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

Rank your teles

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Seasicksailor, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    I have been wondering why I have so many (Four Fenders and one Vester). I suspect it's because they all have elements I like and elements I do not like. So, I thought I'd rank them on certain criteria in the off chance I get some insight.

    Here are the teles:
    - Rosie: 80s Japan Rosewood with Bareknuckle and Radioshop pickups
    - 50s Baja (aka Baja 1) refinished in nitro butterscotch, otherwise stock
    - 50s Baja (aka Baja 2) refinished (by previous owner) in something between surf and seafoam green. Pickups changed by previous owner to something hot I am not familiar with.
    - Wilko Johnson with Bareknuckle and Radioshop pickups (the other way around from the Rosewood one)
    - Heavily modified Vester with Bareknuckle Yardbird (Esquire)

    So... here are the results:

    1. Looks

    Rosie (She's gorgeous!)
    Baja 2 (That green with the maple neck is stunning)
    Baja 1 (Looks great with a white pickguard)
    Vester (It's... hmmm... quirky)
    Wilko (Rather dull)

    2. Sound

    Rosie (Hands down! Those pickups are perfect for her)
    Baja 1 (At times I find the stock bridge a bit too 'hot', at other times, not)
    Vester (The yardbird is great, but I need to bring it down a bit)
    Wilko (Same as the looks. I know those are great pickups, but somehow the outcome is dull)
    Baja 2 (Whatever those pickups are, they need to go soon! Considering BK Country Boy)

    3. Neck feel

    Baja 1 (What a neck! I have sanded the back of it. If feels like home!)
    Baja 2 (Same neck, if a bit beefier. I just need to sand the back)
    Vester (Although on the thin side, it's the reason I got the guitar in the first place. Recently rolled too)
    Rosie (A bit on the thin side but tolerable. A wider nut might have been nice).
    Wilko (Guess what? Dull!)

    4. Weight - from lightest (good) to heaviest (not so good)

    Baja 2 (Surprise surprise!)
    Baja 1

    5 Collectability (just guessing!)

    Rosie (I have the original pickups, case etc)
    Wilko (Discontinued. It could get interesting many years down the line)
    Tie for the Bajas (they are equally messed up and fairly common anyway)
    Vester (Beyond redemption!)

    6 Mojo

    Rosie (It was love at first sight!)

    So, it is no surprise that my most frequently played guitar is Rosie, closely followed by Baja 1. The Vester and Baja 2 need a bit of work (pickup height and pickups respectively), but they'll get there. I have no idea why I still hold on to Wilko... possibly collectability?

    Any criteria I have missed out?

  2. Plumber

    Plumber Tele-Meister

    Jun 5, 2014
    Never sell
    60s Custom shop Custom Tele
    59 Custom Shop Tele
    78 Tele with 80s Mods

    happy to see the back of at some point
    83 Elite Tele with bareknuckles to replace the stock actives
    Kind Bee Tele with bigby
    Custom Tele - Mahogany with black walnut veneer and strat pickup set
    Seasicksailor likes this.

  3. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    2013 Burst Baja - #1 in all categories.

    Wait - that is my only Tele, so...

    It still beats the pants off the SRV Strat though.
    Omiewise65 likes this.

  4. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    You have it easy! :D

  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I only have two, my old avatar critter, and a cheap Schecter PT.
    The avatar guitar was my #1 for it's first 20 years, it looks and sounds almost like I want it to.
    It never quite makes it, so I have been modding it continuously for the last 34 years.
    I still want to change the bridge pickup, pickguard, and pots.
    The PT sounds good, and plays easily, but I see a new, bigger, wider rosewood or ebony board neck in it's future.
    Like Steve Earle sang, I ain't ever satisfied.

  6. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

    Sep 29, 2016
    Philadelphia, PA
    1.) 2001 AVRI '52 tele - (stock)

    2.) 2015 American Standard tele - natural w/ maple neck (stock)

    3.) 2010 Squier Classic Vibe body with a Classic Player 50's Lacquer maple neck - CTS 500k pots, 920d 3 way switch, custom shop texas special bridge pup and Seth Lover humbucker in the neck (vintage blonde with white 5-hole guard)

    4.) Cheap-o no name sunburst tele that I put a MightyMite maple neck on, Wilkinson 3 saddle bridge, tex-mex pickups, CTS 250k pots and 920d 3 way switch, black 3ply pickguard

  7. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    I can't. My favorite guitar, always, is the one I have hanging 'round my neck. But I guess if I had to rank them:

    --Ol' Simple: mahogany body and neck, ebony board, Green Onions neck and bridge pickups. My first home-rolled tele.

    --Lester: myrtlewood body, one-piece rosewood neck, Hayride tele pickup esquire-style.

    --Philo: redwood body, one-piece maple neck, growly ol' P-99 pickup from AZ Guitar Parts, bridge only.

    --Nonch Tidric: double-cut myrtlewood body, fancywood (I've forgotten) Warmoth neck, Stray Cat P-90s neck and bridge.

    What all four have in common is wide nuts--1 3/4", with slightly various but all fairly fat profiles--which is why I built them instead of buying them off the rack. Also they have oil finish, because I like the look of natural wood. I understand that not everyone feels thataway. The last three have one-piece bodies, which is probably insignificant, but it's fun.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    kuvash and brookdalebill like this.

  8. UncleJarmo

    UncleJarmo Tele-Meister

    Mar 20, 2003
    Brookings, SD, USA
    1) 2007 '55RI Thinskin Tele- most comfortable guitar I ever owned. Perfectly balanced just under 7 lbs. Best Tele bridge tone ever, real snappy low strings and snappy but full high strings, never thin sounding. Cool looking white blonde that's starting to yellow and has a few chips and wear marks around the edges. The maple neck is getting a little darker. All 4 positions on the switch sound excellent-SD Donahue bridge pickup/ Antiquity II neck pickup. Capable of low but somewhat stiff action.
    Nickname-Heikki Lunta

    2) surprisingly close 2016 '60s Baja in sonic blue with mint pickguard. Not quite as well balanced at about a pound heavier. I actually like the series/neck alone/parallel switch positions a little better (more clarity) than on the '55 Thinskin but the bridge pickup on the Thinskin is the best.
    The Baja plays considerably less stiff and just about as low.

    So, with these two Teles I could use either one all night but with their small but noticeable differences they do have advantages for certain applications.

  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Mine are either all #1, or they are sold.

    I'm currently down to two, a blonde AV58, and a CAR AV64. The 58 has Stuart Blackguard pickups and Rutters vintage style bridge, and chunky Broadcaster style steel saddles.

    These guitars are pretty much perfection, for me.

    Stuff that didn't work for me (recent sells):

    2012 American Deluxe, cherry burst. Good tone, but the belly cut, modern six-saddle bridge, and skinny modern C neck just aren't my thing.

    2011 AV69 Thinline, olympic white, beautifully aged. I loved the looks of this guitar. If it only sounded half as good...

    2011 Wildwood CS '52, Nocaster Blonde. My non-WW CS Strats totally blow this one away. WW is nothing special. The neck was awesome, but beyond that, my AVs are just as nice. Nicer.

    Stuff I might want down the road:

    More Telecasters. Maybe a light relic, closet classic 50s CS. Maybe a 60s double-bound in Aztec Gold :eek:, but with a chunky neck.

  10. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    1: 3FEB66B Blond '66 Tele w/rosewood veneer board. Natural "relic", as comfortable as a perfectly broken-in pair of shoes.
    2: 2006 Classic 50s Esquire, black w/maple neck. In spite of being slathered in polyester everywhere, this guitar is FUN to play, and unless I need neck pickup tones, I'm more likely to pick it up than the #1 guitar.

  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Oh I just rank my by their era. Kind of a historical trip through Tele Land.

    First is my Nocaster and it's Nashcaster stand in. Those represent the best of a '50s models.

    Second is the LPB '95 MIM I modified to a Nashville. It's in the mid-late '50s with that finish.

    Third is my highly modified Double Bound Squier CVC which covers the '62 Custom Tele spot.

    Fourth is the other CVC with it's neck P90 and hot bridge pickup being an early '70s thing.

    Last is my ASAT which was Leo's latest design with G&L so it's in the post Fender slot.

    They all have different pickups and they're all superb players so I don't think of one as outranking another. It's not a case of being better they're just different is all.

  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    Last year I had 4 Teles, which was too many for a hack like me. Now I'm down to 2.

    The ones that went away:

    Squier CV Tele Deluxe w/Fender Nocaster pickups-

    Really nice guitar, fun as hell to play. The previous owner had switched the pickups for Squier standard ceramic pickups (this was disclosed prior to sale), so I got it cheap. I put in the the Nocasters which were were really bright in that guitar, but not shrill. My only real complaint is that the basswood body dings REALLY easily. I'd have kept it, but I found an even better deal on...

    Fender '50s Classic w/ Fender '64 pickups-

    This was a little nicer than the CV, both in feel and sound. The '64s were just a hair less bright than the Nocasters, and the neck was a little chunkier and felt a little better in my hand. The '64s were in it when I bought it, so I can't compare the stock pickups. The differences between this and the CV aren't as drastic as you'd expect given the price points, but the '50s Classic did edge out the Squier. I figured I was done buying Teles until I found a deal I couldn't refuse on...

    The survivors:

    2012 USA G&L ASAT-

    Holy Hannah, this one is sweet. Plays like a dream and gets a wider array of tones than any other Tele I've ever played. The Classic had just barely edged out the Squier, but the ASAT left the Classic in the dust. As a bonus, it has what I am told is Marty Stuart's autograph on it. I have no way to tell if it really is or not, but it wasn't sold to me as a "collectible." I get the impression that someone had won it as a contest prize and just wanted some money out of it. I thought about scrubbing it off since I figured it'd look kinda dumb to be playing an autographed guitar, but in the end I decided it was kinda funny (I'm a rock player) so I left it.


    This one is a recent Squier Standard body with an early '80s MIJ Squier Bullet neck on it. It actually plays well and the Japanese neck (which is from my very first guitar) is really nice. The GFS '50s wind bridge pickup I put in it sounds pretty good (on par with the '64 from my Classic), but it's got a neck humbucker and I'm not sure I'm down with that whole concept. I put a GFS Dream 180 in that slot which sounds OK (not too far from a Tele neck pickup when you coil split it) I never sold it because I want to keep the neck, and it wouldn't be worth selling anyway.

  13. Omiewise65

    Omiewise65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 15, 2009
    Bavarian Iller Delta
    2008 50s Baja , big neck , I'm gonna be buried with it . No1 .

    Harley Benton madcat knockoff . Nice one , good tonewise , boat anchor .
    So far .so good ☺

  14. Kojoflo

    Kojoflo Tele-Meister

    Jan 24, 2016
    The forever guitar - 1988 Am Std. My first proper guitar and been with me since new. It's seen so much duty, it's beaten up. The only thing not original are the frets, which needed redoing from over use. A situation doesn't exist whereby it's not mine anymore.

    Tl66b - Japanese version of Albert Collins telecaster. Far and away the best looking guitar I have, and the most grown up sounding telecaster I own.

    Modern player thinline - the sustain! The mojo! Seemingly unstoppable giver of new songs! Different in every respect from my other telecasters

    60's Baja - I'm swapping out the pick ups for some pile drivers. It looks nice, and it wants to impress, but those pick ups seem to be powered by the wind. I'll ship out if it doesn't shape up

    Custom 72 - a guitar so disappointing I think it's taken a vow of silence. It's like it would take a police interrogation unit to get it to sing. Considering the humbucker, and its heft, this should be a serious Les Paul contender, not like a banjo. Most likely candidate to leave the party
    Piggy Stu and Seasicksailor like this.

  15. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 13, 2011
    Southcentral Pa
    I have three nice Tele's. A CV Thinline, CV 50's BSB, and a Squier Standard. After playing them all for a while the winner is...


    My Squier Standard Tele.

    No, really! My BSB with Keystones sounds great and looks good, but it's heavy and the neck's a little thin for me. The Thinline I'll keep as a backup to the Standard. I like the neck, it sounds good and is lightweight.

    The Standard has the best feeling neck of all three and the weight is nice. The Rose "Westerlands" pickups give it classic Tele tone, and I like the added versatility of the 4 way switch. I made a bone nut with wider than stock string spacing so it's comfy for my chubby fingers. The bridge intonates spot on, and the stock tuners are fine for now. Somewhere down the line if they crap out I'll put in a better set. I put Muddy knobs on it 'cause I like the numbers, and at the same time put in some nice Bourns pots. Super smooth! I like the GFS straplocks too. Oh, and I painted it "Maui Blue". The mint green guard seems to match it pretty well. Setup is great too, nice and low. I like that I can make it buzz/rattle a little if I dig in. So, yeah! I love it! Definitely my number 1 electric.
    Seasicksailor likes this.

  16. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 15, 2010
    I only have two...


    "Big Tex" is my very modified 1995 hecho-en-Mexico Fender Tele Special. My #1 go-to guitar for performing, recording and songwriting. She will get a few more cosmetic tweaks, but outside of repairs, I doubt I'll touch her electronics again. Perfect balance of regular ol' Telecaster (stock flat-pole Telecaster bridge pickup) and brawny kick-yer-butt richness (neck P-90).

    "Little Sister" is a 2013 Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe that has undergone some cosmetic tweaks...of which I think are excellent upgrades. I might end up trying differently valued potentiometers for some greater punchiness, but as of right now, she's staying as-is

    There are a few other Telecasters I have my eye/mind on--a '69 Thinline, a Benoit-esque '72 Thinline, a Keef-like '72 Custom, a big-Strat-headed Deluxe, a regular ol' standard Telecaster, and maybe a Muddy Tribute model, perhaps...

    None are necessary, but if the opportunity presents itself, who am I to work against the machinations of the universe?
    Seasicksailor likes this.

  17. BradL

    BradL Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Feb 9, 2009
    Sussex, UK
    Today the order goes something like

    (5) CIJ 62 Custom
    (4) Nashville
    (3) Postmodern
    (2) 62 Relic
    (1) Cabronita

    Tomorrow is another matter entirely
    Seasicksailor likes this.

  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    How am I supposed to Rank them when I don't even know how many there are, for sure?

    There's necks that've rotated round and round on 5 different loaded T bodies and I cannot remember for sure which neck is on which body right now.


    And yet, with all of them I've mostly been playing this '04 MIM Esquire with a base plated Tex Mex pickup and an oddball Cocked Wah control plate setup. Go figure.
    Seasicksailor likes this.

  19. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    Good point BradL... today! ;-)

    Hahah! Boris, I don't think this is the thread for you! Perhaps you could rank them in groups! :p
    boris bubbanov likes this.

  20. KellyCaster71

    KellyCaster71 Tele-Holic

    Mar 29, 2011
    Humble, Texas
    I have 3 but they are all special in their own way. From Left to Right: The Mutt: Not sure of the body, Mighty Mite birdseye maple neck with locking tuners. SD 59 in the neck and a Dimarzio Chopper T in the bridge. GE Smith and a MIJ '62 Custom.
    Seasicksailor likes this.

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