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Baja overrated?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Fretting out, Jun 28, 2019.

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Baja neck Opinions

  1. definitely chunky

    35 vote(s)
    72.9%
  2. Medium sized

    13 vote(s)
    27.1%
  3. My bullet is thicker

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    I've never played a 60's Baja, but I'll take cover before saying this...I never thought the 50's Baja was anything special. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice guitar, but just never blew my mind.

    I've gone through a bunch of Teles over the years; Baja, Several American Standards, 52AVRI, PV52, and my favorites have been the Classic 50's. Basically a poor man's 52AVRI. Darn near identical necks as the last inaction of 52AVRI before it was replaced with the PV52. My personal favorite neck. Aside fro the Classic 50's, I also have a Squier CVC with a Classic 50's neck on it.
     
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  2. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I have bigger necks in the house (50s no-truss-rod Höfner, Loar LH-700) but as Fenders go, the Baja is definitely at the “chunkier” end of the spectrum – not far from the CS Nocaster as specs go.

    FWIW it’s a little too much for what I like in a Fender guitar. My fave is the neck on my 2011 AV52 tele, as well as the one on my AVRI 65 strat. I am very intrigued by what @TwangerWannabe has to say about the Classic 50s. I’d love to score a lacquer version on the used market, as I like that “white blonde / maple” looks a lot.

    PS: I have a Baja60s. It’s a nice, comfortable neck. I’d call that a mid size, as far as Fenders go. Just below what I prefer in girth, and a 9’5’’ + medium jumbo which I like a little less than the full vintage spec, but it’s such a lovely telecaster all-round that I just forget about all this stuff and play!
     
  3. Stu Cazz

    Stu Cazz TDPRI Member

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    I really liked the neck on a Blonde MIJ RI I guess 52, didn't ask.
    Couldn't find a Baja locally, is it similar?
    Also I really enjoy the neck on my 14 LP Traditional, and wondered if it goes in that direction?
     
  4. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have 3 Baja 50s necks, all are slightly different from each other, but all are great.

    One is on a pretty much stock Baja except the S-1 has been removed, the PG changed to bakelite and all the screws changed to slotted for a more vintage look. This guitar satisfies my "vintage BSB tele" urges in every way especially since 7.5" radii and vintage frets do nothing for me.

    My other one is a heavily modified Baja, that I worked into an Albert Collins tribute,

    The third one is a pink paisley partscaster.

    With these 3 teles, I pretty much have the bases covered but If i were to get another, it would almost certainly have to be a partscaster built around a Baja 50s neck. For me, there's no better neck for a telecaster.

    DSC_3409 -1.jpg DSC_3413 -1.jpg DSC_3415 -2.jpg
     
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  5. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    It's all relative. If your experience of Tele necks is generally Squiers and Modern Cs, the Baja 50s is a whole different take. Unusual, at the price point, when they were first marketed. If you've ever played a guitar with an Allparts TMO-Fat, the Baja neck is much slimmer.

    The whole 'looks vintage, plays modern' aesthetic is a winner, for Fender- pioneered by guitars like the Baja and now carried on, with the AO 50s and Vintera Modified 50s. To me, the key to the Baja popularity isn't just the relatively chunky neck girth- it's also the bigger frets and 9.5 radius. There are too few neck options, if you prefer something a little bigger- and even less, if you like modern refinements.
     
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  6. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    You need some more Bajas by the looks of it

    As for the OP who said they are overrated - do we stone people to death on here for Blasphemy? Or is it just a few short years in prison with a U shaped neck, for reducation?
     
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  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    After reading all the glowing praise for the '50s Baja model, I was excited to try one in a store a few years ago. I was shocked at how much I didn't like it- body and neck slathered in poly, and the chunky neck didn't agree with my hand at all. The Classic '50s was a much better guitar to me, even if the pickups were theoretically a step down.

    That doesn't make the Baja "overrated" though, it just means I have different preferences.
     
  8. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I have 3 guitars with Baja 50s necks. They all feel the same, and that's a very good same. I also have one yet-to-be-used Baja 50s neck, so I measured the thickness - about .89 at the 1st fret and .99 at the 12th (I didn't get much sleep last night so my measuring might be a little shaky this morning). That's probably just a few whiskers thicker than the modern "C", but that absense of a shoulder on the first 4 or 5 frets might make it feel no thicker, or even thinner than the modern "C". To me the modern "C" almost feels like it has an over abundance of shoulder, so I prefer the Baja 50s neck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  9. Bluetelecaster

    Bluetelecaster Tele-Holic

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    I really like the C shape neck on my road worn Tele.
     
  10. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    Classic 50's is just a great guitar for someone who wants a vintage inspired/vintage spec'd Tele without breaking the bank. I've mentioned this before but I had an '08 52AVRI and thought the neck profile was almost identical to the Classic 50's neck, the only difference being the Classic 50's neck is poly, 52AVRI is lacquer. If you drop in a set of Fender OV pickups (same pickups that were stock on the 52AVRI's) and some brass saddles, you pretty much have a near identical guitar for a fraction of the cost. I'm sure people will and have nit-picked the Classic 50's and will say they aren't anything like a 52AVRI, but when I changed the pickups and saddles and played the Classic 50's back to back with my 52AVRI, they sounded identical. Actually the Classic 50's sounded a little better, so I sold the 52AVRI. FWIW, both guitars weighed 7.5lbs.

    In addition to the Classic 50's Tele I have in the white blonde, I also have a Squier CVC that I just put a Classic 50's (poly version) neck on and have a Classic 50's lacquer neck, brand new in the box. Would have used the Classic 50's lacquer neck, but thought the poly version looked better on the CVC due to the orange tint of the lacquer version just not looking right with the CVC's burst and bound body.
     
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  11. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

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    I think it's a thick neck. It was the thickest neck I had ever felt when I got it. A few years later I got a MIJ '89 ST57 Strat, and it has a C profile neck which is just as thick as the Baja one. They both feel similar, as the Baja almost doesn't have any V at all.
     
  12. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    That's interesting. My Classic 50's necks (two poly, one lacquer version) measure 0.90" at the 1st fret and 0.94" at the 12th fret. I've always thought the 50's Baja neck felt a little too chunky for me in comparison. The Baja neck may also have broader shoulders in comparison making it also feel that much bigger, but for whatever reason whenever I pick up a 50's Baja I always think to myself the neck is just a little too much for me, but think the Classic 50's is perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Ah, OV pickups. They need just a bit of extra treble from the amp, but they’re SO damn good.

    And here I’ll echo what @beyer160 and @Flaneur had to say above about the Baja. I guess the Baja is a great choice for someone who likes the aesthetics and big neck of older teles but in fact likes more modern features – including a not-so-traditional neck pickup, radius and frets. Like @beyer160 I never really liked the model myself. I kinda like the neck, but it’s just a tad too far; I am not crazy about the pickups (the Baja 60s is far better to me); and all those I tried felt like they had a very thick poly finish. So I guess that my market for a 50s tele is Classic 50s, Vintera (that 50s in Fiesta is yummy) or used AVRIs…

    Why did I write this? Oh well…
     
  14. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    I still do think the 50's Baja is a killer guitar. Don't want anyone to think otherwise. Just because it didn't blow my skirt up doesn't mean I discount others loving it, or think it's anything less. Just wasn't my cup of tea. I like 7.25" boards, don't need anything more than a 3-way switch, don't want an S-1 switch, etc. But for the guys who do with a 9.5" radiuses board and a vintage look, it's a hard guitar to beat.

    I will say this, if you're worried about thick finishes, you may be disappointed no matter what you choose. The older, 52AVRI's (pre-PV52) have very thick finished on the necks body, and so do the Classic 50's. My 52AVRI also had a pretty thick coat of lacquer on the neck compared to the newer finish on the Pure Vintage necks, and this is pretty much the neck used on the Classic 50's.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
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  15. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Absolutely. I hope my post doesn’t come across as if I wanna rain on anyone’s party, and I am also happy that the Baja 50s lives on pretty much unaltered in the Vintera Mod 50s. I think it’s great it’s in the lineup. My feelings have everything to do with personal preferences that developed over time. Like you, I’ve come to prefer full vintage specs and I’ve even pulled the special electronics from my Baja 60s. But I fully realize that that’s me.

    As for finishes … possibly. My impression is that both my Baja 60s and my AV 52 – which is really at the end of the run and apparently has some resemblances with post-2012 AV52s – feel less thickly coated than the few Baja 50s I’ve had in hand. But again, just an impression developed over trying and comparing maybe 4-5 Bajas in all.
     
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  16. 392Hemi

    392Hemi Tele-Meister

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    My Baja looks good, feels good and sounds great (especially when someone else is playing it). It is the only tele I have and the only one I need but of course I want more.
     
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