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Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by VillainSean, Feb 18, 2021.
Thanks! It's a labor of love! Should have new stuff up there soon.
Sure can't beat that response, Sean......
I know he checks in here from time to time
I actually got meet Ron a while back at one of the FCS Road Shows in Seattle. Both He and Paul Waller were super cool, as was the other FCS staff.
Hard to wrong with Masterbuilt. Unless you just don't like... I advocate a masterbuilt that is "already built" that you can buy now and return if you don't like it. In short, an "approval period" with the purchase. Just because you order what you want doesn't mean that you will love the finished guitar. Yet by ordering your own, you assume a liability to buy/ accept what is sent. A bit of a trap if you don't like the guitar. Masterbuilts are all very well made. But sometimes what you order isn't what you love. I have owned 36 Masterbuilt Fenders (as brand new guitars, since the late 1980's) and two have been built to order. I eventually sold those two and have kept quite a few of the "already made" ones. It's just like buying an "existing vintage guitar", only it's a brand new Masterbuilt!
Buy wisely, and buy what you can sell, if you and the guitar evolve to that scenario...
Totally appreciate your point of view here.
As I consider making an order ( or "investment" ), my goal is to have something truly "one of kind, to my exact specs".
Now, what specs I want today, compared to last week when I made this thread, may have changed slightly.
But based on my experience with FCS, any such instrument would have to be WAY OFF of what I ordered for me not to like it.
I have a variety right now that I love exactly because they different, and I'm really after something I don't have and haven't seen...yet
Here my "Dream" specs for consideration:
Neck: Flame one piece roasted maple, maybe an ebony fretboard depending on the body color,
22 frets, modern C->D shape, compound radius 9.5-12, Fender modern locking tuners, bone nut. Similar to what's on the current MIA Ultra models.
On Yeah, that fat 70's Tele Deluxe/Strat headstock 50's Logo though!
Body: Double Bound Thinline Telecaster, two piece matched Ash. Nitro finish. Transparent White w/tortoise binding or Two-tone burst w/white binding as well. Still thinking about the color scheme.
Electronics: Two TV Jones PowerTrons, "Clapton active mod", 1 Vol control, 1 "mod" control, standard pickup select, mini-switch for "mod", output jack on the control plate as well. I'm basically "borrowing" this idea from my 35th FCS Anniversary Strat made by Art Esparza, which has this mod with the Lace Sensor Silver pickups. it's so nice to not need an boost pedal when. I figure the PCB board & battery can live in the bottom route, and having the output jack on the control plate would make things so much easier for maintenance.
Bridge: 90s-20s Strat hardtail style, modern saddles, not the retro style saddles. I was thinking about a Bigsby, but maybe for #2
"Relicing" ? nope, Make it NOS
So a slight variation of a '70s Thinline Deluxe Cabronita...
I have 2, both wonderful guitars but they are getting very expensive, so you pay large for very small incremental improvements.
Care to share the details of your two? I'm curious what other masterbuilt owners did with their choices.
Thanks for sharing your experience which answered a number of questions for me.
I'm no Masterbuilder & I'm in awe at @TCI 1000+ builds compared to my 30+ but what are these small incremental improvements and are they worth the extra $thousands? The fact that you have two probably indicates it does.
I can buy top quality CNC-ed parts manufactured to incredible tolerances and get a professional finish and still have change from $1500.
There are only two big bits to put together (body and neck) then lots of smaller parts, many of which need adjusting to make a very playable guitar.
Let's say I'm all in for $2,000 (my Broadcaster replica with its Clive Brown aged finish came in at less than that) so what does the extra $2,000+ buy me? How much of those expensive small incremental improves will I notice to say "That $4,000+ price tag was well worth it".
Since I bought my first Tele in Dallas in 2000, took it apart and reassembled it better than when I took it apart, I've been very much a DIY guitarist and assembler, and I've also progressed from turning pieces of wood into guitars, so I've a good idea what goes into making a good guitar and I believe I've got the skills to make a great guitar.
But does a Masterbuilder have that undefined magical touch to melt a guitarists heart, ears and fingers.
I'm curious to know.
I got a good price on these - neither were custom orders - shop purchased, but looking at the price in the uk they have rocketed in price in the last 18 months.
I had a Masterbuilt Tele made for me in 1997. I was in Florida on business when I went to Thoroughbred Music and saw a row of outstanding highly flamed neck Teles and Strats. They were all Masterbuilts and I was in love. Next time back I brought my 67 CAR Tele with me to trade in. I worked out a deal for an even trade for a beautiful Jay Black built Tele. I must have taken an hour to finally decide to decline the trade, sell the 67 Tele outright and have a Masterbuilt built to my Specs. I sketched what I wanted on paper and sent it off to Thoroughbred. Couldn’t get Jay Black to build it because of his backlog of almost a year so I had Art Esparza build my guitar. We talked several times on the phone to discuss items I missed on my sketch. Great experience. 1 year later I received my Tele. I’ll post some photos later along with my hand drawn sketch. It’s in my Avatar.
I owned a Masterbuilt Nocaster and now own a fantastic Custom shop team built 52 Telecaster. With the Nocaster blond, Big Nocaster U neck and Broadcaster\Nocaster pickups. So basically a Nocaster with "Telecaster" on the headstock.
The differences between the 2 are simply features. Quality wise one isn't better than the other. They are both quality pieces and I hear no differences.
They aren't apples to apples comparative guitars though. The Masterbuilt is a heavy relic, which I don't like the looks but the feel is amazing. The neck is the best feeling neck I've ever felt, compared to the Journeyman relic of the 52. I prefer the look of the 52's journeyman relic. I'd love to have someone "heavy relic" the neck on my CS 52 just for how it feels. My CS 52 is 6.9 pounds and my masterbuilt was 7.6 pounds. The lighter guitar is my preference. Each one resonated and vibrated equally. They sounded similar although the 52 has more bite and twang and the Masterbuilt Nocaster was fatter sounding not as twangy. I prefer the sound of the 52.
I've played many Masterbuilts and Team builts and I can't say that the Masterbuilts as a rule stand head and shoulders above the Team builts. I got an amazing deal on my Masterbuilt used. Paid only about a few hundred more than what most used team builts were going for.
Nice, We seem to have very similar taste in Teles!
Sean we do - stay safe.
Dam interwebs - https://reverb.com/item/39181028-fender-custom-shop-bigsby-telecaster-journeyman-black-sparkle
Here some photos of my 1997 Master built and the sketch it was made from. I figured as long as I have options I was going to make this guitar what I wanted. I ended up having a belly cut and arm contour added. Art sent a couple of really cool straps and a blackguard along with it. 1.75" nut width, neck dims .87/.99. Great experience and still have the guitar. 6# 9oz.
That it a stunner, and through that Tremoverb even! My Tremoverb combo is "retired", but what great amps they are! Maybe now that Gibson owns Mesa, they'll get reissued in a "less than 110 lbs" form factor.
Love me that Tremoverb but you’re right, it weighs a ton! I recently bought a Suhr PT15 IR that I’m really liking. And only 24lbs.
Mine was a hold over from the grunge era, and I've since moved on to Fender amps, a Princeton for home & a DRRI for gigs.
I don't normally like birdseye (I like flame though) but that is just dam cool.
Very cool seeing it go from drawing to reality. Thanks for sharing that