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Baja Tele changes in years

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DanielKogen, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. DanielKogen

    DanielKogen TDPRI Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm new on the forum. In my research about the Baja tele this forum has been a great help and everyone seems so nice. I'd appreciate your help on something.
    I've seen some talk about differences in the 50's baja tele specs through the years such as earlier makes had chunkier necks and pickups have slightly changed later on. Are there any noticeable differences? I will be buying a used baja soon and I found one made in 2008 and one in 2012. Is there any difference quality wise? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Welcome, Daniel!

    I cannot predict whether you'll like a "newer" Baja, over an older one. The quality is fairly consistent. I've got seven of these, all early ones, and in playing newer ones, the change in the available color seems the biggest difference. And, beware the so called "60s" Baja. Some (ash body/maple neck 50s) can be very heavy. Sometimes the S-1 switch is busted. But mostly, just reserve the right to return it, no questions, if you cannot play it in person.
     
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  3. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome to TDPRI :)
     
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  4. DanielKogen

    DanielKogen TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for the quick response :). Unfortunately I don’t have the chance to play them but I’ll be able to return it if something feels off. I really hope I get a quality one that lives up to the great comments I read all over the internet.
     
  5. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Hi Daniel,

    Welcome aboard. I have had two '50s Bajas. I don't recall much difference between the two except their neck profiles. One was more of a "V" while the other was more of a full "C." At first, I thought the "C" neck was a Classic Player '50s neck, but Fender confirmed that it was indeed a Baja. In any event, I liked them both but much preferred the more pronounced "V" shape. Your mileage (and guitars) may vary.

    That "V" Baja into a Pathfinder 15 was such a great sparkly sound. I had about half a dozen Teles pass through my hands in the last year and will probably end up with a Baja once again.

    Go ahead and ask the seller(s) to describe it, weigh it, etc. before you buy. A private seller should do this and any store worth your business will too.
     
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  6. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    I've played 3 Baja 50s Teles, and tried out a few Vintera equivalents. The necks all feel about the same to me: soft V shape with plenty of depth dimensionally from the front of fingerboard to back of neck. I love chunky necks, and if the Baja I acquired wasn't so dang heavy, I'd have held onto it.
     
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  7. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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  8. DanielKogen

    DanielKogen TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the advice I’ll be asking about all these to the seller. I tried a soft V neck in my local store and it felt very comfortable so I’m after that feel in the baja as well. Do you happen to remember what year were your bajas made?
     
  9. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    No idea, sorry. Glad that you had a chance to try one. I thought that neck w/ 9.5 radius was comfortable as all get out and miss it.
     
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  10. Fuggle

    Fuggle Tele-Meister

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    Out of curiosity, how much did it weigh?
     
  11. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    About 3.9KG, or 8lbs 9oz
     
  12. Fuggle

    Fuggle Tele-Meister

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    That’s a little heavy, but you gotta top 9lbs to be “dang heavy”!
     
  13. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    Touche! Yeah I know I ought not to complain, but being in my early 30s and having the kind of shoulder problems normally experienced by a 50-year old person is just a b*tch. I do try to avoid playing any guitars that are heavier than 8 pounds for extended periods of time.
     
  14. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think the specs for the Baja 50s line have been consistent. There will be small differences neck to neck, but not night and day differences.

    I have played Bajas in shops that feel both a bit larger and a bit smaller than mine, but they are all definitely a Baja neck.

    To me, it's more like your car with new Michelin tires vs new Pirelli tires vs new Goodyear tires. It is the same car, with just a slightly different feel.
     
  15. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome aboard, Daniel.

    The Baja 50's version is a well loved tele around these parts. I owned one ( a 2015, as I recall) and liked every part of it. Gave it to my nephew, just part of sharing good stuff with my family. I even put a white pickguard on it for awhile.

    I don't think you'll find large differences between model years. Fairly consistent - as that is the point of factory production.

    If you don't mind doing some of your own research, we have owner's clubs here on TDPRI and the Baja Owners club has 125 pages, so far, of Baja details, photos and other ephemera to cruise through. That club started in 2008 and has postings all the way to January 7, 2021. Here's a link:
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/baja-owners-club.131546/page-125

    And, to fulfill the time-honored tradition, here's a photo:
    july2016 import 059 (2).JPG
     
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  16. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have a 60's Baja and I would see no reason at all to 'avoid them'. It is one of the best guitars I have at any price. The neck is nice and chunky but not 'baseball bat' thickness. It sounds great and has 4-way switching. I certainly wouldn't avoid them at all if you are in to rosewood fretboards.

     
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  17. Blister

    Blister Tele-Meister

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    If you can afford it by both you could always sell one they're like hens teeth to find at least around here by me upstate New York
     
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  18. takauya

    takauya Tele-Meister

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    IME, my two Baja necks spec were nothing identical.
    One which I love and will never sell has closer to 1 1/16 nut width with more like soft U kinda shaped. You don't notice any V but it's less shoulders than typical Nocaster style U. 0.9" at 1st fret and 0.98" at 12th. The edges are rolled a bit, and it's a super comfy neck. Relatively light at 7.3 lbs. The best tele I've ever played.
    Well, this was my first "modern" MIM guitar. In the early 2000s, I had a low-end MIM Strat, which to me was a piece of crap, so I had never thought I'd like MIM guitars, and I'd have to tell you that for this Baja I paid less than half of what used Bajas cost today because it was for sale just as MIM Telecaster.
    Anyway, I was floored by the quality and the neck feel of the Baja, so I bought another one with high expectations. Oh wait, before that I actually bought a 60s Baja, which was quickly sold. My advice is just ignore 60s Baja. It's nothing special.
    Well, sadly my 2nd (50s) Baja was huge disappointment. It had a 1 5/8 nut width and typical soft V shaped neck. The biggest problem for me was it had very sharp fretboard edges, which I find most MIM guitars today seem to have including Vintera lines.
    Fortunately, I could sell the neck and S-1 assembly off of the 2nd Baja for more than what I paid for the guitar itself, so I've kept the body, pickups and the rest. Now I'm waiting to find a neck similar to my beloved Baja.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  19. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Holic

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    OP, make sure you get an accurate weight on any Baja you're looking at. A lot of them tend to be heavy.

    I've owned two, and sold both because of their weight and because the S1 system was useless to me. I liked the Baja neck so much, though, that I ended up buying one off a Reverb seller.
     
  20. takauya

    takauya Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, a lot of them seem to be above 8lbs range. My second Baja was about 7.7lbs, which felt a bit heavy for a tele to me.
    Also, 100% agree with the crappy S-1 switch. I couldn't wait to replace it with a standard CTS volume pot along with a 3-way switch and OV pups. Oh, brass dome knobs too! They make it so much easier to control.
     
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