Best Tele money can buy

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MacFever, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. badfish_lewis

    badfish_lewis Tele-Meister

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    As someone mentioned before, even within certain models there are many variances. I find most people like light tele's but I prefer mine to be heavy; just personal preference. I'm also partial to American models even though there's nothing wrong with mexican teles.

    Curious, why can't you go try some out?
     
  2. MacFever

    MacFever TDPRI Member

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    Here in Belgium the stores only have the low end guitars in stock and 1 or 2 medium grades, no high ends
    Dont have the time to go to London, Paris or Berlin trying out guitars all day
    I do have the time to read all day on internet (while working) :)
     
  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have no idea about the John Page AJ. However that's a huge range between a Squier CV and a Masterbuilt Fender.
    CV's are great values but they don't belong in the "best tele money can buy" category. Perhaps in the best "value" category.
    It's all very subjective.
    You have to play them and find the one you prefer. At some point in anyones journey they find a model or specific guitar where they can actually discern a difference. One might feel it between a CV and a MIM, or between an MIM and American Standard or Elite or AV series and beyond. Regardless at some point you can either feel and hear the difference or you can't and that's when you know.
     
  4. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    All I can say is that I'm in agreement with so many who have said to try as many as you can, and find the one that appeals to you the most.
    Like a lot of us on this forum, I have a Tele that's pretty much as it left the factory, and another Tele
    I've modified with a different bridge pickup and brass saddles, trying to make it more useful to my needs and idealized tone.
    And like a lot of us here, I'm still searching for something more, although I'm mostly very happy with what I have.
    Keep reading this forum, and consider that while many of us have strong opinions about our gear,
    it's ultimately up to you to decide what you want in the way of color, fingerboard, pickups, saddles and tuners. So many things have changed with this wonderful guitar over the last six decades, you have a lot of choices.

    Good luck!
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have several Esquires that are pretty much as good as it gets, made from used Fender necks & hardware, and Musikraft or Fender bodies.
    The thing about Telecasters is you can't really throw a lot of money at them and make them "better" without making them different, which to most of us is actually "worse".
    For my money and preference, the Fender parts that go on USA vintage RI (and others) are as good as it gets in terms of building a guitar.
    There are aftermarket bridges that go more into jewelry territory, which are in some cases also a little easier to set up, but they do not IMO make a Telecaster "better" or "best".
    There are aftermarket pickups that in some cases subtly refine what Fender came up with in the late 1940s, but again, the only thing actually "better" about them is that you can give the pickup maker your specs or describe the sound you want and they provide the service of helping you get closer to your goal with less effort.

    IME/ IMO the cost of producing a new Telecaster with every part well attended to and working perfectly is a little over $1000, maybe even as much as $1500, since wood varies and changes after a guitar is built, and the "best" fretwork requires a fair amount of skilled labor. This cost requires many low skilled factory workers, some middle level workers and some highly skilled workers.
    A luthier could not build your whole Tele by hand attending to all details and make a living at $1500 out the door.
    If you want a custom built Guitar you pay more for the custom work, which has no bearing on the quality of the guitar, only the personal one off design feature is an "improvement" over a production guitar of the same quality for maybe half the price. I personally have not seen a production Fender or aftermarket guitar on the racks that had everything I wanted, so I buy parts or whole guitars to use the parts in other builds. If I could afford CS Fenders I'd buy used ones.

    For me the last detail of the "best" Fender is that it say "Fender" on the headstock, so at least the neck needs to have been made by Fender.
    While this doesn't make it work any better, I think it looks better because I've looked at them for decades and that's what I expect to see on the iconic headstock.
    While there are many great builders of Tele style guitars, I'm not one who wants a new design headstock and logo. They look great on other players, I just don't look at the headstock when they're playing.
    This has nothing to do with FMIC, I just love the icon.
     
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  6. JGOCTO

    JGOCTO TDPRI Member

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    Yes, definitely try all the teles you possibly can. I have tried many Fender Teles, but I am sorry to say they are very inconsistent builds.
    Have you heard of Ron Kirn or Bob Logan? These are two Luthiers that make some "Quality" guitars. They cost more than a Squier, but very affordable, excellent guitars. I just recently received my "Ol' Blackie" from Ron Kirn.What an Amazing guitar! The tone, the feel and the look are all there for me. He has gotten some great praise from many guitarists who've purchased his guitars and Mr.Kirn has gotten some nice editorial praise as well.
    Look thru Ron's website- www.RONKIRN.com

    Now, Bob Logan is another Luthier that interests me, as well. I have seen some his work, but not in person. His prices are very affordable and he has a nice selection of varieties on his guitars -like Ron Kirn does.
    Here's Bob Logan's website- www.logancustomguitars.com

    Not sure how much you are willing to spend, but I'm sure either one of these great luthiers can build you something very special. Both of them have atleast 40yrs+ of building guitars. There are others out there as well. But, check out these guys. Look thru their websites fully, and contact them. I know Ron Kirn, he has been a great luthier to speak with. Very funny as well! By the way, did I say I love my Kirn Tele? Have fun on your search!
     
  7. JGOCTO

    JGOCTO TDPRI Member

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    Right on point!
     
  8. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    How can this thread be into the second page w/o mention of generous post-helper Ron Kirn?
    I am crazy-happy w/ the Arnquist built T that uses a Warmoth Boatneck (see avatar) but if I didn't have that and OP was buying, I'd send Mr Kirn an order. Peace - Deeve
     
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  9. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's all very subjective. One man's best might well be another's pile of rubbish. And a lot of us work on a budget.
    I have what for me are the best Teles - Baja and a couple of Cabs. Mine do what I want, get the sounds I want and feel right.
    My only decisions are which one is the best for a particular song.
     
  10. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think it's subjective at all.
    The best ones money can buy go to Keef.
     
  11. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Are you looking to buy a Telecaster- or just looking to stimulate discussion? Hard to tell, from your posts.

    If you want to buy one, it would help if you explain your current preferences, particular dislikes,(neck shape, pickups, bridge type, frets, etc.) favourite kinds of music- and budget!
     
  12. ibis

    ibis TDPRI Member

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    That was my choice. Amazing guitar.
     
  13. Hippieway

    Hippieway Tele-Holic

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    MY best tele is a 1988 Fender Nashville, Your best tele may be substantially different and possibly better, and the worlds best tele may even be better than either one. So find one you like and when someone asks which is best you will have an opinion.
     
  14. MacFever

    MacFever TDPRI Member

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    I have sent an email to Ron Kirn ...
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd add that if you're online checking out music store stock that you might travel to try out, the vintage reissue MIJ and CIJ Fenders are very very nice, and since they are made in Japan they may price a little better where you are than the USA Fenders while being arguably better quality than a lot of USA Fenders.
    It seems like the Japanese Fenders went up in value and then came back down recently because the market got flooded with good Mexican Fenders for half the price.
    Also the '80s MIJ Squier by Fender are really good and up there with some USA guitars, maybe needing some hardware upgrades to be perfect.
    These MIJ Squiers have something of a cult following though, so they may not be priced right.
    Another amazingly good range is the MIJ Tokai F- styles including some from the lawsuit era when they were exact copies, followed by the same but with changed headstock shape.
    Some of these Tokais are an awful lot like '50s Fenders, really nice guitars and up there with good reissue USA Fenders.
    Fender had the Tokai factory building Fenders at one time, so there is a close kinship there. The Allparts factory also built Fenders.
     
  16. MacFever

    MacFever TDPRI Member

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    My decision has been made : I commissioned a new Custom Ron Kirn Barn Buster
    Will post a guitar build thread
     
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ha !, well here's one that says they prefer the Fenders over the CV counterparts :)
     
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