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What is a good but cheap tele style guitar to use a build platform?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by jwmtele, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. jwmtele

    jwmtele Tele-Meister

    I am building my first tele build now from a new squire standard tele,i want to build another when i fininish the project i working on now.The squire standard has been great to work with so far and i was wondering if there are cheaper ways to go than using a squire standard,i would like it to accept Fender parts without alot of trouble,i seen some cheap sawtooth teles on amazon,its around $120 and a new squire standard cost me $220.Whats everyones go to build platform?I want to build a early 60s style tele,and i will totaly refinisih the body,relic it and hand paint some art work on the body.
    Thanks for you help,
    Jm
     
    PhredE likes this.
  2. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    294
    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    Just one suggestion of which many will likely follow:

    You could get an SX Furrian (their Tele copy) and use it as a base upon which to build to suit your needs.

    The good: inexpensive (running about $120-$160 depending on options, woods, pickups, etc), classical style Tele (minus headstock), wood quality is generally pretty good, the necks are variable, but most are acceptable (especially if you're willing to do a little leveling/polishing, etc), finish is usually quite good, etc.

    The bad: cheap hardware used for electronics, bridge/saddles, QC can vary a lot, pickups are 'ok', but most opt to swap them out at some point, the stock tuners are 'ok', but many prefer an upgrade.

    Overall, these do make a decent project type guitar.
    I upgraded: tuners, 1 pickup, bridge+saddles and will be swapping electronics out in the near future.

    (A TDPRI post that illustrates the unit I reference above)

    (scroll down, way down until you get to the SX brand instruments).
    http://www.rondomusic.com/electricguitar.html
    Just a note: I scanned through the offerings on the Rondo site and it appears the selection of Furrians is quite a bit less than it has been lately. So factor that in as well.
     
  3. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    294
    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    Oh also, not all the parts are sized / dimensioned to Fender (and/or Squier) standards. The headstock and tuners ARE, but as I recall, the holes drilled for bridge plate are not (again, going by memory here).
    Pickguard holes DO match, The neck is 25.5" scale, but the radius is a bit unusual (flatter than most -- which, I happen to like a lot).
     
    Undone likes this.
  4. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    find a good affinity squier used, you can usually get them less than $100 in my area.
     
    2blue2 and rich815 like this.
  5. Undone

    Undone TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    87
    Feb 15, 2018
    Virginia
    Just picked up a pale yellow (not sure what they call it) one with white guard and maple fingerboard. Needed a slight set up but I have otherwise left it alone. I think it was well worth the $155 delivered that I paid. Nice fat neck also.
     
    PhredE likes this.
  6. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    59
    Dec 10, 2007
    Greetings from Sunny New Jersey
    One possible negative about those SX furrymans - 12" radius necks
     
    PhredE likes this.
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    SX Tele copies are pretty good but aren't fully part-to-part compatible with Fender's. You can see in the picture of mine below how my swapping out of the bridge plate, pickguard and electronics plate wasn't a clean fit. Mine is an older STL-50, what they used to call the Furrian.

    [​IMG]

    In addition to the parts above, I swapped out the electronics with a Guitar Electronics Tele Kit with a GFS Repro 50's bridge pickup. I had it Esquire'd up until a couple of months ago when I added in a GFS Vintage P90 recased in a raw nickel-silver case. The neck has a 12" radius and the frets are Gibson-ish feeling. I kind of liked this but not everyone will. The feel on mine was great with no significant issues. Stock tuners were good but I've swapped them out a few times to test out inexpensive tuners I ordered from China for my cigar box guitar builds.

    You might also want to look at so kits. I've bought from The Fretwire but these kits will require a bit more work. There are some other kits around that are also worth a look and some that aren't.

    Squier Affinity and Bullets aren't bad although they sometimes have fit issues. It kind of depends on what you get since they're variable. Definitely check out your local used market. It's not unheard of to find a decent MIM Tele in the $300 range.

    Use the sort dropdown "Low To High" to get the SX ones to the top. If you don't do this sort, the page doesn't refresh/load right sometimes and you may not see all of them.
     
    PhredE likes this.
  8. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Meister

    245
    Dec 19, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Really? Around Seattle, it's hard to find one under $160. Considering they sell new for $200 all day long, it's hardly worth hunting down a used one.

    I had one for a while -- it was my introduction to telecasters. I thought it was a fantastic guitar for the money.
     
    PhredE likes this.
  9. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    strat for $80
    https://waco.craigslist.org/msg/d/fender-squire-affinity-series/6606233483.html

    Strat deal for $25 (I may have to go look at that one)
    https://offerup.com/item/detail/494362967/

    lots of strats!! But I did find one tele for $75
    https://offerup.com/item/detail/393930940/

    But you are right, there are not very many and most are $225 or more. Maybe I need to snatch those Affinity Strats up!
     
    PhredE likes this.
  10. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    I did the same as others have suggested many times over. Ive left the tuners alone more often than not. It's the nut that's the issue mostly. If they want to blame the tuners that's fine. I think it's the ratio they have the beef with.

    Look at the Hadean at Rondo. It is/was spec'd with an vintage ashtray bridge mounted as a toploader for $79.

    I recently sold off a natural finish Furrian still in the box that I purchased a couple years ago that also had the vintage bridge. I've not seen those on the site since. It had the thicker Rondo neck too.

    Only thing your getting by sticking with an Affinity or Squier Standard is Fender spec neck pocket. You still get an import modern style bridge your stuck with.

    Rondo is half the price. No brainer.
     
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  11. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    294
    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    That is true about the neck -- it's definitely a non-standard radius (and the bolt pattern may not match Fender spec as well). Having said that, I still think the neck(s) is one of the real strong points of the SX line.

    Oh, another lurking pothole for you other SX owners (and potential owners). I learned when disassembling mine recently, that the factory sprays poly finish into the neck pocket on the body! Ugh, it's just another thing to have to go back and deal with (I sanded mine down to bare wood -- it's kind of tricky to keep the surface perfectly flat, but having that poly out of there definitely helps the overall tone/sound of the guitar.
     
  12. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    294
    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    Thanks for the link and head's-up. That was my next upgrade issue!
     
  13. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I can't address any complete guitars for a build but I can tell you that the eden body I bought for a build required all routs to be enlarged for full size pots and Fender sized pickups. If you aren't equipped for those mods, you may want to rethink how cheaply you can do this project. I would imagine most cheap non fender related guitars would necessitate those mods unless they specifically say they fit fender parts.
     
  14. bodevelho

    bodevelho Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    140
    May 19, 2018
    EUA
    Jay Turser

    No guarantee on the compatability with fender patterns, but both of the ones I modded took Warmoth necks without issues.
     
  15. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Indiana
    what about a Squier Bullet Strat? I saw one for $85
     
  16. Undone

    Undone TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    87
    Feb 15, 2018
    Virginia
    That's a requirement at a minimum for me. Most of my Yamahas have a 13.5" radius. Horses for courses.
     
  17. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    294
    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    Doh! Just thought of another one..

    The Squier VM (Vintage Modified '51) -- if you can find one at a reasonable cost. That's another guitar that is kicked around a lot for modding and upgrades quite a lot. Pretty nice guitar if you get a good one.
     
  18. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
  19. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Dec 3, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    Vintage V52BS or V62. Much better than any other Tele style guitar in it's price range (or above). Warning - it's so good you may not want to mod it...
     
    bender66 likes this.
  20. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    I see those Monoprice, Indio, & IYV have some inexpensive copies. I think Walmart was selling another brand for $50.
     
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