Best used telecaster model on a 500-600$ budget?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Focusbob, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Focusbob

    Focusbob TDPRI Member

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    Best used telecaster model on a (approx.) maximum 500-600$ budget (details on preferences below)?

    (Note: I know about the baja model and the squier cv tele, I'm looking for other options).

    Looks are less important to me than quality wood and fretwork (>7.25" radius, 9" or higher preferred). I don't mind changing hardware or electronics (I have OV and Broadcaster pickups on hand, just in case), if it is worth the savings. Don't want a Squier (unless it's MIJ, already have Indo Squiers), prefer Fender but other brands Ok. If relevant, please comment on best/worst years of the model. I've been looking at a wide variety of MIM, MIJ, MIK, and Hway1 variants and am experiencing a bit of option paralysis... Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I'm sure you can easily find a MIM Standard for that price and probably even have change left over. Perfectly good guitar, especially if you don't mind changing some parts out to suit your taste. I'm not sure if this has changed over time, but my 2018 has a 9.5" radius. I changed the six-saddle bridge for a vintage-style one with compensated saddles and I love it. I may change the pickups at some point, but only out of curiosity, really.
     
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  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Sit on your money -- maybe save a little bit more -- and be on the lookout for an American Standard 2012-17. Twisted tele / broadcaster pickups, 9.5 radius with hefty frets, needs nothing to play on any stage in the world. Just a great guitar. Some controversy about the Strat-style bent steel saddles & the gut cut but they work fine for me. If you want a more traditional tele, the American Special was a little cheaper new & should be used, too. But the Standard plays / sounds better to my ear.
     
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  4. Pixie-Bob

    Pixie-Bob Tele-Meister

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    I agree entirely. Another couple of hundred and you're looking at an MIA that won't need any mods.
     
  5. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    06 Fender Special Edition Koa - MIK, Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups, Koa top and birds eye maple neck. I swapped the pick guard for a matte black and the bridge for a Gotoh modern 6 saddle. If I had to give one up it would be a tough decision between this and my Am. Standard.



    Looks like they just sold one on Reverb right in your price range.
    https://reverb.com/item/13906364-fender-special-edition-koa-telecaster-2006

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    At least in South Carolina, I would say there's no real increased probability that a USA Fender will need less modifications than a MIM will. If you bear in mind the selection of various MIM models is huge next to USA choices, that means the MIM model that already has the features you want is more within reach in this price area.

    I think people replace parts on MIMs more than USA out of an inferiority complex that's not justified. I own way too many of both and I will say frankly, I have made way more modifications to my USA Fenders than to my MIM Fenders. That's a fact. Because "nice, but not just so" USA Fenders get bought when they're available cheap and then you have to start changing things. With the MIMs, there's so many you may as well wait for the close to perfect ones - and so I have and do.
     
  7. oatsoda

    oatsoda Tele-Holic

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    American Special, all day every day.

    1.JPG
     
  8. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    I love the neck shape and jumbo frets on my American Special. The Texas Special pickups are great too.
     
  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    A player may like a guitar as-is, but that’s different from ‘doesn’t need mods.’ Every guitar needs mods.

    James Burton Standard Telecaster, MIM, 9 1/2” radius, vintage frets, satin neck, medium U-profile that’s unique to the JB models, Texas Special pickups, and a ‘vintage’ 6-saddle bridge you might want to replace. :rolleyes:

    People buy these just for the neck. Uncommon, used, and you might need another $50, or so.
     
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  10. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's

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    Classic 50s, if you can find one, nitro or poly.
     
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  11. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

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  12. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    This is a GREAT recommendation. Find the Candy Apple Red one, and you're set. No mods needed.
     
  13. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    I know you said you know about the Baja, but the 60s Baja is different and is worth looking at if you want a C shaped neck & rosewood fretboard.
    I paid $600 for mine used w/ hsc. Since I've owned it I've not thought once about any mods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  14. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go hunt yourself down a Jim Root Tele, only wish they made lefties!
     
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Get a used MIM American Special, often $300-$450 range. Add a $12 4-way switch for the series option. Set pickup heights by ear.
    A used MIM Player Series would be good too, but I haven't seen any used local ones yet. Same thing, add a 4-way switch and play it.


    +1, Lol.

    .
     
  16. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    huh? American Special was made in California, last time I checked.
     
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  17. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic

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    +1 What he said. I go by the 60% rule. I'll buy and I sell well maintained stuff at 60% of what it was new.
    Still miss my ole Am Spec. Got a Tele I like better so all's good. I bought it for $970 and sold it for $600.
    They're out there.
     
  18. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    He probably means a MIM Standard, the version before the Player Series.
     
  19. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    These threads make me crazy. There is no answer! There are a million great guitars, get out there and start playing them until you find one that speaks to you. Nobody has done all the research needed to definitively answer your question anyhow, they just say which ones they like or have owned.
    I've had several teles in my life, I could tell you which one was my favorite but who knows if the one for sale in your area is even remotely similar. All of my favorite guitars have been ones I fell in love with while playing or lucked into.
     
  20. POS Guitars

    POS Guitars Tele-Meister

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    The Texas Special pups sound great, and pretty hot.
     
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