A Partscaster or partly a Partscaster?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by tonyj, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    When does a 'Partscaster' actually become a 'Partscaster'?

    Is it like having a baby?

    A future mother-to-be is either pregnant or she is not. Not just 'a little bit pregnant', as there is no such thing.

    To my way of thinking, a telecaster is the perfect guitar for modding. It is a modular guitar. Leo made it that way, and a fine job he made of it. However, the happy new owner of a typical tele is often not finished when he buys it new. He, or she, often just can't wait to get it home before the changes begin. Pickups, tuners, or saddles are the first things we tend to 'modify' and so it goes on, ad infinitum.

    As the proud owner of a number of more than one or two so-called partscasters, from MJT based guitars to a Nachocaster I have often listened to owners of other guitars suggest that what I own, may well indeed be a great sounding guitar, but is not likely to fetch much when I sell it ........and of course they may well be right.

    But, surely the Fender Supa-Dupa De Luxe that they bought just a month or so ago is no different. When did the Fender S-D De Luxe come with S-D's or Lollars, for instance. The saddles have been changed perhaps, and so it goes on.

    My opinion is that each guitar, regardless of what the decals say it is, should be judged on it's own individual merits, which include sound, playability and the overall quality of the instrument.

    I would not hesitate to suggest at this point that there is a very large percentage of "no Partscasters for me" snobs out there, who are actually playing a partscaster or two, unbeknownst to themselves.

    In theory then, the first equipment change or mod that you make to your guitar that is different to that given in the original spec., and we'll ignore strings or their size here, makes your Fender (S-D De Luxe or Gibson Whatever) a "Partscaster" IMHO.
     
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  2. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have pondered this myself.....Is my Telecaster still a Telecaster if the ONLY original remaining parts are the body, the control plate, and the strap buttons? And, I might add, none of the replacement parts are Fender. So I'm pretty sure I "crossed that line" a long time ago.....
     
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  3. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    With a partscaster, you get what you want in a guitar. Fender don't offer everything, let alone your 'dream' Tele with your choice of components and parts.

    And for me it's still a Telecaster, no matter what I change or modify.

    What I don't understand is why people assume you want to sell a guitar you have just put together? Don't get that. I don't sell my guitars. Period.
     
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  4. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It took me a lot of years to realise that the name on the headstock or model means nothing more than how much the guitar costs new and what components the manufacturer decided to include after working out a budget tailored to maximising their profits.
     
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  5. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    I'd say when the neck or body is not original. Everything else is just a modification.
     
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  6. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    This.
    I think that until the only mods are a pick up swap, a new pickguard, a broken tuner head or stuff like this, it still is the telecaster one has bought.
    When on starts to mess with neck or body, it is a partscaster.

    At least in my head.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Why are all the mods always "Upgrades"? Most of the time these mods are just "different-grades".

    I see so many listings of a Telecaster with "upgraded pickups" that are a common high-volume selling brand I really dislike and the first thing I do is yank those and replace. Because of that work to fix their mods that guitar is worth a lot less to me than they want for it.

    True partscaster status starts with the body and neck swaps. Pickups, tuners, nuts, bridges are all pretty common items to get swapped out or "different-grades" on a guitar and can be located and put back to original most of the time.

    .
     
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  8. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmm mimmo..... This gets awfully close to the point I am trying to make.

    If "the only mods are a pick up swap..." etc., this is almost like suggesting that swapping the engine out on your new Corvette is OK. It is still the car you bought. You then make other 'minor' changes to suspension and the electrics ....and it still remains the car you bought? .........Not in my head.

    Sorry to bring cars into the picture, but most of us seem to know cars better than we know our guitars.

    Having said that, I don't care if you dropped the latest Ferrari dream engine and transmission into your Corvette, it is no longer the car you originally bought and it no longer can be called a 'Corvette'. It may even be so much better now than the car you originally bought, but it is no longer what you bought.

    Moving on, I would suggest that a better description for let's say a 'modified' telecaster might simply be an "Owner modified Fender Supa-Dupa Special" with a description of all changes made to follow.

    An owner built 'ground up' telecaster style guitar, might be better described in a similar way, with a spec sheet to follow, if either of these guitars are going on the market.

    A 'Partcaster' means nothing more than a specific guitar is not necessarily what it might look like at first glance. No two Partscasters are necessarily alike. They tend to be unique in some way, and are also generally easy to modify should further mods be on the owners agenda.

    Parts do come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and there are thankfully a number of great guitars makers out there are who are making top quality guitars, with surprisingly to some, no Fender or Gibson (to name just two revered makers of quality guitars) parts included........and just like our beloved automobile makers, or the top selling guitar makers, they will outsource individual components on a regular basis, which is actually a very good thing ........and that might even include necks and bodies, which is not necessarily a prime sin either.

    So let's not keep looking down on these so called "Partscasters" as cheap knock offs, as some do, by remembering that many of these guitars might just be a damn sight better than the mass produced guitar that you are struggling to keep in tune on a daily basis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    The same with me.

    If your selling, any modification becomes an “upgrade.” :lol:
     
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  10. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    This has always ended up being the agreed upon point in the many, many, many times this has been discussed on TDPRI.
     
  11. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Pickup swaps, replaced pots or switches/switching (3 position to 4 position, etc.), changed bridge or bridge saddles, changed pickguard or knobs, ...that's a modification.

    Changed neck or body...well, it depends. If it's fairly new and changed under warranty (rare, but it happens), that's a repair.

    If it's "I like this neck better than the original," then it's on the verge of being a partscaster.

    If you assemble all your favorite parts and then Frankenstein it together, that's a partscaster.
     
  12. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Imo it's a partscaster if you built it from non fender parts.
     
  13. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    .... and it will probably be discussed many, many, many more times in the future.
     
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  14. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Made in America Allparts "licensed by Fender" neck on a MIM strat body.

    Now what do I call it?

    Hecho en USA?
     
  15. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Right up there with... Ash vs Alder, Maple vs Rosewood and Nitro vs Poly... just to mention a few.

    Many feel as they wish in order to justify their valuation of whatever it is that they have or to justify that theirs is just as good as someone else's.

    I really don't care.

    I have some that are all original, some partscasters and some I made the whole guitar (body, neck and hardware) myself. I have zero delusions of the value of guitars put together from parts and the repeated consensus in TDPRI discussions is that a partscasters value is the sum of what you can sell all the parts for.... unless you can find someone to pay you more. If it plays good and I am happy with it any comparison to someone else's favorite or someone else's judgement of it's value is irrelevant.

    .
     
  16. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

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    A guitar is just some wood with strings and simple electronics. You give life to it.

    A Partscaster is born when the original body and neck are separated, and just one remains. Gilmour's Black Strat at present is certainly not the black strat he used at Pompeii, although it's the same body. Maybe it's the daughter of that guitar - 50% original, 50% another ass.
     
  17. danpan

    danpan Tele-Meister

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    All three of my Teles are partscasters. Left and middle are guitars I put together and finished myself. The one on the right is an American deluxe that I modified with American Select tuners, CS '51 Nocaster pickups and a four way switch. I'll never sell any of them. Friends and/or family will inherit when I kick the proverbial bucket. They are all great sounding and playing Teles and they all see plenty gigging use!! 3-t's.jpg
     
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  18. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    Lol.
     
  19. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    This could all be very true Mike, but has nothing at all to do with my original question as to what defines a Partscaster. No-one has suggested that you or anyone anyone else has delusions "of the value of certain guitars". You will possibly find those comments in the "many, many, many" other postings that you are so familiar with.

    You are quite simply not answering the simple question that I asked, which was simply in regards to when a guitar that had been bought as a new guitar with certain specs, actually becomes a Partscaster if certain parts, other than strings are changed or modified. Taking this question to its outer limits we could say that any guitar that is built from parts, and that includes all its parts such as neck and body, is by definition a 'Parts' guitar or whatever name you wish to apply to it. At no time either did I mention the specific value of any guitar.

    You are possibly bringing other pet peeves that you have to the table in your posted answers. Sorry, but my question was not meant to rattle anyone's chains, but rather to have people rethink their views on Partscasters, and especially so if they currently feel that a Partscaster is something negative. My 'wild' claim might be that the percentage of actual Partscasters out there, is in excess of 50% of all electric guitars out there. In truth I don't know. It could be much higher.

    Regardless of other's views to the contrary, I still tend to think that once a guitar that has been made with clearly defined specifications is modified (other than string gauge or type), it no longer can be described as being that particular guitar. Maybe Partscaster really is the one word that can be used to described a guitar that has had mods. It can be heavily "Partcastered" or lightly "Partcastered" and so on, with a clear description to follow.
     
  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Even a neck swap is a modification. They're "bolted" on so that too can be accomplished. Several of mine have necks from a different Fender model. It's not made them any lesser of a guitar IMHO.

    Personally I object to the term "partscaster" anyway simply because they're all "partscasters". The only difference is who assembled the parts. Emilio in Corona, Juan in Ensenada, or soulman969 in Denver. ;) :p
     
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