American Tele Advice

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by adam79, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:23 AM.

  1. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

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    I've finally decided on buying a Tele over a Les Paul. Are there any specific years and/or models that I should keep an eye out for? I got $1500 to spend; I don't care if it's new or used. I want an Ash body n Maple neck.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    A Tele over an LP is wise decision! Good luck with the hunt.
     
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  3. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    I like Thinlines, those are good, Rosewood boards are good too, easier to play but I do like the look of the maple board.

    That's just me though.
     
  4. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think all the US Teles have been pretty great for at least the past 30 years. Only reason I'm not going back further is I haven't played any from before '92.

    I have an '06 American Series (what they called the Standard for a few years) - natural ash with a maple neck. It's 100% stock and I'd put it up against any Tele that exists as far as tone and feel. Absolutely love it; no mods necessary for me.

    I play mostly classic rock and classic metal. I used to be a Gibson guy - SGs and a LP Studio. I didn't own a Fender until 2014. Now I've got four Fenders, a Squier bass, a partscaster Tele and a partscaster Strat.

    IMO Gibsons are overpriced and most Les Pauls are too heavy compared to a Tele or a Strat. I also don't like the fact that you can't change the neck. On a Fender if you don't like the neck, you can swap it out. Huge bonus. Last of all, most humbuckers sound like mud to me now. With single coils you get beautiful chime and definition for amazing cleans, and then you just use booster and distortion pedals if you want to do the crunchy thing. You can always add gain, but you can't take it away if it's built into the guitar.

    If it were me with $1500, I'd find a nice used Tele for $700 (MIA Standard) up to $1200 (MIA Reissue or Deluxe) and use the remaining cash for something else musical.

    FYI, the high-end Mexican-made Fenders are also stellar quality and use pro quality components. If you want new, you may want to consider those too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 12:14 PM
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  5. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    MY understanding is that the modern (Post 2001) classic USA Fender (and Gibson's) models are about as close as one could get to the golden era's. Based on my own personal experience, I've loved just about every post 2001 USA made Fender and Gibson that I've owned. You should be able to get into a darn nice Fender Tele for your budget. Good luck! Let us know what you end up getting!
     
  6. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

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    What's the significance of post 2001? Was there a change in ownership?

    I've played alot a Tele's recently and while I love their tone I'm not a fan of the neck. I'm not sure if it's cuz I'm used to the thinner Strat necks or I just don't agree with the shape. I feel the same way about LPs. Every so often I come across one that's really comfortable, but it's rare.

    I'm thinking that I might just buy the Fender body and order a custom neck from Musikraft. From the reviews I've read, people seem to like them best. That way I can get the neck size I like and an Ebony fingerboard on Maple.
     
  7. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    Maple fretboards on Teles! (and Strats)
     
  8. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    Most believe that 2001 and later is when the MFG's really started to pay attention to the details of the builds of their golden era instruments, and from this point onward they have improved upon this notion. It's not that anything prior to this date isn't good etc. but it was around 2001 when people started noticing nuances in build that were only seen on vintage instruments etc. if that makes sense. This is my understandng anyway...

    Speaking of Les Pauls - I have a 56 USA reissue that I bought new in 2012, and I've compared this instrument to an original 56. I could find very little difference between the 2, other than the age differnece and patina mostly. My 2012 56 sounds/feels amazing and I wouldn't dare change a thing on it.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The MIM Player Series is a great value, especially if you can buy used.

    .
     
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  10. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    That's kinda like asking what kind of car you should buy. There are so many choices. However, with that said and if you're comfortable spending $1,500, without a doubt, one of the AVRI, AV or AO models. Within those lines you have the choice of a '52 (AVRI & AV), '58 (AV), '62 (AVRI) '64 (AV), '69 Thinline (AV), '72 Custom (AVRI & AV), '50s & '60s (AO). The AVRI and AV are discontinued so only available used. There may have been more, but these for sure.

    They are very well made and as close to Custom Shop (especially the AVs) as you will get in a production Telecaster. New AOs are priced higher than $1,500, but there will be deals to be found as well as the used market.

    Happy hunting.
     
  11. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

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    I've already decided on going that route, I forgot to mention it.. do any of the reissues have the slimmer/narrrower neck found on earlier Tele's n most Strats? I know people drag on the 70s Fenders, but I played a 72 Tele the other day and it was the first one in a while that had a nice neck; I'm pretty sure it was a 7.5" too.
     
  12. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Best value for money is used .. Happy hunting
     
  13. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  14. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    2020 Volvo XC60.

    vovlo 2.jpeg
     
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  15. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

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    thanks for the link, but it needs to be butterscotch.. which is dramatically limiting my options. Especially with the already small pool of reissues. I've only been able to find the '52's on eBay and Reverb.

    The only body reissue I've found butterscotch is a '52 from '87. It's not post 2001, like recommended above, but I'm sure it's a quality body. It does have a Nitro paint job, which isn't found on any of the '02+ models, right?
     
  16. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    If you prefer a slimmer neck, than go for the AVRI series. The AVs have a pretty chunky neck, happens to be my current favorite.
     
  17. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  18. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Meister

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    Yeah but what about that neck dive? I can't stand neck dive unless it's a big bodied semi-hollow ala Gretsch.
     
  19. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

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    Yep. Except that model is prob from after '87. The body I mentioned has the clear butterscotch paint. I prefer solid butterscotch, but if that's the only reissue body I can find, I'm not sure if it's a deal breaker. Close enough tho that I might change my mind on that.

    I spec'd out a Musikraft body and it's $150 cheaper, without the paint job, but nitro paint is only like $20. I'd like to have the guitar be as much Fender as I can stomach tho, which is why I might just buy the full guitar, if I can afford the replacement neck afterwards. Unfortunately for me, the '52 reissue has the largest neck of any Telecaster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 9:11 PM
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