Baja Tele

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by kbbauman, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    The '50s model doesn't really do it for me. I like the neck and pickups in the '60s much better (Which, ironically are '50s pickups. :confused:). Although, a '50s in Desert Sand is something I'm always on the lookout for.

    I was lucky enough to obtain this one when rosewood was still a thing.

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  2. sjclip

    sjclip TDPRI Member

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    I have a Baja Tele and love it. Only change I’ve made was to shield the body cavities. I also had some issues with the jack. Remedied the problem by carefully tightening the nut after adding a very minimal amount of low strength thread adhesive.
     

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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    My comprehensive response to @kbbauman, everybody, and everything. IMO, as a standard disclaimer.

    1. Keep the Baja 50s, learn on it, and hold off on buying anything else.
    2. As a guitar, it's high quality and one of the best values per dollar that Fender has made.
    3. Give it a good setup so it's at its best and plays/feels the way you want.
    4. Unless something forces you to change some hardware, it needs no hardware changes.
    5. The switching makes it versatile and you can get 2 or 3 somewhat-Stratty tones from it.
    6. The 9 1/2" neck radius is fine. Don't chase faster/easier. Set up for how you play, then play it.
    7. If the back of the neck is too glossy, use a green Scotch-Brite pad to satinize it. That's non-destructive.

    Edit: The Baja Owners Club rabbit hole of too much information, right here at TDPRI:
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/baja-owners-club.131546/

    Here's are pics of my 2016 Baja 50s, offered to encourage you to post pics of yours. :D The knobs were changed because I don't use the S-1 switching and prefer the feel of dome knobs.

    With my "quiet rig."


    With a Fender 52/58 Eggshell pickguard. I switch back and forth with the black 'guard.

     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
  4. JKPickin

    JKPickin Tele-Meister

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    I wouldn't stress too much about the stock output jack, I've had mine over 7yrs without any issues whatsoever.
     
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  5. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

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    Oh my God, I wish the answer was yes. But my bank balance and my continued inability to play the fast weedly-weedly part at the end of “American Girl” prove that isn't true.

    some guitars are so crappy it might hurt your ability to learn, but not many, and certainly not a baja. If it’s comfortable to play (mostly about neck shape, fret size, and action imo), stays in tune and intonation, you're good.
     
  6. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes the 50's Baja is fantabulous !
     
  7. Fuggle

    Fuggle Tele-Meister

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    I also have a Fender AmStd Strat, a Gibson Les Paul Studio Pro, and a Firefly 338, but the Baja is what I reach for 95% of the time. Mine has a decent heft to it at 8.6 lbs, but it's certainly manageable. The upgrades I made are:

    • RockRabbit angled control plate
    • Tusq nut
    • Rutters compensated brass saddles
    • Bakelite pickguard
    • Cavity shielding (definitely reduced the hum)
    • Purchased an Electrosocket, but haven't needed to install it yet.

    This is just an all-around killer guitar. I can't see myself ever selling it, or even buying another Tele. It's also crazy how they typically cost more used than they did brand new. Let that tell you something!
     
  8. guitarist232345

    guitarist232345 Tele-Meister

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    Bajas in my view are the best affordable tele fender have ever made. The neck is perfect. The pickups are a delight.
     
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  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I respect anyone who just says, play it as it is, or just do a nice fret level, crown and polish. If a fellow isn't gigging or paying for recording time, and the jack quits working, it can be addressed then. Maybe refine those slots in the nut a little.
     
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  10. mmannaxx

    mmannaxx Tele-Meister

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    To get a better Tele than a Baja you would need to go to a Custom Shop Nocaster. the neck on the baja is really nice although the poly is not pererable to nitro. Earlier Bajas without the Twisted pups are better sonically I feel. I would also eliminate the S1 switch but keep the 4 way configuration. If you get a 50s Baja around 7.5 lbs or less, hold on to it because many Bajas are heavy (as in over 8 lbs.). If you could get a Baja with a nitro finish it would be a lifetime guitar in my opinion.
     
  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    A more expensive Tele won't "facilitate" anything except the draining of your bank account.

    Get a more expensive one because you want one...but don't think the Baja can't give you everything a classic Tele has to offer.

    If anything, they can benefit from a few fine detail improvements, like a fret dressing or a perfectly slotted nut. But a more expensive Tele won't be "better," across the board, or do anything for you musically that the Baja doesn't. It will just be different.

    Pull the jack cup out, tighten the nut like a mo-fo, use a little dab of Loc-Tite or Crazy Glue on the threads, and reinstall it properly. You should not have any more problems.
     
  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I love my Bajas, but I'll play a little Devil's Advocate against the Baja:

    The polyester body finish is thick and had been known to flake off in hunks. Meaning you best be more careful with this body than you would normally. And. At least a few 50s Bajas have fairly heavy ash bodies and so until you have found and bought one that's an OK weight for you, your heart rate is gonna be a little higher.

    Everyone has heard of faint praise - I'd call these 2 points "faint criticism" and if you pass up a chance at a Baja for a nice price because they MIGHT have this issue, count me as one guy who will be scratching his head. I have one Baja "Pensacola" that's nine pounds and that is the LAST one of the seven I would sell. Just sounds so big.
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    What color is that? It looks like Mint. Or is that just lighting?
     
  14. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    @Boreas It's the Faded Sonic Blue; same as in Post #42 above. But, I did ditch the mint pickguard and put a 1-ply white one on it.
     
  15. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    DSC04159.JPG

    Here's a pic of my Baja. It rarely calls to me, is high quality, around 7.2 lbs. I am thinking of selling it or painting it LPB and changing the pickups. I am torn because I know I will probably never come across another one like this, but I don't play it, so....
     
  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'll be a troublemaker again, and say the S-1 compatible knobs are annoying - I agree with Archetype: Domed knobs are just better.
     
  17. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think this Baja will be going out of my possession anywhere soon.

    I've given it a fairly tough life, stripped the original finish off and it now has different pickups (not because I didn't like them but because they both stopped working)

    I play this guitar almost every day and it gets used at every gig

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    How did you strip the finish, heat gun?
     
  19. Ebidis

    Ebidis Friend of Leo's

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    Spending more will not help you learn faster in any way shape or form. There is no substitute for practice, and you cannot buy shortcuts.

    Besides, my Baja Tele is one of the best guitars I have ever owned. At any price. You can buy a more expensive Tele, but it's arguable whether you can get a "better" one.

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  20. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't call it preferable, it depends on the player. I'd pay extra if i had to for poly.
     
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