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

What model of telecaster to buy?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Gabeezlebub, Jan 9, 2019.

Best initial tele purchase?

This poll will close on Jan 23, 2019 at 10:55 AM.
  1. American

    34 vote(s)
  2. MIM

    46 vote(s)
  3. China, Indonesian, etc.

    10 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Buy MIA and only buy once.
    Gabeezlebub and CK Dexter Haven like this.
  2. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    Over the years working in and owning a guitar shop, and interacting w/ many, many players I have come to figure that this really comes down to what it says on the headstock, and a few other variables.. Modern instruments at all price points are playable, and sound good; a 'round the house player who does the occasional gig isn't going to wear anything out except perhaps a few inexpensive electrical components. Can you improve/change the sound/playability of a instrument by modding? Yes; do you need to..depends.

    So what you are really looking for is something that will make you happy. For some that is a new instrument, others prefer used, for a variety of reasons; cost, history, and that ever elusive "Mojo" . Some are fine with a offshore product, others like /need to see USA..I can still remember my first US instrument a battered Musicmaster Bass, they didn't say "Made in the USA" was a Fender.. it was a given..but it was a big move up from the imports I previously had. Today my bass is a MIJ Mustang, it is a better instrument in all regards than that old MM, but I still kinda wish I had the old one, just for the history. My guitar on the other hand is a modded '62 Gibson MelodyMaker, ( humbucker , TOM bridge, stop tail piece..thinking about doing a coil split on the bucker) It came to me that way, and it hits a lot of good points for me.

    I have owned many guitars, and there is no right or wrong answer, If you decide the Tele is not for you it's usually straight forward to sell a used US instrument for what you paid given some patience on both ends of the transaction. If you decide to mod, parts fitment is not usually a issue. Having owned many Teles over the years, I would tend (if the money was there) at this point in my life to a used '52 RI, the Tele is a iconic American guitar, and the '52 is as close as most folks will get to the original design, of course there are many other option in a US guitar. The offshore offerings are numerous, and useful, still there is something about owing a piece of history. The one thing I often see/hear (and have done) is players lamenting, "it's a great guitar, but..." and the but is often.." it's not US"..there is something about that connection to the past that drives many and is always a itch to be scratched. Best to decide if this is you sooner rather than later.

    You will probably get a lot of advise to play a bunch.. and you should, even if your abilities are basic, the Tele is cool, try some "cowboy chords" on the neck PU, a simple lead line on the bridge will give you a idea of the sound of the guitar.. Have fun.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  3. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    Are yyo also gonna repost this substituting a 6 for the 5?

    Then again replacing with 'if you buy both'
    Bluego1 and Gabeezlebub like this.
  4. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

    Jan 8, 2019
    Wow!!! I have gone on threads before, but I have never seen such fast and sincere responses. And helpful. You tele guys are really serious. And great.
    Thank you so much for the good advice. I will take it all in and follow your advice as best as I can. Thanks again!!!!
    t guitar floyd and blille like this.
  5. Greggorios

    Greggorios Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Jun 18, 2016
    Patterson, NY
    Agreeing with Mr. Ike. After auditioning a bunch you'll know "your guitar" when you play it. All 3 are good values.
    Gabeezlebub and LocoTex like this.
  6. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    I always like, "I bought a MIM and I have been spending more money changing the pickups and all the different parts so it is more like a MIA." Wouldn't it have been simpler to buy a MIA first?
  7. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2006
    As a general rule, I would also suggest learning to do your own set-ups, if you don't already. That way you can make any guitar play the best it can for you.
    Gabeezlebub likes this.
  8. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

    Jan 8, 2019
    Hi Piggy, thank u for posting. If I may ask, what is the difference between the 50’s and 60’s Baja’s?
  9. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    50's Baja....

    Tried loads from CSs deluxes, MIA standards to boutique clones.

    The stars aligned with the MIM 50's Baja - saved a tonne of cash too.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk
    Kebmel, LocoTex and Gabeezlebub like this.
  10. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2009
    St. George, UT
    I would recommend, and support others who recommend, the Squier Classic Vibe. In fact, if you are a fan of youtube videos, there is a Anderton's video where Chappers and The Cap't. directly compare Teles at various price points. And Chappers, a man who KNOWS guitars, initially dubs the Squier Classic Vibe as a Fender Custom Shop Tele and says it's one of the best 2-3 teles in the 10 Teles that he plays in that video. That should tell you something about the quality. Watch the video and you tell me:

    NJ Deadhead and Gabeezlebub like this.
  11. Homeslice

    Homeslice TDPRI Member

    May 16, 2018
    Alhambra, CA
    American Performer
    t guitar floyd and Gabeezlebub like this.
  12. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

    Jan 8, 2019
    Thanks Dexter. Your reply was most inpressive and equally appreciated.
  13. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Welcome! Don't worry, not going to muddy the waters (Hey! Muddy Waters played a Tele) . . .
    but wanna say that any Tele you get does not necessarily need to be modded. I used to mod lots of guitars (worked in guitar shops and music stores in the 70s-90s) and have always played in bands, but came to realize that all the sounds I tried to get by changing pickups, etc, could be found in the stock pickups by simply . . . adjusting the tones and volumes on the guitars, amps and pedals!
    Now, all my Fenders (and 1 Squier CV 50s Strat) still have their stock pups. My Tele is a Classic 50s MiM from 06, bone stock. It has the nice fat neck, fairly light (7.2 lbs) and gets the Tele sound through my PRRI or 90s Ampeg Jet RI. I mostly play Strats (2 US, 2 MIM, 1 China) and they all sound very similar . . . kinda like Fender Strats and Tellys. :)
    Gabeezlebub likes this.
  14. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    You really can't go wrong with any of your choices. We just all have personal preferences. And further, when I first started I couldn't imagine playing anything with a fat neck. Now that's a must for me.
    Gabeezlebub likes this.
  15. Ydwen Jones

    Ydwen Jones TDPRI Member

    Jan 2, 2019
    A Squier Classic Vibe makes a great first Tele, but so does a Standard (or Player series) MIM. And by modding them you can make them even better. So why buy a MIA? Well, because many of us eventually want at least one MIA. So you might as well start with what you'll end up with anyway.;) But then, you'll probably end up with several Teles, eventually, among which a Classic Vibe, a MIM and a MIA. So it really doesn't matter which one you buy first.:)
    Gabeezlebub likes this.
  16. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2011
    Stirling, Scotland.
    Tele's are like cats, you don't choose them, they choose you. Go play as many as you can find, when you pick up the right one it'll let you know.
  17. metale

    metale Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Dec 30, 2013
    One of the Bajas, Imo. Try both if you can.
    Gabeezlebub likes this.
  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    But....what is "the real thing".
    RadioFM74 and NJ Deadhead like this.
  19. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    ejphotos, Gabeezlebub and LocoTex like this.
  20. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    Neck profile, fingerboard material and pickups all different. They are 2 legit different guitars, which is why after the 200th time reading on here that you should buy both, I did

    I prefer rosewood and the 60s pickups, but the deeper 50s neck. When I tried both in the store I bought the 60s. About 3 months later I bought the 50s

    Take my story as a warning...
    Gabeezlebub and wblynch like this.
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