American Original worth the wedge?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by CaineIsCarter, May 30, 2019.

  1. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 10, 2015
    Italy and Switzerland
    Re: your original question. I agree that if we’re speaking new Fender guitars the competitor to the AO is the lovely Baja60s. I have one, and it’s great. The differences as I see them:
    - The AO60s is nitro over poly undercoat (which BTW is historically correct for the early 60s), whereas the Baja 60s is poly (mine is thin and nicely made, I should add)
    - Pickups might be different, but the Baja60s is fully competitive there (PV 52 & 58)
    - The Baja60s has special electronics which you may or may not like (I eventually pulled the whole thing as I never used the S1 or 4-way)
    - The Baja 60s might require some small inexpensive improvements to give its best (e.g. new nut and saddles; replaced pickguard) whereas I expect the AO 60s to be ok right out of the box, subject to a good set-up.
    - The Baja 60s has no binding and is not offered in LPB

    There is no way I can tell you whether the additional cost is worth it for you or whether you’d be equally happy with the Baja and a wad of money to purchase something else. I think that in terms of the playing experience you can get awfully close with just those little adjustments – especially because I expect the neck profiles and frets to be really similar.

    If at all possible, it would definitely be worth going out to try a few (not just one of each… my Baja was better than the few others I tried by a mile) and see for yourself. Even if you have to travel a bit to do that. And since you’re at it, if you come across some nice used American Vintage teles give them a shot. Yeah, I know, 7’25’’ and vintage fret wire. Try them nonetheless… you might end up a convert like me ;P
    CaineIsCarter and rze99 like this.
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Why? It's like you can buy an expensive new guitar and watch 40% of the value fall off as you drive out of the showroom or buy it after a year and let someone else take the depreciation hit.

    I've bought many second hand guitars from US, Japan, and sold. Never been dudded yet. Look for good seller feedback and pics.

    I'm just waiting on a Am Spec FSR Strat from America. I feel like I stole it at the price and it's about $Au500 cheaper than I can get even secondhand here. It's a 2017 and it's obviously been barely played.
    CaineIsCarter likes this.
  3. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    If you've played the AO60s that you want to should jump on it now, before someone else does. If your infatuation with this model is purely based on looks and paper specs, you really owe it to yourself to track one down in a shop and play the heck out of it, before parting with any cash. You've already owned a bunch of nice instruments, so you know that there can be a world of difference between a Tele and The Tele...…

    NewKid, CaineIsCarter and AAT65 like this.
  4. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2006
    Potsdam, NY
    I stopped by a music store on my way home from a business trip yesterday and fell in love (okay, maybe infatuation is a better word) with a Lake Placid Blue AO60. I didn't play it, but I did fondle it and the neck seemed slightly larger than a standard MIM or the American Professional. I readily admit much of the infatuation stems from the double bound blue body, but the neck counts for something, right?

    I then did a little mental math. If I sold of all my guitars (2 Teles, a Korean Hamer, and an acoustic) and lumped all the money together, I would then have NO guitars because the AO60 costs more than my whole collection are worth together.

    The infatuation remains.
  5. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Meister

    Oct 30, 2011
    I’ve played a new AO60s LPB in stores and it’s definitely a beautiful guitar but not for $2K. Not for current me at least.

    Old me would have gone for it but I have a well set up American Special and a Road Worn 50s that both play like butter for less than that AO60. I think I’m done.

    If I had a good Les Paul, I wouldn’t but an expensive Tele. The highest I would go would be an American Professional.

    However, feeling the magic with any guitar trumps all this. If the guitar really makes you tingle all over then it’s worth the immediate 40% depreciation when you leave the shop with it because you’ll hopefully never sell it anyway.
  6. pippoman

    pippoman TDPRI Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    They’re very consistently built - I have one in Fiesta red, but the blue ones are gorgeous as heck! Being consistently built (and they all weigh about 7.5 pounds) means you can wait for a used one to pop up on Reverb. I played one at GC and went to Reverb and found one with a tiny blem for $1400 shipped; no tax. I’m really enjoying it and I personally like the Fiesta red best. The 9.5” radius is perfect and the tall frets make for extremely easy bends. I normally play with 9s, but this came with 10s and they feel great. I’ll eventually switch to 9s and may (?) put a Callaham bridge on it, but I’m in no hurry to do that. The neck doesn’t feel thick to me - my other Tele is a Richie Kotzen so I like ‘em thick. I used to loathe thick necks, but the Kotzen made me into a new man. Their choice of pickups on this thing was ideal. Again, they’re very consistently built, so you’re best bet is to watch for a used one in near mint condition and you’ll be all set with $600 left over for a nice Strat! Find one for $1495 and offer $1300. See what happens; couldn’t hurt.
  7. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia

    I had the same thinking... I was looking to get the AO 60's because the AV62 got discontinued.. If I sold everything, I will still come up short... but I was prepared to saving money... but a miracle happened...

    Then I saw the AV 62 in a pawnshop, priced ridiculously low because the guys dont know what it is.. I traded my American Pro + little cash, and went home with it.. now I have my holy grail...

    But I still want the LPB AO60's tele though... I'm hoping another miracle happens and fate will let me find a LPB American Vintage 64 tele..
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