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Best Tele for under $1000?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by wyman101, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. wyman101

    wyman101 TDPRI Member

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    Wow! Thank you for the great response. Ill go ahead a check out his website. I wasn’t really considering an option like that before and now i really am.
     
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  2. Itgoesto11

    Itgoesto11 Tele-Meister

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    I’ve never played a Logan Tele but your post made me Google them and I found this one on Reverb for $800. Looked nice until I saw the weight...12 lbs!? Are your Logan’s as heavy as this one?

    https://reverb.com/item/33195142-lo...n=7276534768&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Sorry, but the photo tells me nothing about the neck, well - we DO know it's a maple neck! :lol:At this point, all we can do is lead you to chunky necks. As for preferred radius and fret size... that's a total crapshoot at this point.

    Here's the deal. If you really liked the neck on that one, can you access the guitar and figure out what the radius was, and what the fret style was (vintage, modern, etc.)? You already know it was a beefy neck. Once you know those three things, you will be better positioned to find a neck, or a guitar with a neck, that is similar.

    Short of being able to know what the specs were on the neck that you liked, your best option is to get out and PLAY a variety of these necks, then learn from that experience what style of neck profile/fretboard radius/fret size you want.

    There is a big difference in feel between 7.5" radius with vintage frets, and 9.5" radius with medium-jumbo frets. Some people love the vintage and some people don't like it at all. Some people love chunky necks and others don't like them at all. I play both (with some preference for modern Fender necks) but not bothered by vintage either.

    Don't be in a hurry, unless you are ok with buying and returning if you don't like it - then buying another.
     
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  4. wyman101

    wyman101 TDPRI Member

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    After some research i think I got an understanding of radius’s now. Based off the specs of danny gattons guitar (since the neck was built for him) and other signature models it seems danny played a modified 53 tele that had a neck of radius of 9.5. That’s most likely what it was. I remember the curvature of the board being way different then the vintage spec rosewood japanese strat I use to play when i was a lot younger. I remember actually when i was switching from the strat to the tele it took getting use to since it was so flat, but then I fell in love with it. However, i actually like both radius’ which definitely makes my options open.
     
  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Baja.

    Or Classic Vibe with whatever upgrades you want.
     
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  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    My pleasure, hope the info was helpful. Best of luck to you going forward from here, whatever you decide.


    The link to the Logan Custom for sale on Reverb said the guitar weighed 10.65 lbs., not 12. But Ill grant you, even at 10 and 1/2 lbs., that's heavy for a tele. It's about the density of the wood, I believe, some species just seem to be consistently heavier than others. That Reverb Logan tele is made from Northern ash, and those I've seen with that wood species are dense/heavy. Swamp ash, OTOH, seems to be consistently lighter in weight. Case in point, my Logan Custom BSB in the middle of that pic on the previous page, is made from swamp ash, and the guitar is like one ounce shy of 7 lbs.

    None of my Logan Custom guitars are as heavy as that one listed on Reverb. As I said before, my tele with the solid mahogany body weighs 9 lbs. 2 oz. That Challenger weighs just a hair under 8 lbs. (solid alder body). The other four teles all weigh under 7 lbs.
     
  7. Itgoesto11

    Itgoesto11 Tele-Meister

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    I stand corrected. But 11 pounds reminds me of my 80’s Les Paul Custom! I see on his website they seem to run 6.7-8.4 lbs on average. Much better! Thanks
     
  8. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

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    If you're looking a budget 50s with a big neck, then the vintera is good. Will need a set up, but then again most do. The Baja is nice, but it's not a traditional tele. Others might disagree with that, but the pickups are not really vintage sounding.
     
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  9. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    OK... then all you may need to decide on now is, do you like the super-low minimal vintage frets, or are you good with medium-jumbos? My guess is that if the Gatton guitar had a 9.5" radius, it probably didn't have tiny vintage frets.

    If you're ok with med-jumbos, then the Baja '50s may be a reasonable match for you (full/chunky profile, 9.5" radius, medium-jumbo frets. Good luck finding the Baja '50s, especially neck-only. But if you're very patient, a used one will pop up sooner or later.

    HOWEVER, when I looked yesterday, Stratosphere had two copies of the Vintera '50s Modified necks in stock, which are also full/chunky profile, 9.5" radius, medium-jumbo frets. $299 for the neck - then just shop for a body that looks great to you and bolt together! Easy to stay well-under $1000. Buy a stripped body from Stratosphere or eBay or Reverb, and you can cherry-pick your bridge, pickups, and electronics - to put together a very custom Tele for yourself. That's exactly what I would do (if I were in your position).

    My last dozen or so Teles have been put together that way (pick just the neck that you want, pick just the body that you want, and the same with the small parts) and I'm thrilled with the results! They suit my taste to a "T". ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  10. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    Just an F.Y.I. - Like the now discontinued 50s Baja, the Vintera 50s Modified Teles have necks with a V-profile neck, which you may or may not like.
     
  11. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I've had a Baja '50s maple neck for a few years - have tried it a few times on guitars and for some reason, it resides in my parts closet. :rolleyes: I hesitate to sell it, as I keep thinking that someday I will have a Tele body to join with it and will enjoy it.

    It's a beautiful neck, very well made, I have no problems playing it... perhaps it's just not my style? (I tend to prefer Fender's modern necks, especially rosewood.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  12. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Oh good lord thank you for this opinion. I had the exact same experience and have wondered on my sanity many times.

    You are the only person who has ever said this here (other than me) that I have seen in 3+ years. Maybe we are both short a marbel or two but I found the Baja much more interesting to play than the 52 AVRI I had on long term loan. It was a lovely looking and playing guitar but just did nothing for me. My Baja I love playing.
     
  13. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    The US-made G&L Fullerton Standard ASAT Classic seems like a good deal for $999.
     
  14. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree. I don't like the radius on the 52, and the neck is nothing special.
     
  15. kohoutec

    kohoutec Tele-Meister

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    I don't want to be 'that guy' but my classic 50s Tele most definitely did have vintage frets, and the neck was pretty beefy. Not massive, but it was a handful...a long way from a modern C, and considerably bigger than say the classic 60s neck
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    That's good to know - thanks for chiming in. And, this goes to show that published specs may not be quite accurate.

    Also, sometimes there occur variations on the production line, that stray from the norm. Best approach, if neck size, shape, radius are critically important to a buyer, is to test out in person, or rely on a good return policy.
     
  17. kohoutec

    kohoutec Tele-Meister

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    Yep quite agree [emoji846] whereas my 50s classic had quite a big neck, the other guitarist in my band also has one, and the neck on that is a bit slimmer... Quite why I sold mine is a mystery but there you go!
     
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  18. schnadz

    schnadz Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Baja is a great choice, as everyone mentioned.

    To put another one in the hopper for consideration, the Fender Deluxe Tele Thinline is also has great specs and hardware for the cost. Plus it's a thinline!! They generally feel pretty darn good. If you are used to more modern neck shapes and radii, it is a great fit. I'm not a fan of the noiseless pickups, but since these guitars generally go for under 6 hundo, a new set of pickups will still keep you well under a grand.
     
  19. GoldieTop

    GoldieTop TDPRI Member

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    Haha we're probably both crazy. But you can't help but like what you like, right? The world would be a very boring place if everyone's favorite ice cream was vanilla, and they didn't make any other flavors!

    Funny thing was, I was convinced that I was going to love the AVRI. It checked all the boxes when I looked at the specs on paper. But when I got my hands on a couple, they just didn't move me.

    Don't get me wrong- they're definitely nice! But whenever I tried one, I felt there was something missing. I figured the first one I tried was a fluke, or a dog, or *something*. But it ended up they just weren't for me!

    Maybe it was the neck; the classic radius with the little frets? Can't say. And while the AVRI cost probably 50% more than the Baja, that really wasn't a factor for me. I'd rather buy once, cry once. I've learned my lesson on paying a little less and getting something that isn't exactly what I want! It always ends up on the chopping block.

    The other thing that caught me off guard was the S1 switch; I didn't expect to care for it at all. Not that I thought I'd *dislike* it, but it definitely didn't carry any appeal for me and I didn't think I'd get much use out of it. I just wanted the classic 3 positions: bridge, neck, and both. But I'll be damned if I don't end up messing around with that fourth position a ton! It's not necessarily what I look for in a Tele, but it can lead to some really cool sounds. Especially out of phase.
     
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  20. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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