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NGD - It's crazy what $180 will buy you these days...

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by raysachs, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    I've been trying to work out some type of guitar to take when I'm flying somewhere and I'm gonna be there more than a few days. For a week or more, I really don't want to be totally without a guitar. And I wanted to be able to put a guitar in a suitcase and check it through because I already have to take some medical equipment as carry on (nothing major, just a CPAP machine) and I don't want to hassle with carrying and trying to protect a guitar too.

    Tried a couple of travel guitars but returned both. One fit in a large suitcase but I hated it - played and sounded terrible. The other one (a cut down strat type) played and sounded pretty damn good, but it wouldn't fit in luggage unless I took it apart. So, if I'm taking a guitar apart anyway, why not just get a really cheap tele that I won't care if something happens to it and take the neck off to pack it. So I went and looked at a $200 Affinity and $180 Bullet and the Bullet impressed me way more. In fact, the Bullet just flat out impressed me! Action was too low and still only really minimal fret buzz, which I'll work out just by raising the action to where I like it. But it played great. And it was priced way less than either travel guitar. Skinny neck but it feels good, plays well.

    So I got it for 10% off because it was a floor model and brought it home. The sales guy was saying that these are really good platforms for modding but I told him I didn't want to mod this thing because then I might get attached to it and I want something that can get lost or damaged by an airline and not care and just come in and buy another one if I have to. And it's for sure the least nice of my now four electric guitars, but it doesn't suck - not by a long shot. A set of 10s, a little setup work, and I'll be REALLY happy to have this guitar along on a trip. I'll probably put locking tuners on it just to make it quicker and easier to break down and set up when I travel with it.

    Kind of pretty too - I was figuring I might just keep this broken down and ready for the next trip, but we don't travel that frequently, so I may just keep it on the wall and add it to the quiver...

    [​IMG]untitled-1-14 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]untitled-2-10 by Ray, on Flickr

    -Ray
     

  2. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Nice bullet!!

    Yeah I bought a Traveler Ultra-Light to take with me on a recent two-week Beijing-Kyoto trip. Got a floor demo from GC for about $250. Fit in the luggage well, has good reviews online, even sounds good. I figured I’d keep it in the trunk of the car and use on the ocassional lunch hour for practice too. I hated it. Felt awful in my hand. Holding it I don’t want to practice at all. Returned it right when I got home. I had considered doing what you did with my least favorite guitar or picking up a cheap Bullet. Of course PIA bolting and unbolting of the neck and restringing each time but at least I would have had something I enjoyed using and I would have actually practiced! Plus I would have only needed to breakdown and set up twice. I wish I had gone that route.

    Right now I have my “least treasured” (but still love) tele in my car trunk and I actually do practice at lunch 3-4 times a week. I’m repainting a Bullet strat I have and that will become my trunk/travel guitar as soon as the clear coat dries and cures and I finish buffing it up and putt it back together. Smart move not upgrading it so you don’t become attached. I had some really good CMDaugherty ‘55 RI pups in this Bullet. Way too good for the trunk car! So I took those out and I’m throwing in some Tex Mex I got really cheap.
     
    The Angry Possum and raysachs like this.

  3. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Meister

    424
    Mar 18, 2010
    Greenfield, IN
    Congrats!

    Beautiful color and nice dark board!!
     

  4. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    56
    Dec 13, 2007
    Indiana
    That specific model/color combo is tough to beat. I played one the other day and almost walked out with it.
     

  5. ladave

    ladave Tele-Meister

    Age:
    54
    416
    Sep 25, 2017
    Los Angeles
    Nice!

    Could you just use a capo to hold the strings in place instead of locking tuners?

    What are you going to play through while on the road?
     
    Piggy Stu, CFFF and raysachs like this.

  6. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Yeah, I tried the ultra-light too and couldn't stand it. Awkward to play and it sounded awful to a neck pickup guy like me. The "travel-caster" was a lot nicer IMHO, but it was also a full six inches longer. I don't think my approach would works for a traveler who really "TRAVELS". But we tend to go to one place and stay awhile and then come home. So it should work for that. So bolting and unbolting isn't that time consuming and I'm hoping I may be able to just unlock the strings, pull 'em out, coil 'em up down near the bridge and not need to pull out and cut a new set each time. But we'll see - no huge burden either way. Our first trip is at the end of this month - I'll try to remember to report back how it works out...

    -Ray
     
    rich815 likes this.

  7. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    The locking tuners are just for easy string changes when I get where we're going, not so much for playing. In terms of amplification, I have a little Blackstar Fly3 that actually doesn't sound half bad and I have a tiny little pedal board that just holds an mini OD, mini reverb, and my looper with various loops saved in it. The Fly sounds OK anyway, but with the two extra little effects, it actually sounds pretty damn good, just not very loud...

    -Ray
     
    Vespa_One and CFFF like this.

  8. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    904
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    I'm sure... I see this one so often, that I almost can't keep resisting... but what will I do if the wife notices this one??? It would be my first green guitar...

    I...o_O MUST :confused: ... resist :oops: .... GAS... .. :(

    Seriously: congratulations... :)
     
    Blue Bill and raysachs like this.

  9. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    22
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    do you have to unstring it when you break it down, just saying it'll save some time setting up if you can avoid that part.
     
    raysachs likes this.

  10. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    UK
    I thought to do this a dozen times- good to know someone is succeeding in it

    If my world fell apart and that was the only guitar I own, I could still cope with that
     
    raysachs and Obsessed like this.

  11. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    This idea has always crossed my mind as well. What I like about your selection is something familiar, great looking and yet, loss or damage isn't the end of the world. Especially now with these descent tiny amps. Thanks for sharing and give us an update after your trip.
     
    raysachs likes this.

  12. Huddy

    Huddy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    459
    Nov 5, 2016
    Newport News, VA
    I'm not expert on this but just a thought if you went with some split post tuners and some conversion bushings that might help with de-stringing and re-stringing quickly and easily. Just loosen the string enough so that it pops off in a cork screw fashion and then just pop in back in slot when you're ready to re-string. However the only foreseeable issue is that the tuning peg holes are not perfectly round to properly accept the conversion bushing.

    May be more trouble than it's worth... Just a though. Definitely a looker though!
     
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  13. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    It seems pretty easy with basic locking tuners - just leave about a half inch or a little more sticking through the locking tuners. To remove the strings from the tuners, just detune them until there's a straight line through the tuner hold, unlock the tuner, and pull the string out. Repeat six times. Coll the strings up, leaving the ball ends in the body and just maybe tape the coil of strings to the pick guard or something - just something to keep them together when you pack it all. Then at the other end, uncoil the strings, run them back into the locking tuners, lock 'em down, and re-tune. I've done this with other guitars that I wasn't taking apart, but just needed to take the strings off of the neck to work on something. It's not that tough. It would be a little tougher if you pulled the strings out through the body because the bent ends could get sort of hung up trying to get them back in place, but if you just leave the ball ends in the body and keep the rest of the string in a coil with the body, it just doesn't seem that tough...

    And, hell, if it doesn't work easily enough, I'll just add the cost of a set of strings to the trip and just put new strings on it when I get to the destination and then toss them before I come home. Seems like $5-6 would be background noise on the cost of any trip that involves flying, no?

    -Ray
     

  14. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    Just for grins, here's the rest of my travel kit. The pedals are mounted on a little 5*8" bamboo cutting board, propped up at the top...

    [​IMG]unnamed by Ray, on Flickr

    -Ray
     

  15. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    I was going to say the same thing. Doesn't seem to be worth the money to me.

    I never met a travel guitar that didn't make me vomit. Even those stupid yet expensive backpacker Martin acoustics. They sound like a cigar box, so why not just build a cheap cigar box?

    Everyone's got their own spin on this, but if I was flying and had to check a guitar...and we're already talking about a cheaper guitar...what's the worry? Just check the thing in a proper case, or box it.

    But to disassemble and reassemble it?

    Also, the few times I've flown with a guitar...and granted this was years ago...the stewardess stored it in a cabin closet. I didn't have to check it.
     
    kuvash likes this.

  16. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    I really don't want to get into carrying it on the plane - I know sometimes it'll work, but it might not others and I'm already dealing with a CPAP machine and a typical carry-on with reading material, key meds, stuff like that. And I'm not talking about checking a separate bag for the guitar. Just checking a decent sized suitcase and packing the body and neck between a couple layers of clothes. The tiny amp and pedals will fit easily enough as well. And I'm definitely not talking about breaking it down and reassembling it multiple times on a trip. I'd only take it if we're gonna be staying put at our destination, which is how we mostly travel anyway. We're not big explorers with a different hotel room each night - we usually rent a place for a week or two or occasionally longer and just settle in and get to know a place. So I'd just be putting the guitar together once at the beginning of the trip and breaking it down once at the end, which is basically four screws and six strings - not a huge job! In a past life, I travelled with a bicycle that broke down and fit into a regulation sized suitcase (it DID require it's own checked bag) and that was easily a 30-45 minute job to assemble and then to disassemble. I'd get to a place exhausted, put a bicycle together and be greasy and sweaty and even more exhausted, and then usually go ride 60-100 miles the next day and each day of the trip if it was a bike tour. Then break it down and try to stuff it in the suitcase at the end of the trip. Bolting a neck onto a guitar and stringing it is about 10 minutes tops and isn't a dirty or difficult job...

    -Ray
     
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  17. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Well, if you want to do it this way, you should definitely install inserts in the pocket and use bolts, not the wood screws.

    This way, you could use a simple screwdriver and not strip the hell out of those pocket holes.
     
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  18. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    That's a thought - I'll have to look into that. Is that easy to do yourself, or is that something a guitar tech could do?
     

  19. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Squires can be surprisingly nice guitars for amazingly low prices. Sounds like you’ve got it dialed!
     
    raysachs likes this.

  20. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Oh, something I'm sure you can do yourself. There have to be YouTube videos on it.

    All you're doing is drilling into your existing pocket holes using a certain diameter bit, and hammering the inserts into it.

    Same thing with the neck holes. They have to be evenly expanded.

    But the properly aligned holes are already there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
    raysachs likes this.

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