Anyone willing to share their thoughts on Fender Classic Series?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by milopera, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. milopera

    milopera TDPRI Member

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    I would like to know from people who have tried them out, or better yet own, MIM Fender Classic Series.

    Up until I found out about these I thought that the only way to get a 7.25" radius neck off the shelf would be with a reissue or custom shop, and of course vintage.

    Are these guitars comparable to reissues? I mean, if they are as good as it seems like they are this would be a great way to have a guitar with vintage specs at a reasonable price!

    What are the drawbacks, if any?

    I'm not able to find any for sale locally that I can try out for myself, and I don't see much by way of reviews on the internet or YouTube.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Alter likes this.
  2. Saxonbowman

    Saxonbowman TDPRI Member

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    I have the Classic 50's series MIM Tele that has the 7.25" radius neck. I'm not the most experienced player but I find it very comfortable to play. I haven't compared it to many others but to me it felt better than the Classic 60's version that I tried. The 50's neck is just a bit thicker. The fit and finish on this guitar is superb!
     
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  3. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

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    I have the Classic '72 Thinline... U-Shaped neck, vintage frets, 7.25 radius. Once I got used to the different specs it quickly became my favorite guitar.
     
  4. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal TDPRI Member

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    I've got a Classic Series 70's Stratocaster with the U-neck, vintage fretwire and 7.25" radius and after nearly every gig I play someone tries to come and buy it from me. It's actually become a bit of a hassle! In all seriousness, it's an amazingly nice instrument for the price and it's my "Strat" -- it's the only one I own, and I intend to keep it for the long haul.

    Being my first guitar with that radius, it also taught me not to buy into the "7.25" radius guitars always choke out on bends" common Internet complaint -- I have the action set lower on this thing than any of my other guitars and it doesn't fret out anywhere on bends of as much as a step and a half, and that's with the factory fret work.

    The best part about these guitars are that you can snag them online for quite cheap if you're diligent about hunting for one -- I paid $400 for mine in dead mint condition from eBay. They were twice that (or more) new, and nobody bid on the thing!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I had a '50s Classic Tele that I eventually sold to fund a smokin' deal on a USA ASAT. Great guitar, I never had a problem bending on a 7.25" radius neck, either. The only real drawback is that the stock pickups are meh.

    I also have a '60s Classic Jazzmaster that's a dead ringer for my old AVRI. Fender definitely got it right with the Classic series, I haven't yet tried a Vintera but they have big shoes to fill.
     
  6. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Holic

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    I love the neck on my Classic Series Esquire.
     
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Classic Series Cabronita. I wouldn't change a single part on it, it's perfect as-is. One of my favorite necks too, and that's out of a lot of guitars.
     
  8. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic

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    I have the U shaped Esquire and the 50’s strat with the soft V. Both are great guitars for different moods. The biggest down side is the poly - if that bothers you.

    The pickups are often cited as not great in the them. I raised the tele bridge right up to where I love it.

    I prefer a slightly hotter pickup than the strat has stock. But it’s nice sounding set. I haven’t changed them yet.
     
  9. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I have the classic series 50s strat. I've had it going on 12 years now and it's been my number one almost the entire time. Others will come along and try to take the throne, but that daphne blue strat always wins my heart back. It's the reason I've never made the jump to an MIA strat. I want one, but I feel like the 50s is just as good or better than a lot of the MIA strats I've played. I like the 7.25 radius as well. No problems fretting out here.

    The only complaint I usually hear on them is that the pickups aren't very good. I actually don't remember. When I first got it I rarely played plugged in, but I did end up switching the pickups to some noiseless ones because the branding was able to trick me into buying them. They are the Jeff Beck vintage noiseless hot pickups if I recall, and I wanted to sound like Jeff Beck. So I like the noiseless pickups in mine, but I couldn't tell you if I loved or hated the stock pickups.

    The soft V neck is my favorite and in all my builds I'm trying to emulate that neck profile.
     
  10. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's

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    Classic '50s Tele here. Great guitar. Put a 4-way switch in but that's the only change I made. To me it sounds and plays better than my 50s Baja.
     
  11. Apache Snow

    Apache Snow Tele-Meister

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    I have a 2006 classic 60s strat and it reminds me a lot of the 1959 strat I had in the 60s and 70s. And since I put Klein's epic 59 pick ups in it, it sound like it as well. I love that guitar.
     
  12. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    I had a Classic '60s tele that I liked very well.



    Mark
     
  13. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I've owned several Classic series guitars over the years and was always pleased with them.They were launched in 1998 when Fender decided to stop importing Japanese reissues and started building those guitars in Mexico instead.They are generally quite well built and great quality player grade guitars.The stock pickups sound good too with sufficient output.They are not intended to be perfect replicas of the instruments they are named after...the polyester finish,plastic bobbin pickups ect are not vintage correct but who cares since you are getting a guitar that gets in the ballpark of the originals spirit at a reasonable price.I currently own a lake placid blue 60s Strat and love it.
     
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  14. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    I own a 60s Telecaster and ctually preferred it to the AV64, neck wise.
    The AV is a better guitar of course, better components etc. but the neck on my Classic Series is a lovely thing, really, and I prefer the slab rosewood to the lam one. Lovely weigh too at 3.2 kg.

    It is just a personal thing of course, but it will give you an idea of what this series can give you.
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    They are nice reissues that replaced the old MIJ/CIJ reissues in the product lineup. The build quality is nearly as good, if not the same, as MIJ/CIJ and the pickups and electronics are better. You might need to get your frets end dressed and polished, and possibly a new nut, but other than that, they are excellent. And as you say, they are one of the only ways into 7 1/4" radius with skinny frets (my preferences in a neck).

    They have been replaced with the Vintera line, which is just the same, except with higher prices and a few additional models (e.g .Mustang and Mustang Bass).

    If I had not already "moved up" to American reissues, I would be collecting "old" Classics.
     
  16. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Meister

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    I have a 60’s classic tele from about 2 years ago - fantastic guitar.
     
  17. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    69 Reissue Thinline - main guitar for Old Farts band I play in. Careful fettling and fiveway switch (four-way probably better) and it's a great guitar. 20 years, two fret dresses. A few tweaks but stock pickups.

    IMG_20170808_213442.jpg
     
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  18. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    I've got a Classic Series 60's Strat and it's really good. I bought it new in about 2007. Fit and finish are good, hardware all works well, the pickups (not sure what Fender would name them) aren't overly noisy. There are some real Strat tones in there and it's very comfortable to play.

    The only thing I don't like about it is that it's not a Tele...
     
  19. 545454

    545454 TDPRI Member

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    I've got a Classic 60s Strat and the Wilko Johnson Tele which is pretty much the 60s Tele from what I understand. I was after vintage style appointments without the AVRI pricetag and am delighted with both - nice weights, lovely rosewood boards and good hardware. Haven't felt the need to swap the pickups either - they just do exactly what I need them too. I'd really struggle to justify upgrading to a MIA model.
     
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  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I've got a MIM Classic '69 Thinline in ash (built '99), a MIM Classic '60 Tele with a special Palo Escrito veneer (built '06) and a MIM Classic 50s Esquire (built '04)

    I like the thicker neck sections of the '69 and 50s, but I like the lack of thick poly board finish on the rosewood boarded Classic '60. You may find yourself a little handcuffed trying to buy well used MIM Classics with maple boards, because the neck finish is thick but the 6230 is only so big. You for sure do not want to have to be refretting a guitar in this price range.

    The diamond shaped (trapezoid?) tuning machines on the '69s and '72s are garbage (and so are the machines on their USA counterparts). You will have to replace those; I use the Gotoh splits (Allparts TK 0880) with 10.0 mm conversion bushes for that. I also like to replace the jack prong - the gauge is fairly thin and these can fail at the wrong time in a show.

    I've got a couple of Fender Custom Shops, and quite a number of other USA Fenders. I never feel deprived playing these MIMs instead.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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