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Standard and FSR Telecasters

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by McCtelecaster, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    71
    121
    Jan 2, 2018
    Solina, Ontario
    I'm looking at a couple of Mexican Telecasters. A Standard and an FSR. They're both very similar. The FSR is about $80 more than the Standard. Pretty well the only differences I see are that the FSR's body is ash, and the toggle switch has been moved south of the tone knob from it's usual position just north of the volume knob. The Standard is very standard, with an alder body.
    I have two questions that may be answered by someone who knows. Firstly, the specs. I'm reading claim that the FSR has "Hot Standard Tele Single Coil Pickups" (neck and bridge), and the Standard model has "Standard Single Coil Tele Pickups" (neck and bridge). Is this just an advertising gimic, or is there a positive difference between the two pickups regarding sound reproduction? And if so, what might that difference be? Also any comments regarding pros and cons of these two guitars would be welcome info.
    I was also looking at a Classic Player Baja, but it's $200 more than the FSR, and $280 more than the Standard. But it has a lot of extra pickup combinations with a 4 position switch and an S1 switch. Also a Custom Shop Single-Coil Broadcaster bridge pickup, and a Custom Shop "Twisted" Single-Coil Tele pickup at the neck. Whatever they are? Comments?
    And a Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster for the same money as the Baja. I'm not sure I'd like its 12" radius, and there's a strat style pickup halfway between the bridge and neck pickups. So it doesn't really look like a Tele. With the 4 position switch you can combo all three pickups, one way or another, but you can't switch it so the neck and bridge pickups are operating together, as you can with the standard 3 position switch that we all know and love.
    Anyway, I've rambled enough. If you can find time to reply with any comments, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks......................Dave
     

  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    The pickups in the MIM Std are the same stock ceramic pickups Fender has been using for 10 years or more in that model. Some like them and some replace them for a better sounding pair. The Std is a good basic model Tele but it's pickups may be it's weakest link.

    I believe the FSR has a set of "hotter wound" Alnico pickups possibly a Tex-Mex set but I wouldn't count on a whole lot of difference in the output between the two. You could do a search here and quite possibly someone has listed what specific model pickups are in the FSR. Overall the FSR is usually though of as being a notch above a Std MIM version.

    The Nashville and Baja Tele belong to a series that is an upgrade over either of the other two. In the opinion of most those are the top of the line MIM made models and IMHO worth the extra money. The Baja is one of the most oft suggested models by posters here but before committing I would suggest making certain you like it's Soft "V" neck profile.

    A Nashville is the "Swiss Army Knife" Tele and either you like having a Tele that can also give you "Strat-like" tonality or it's not all that important to you. I believe the pickups in a Nashville are the same as those in an FSR or at least they were at one time. You can arrange to have a neck/bridge option it just takes some simple rewiring.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Dismalhead and McCtelecaster like this.

  3. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    71
    121
    Jan 2, 2018
    Solina, Ontario
    Thanks for that soulman. I'll do a search for more pickup info. like you suggest. Not playing professionally, my demands for the really hot sounds that some would insist on are minimal. The reason for my inquiry was mainly to satisfy my curiosity prior to purchase. My real interest lies for the most part with the fact that the Telecaster is great to play, and that's why it's generally at the top of my list of guitars to own.
    I'm wondering also about the soft "V" neck myself. Up where I am there's really only one musical instrument dealer of any significance, and that's Long & McQuade. They're huge, and likely if you can't find what you want at L&M, you should probably take up knitting. There are times though when the on-site availability of a particular guitar is a problem for a hands-on test. But L&M has an excellent return policy, and if one were to order a particular guitar, in this case a Baja, you can return it to any of their many stores up to 30 days after receipt. That'll afford ample time to give it a good road test.
    Another question would be the 12" radius fretboard on the Nashville. I'm not so sure I like that as well as a tighter feeling 9.5". I had an American Deluxe, for a short time, with a compound 9.5" to 12" fretboard, and I often wonder if it wasn't fretboard radius that I couldn't get comfortable with.
    Anyway, we'll see. Thanks again....................Dave
     
    soulman969 likes this.

  4. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Aside from the obvious bridge and switch differences, the Standard and the FSR will be really similar. @soulman969 is right about the pickups - the FSR uses Tex-Mex pickups which will be a little bit hotter than the standard and provide a bit more bite.

    The 50's Baja will have the soft-V neck. I really like mine - I don't use the S1, but I like the 4-way. The Broadcaster pickup is fairly traditional / vintage- it is a take off of the original broadcaster pickup from the early 50s, only with just a bit more "breadth", if that makes sense. the Twisted Tele neck is nice as well; this combo is what Fender uses for their MIA Standards. Most people like them.

    The 60's Bajas have a neck that is just barely beefier than the FSR / Standard, a pau ferro fingerboard, and the pickups are a 58 bridge and a 62 neck (I believe). The will be just a bit warmer than the broadcaster set with a bit more bit, but still fairly traditional in sound.

    I don't know much about the Nashville - I have an SRV Strat, and I wanted the 9.5 radius on a Tele, and the traditional layout, so I have not played one.

    A few more will hopefully chime in, so you have a breadth of opinion here to glean from. Good luck on your search!
     
    soulman969 likes this.

  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    No problem Dave. I'm a major Tele fan which is why I have so many of 'em. All with different pickups but all with the same necks from 2006 Nashvilles which is my favorite neck profile. The only exception is the Nocaster and it has a similar Soft "V" to a Baja.

    Actually the 2006 Nashville necks are similar to a Baja over the first 5-6 frets where they feel like a Soft "V" or a very Deep "C" to me then become a Std "C". They aren't quite as deep as the Baja profile but they still have a nice "grip" to them and a soft shoulder.

    That's the whole deal with the Baja for many. Players either love or hate the "V" neck but the pickup selection is about the best of the vintage types Fender has to offer and the 4-way switch which add both pickups in series is helpful. Kind of a mini humbucker sound.

    Glad unixfish comfirmed the pickups on the FSR are Tex-Mex. I'm not overly fond of them but that's me and I swap pickups in most of mine anyway. You may love them. The way I see them is the FSR is a small step up from a Std MIM and the Baja is a major step up.

    The Baja is a Fender Custom Shop design made in Mexico to achieve a lower price point. The FSR is a most popular features model made specifically for certain dealers in somewhat more limited quantities. It's not a Fender catalog model but a "factory special run" = FSR.
     

  6. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 2, 2006
    NY
    The Standard will have a satin neck. All of the FSRs I've played have had gloss necks.
     

  7. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    766
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    Hey McC.

    I’d like to think the fit and finish is a bit higher in anything labeled FSR. That’s not always true but it should be more than not compared to a standard.

    My vanity likes the FSR over the MIM because the “made in” and serial are on the back of the headstock unlike the standard.

    I was not aware thatFSR ash pickups are “Tex mex”. Not doubting anyone but they seem like what they are advertised as. Hot ceramics. Pickups are subjective anyway.

    It’s hard to justify the FSR over the standard unless you A / B them. I have an FSR ash. I sold a MIM Standard strat. I loved them both. The FSR ash had a little something to it. It is a guitar worth keeping vs a guitar worth “using” which is what the standard was. No offense to standard owners. I didn’t want to sell it but when I decided something had to go it was a no brainer to keep the FSR.
     

  8. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    766
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    And my 2011/2012 FSR neck is not poly like other Necks Same satin as the standard.
     

  9. gsh1968

    gsh1968 Tele-Holic

    866
    Jun 16, 2008
    London UK
    The Mexican standard has had the serial and "made in" on the back of the headstock since around 2008.
     

  10. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    71
    121
    Jan 2, 2018
    Solina, Ontario
    I'm Back!!
    If some of the questions I've asked have already been answered, or commented on, I apologize. My memory's good, but it's short.
    I've been debating over the Standard, FSR, and the Classic Player Baja. All 3 are seemingly excellent guitars in their price ranges. The Standard and the FSR pretty well line up together, with the Baja a step or two above. For an extra $280 over the Standard, and $200 over the FSR, The Baja is currently near the top of the list. But now another possible contender has entered the race. The Classic Player Baja '60s Telecaster.
    The two Baja series guitars each have pros and cons. I'd definitely prefer the blonde finish on an ash body, available only on the Baja. But I'd prefer a pau ferro fingerboard, available only on the Baja '60, as opposed to the maple fingerboard on the Baja. The 3 colour sunburst on the Baja '60 would be a somewhat acceptable alternative to the blonde finish, I suppose, lol. Also, another relatively minor tradeoff would be the 3 ply pickguard on the Baja '60, to the single ply on the Baja.
    Ya gotta be bored by now! But one other question, that you may be able to comment on, would be; would you expect to hear a significant sonic difference between the Baja's Custom Shop single-coil Broadcaster bridge pickup, with a Custom Shop single-coil "Twisted Tele" neck pickup, against the Baja '60s American Vintage '58 single-coil Tele bridge pickup, and an American Vintage '52 single-coil Tele neck pickup? And as best you can, what would those differences be?

    Thanks for any comments you might have........Dave PS...It's too darn cold to go outside, so that's another reason I'm in here typing away!! :)
     

  11. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    766
    Feb 3, 2012
    ca
    IMG_3749.JPG

    Thanks for educating me.
     

  12. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Holic

    883
    Oct 20, 2012
    Oley Pa
    Real simple, get the Baja !
     

  13. McCtelecaster

    McCtelecaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    71
    121
    Jan 2, 2018
    Solina, Ontario
    I thought so!! So I ordered a Baja '60s yesterday.
    I really wanted a butterscotch blonde body, but the Baja was only available in blonde which I thought was too light, and not as tasty looking as the butterscotch, IMO. Neither colour choice was available on the Baja '60s guitar, but I think the 3-colour sunbust is a good alternative, and definitely right in your face. Also, the Baja had a maple board, and the Baja '60s, a pau ferro board. This since Fender seems to have started including pau ferro on the lower priced guitars. And also out of respect for the endangered rosewood. Doesn't bother me at all. An ash body would have been new to me, but the alder on the Baja '60s is quite fine. The pickups are an American Vintage '58 bridge, and an American Vintage '52 neck, as opposed to the Custom Shop Vintage-Style Tele bridge, and the Custom Shop "Twisted" Tele single -coil neck pickups on the Baja. Also, it has a 3-ply pickguard, compared to the Baja's 1-ply.
    The Baja '60s priced at $20 more than the Baja..........I'm happy!......Dave:)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  14. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    37
    556
    Jun 21, 2018
    Canada
    Glad you are happy, how is the Baja 60s turning out for you? Just to add to your thread topic, I plugged in a stock American Professional Tele today, but also an FSR Deluxe Tele, in the white color, and the pickups in the FSR were WAY hotter than the ones in the AmPro, or a Strat Deluxe which I also plugged in. This is at low gain though, so at high gain, the hotness wont matter as much and maybe they aren't very clear or robust. BUt it was that much hotter that I had to bump your topic. I like the hotness of them, it just kind of smashes you in the face theyre that hot. But I am not sure what exact pickup model they are since the FSR is not on the current fender site, they just say "Hot" overwound, so looking on FEnder, it seems they are probably Tex Mex model, or Deluxe Drive model,
     

  15. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    May 15, 2007
    Exeter, England
    I had that FSR model with the reversed control plate and, yes, the pickups appeared to be similar to the regular MIM offering. Nice guitar though. Of the others mentioned I would absolutely choose the Baja. Aside from the good pickups with useful options it has probably my favourite Fender neck next to the Nocaster.
     

  16. Ted Witton

    Ted Witton Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    148
    Dec 30, 2006
    Norwich, UK
    Probably restating the obvious, but despite CnC machines etc guitars of same make and model will sound and sometimes feel, very different. I had an early Desert Sand Baja which weighed in at 9.5 lbs: lovely sustain and the V neck was very pronounced and as thick as my Nocaster.
    Foolishly moved it on and subsequently acquired a later blonde Baja. That one was much lighter, had a much softer "V" neck but was nowhere near the same. That too has now gone.
    One day I shall replace it, but not until I have thoroughly tested the instrument.

    I suppose if you are buying off ebay or whatever you can get lucky, or indeed, given time, get used to any neck. Also, up to a point, judicious use of the tone control can get most tele's in a similar ball park of sound, but truly there is a difference between a real good'un and the rest.
     
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  17. 83siennateleguy

    83siennateleguy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    148
    Sep 18, 2017
    Claysburg Pa.
    20180627_232123.jpg
    I'll just keep on TWANG'IN on my 1983 siennaburst!
     

  18. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    37
    556
    Jun 21, 2018
    Canada
    One important other difference is the Baja has a slightly thinner Nut width of 1.625"

    Also, it has a vintage style truss rod, which matters if you change your neck relief often, since it is tedious to do on a butt end truss adjustment.
     

  19. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    37
    556
    Jun 21, 2018
    Canada
    I feel like, the more often you buy a guitar like that, it is a guitar that lots of people may have tried and not liked it enough to keep it. Likewise, any "used" instrument, for sale, means someone didn't like it enough to keep it. It's taken me trying at least a hundred guitars to find a handful I sort of liked. But some people just want a Guitar, or a "Tele" or "Strat" and that is more important.
     

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