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Buy New Fender Player Telecaster for Parts? Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by pikers, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. pikers

    pikers TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a complete noob when it comes to building guitars. My father is a fine furniture maker (sadly this skill is not hereditary) and wants to build a tele with me. For now, we're just going to focus on the body as he wants to try some pretty fancy things. If things go well, maybe we'll give a neck a try.

    Anyway, I was pricing out getting a neck (Warmoth) and the rest of the hardward/electronics (stewmac) and it looks like I'm going to be spending around $400-$450 for the neck and hardware/electronics. My local guitar shop is willing to sell me a player Telecaster for $500. Would it be nuts to just buy a Player Tele and repurpose the parts I need for our build? I figure this may be better than buying the parts separately because if our project fails, at least I still have a good guitar :lol:

    Thoughts? I'm hoping those of you with much more experience can share their thoughts.
     
    Jakedog likes this.
  2. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    More fun to spec out your parts separately, and you'll get better than what comes on that Fender. Hipshot tuners, a bridge thats somewhat distinctive, and certainly you'll find better pickups (Ahem...Tonerider) than what come in that Fender for a good price ;). You and your dad will really build something special.

    Also, buying some previously loved hardware will save some money.
     
    SonicMustang and pikers like this.
  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If it’s that close, I’d do it.

    Personally, to get a neck I’d really want from Warmoth would probably cost me $400-500 on its own, before I even bought anything else. A great neck, hardware, pickups, electronics, and wood to make a body would more than likely cost me more than a new player series at regular price.

    If that’s the hardware/pickups/electronics, etc that you like, then go for it. Your reasoning that you’ll still have a complete guitar if the project fails is also sound.
     
    DougM, bendercaster and pikers like this.
  4. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

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    ehhhhhh, only if you specifically like the sound of those pickups and the way the neck feels.

    depending on how boutique you want this guitar to turn out. you could spend the $500 on a great neck, some awesome pickups, decent hardware and a wiring harness from mojotone. All of that would probably outshine the stuff you'd pull off a player telecaster.

    Edit:

    on second thought, if you just want a standard bare bones tele (exactly what I have), it would be fairly easy to just buy the player tele and put everything on the body you make. Bonus, you could sell the player tele body and recoup a good 1/5th of the cost.
     
    bendercaster and pikers like this.
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    If you sell the Player’s body it’s a decent deal, definitely.
     
    Rockinvet and pikers like this.
  6. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmmm. The "at least I still have a good guitar" is a strong argument.

    But then again you could get a SUPERB set of pickups and a really nice prewired harness for less than $400.

    Got any pics of the $500 guitar?
     
    pikers likes this.
  7. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, you’re crazy!:)

    For $170 you can get a Stewmac kit, and the neck that came with mine was great (just needed fretwork). Electronics aren’t anything special, but I swapped the pickups out and that was good enough for me.

    Even if you buy neck, hardware, tuners, electronics individually on EBay you should be able to beat $500.

    Edit: Actually, maybe your idea is better than I thought. Didn’t know you could get that much for a body.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
    pikers likes this.
  8. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Afflicted

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    Its not a bad idea at all -- you need a neck and all the electronics/HW anyway, and you can sell the Player Tele Body (should be able to get like $200 for it at least)
     
    pikers likes this.
  9. pikers

    pikers TDPRI Member

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    Good point! I didn't even think of that.
     
  10. pikers

    pikers TDPRI Member

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    No pics of the guitar. It's the "Capri Orange" Player Tele. I think the color may have something to do with the price :)
     
  11. pikers

    pikers TDPRI Member

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    This is what I'm struggling with. I'd love to get a custom neck that is exactly what I want with lollar pickups but I'm hesitant to put that much money into my first build.
     
  12. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ah! I just googled them. If it's new, the only reason not to buy the Player Tele is if the neck was twisted or something awful like that.

    I don't mind the orange.
     
    pikers likes this.
  13. MerleSwaggard

    MerleSwaggard TDPRI Member

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    Personally I wouldn't do it. The best part of building your own guitar is you can choose the best parts. You can get damn close to a Custom Shop guitar if you buy the right stuff. I wouldn't even mess with the player Tele pickups because you can do so much better from Lollar or Seymour Duncan. Failure is not an option, make that thing work!
     
    pikers likes this.
  14. BUG80

    BUG80 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    If the neck on the player is anything like the one on my Player Strat then it's excellent (although personal tastes may differ of course). It's my favourite neck.

    As for pickups: I think most agree that Toneriders (hot classics or pure vintage) are the best bang for buck right now. You can always upgrade later. But if you really want the Lollars I'd say go for it.
     
    pikers likes this.
  15. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    The parts may be good, but if they aren't the parts you want you may not be happy in the long run even though you saved some money.
     
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  16. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    Additionally, nice to hold onto it during the build to use for reference. Plans are nice, but sometimes a finished piece holds a few clues & secrets that don't transpose onto paper so easy.

    That said, others above are correct. You could get nicer hardware/pickups for $500 if you are careful. So it's a tradeoff.
     
  17. UPtele

    UPtele Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I'd buy the player to play, and still build one.

    Searching for parts is fun
     
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  18. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    My thoughts exactly. But wait until the project is complete!
     
  19. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    This all depends on your endgame. When I go in thinking about resale value, it's all I'll think about: "how much can I get back for this and how much will I be in the red?" If you want to build a guitar with your dad, then focus on that and put together something really cool. When I put together my first partscaster I still took it to my local luthier to have the nut filed from scratch and a full setup done, it was worth every penny, and exactly what I wanted. You get out what ya put in, and if you go in with a cozy backup that might be all you get out of it. My vote is no on the Player.

    For my money, Musikraft has way more options for a neck build and is very similarly priced to Warmoth. Their lead times will be a little long given "the times", but two months-ish is nothing compared to the life of a potential family heirloom.
     
  20. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    if he's a woodworker my advice is buy a preslotted fretboard from stew mac and a two way truss rod. The first neck I made I did not even level or crown the frets- maybe I got lucky but it still plays well 18 years later..... thus the tuners, nut, truss rod , pre slotted finger board and maple will cost about $100 probably
     
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