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Any masterbuilt owners here?

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by VillainSean, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I'm considering ordering a "masterbuilt" tele from FCS, after I sell off a few closet queens.

    I'm really after the "end all, be all" one of kind tele thinline!

    I have a MB John Cruz '50th Strat which has served me well, but I bought in my "strat" phase, and I'm a full blown tele-holic these days. This was back in 2004 and it did take about 9 months to get it back then.

    I know that there is a waiting period, and but I'm really curious about the customer service aspect.

    What was the process like for you?
    Did you communicate directly with the builder to discuss details?
    Did he just agree to everything you asked for or did he have feedback about the choices you wanted?
     
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  2. tlp123

    tlp123 Tele-Meister

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    Like to know too.

    Had many CS Fenders in the past and 3 at the moment.

    Never ordered a custom build from them though, or a master build.
     
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  3. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sean, I've got two Masterbuilts, a Galuszka-built 62 Strat and a Fessler-built Broadcaster. That answers your thread title; but it looks like you're really looking for comments about the actual build process where you contact the builder. Can't really help you there since both my Masterbuilds were already made and in my local Fender dealer's shop. Unfortunately, I've never gone through the ordering process myself, but I know a guy that did order a Strat that rants and raves about what a great process it was, from ordering to getting the actual finished product. The Strat was even better than he expected and the builder (dang, can't remember who it was) kept in contact with him throughout the deal.
     
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  4. Don Rich Rules

    Don Rich Rules Tele-Meister

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    I have a Masterbuilt I bought used. I got to play it before I decided to buy it.
    It was made by John Cruz. Beautiful guitar too. But I have several other FCS Strats and Teles that are made IMO very similar to the Cruz Masterbuilt.
     
  5. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    Unfortunately can't comment on the process as my Masterbuilt Nocaster was purchased used. Fantastic guitar. One of the best necks I've ever had. I liked my team built CS52 better though. Really no better quality on the masterbuilt. If I had it to do over again I'd be more inclined to have a masterbuilt by Ron Kirn or some other noted builder. Unless you just have to have Fender on the headstock. I get that to.
     
  6. TheDavis

    TheDavis Tele-Meister

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    I agree, there’s a ton of guys that build teles at that level for a lot less money. My Rice Custom guitars feel as “ master built “ as anything I’ve ever had my hands on.
     
  7. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    Yes it feels dirty for me to say those words as I'm a big Fender fan boy and have been for years. But as I get older I really have to admit to my self the truth. Masterbuilts here in Canada fetch between 8-10k new. I bought mine used (I'm 3rd owner) a 2007 MB Nocaster for $4,000. Even that used price would easily get me the best of the best boutique build.
     
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  8. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Thanks, I've heard that as well, so I'm assuming no one has had a "bad" experience ;) I figured some lurkers might have some direct ideas.

    I know there are several "cheaper" boutique builders out there, I'm not really here to debate the cost. I have some very specific specs in mind and !dagnabbit! it needs to say "Fender" on the headstock ;) I'm really digging what Ron Thorn did with the "PARALLEL UNIVERSE VOLUME II TELE® MÁGICO" and a few other MBs he's made with a similar design (pic below).

    I'm not saying I have to work Ron (Hello Ron!). I'm thinking something like this - but in sunburst or BSB.

    f0b0vx3tkcnynzidua1k.jpg

    I'd be curious to know if us layman get to decide which MS we work with, or maybe it a "first come first serve" situation where you get who is available?
     
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  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    I ordered my Masterbuilt left handed Rosewood Tele . I even had to get approval for it since no lefties were to be built . I received a phone call from Fender and the details were quickly worked out . I was even afforded the opportunity to choose the builder , which I declined . The project was assigned to Greg Fessler and he did a wonderful job . My order was placed through The Music Zoo in NYC . As a side . I haven't cracked it open to look , but whoever did the pickups on my Tele , far exceeded anything that I could have imagined . Yes , they are that good .
     
  10. michael_o

    michael_o TDPRI Member

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    I'm also very curious about the masterbuild process. At what point does the build contact you and how long does it take to build the guitar with your input (excluding the queue time)?
     
  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don’t have any experience with a Masterbuild but I special ordered two “team built” Teles. I specified everything and they came out great. I can’t imagine how much better they would have been if I was able to work directly with a single builder to discuss such things as neck profile, and pickups to mention a few.
    I also own two dealer select custom shop Strats, Wildwood 10s, both of which are stellar. The John Cruz pickups are different for each and they are awesome.
    I have a dream build in mind but I doubt I ever act on it. However, if a person has the funds then they should go for it.
    As an aside, I don’t think that there are “tons of boutique builders” who can do what they do. Sure, there are some but how can you be sure?
     
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  12. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    Masterbuilt guitars typically have one person paying attention to the details. IMHO, the best Tele's are Partscasters. Some have noted logos and/or builders and some do not. At this stage of the game I am choosing to build my own.

    Body Warmoth One Piece Swamp Ash 475.00
    Neck Warmoth Quartersawn Maple 359.00
    Pickups TV Jones T-Armond Soapbar 340.00
    Case SKB 3i-4214-66 291.00
    Bridge Schaller 3D-6 96.80
    Potentiometers Bourn 300K Long Bushing 51.14
    Tuning Machines Schaller M6 39.99
    Three Way Switch CRL EP-0075-000 25.65
    Strap Buttons Schaller S-Locks 24.78
    Control Knobs Schaller Volume/Tone 22.03
    Neck Mounting Plate Stew-Mac Standard Tele 15.37
    Strings D'Addario .011-.049 Medium 12.99
    String Tree Graph Tech PT700400 11.60
    Jack Mount Stew-Mac Electro-Socket 9.80
    Capacitors Orange Drop .047uF, .001uF 7.00
    Output Jack Switchcraft Long Thread 5.01
    Copper Tape Stew-Mac #0028 4.51
    Misc Screws Stew-Mac # 0035-B 3.85
    Treble Bleed Resistor Stew-Mac 150K 1.00
    Wire Belden WIR-HRNES 0.75
     
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  13. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds fantastic! Would love to see some pics.
     
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  14. claes

    claes Tele-Afflicted

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    I thought it would be about epiphone acoustics.
    I love telecasters (and play nothing else with a cord) but it is a plank with strings on.
    Im pretty sure CNC does all the building there is
     
  15. michael_o

    michael_o TDPRI Member

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    I think when you go for masterbuild you are thinking of awesome relic job or very non standard specs and mods. Or some hand painted/figured finish etc. The guitar is just as good as off the shelf mass produced tele, but it's also piece of art :)
     
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  16. TCI

    TCI TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for the comments and consideration, much appreciated.
    To answer a couple questions on here:
    You can select your builder if you like, sure.
    We all have different length backlogs. I’m currently just over a year.
    When requested, I’ll call the customer prior to starting and go over every spec and make recommendations as I feel fit.
    Doing exactly this for over 20 years and over a 1000 custom builds (majority of them as Thorn Guitars) I’ve spoken to players that aren’t entirely sure what fretwire they like, or what radius they prefer all the way to players that know exactly what neck carve they want, down to the thousandth of an inch.
    I’ll explain anything and everything and enjoy doing so. This may take multiple calls because I might suggest sitting down with a variety of guitars and paying attention to fretwire or neck carve and determine what you like most.
    Once it’s all dialed in I start the build. This will usually take a few months assuming all goes smoothly and that it’s a fairly “normal” build.
    Custom inlays, graphics, search for a very specific figure, etc, would increase the build time.
    I hope that helps, thanks again.
    Ron Thorn
     
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  17. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    if I ever get the money together for a Masterbuilt, id choose this guy!

    That Korina Jr is absolutely out of this world!! Also, Ive played a 2 Thorns here, and its easily 2 of the best guitars I’ve ever held! I can wait over a year for a Ron Thorn masterbuilt!
     
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  18. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know nothin about them fancy fiddles but I'm enjoying your music on Bandcamp.
     
  19. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    08A82554-2AEE-4DF6-912A-2CDB78498690_1_105_c.jpeg 804FEB7A-9D65-42CE-A770-69F2546668A1_1_105_c.jpeg A725748C-C440-4AF7-B86F-AF4AC79903C8_1_105_c.jpeg 980C3D11-EBA3-42C4-924D-2CDE269DE853_1_105_c.jpeg
     
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  20. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Thanks Ron! I appreciate the direct feedback!
     
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