Should I keep the new Bullet?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Tallgirl, Sep 8, 2018.

Should I keep the Sea Foam Bullet Telecaster though it is imperfect

  1. Do the improvements and keep it

    0 vote(s)
  2. Return it for a refund and move on.

    10 vote(s)
  1. Tallgirl

    Tallgirl NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 7, 2018
    Northern California
    I am new subscriber to these forms and this is my first post. As a player I am effectively a beginner since I have only in the last several months come back to the guitar after a long absence. That said, I am moving right along. It’s striking the things one remembers even after many years.

    I am looking for some information and advice regarding my second Telecaster, a Sea Foam Green Bullet. Months ago I thought this would be my first Tele but it has turned out to be my second. Though that’s another story I should still say something about the first one. It is a yellow sunburst indonesia produced all maple neck Squire Affinity that was originally sold as part of a pack a few years ago. It is really a splendid instrument as it was gone through in a very significant way by a well regarded local luthier. The frets were leveled and polished; the action was lowered and it has been very well set up overall. Even the tuners are tight, precise and very smooth. I am inclined to describe this guitar as just a little more refined and elegant than your average Telecaster. A well known , established , full-time, professional player in my circle of friends tells me the guitar compares favorably with any Tele he has played. I feel very lucky to have this guitar.

    But into my life came the Sea Foam Green Bullet and I am just a little conflicted about it. No doubt it looks great! The body color is much lighter than photos indicate. It is a very calming and lovely pastel, yet it has a a very different personality than the Affinity- chunkier, heavier, and a little brutish, both in hand and tone. Purchased as new but “blemished” from guitar Center sight unseen for all of $119 plus tax I was assured that there might only be a very minor cosmetic “blemish” or two to live with. If that is so I cannot find any "cosmetic blemishes" save for the fact that one of the string ferrels on the back is ever so slightly proud of the body surface. All of the protective plastic was in place, and at first blush the guitar appeared pristine and new. However, other issues with this guitar were /are in my opinion not merely cosmetic:

    • The neck was misaligned and the fastening screws were quite loose. (I believe friends and I have fixed this.)
    • Two of the tuning machines have significant and very noticeable lash. (This really bugs me.)
    • The output jack was very sloppy loose in the body. (fixed I think)

    • The nut looks a bit asymmetrical and very plasticy
    • Action up the neck is nothing close to as good as my Affinity.
    • The original Fender strings are brutal on my fingers ( A preference I know but felt I had to get it in here.)

    Would the first three of the issues above been expected for any of the Bullet Tele’s, “blemished or not?

    At first the neck issue really concerned me, but I am guessing this might be fairly common with bolt on necks. Seems like it might be given that it must be near impossible to hold tight tolerances where two pieces of wood come together. It is remarkable how little the neck had to move to fix the problem. Just the same will this neck issue continue to plague me in any worse a fashion than normal? Are the screws holding the neck on these guitars simply threaded into the wood of the body, or is there some sort of threaded metal insert that they go in to? How tight is it safe to tighten these screws?

    If I have this instrument professionally set up, the frets gone over, the action adjusted, and I replace the strings might it play and sound too much like my other Tele? I figure that the real pleasure in owning more than one of these great guitars is that they have individual personalities. What can I do to make this guitar a but more pleasant to play but preserve it’s bad girl personality. Also, this means a significant investment, and with new tuners the cost will be over` $200. If I really want another tele maybe this isn't the one? But what else can I get for $350 or so that looks great, represents a more playable and well put together instrument that would offer a nice contrast to my other guitar.

    So in the end do I just return the Sea Form Green Tele and put the money into the fund for a hollow body or bring it up to std and enjoy it along with my Affinity?

  2. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    It’s late and I’m typing on my phone so I’ll keep it short.

    Return the Bullet because from the reading of you post, you’ll never be happy. New ones are what, $180 and can be had on sale for less. If that’s the guitar you want start clean.

    And there’s nothing wrong with having more than one Telecaster.

    And welcome to the forum.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    Evil Funk and nicod98 like this.
  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    Return it and put the funds towards a classic vibe tele. I gather you are in for the long haul so investing a little more for a quality instrument is money well spent imo, that's if you can afford it of course.
    horax likes this.
  4. MartijnRGS

    MartijnRGS TDPRI Member

    May 7, 2016
    The Netherlands
    Yep return it. Things that bug you now will bug you forever. You’ll never fully enjoy that guitar once there are things that you don’t like, especially from the start. Been there done that. I had a Tele that I really liked but had to make compromises and adjusted my point of view. That one sat in his case most of the time after realizing it just wasn’t it and sold it to buy the Tele I really wanted...
  5. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    +1 to return it.

    The Affinity sounds wonderful! You'll find another good tele to go with it. :)
  6. DonM

    DonM Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Apr 21, 2016
    Welcome. I recommend to return it also. I also recommend looking at an SX Furrian from Rondo. I have two, and with some modding like them just as much, if not more, than my Fender Tele.
  7. horax

    horax Tele-Holic

    Jul 1, 2011
    colorado springs
    For a great deal look for a classic vibe used. Could find them for 250-300 and it is easily 10x the quality of your affinity.

    Other options are a used Mexican fender tele. Nothing wrong there. Expect to pay about 300.

    I’d prefer the classic vibe over the Mexican fender though. Great guitars.
  8. elmoscafeo

    elmoscafeo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 29, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    I've got a Squier Bullet SS that predates the FSR line and it's a keeper. Not my favorite, but a keeper. However, if it had the problems that yours has, I would have returned it. I think they are OK sounding and OK playing Tele's. Return it and try another. They may have a better one in stock.

    Or you can return the one you have, add another $130 to your refund and get one of these. I've played Squier Standards before and didn't mind them at all.

    If you can wait another month, this one is available for Pre-Order:

    The Vintage Blonde is on backorder at GC:

    But in stock at Sweetwater:
  9. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    I just got a red sparkle caster for $127 with the discount ~ its a keeper !
    EliN likes this.
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    That's the risk of buying a B-stock or blemished guitar. These are generally customer returns or guitars that had noticeable damage or problems in the store. Sometimes you get a great deal where there's only minor cosmetic damage and sometimes you get a guitar with significant issues. It sounds like you got the worst end of the deal on this one although you did get a substantial discount over the typical $179 selling price.

    The neck misalignment is the main thing that would worry me. It could have been improperly installed or even made wrong at the factory, dropped in the store or something else. If you were able to get it aligned properly and it's staying that way, then you should be OK.

    The strings, tuner and nut issues are probably related. Most likely, the strings are binding at the nut because it isn't cut properly or because someone put heavier strings than the factory on the guitar. Given your description of the strings, it sounds like it has heavier strings. If they were really heavy strings, this could have even caused the neck to need adjustment. Improper stringing can also cause a "lash" as you described. Once the nut is cut properly or replaced and the guitar is strung properly, then the tuners should be fine unless they are actually damaged or defective.

    If it was me, I'd probably keep the guitar since I have the skills to get it back into shape. Since you will have to pay someone to do this for you, I'd suggest you return it and get one that was really new and undamaged. You might also look at some of the other, slightly more expensive, Squier Teles to see if any of them appeal to you.
    ianstrike and nicod98 like this.
  11. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 7, 2014
    Welcome to TDPRI.

    I too love the pack Affinity. I have 4 of them.

    Buying an "blemished" guitar is always dangerous, and I would never recommend that to a beginner. Most of the times there is more than one reason to return it, and the blemishes are hardly ever just "cosmetic".
    Of course the bullet is the absolute cheapest Squier and buying a guitar that was returned to the shop, was probably not the wisest choice.

    None of the things you mentioned are really a problem (I suspect the tuning machine problem to be a loose screw), a visit to a luthier, and all of these things should be fixed, a new (bone) nut, a new string and a full setup, with the addition of solving the other minor problems. After a while you'll probably learn to do all those things yourself, but as a beginner a good instrument is really important.

    Knowing what you buy is important and that's a lesson I learned by buying a hyped model from a cheap copy brand, twice... regretted it, twice... Now I stick to Squier and Fender for my electrics (40+ of them) and Art & Lutherie for my acoustics (but since I have a fantastic steel and nylon string, that will suffice for now)

    And for that reason I can really recommend buying a Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe Squier or a 2nd hand MIM Standard (or the new Player). They are really, really good. BUT: all guitars need a good setup. (and after paying for it a few times, I learned to do it myself, another lesson learned)
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