are generally included in that...but MIM Fenders are worse IME.

    My opinions are formed by years of trying the broad spectrum of Fenders in shops, in addition to the guitars I own or have owned. MIAs tend to be more gig ready right off the wall, "easily." Again, this is said not to denigrate the MIM Fenders, nor to claim perfection of the USA ones. It's just to point out that I don't believe the MIMs "easily" hold their own right off the wall, in general.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  13. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Well EsquireOK... I'm sorry for your general dissatisfaction with Fender necks. Perhaps only very high-dollar, custom-shop, master-luthier tuned Fenders may be adequate to pass your rigid requirements? That's OK, do whatever you need to do to be happy!

    As for myself... I'm quite happy with the more-than-a-dozen new Fender necks I've purchased.

    Perhaps I just don't know any better? :lol:

    Or, my coarse old hands just don't have the fine sensitivity that yours have? :(

    Oh well... it's the notes and tones that concern me most. :) For some strange reason, I'm just not losing any sleep over minor variations in fret ends on my Fenders. ;)

    I DO encourage you to seek whatever remedies you need, to achieve playing happiness with your guitars! It's all about just being HAPPY! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  14. Uncle Butch

    Uncle Butch Tele-Meister

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    DHart, that is a fine Tele you got there. I love that burst finish on ash. I have an ash and maple AVRI'52 Hot Rod in BSB, LOVE that guitar. As far as frets and finish issues you can get those same issues with American made Fenders. A few years back I was looking at an Am. Deluxe Strat and the fret work was so bad I passed on it, a week later the dealer called me and asked me take another look at it after they went over it. It's now one of my favorite Strats. Enjoy !!!!
     
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  15. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds good, Uncle Butch! I'm sure loving this fine instrument... and none of my USA Fenders are pulling rank on it either.
     
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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    If it's down to fretwork and setup differences for 'plays out of the box' at $2,000 vs $500 ... you realize a local tech can do that for $100, which is only $50 more than a simple setup.

    The true price difference is wrapped up in 'goodwill' accounting of the Brand on the headstock. And people seem to want to pay for the $1,500 waterslide logo... This happens from Starbucks to Apple.

    The gear industry revolves around magic lumber and a sticky logo -- funny considering all the rebel players in anti-establishment music genres.

    .
     
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  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    of course this is just your opinion....right ?
     
  18. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmmm. Tone logos. I may have to post a question about what logo type provides the best tone.

    Do spaghetti logos provide a thinner tone, or does the headstock wood exposure allow it to breath and the sound is fuller? Do big logos from the 70's choke the tone, or provide better tone? Does the guitar sound better with the waterslide on the finish, or under the finish?

    Inquiring minds want to know. :D
     
  19. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seriously though, I was back and forth between the FSR Ash and a Baja, back when the difference was $300 (2015). That FSR is a seriously nice guitar for the money.
     
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  20. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I've played these at GC too.. nice looking guitar in natural finish.

    But I agree.. it's the MIM Standard with a different decal, pickups, 3-saddle bridge, and reversed pickups. Only the pickups justify the price difference. Nothing wrong with the guitar but I don't need a 3-saddle bridge, don't want the reversed control plate. Pickups are obviously really personal. The neck is exactly the same as the MIM Std as far as I can tell.

    The Baja to me is more different and does a better job of justifying it's price premium.

    Fret treatment is so interesting. Some people seem so much more sensitive to it. No way in the world my MIM would ever cut my hand or anything so the fret ends are not something I notice. My nut needed adjustment but I have rarely seen a guitar that didn't need that at any price point.
     
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