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Best Squier Tele to mod? Any experience?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by CarsAndGuitarsYT, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. CarsAndGuitarsYT

    CarsAndGuitarsYT TDPRI Member

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    Hi y'all!

    I'm really familiar with Stratocasters. I mod them and have put them together a lot. So now I'm interested in getting into the Tele world of modding. (Yes I do own a Fender Tele, as seen in my profile picture.)

    I'm thinking about buying a cheap Squier Tele (Maybe an affinity) and modding the crap out of it. I was thinking about maybe putting some sort of hot rail or P90 in the bridge. And the normal stuff like locking tuners and strap locks.

    Point is: not really sure WHAT I want, just want something cool. Feel free to show off your builds!
     
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  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Affinities generally aren't good mod platforms due to their narrower neck and string spacing. The Bullet model is probably a better candidate if you're buying new.

    However, if you're buying to mod, look at the used market and see what's available for a low price. For example, I bought a Squier Standard Strat for $27 and a Standard Tele for $75. Both needed some replacement parts and some work but both turned out fine. I sold the Tele to a friend who had borrowed to learn to play and wanted to keep it. I still have the Strat.

    One problem you'll run into is that the bridge position is generally routed for only a single coil. This will mean a lot of careful cutting to fit something different in there. However, many inexpensive Tele's are routed at the neck for a humbucker and may be wide enough for a soapbar P90.

    The tuners on Squier Tele's are pretty decent. You shouldn't need to replace them as long as you can string a guitar properly. The nuts are also usually cut right although they can sometimes need a little detail work.
     
  3. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Already a really good guitar stock, can make it amazing with a few mods.
     
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  4. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    B52753A6-787D-4411-B394-964798E2BF2A.jpeg I did an Affinity several years ago. It was a good learning experience and I ended up with a decent guitar.
    The first thing to change was the pickups. I used Fender Vintage Noiseless. The bridge Pickup didn’t fit,I had to use a dremel to enlarge the opening in the plate .
    When I tried it out it sounded terrible, that’s when I discovered it had 500k pots.
    Next change was 250k pots and an Orange Drop cap. But of course the pots didn’t fit so I had to drill out the control plate and naturally the knobs didn’t fit.
    About this time the plastic jack plate broke and was replaced with steel.
    The saddles were constantly needing adjustments , probably because of a lack of down pressure due to the top loader bridge. Going to 10’s helped out there . I upgraded the switch and it seems like a little finessing was needed to make it fit right.
    The narrower neck has never been a problem as I seldom play on the first few frets anyway. I like the contour of the neck and play it quite a bit.
     
  5. willholt92

    willholt92 Tele-Meister

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    I've got a vintage modified which has then been modified even futher haha.
    I think (but maybe wrong) that the Vintage modified ranges were the pre cursor to the Classic Vibes. But tend to be more affordable now second hand at least in my experience.

    Love mine, really great guitar with simple mods (Bone nut, Humbucker in the neck, CTS pots, Coil Split, Hand wound pups)
     
  6. El Serio

    El Serio TDPRI Member

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    My Affinity made in 2017 is 1.66 at the nut, so there are some wider Affinities out there. I wouldn't want the narrow nut, it makes playing open chords cramped on my '03 bullet strat.

    My Affinity now has all fender electronics with American standard pickups. Sounds great to me.

    I did have to work on some fret ends and I filed down a the height of a couple frets (it wasn't buzzing though). Plays good with low action.

    Only thing I still want to change is the tuners because I don't like the gear ratio. Seems like they adjust too quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    You remind me of ME, over twenty years ago. I bought a 1993 Korean-made Fender Squier (one with the large Fender decal on the headstock, and little "Squier Series" on the top) for (get this) $100......and proceeded to mod the heck out of it. Over the span of 14-15 years, it received four or five bridges, different saddles (both three and six saddles) tuners, four or five pickup sets, (including for several years a middle pickup) and finally, a Warmoth Fender licensed conversion neck. (24 3/4" scale, 1 11/16" wide, Fatback depth) The only original parts remaining are the body, control plate, and strap buttons. After all that work, I knew what specs I wanted in a custom build, and built that in 2019.
    I suggest (IMHO) that you check out pawn shops, and just try to find one that you like the feel of the neck, and isn't too heavy. Good luck....;)
    Here it is.....although since this pic was made, it's gone back to standard two pickups (both Bootstraps), a "reverse p/up slant" bridge, and a Thorn Brass Knuckle saddle.
    I may or may not be finished!
    all new 104.JPG
     
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  8. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This.

    I got in the habit of checking the necks on the Affinities that came through the store down the street. They'd gotten much beefier lately ('16/'17) and a touch wider at the nut. It reminds me of my Squier '51 neck which is very comfy.
     
  9. Fasteddie469

    Fasteddie469 NEW MEMBER!

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    I have a 2014 Squire Tele. First thing I did was to take the strings and tuning keys off and use gun oil on the neck front and back. This darkened up the neck. I did this four or five times until I got the neck the color I wanted. next I replaced the pick guard with a 3 ply, looks much better than the single ply that come with the guitar. I also upgraded the neck pickup with an Artec ceramic neck pick-up, lastly, I upgraded the tuners to open gear hip-shot 19:1 locking. I also, restrung with Fender 9's. I have a great sounding tele I play more often than my G&L Legacy
     
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  10. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    P90 or regular humbucker wont work in the bridge unless you route and buy a new bridge. Obviously, a single coil sized HB like a rail should fit. Some of the older affinity strats had thin bodies, I assume the affinity tele's from the same time period did too? Maybe someone can chime in to confirm one way or the other.
     
  11. El Serio

    El Serio TDPRI Member

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    My 2017 Affinity body is 1-5/8" thick.
     
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  12. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been tempted to try something like this. What kind of gun oil did you use?
     
  13. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some Squier Telecasters are already routed for, and come from the factory already equipped with, larger (e.g. P90) bridge pickups. Customs and Custom IIs, for example. I think there are several other models too. I agree buying used may save some money.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    While it's easy to find Strat-Like-Objects all over Craigslist/ebay/Reverb ... it's a lot more difficult and you pay much higher prices to get a Tele style guitar. Fewer are made and people hang onto them longer.

    Squiers can have skinny necks and bodies too thin for most MIA components.

    You'll be better off getting a 'T-style' guitar from another brand to mod as they often make a better MIA copy than Fender uses for Squier. Full thickness bodies and MIA style neck carves.

    And if you are going to mod a guitar like crazy ... just order the $75 Harley Benton T-style guitar kit and replace parts you want right there. For a complete finished ready to play guitar look at the Harley Benton TE-70 Paisley model.

    Glarry brand may make T-styles too (I've mostly seen S-types in reviews). A complete ready to play guitar for $75 including shipping (which for most other guitar brands runs $35-$75 additional for shipping).

    .
     
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  15. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Don't get a Bullet, I tried that and liked it the way it was and had to buy something else to wrench on
     
  16. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    I've got two--a HS and a SS. The HS I modded by adding two Strat pickups. They sound cool and I used a RWRP middle pickup in the bridge position so they're hum canceling, but I kinda wish I would have experimented more with pickup height and pot values first.
     
  17. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    i have a Squier Telecaster Custom, it came with humbuckers and I converted it to use the Seymour Duncan designed P90s that come in the similar Squier Custom II model. The pickguard and pickups are Fender. I swapped out the import electronics (small 500K pots) for CTS 250K and the selector switch with more sturdy one. Replaced flimsy jack with one like American made Fender Teles use.
     

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  18. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    My Squier Standard came pre-routed for a humbucker in the neck. That was handy!
     
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