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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. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    I would buy a Squier SE strat for,usually about 35 -40 quid sometimes with an amp thrown in .This gives you a superb full size body and a really good neck neck .I would drill and hack out the pickups routes and bridge en mass and fill it in with a large blank block .I would then route and drill out for aTele .I would sand down and spray I would then cut the strat headstock down to a tele shape .I would ignore the strat body shape cos its actually better than a teles .This will give you ara far better tele than all the cheap junk around ,You will also learn more and friends will sit at your feet in amazement assuming you sometimes wash them .
    fret level and terms apply
     
    bender66 likes this.
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Having picked up a husk of their SG copy from Vintage I have no doubt. The tele looks good too.
     
  3. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    The last Tele body I bought was a GFS blem, for about $40. I think I got the price knocked down because of some coupons they had going at the time. It's one of their premium XPG bodies, and other than the blemishes in the finish, the routings are really good and clean. I ended up not even putting a pickguard on it, for that reason.

    There are actually a few different aftermarket Tele necks available on Amazon that are around $40 or so. Sure, most of them need replacement nuts, and they all have kind of off-spec shapes to the headstock, but I'm not going to grouse over any of that, at such low cost. Other than being too thin for my tastes, the last cheapo Tele neck I got from Amazon was a pretty nice rosewood one - frets were all decent. I found some cheap sealed tuners also on Amazon IIRC, that were like $20 or less. I also put a Tusq nut on it.

    I typically end up completing these parts builds with a mix of used parts that I have on hand, combined with used stuff I end up buying online, also combined with some of the cheapest new stuff that's pretty much 'straight to me from China.'

    ...I end up spending the most money on these particular parts:
    • jack cup - I only get the Electrosockets, because they are aggravation-free to install
    • Tusq nut - again, worth the extra $, because you can get them pre-grooved, and have one installed in a really short time
    • saddles - I like the compensated brass ones, and they seem to cost a few times what the non-compensated ones go for
    I'll also chime in and say that the SXs are probably an all around good deal. I have one of the Strat models, and the body was worth doing work to - I had one with a crappy licensed Floyd Rose, so I filled in the rout, and installed a toploading Wilkinson half plate. The neck is beefy, and yes - definitely has the flatter 12" radius. My biggest gripe with the neck is the bigger frets, but I tend to favor the tinier vintage-style stuff. The tuners on my SX were absolute garbage. When it had the Floyd on it, that didn't matter much. When I converted it to hardtail and a standard nut, I replaced the tuners with the cheap ones I found on Amazon, like I put on my last Tele parts build.

    ...My SX Strat has the thicker body, and I'm all but certain that it's alder. It's got universal routing, and has sounded really good with almost any combo of pickups I've thrown in it. It was just supposed to be a cheap experimenter's canvas, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it.

    I think some of the best deals can be found when you can figure out what your strong points are, as far as cleaning up or modifying goes. If you're good at, or enjoy doing the repairs/upgrades to some known problem areas on the cheaper guitars/kits/bodies/necks, you can really save some money.
     
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