Can't decide: Upgrade or sell on and replace?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by KelvinS1965, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I bought my blue Affinity Tele about 12 years ago as a cheap guitar to take with me on the road in a previous job, so I could practice in hotel rooms in the evening and not be too worried if it was stolen or damaged.

    Anyway, I changed my job and since I'd become quite attached to it I upgraded the pickups to Fender Vintage ones and gave it a real thorough set up. However, I had a play of my 2nd cousin's Custom shop '52 Tele recently and I've been thinking about doing some mods to mine:

    I fancy changing the bridge to a vintage type, maybe the Wilkinson compensated vintage bridge. However I'm not 100% sure it would fit without leaving visible holes, and/or have problems screwing it in place as some screw holes look like they'd just miss the existing ones.

    So I thought about buying a Candy Apple Red Vintage MIM body so I could go string through and fit the above bridge. Trouble is by the time I've done that it's half way to the cost of a '50s Tele (MIM I think). Wondering if I'd be better off putting the Affinity original PUPs back in it, sell it on and get the MIM '50s model, which I could put the Fender Vintage PUPs in.


    The new one could be 'blonde' which I like, but the replacement body only comes in Candy Apple Red/Olympic White/Black (unless I buy a Blonde MIA body at near £400 :eek:)...just can't decide.

    Third option is to do the drill through mod on my Affinity body, fit the Wilkinson bridge and respray it afterwards, filling any holes that show. However I think I'd struggle to get the holes lined up properly on the back (ferrules side) as I don't have access to a bench drill. I do have spray equipment though...
     
  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Not sure of the prices in England, but around here used MIM bodies show up for under $100 frequently. In fact I've sold two locally. If you're dead set on buying a new replacement body, might as well just buy a new guitar.
     
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for your response, if it helps here are the UK prices since they are probably quite different to the USA:

    In the UK the MIM painted bodies are £160, the Wilkinson bridge is £20 and a classic vibe 50's Squier is £320, so £140 more than the parts.

    I'm guessing my Affinity is worth around £70 with the original PUPs back in it (£145 new now).

    Maybe it would be better just to try the Wilkinson bridge and see if I could fit it to the Affinity, leaving it as top loading? For £20 it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out...
     
  4. Five-O

    Five-O Tele-Afflicted

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    Keep the old girl, you'll regret letting her go.... Get another one to meet the specs your looking for. My thinking is that you bought the Affinity 12 years ago, it's more than paid for itself again , so it's not costing you anything to put it out to pasture and keep for a spare or just for old time sake.
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I think if I kept it and bought another, better Tele, then it would just never get played: My '57 JV Strat is being refinished by a Pro, so I'll have that back soon (after 6 years with it in pieces) and I have an Ephiphone LP too.

    I think I'll just get the new bridge and see how it fits, maybe respray it if holes show as the finish is a bit 'lumpy' (though not a mark on it).
     
  6. Big tuna

    Big tuna Tele-Holic

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    I would sell it if you want to start changing parts a lot of the upgrades wont fit due to the import spec body .but if you want to keep it awhile and make sure you don't miss it when its gone ! that's the safe road
     
  7. HotDan!

    HotDan! Friend of Leo's

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    Ya know Kelvin, there are a ton of threads out there on this very subject and most say something like...well...it's just a cheap guitar so just get a new one...it ain't worth putting money into. It's not their guitar though is it. they haven't been playing it for the last ten years and they have no idea how it plays for you or how you've 'bonded' with it over the years.

    It's not all about worth or value as to the reasoning for modding your favorite or 'go to' or #1. It's about playability and, OK maybe it is about value but not in a monetary sense but rather in your perceived value for your instrument and that will certainly go beyond its value in dollars or pounds or yen or rupees or whatever...at least it does for me. I've a band mate who recently bought a Merle Haggard signature and I've played it several times. I'm envious beyond words but I can't play it nearly as well as my CVC. Why? Because I know all the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of my CVC after a couple of years and, granted, given some time with his prized guitar, I may be able to play it as well...but I don't need to.

    I have had friends, band mates and acquaintances and I could be one (I like me as much as anyone I've ever met and sometimes better) who have put a two or three hundred dollar neck on a hundred dollar guitar. Again, why? The answer is just because and the because is that it's a great guitar for me and I want to preserve it's playability and place.

    Don't take this as me saying to mod what you have...if you want a new one, by all means...go out and get it. If you really like the Blondes (and who doesn't) go ahead and sand off the blue. There may be some surprising grain in that Agathis or Basswood body. You may want to peg the holes, give it a new personality with a blonde finish, screw on your favorite bridge and , oh what the hell, maybe some new tuners as well.

    I've a strat that has just sort of evolved. It's a CV 50's with so many mods that I've just about lost track of them. This past week at practice a band mate who is also a very close friend of a number of years commented that I must have a bunch of money in it. My response? Uhh...yeah...so what's your point? The point is, and he missed it, is that I like it and it plays and sounds as good as one of those 'F' branded custom shop special order jobs costing six or more times as much.

    The most important point, though, is what does it take to make you happy? It matters little weather you play for thousands or for your family or just for yourself. I haven't said all of this to try and influence your decision but rather to help you make a decision. I hope I've been able to do that.
     
  8. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    I put a vintage style bridge on my sons affinity, you can get them with the holes drilled for both string through and top loaders. Can't remember any problems with screw holes, look up axesrus or northwestern on ebay, sure they stock them. oh, and by the way keep the guitar, you will regret selling it.
     
  9. Five-O

    Five-O Tele-Afflicted

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    Just so ya know, if it's a deal breaker then fill those bridge holes with a wood putty and touch them up, you can find a blue that's close in the Hobby stores, it'll hardly be noticeable. Put that vintage bridge on there, you'll be glad you did. That's what I did on a Butter Scotch Affinity and it turned out great.
     
  10. allesz

    allesz Tele-Meister

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    I put a compensated wilkinson bridge with brass saddles and dual loader option (did not tried toploader still) on a cheap china tele (now it's a esquire) and I think it's a great upgrade: the intonation gets almost perfect and the sound gets better too.

    I also put on a better pick up and changed the nut too; the bridge and nut are the most important, effective and cheaper, mods I made. The bridge went on without problems, but I admit I would not mind to leave a couple of small holes on the top: it has to sound good first.
     
  11. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for all your comments. :D I'm surprised at how many replies I've had to my ramblings. The bridge in the eBay link is the one I've been considering so it's good to know it would fit, plus it's slightly cheaper than the link I found. If it leaves some holes slightly visible afterwards it's not the end of the world and could be filled/touched up as one poster commented above.

    As it happens, I tried a '98 USA built Telecaster today while trying out a new amp I ended up buying (a little 5 watt all valve 'Blackstar' which sounds fantastic and is louder than I expected for 5 watts).

    It was interesting to compare the '98 USA to mine; the neck felt quite different as it was a Rosewood fingerboard unlike my maple one. I actually prefered my Affinity, perhaps due to radius and/or the thinner width/depth (I have quite small hands). Maybe just because I'm used to it, but I also have an Ephiphone LP and a JV '57 Strat so it's not like the Affinity is my only point of reference. I've adjusted the truss rod and shimmed the neck, so the action is pretty good anyway and the USA seemed well set up too...I couldn't blame either guitar for limiting my playing ability due to the neck/action (only me to blame there ;)).

    Soundwise there didn't seem to be to much in it once I got home and tried my own Tele through the same amp. Perhaps the sustain was longer on the USA one (the string through and better bridge perhaps?), but the overall tone seemed very similar (remember I already have the Fender Vintage PUPs in my Affinity). Of course the finish on the USA was much better, though not a colour scheme I'd have chosen myself. Having resprayed some 25 cars over the years (and my JV Strat twice) I think I could improve the finish on my Affinity if I resprayed it after I replace the bridge, so that's a lowish cost/higher labour solution for the future.

    I'm hoping to get my JV Strat back from being refinished/refretted soon, so I'll have chance to take the Tele apart and fit the new bridge, but for now I'm too busy enjoying it through this little valve amp. :D

    Thanks again for everyone's comments. :cool:
     
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