Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Need assistance picking a 'new to me' Tele :)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by jim777, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. jim777

    jim777 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    85
    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    Hey all,

    My apologies up front, I have been researching and reading about the various Teles out there for a few weeks and there seem to be so many variations I have no idea where to look for what I want or their relative merits one to another. I've been playing mostly shredders since the late 80's and that's what I'm looking at moving on from. I would humbly ask you all for some suggestions as to what to look for in my price range, which is about $800 US with a case/bag.

    I have one of those flashy cream MIJ 50th Anniversary Teles which has become my main player over the last few months, and would like to get another Tele to give me a little different sound. Mine has aftermarket pickups of unknown origin. So, what I am looking for basically is this:
    * Either MIA, MIJ/CIJ, or MIM, I don't really care
    * Maple board
    * Not solid black :)
    * 9.5" neck is preferred but not necessary, and any shape is fine
    * Individual string saddles at the bridge

    If I can get most of that I can deal with swapping a pickup or 2 if I don't like the ones in the guitar. I was thinking about the new(ish) Player Series Tele, which I think looks great in that blue color they come in, and if I go used I can put a set of Fender's Broadcaster pickups or maybe Twang Kings in it and still come in under $800. I haven't been able to get the search to work properly in the last few days, I suppose that's due to the forum updates and such, but once again thanks in advance to all of you for your time and experience :)

    jim
     
  2. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    479
    Oct 2, 2018
    USA
    The Player Series Telecaster should be right up your alley. It is an excellent guitar.

    I would wait a couple of more weeks as they are replacing the bridge saddles on all the newly produced ones, to something that fits better.

    I had a Tidepool one with the maple fingerboard and LOVED it, but had to return it because of the bridge issue. I'm waiting for my replacement now.
     
  3. jim777

    jim777 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    85
    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    Cool, thanks :) I gave Sweetwater a shout about the saddles and they are going to get back to me. What did you think of the pickups in your tidepool, did they have that old school twang or were they more of a rock sound?
     
    OldGuy6873 likes this.
  4. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    853
    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    You are correct sir in noting that there are many flavors of Telecaster. However, the difference is not a great as you may think. Ruling out for a moment, the humbucker* equipped Teles and the three-pickup Nashville, you are left with a plank of wood, a solid maple or maple with rosewood/pau fero fretboard neck, and two single coil pickups. These guitars can all be made to sound similar, either through amp eq or a pickup swap. For me and I suspect many others, it comes down to neck preference followed by (in no particular order) color, neck finish, fret wire, and refinements such as body and forearm cuts.

    Your homework is to find as many different models in whatever shops you can and and play them all through different amps. Then you can come back here, where we will gladly be able to help you better refine your choices.

    *A humbucker Tele would certainly give you a different sound. I have a MIM '72 Thinline, which I think is great. You might like it, too.

    Good luck and we look forward to your NGD.
     
    jim777 likes this.
  5. holndav

    holndav Friend of Leo's

    Mar 24, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    If you're sure you will be changing the pickups, why not just grab a body and neck from one of the eBay guys who sells Fender Telecaster parts?

    I'm guessing you could get a nice neck with tuners and body to your specs for $600-700 and just need the other hardware plus pickups/wiring.

    Voilà! You get the exact Tele you wanted in your approximate price range!


    -----------------

    For now..."current number plus one" is still the answer to the question of how many to own...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    jim777 likes this.
  6. jim777

    jim777 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    85
    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    This is of course true, but I meant there are at least 2 different kinds of 50th Anniversary Teles, at least 2 60th Anniversary Teles, AVRI Teles, Original 50's, Traditional 60's, American Original 60's, Players, Elites, Professionals, Deluxes, Specials, Road Worns, Bajas, 72s, and on 'til morning :)

    I was hoping someone might say one or three of those lines would fall into my budget and requirements so that I could rule a few out in my search. I should have been clear about that, honestly, my apologies.

    And I am not sure I'm changing pickups really, I just was hoping to have that option should I find the ones that my eventual new guitar comes with to be more aimed at rock playing. I have that angle sooo covered already lol :) I am just looking for classic country Tele sounds, so I can get a little closer to the clean sounds that guys like Vince Gill and Johnny Hiland get without spending a sweet fortune :)
     
  7. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    195
    Nov 28, 2016
    Chicago
    James Burton Standard
     
    jim777 likes this.
  8. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Europa
    Depends on you taste in specs really .. Picking up a used american standard is easy peasy and you can always flip it again.

    Or if you don't like modern specs then a used version of one of the reissues like the '52 or '64 maybe.

    And if that is too rich for your blood you can always look at the mex models used.

    But yeah .. eventually it only comes down to your personal taste
     
  9. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Admin Post
    You have plenty of choices with that budget... go to a store, try, buy ;) works everytime
     
  10. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    479
    Oct 2, 2018
    USA
    I tested it with super clean, a little break up, classic rock crunch, and a little heavier distortion, and it sounded really great to me. I found the neck pick up a little dark for my taste, but the bridge did the tele twang thing VERY well.

    This guitar for me is a project type guitar and I'll be changing out the pups to the Fishman Fluence Gristle Tone pups in the next few months.
     
    jim777 likes this.
  11. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    479
    Oct 2, 2018
    USA
    I just noticed you're in South Jersey. I am, too.

    If you haven't checked out Russo Music in Hamilton, they are awesome people. I got my Tele there and they are really taking care of me.
     
    jim777 likes this.
  12. jim777

    jim777 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    85
    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    I will try and get up there this weekend. I'm closer to Cherry Hill, so I tend to wander towards the Smash and GC in the mall over there.
     
  13. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    28
    820
    Jan 3, 2017
    Poland
    Player series telecaster, its definitely what u want
     
    LocoTex, jim777 and OldGuy6873 like this.
  14. OldGuy6873

    OldGuy6873 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    479
    Oct 2, 2018
    USA
    DUDE!! I live in Cherry Hill!

    I refuse to go to GC and SA anymore. I make the drive up to Russo's. They are good peeps.
     
    jim777 likes this.
  15. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    341
    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    I just got a Baja tele and like it a lot. The 4-position switch is a great feature.
     
    jim777 likes this.
  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Here's another approach - and I'm not connected to the vendor, but I do appreciate his work (Logan Custom Guitars:

    Specifications:
    • 22 medium Jumbo frets, 9.5 radius, 1-11/16” nut, Medium C shape. Amber tinted, Satin Nitro finished Maple neck.
    • Gotoh pewter locking LOGO tuners, (18-1 ratio)
    • Select 1 piece, 25 year old aged Poplar body finished in Firemist Gold Metallic, with 100% Nitrocellulose Lacquer. No grain fillers, some grain texture.
    • Vintage style ashtray bridge with brass compensated saddles.
    • Matched set DiMarzio Twang King pickups.
    • 5 way switch, 250K audio pots, .047 orange Drop tone capacitor. Position 1-2-3 standard tele, Position 4, both pickups 1/2 out of phase. Position 5, neck pickup with 10% less low end… switch craft input jack.
    • Chrome appointments.
    • 3 ply vintage creampick guard.
    • Professional setup with D’Addario 10-46 strings.
    • Weighs 7 pounds, 12 Oz.
    • Price: $899.00

    I like his 5-way switch set-up, but that's not necessarily everybody's flavor. Logan has a 10% sale on everything on the site at the moment, so pretty much in your range, Twang Kings ready to go. Here's a link:

    http://logancustomguitars.com/elect...17866-firemist-gold-tele-electric-guitar.html


    otherwise, look for a used James Burton standard, MIM - that's my huckleberry at the moment - with Texas Specials, 9.5 radius, vintage sized frets. But in general, many, many used teles out there - go find yours.
     
    OldGuy6873 and jim777 like this.
  17. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    For $800 you should be able to play several before deciding what plays best for you - keep in mind of course that the set up may not be done to your liking or string gauge -
    If it doesn't sound good acoustically, I personally won't buy a guitar. Then plug it in and see how you like the pickups. I'm in the minority around here, but I like stock fender pickups - well... I should say that the last American Standard I owned had great pickups. My '52 RI is loaded with tone -
    Personally, I think you should keep looking at all the 80's and 90's - even 2000's American Standards --- play 'em all!
     
    OldGuy6873 likes this.
  18. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    Another vote for the Player Series. Or, for a few dollars more, a Baja 50's.
     
  19. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Get the Baja and play it like it comes. Why mod when you could be playing? I've never understood that.
     
  20. jim777

    jim777 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    85
    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    Too funny :) I'll try and get up there this weekend. And thanks to the guys who mentioned the Burton, I will see if I can find one. As for the Baja, I would likely need to change the bridge on that one; in my 45 years of playing I have learned that intonation is something I can't live with being "pretty close". But, I will absolutely check one out if I can find one.
     
    OldGuy6873 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.