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Considering a Highway One...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jonloder, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Jonloder

    Jonloder Tele-Meister

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    I want to upgrade from my MIM. I've been discussing options for a new American but I came across a used 2003 Highway One for $800. That seems like a pretty good deal but I'm not familiar with the model. It's American made, has the ashtray bridge and the much-preferred sunburst color. I can't find much on these but, from what I understand, the pickups are reverse-wound so the center switch position has a noise cancelling effect kind of like the Baja. Is that about right?

    Is there anything else, good or bad, to consider?
     
  2. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    `
    Fender changed the Highway Ones in 2006 and the earlier ones are generally considered more desirable afaict. The 2003 would have had the vintage style spaghetti logo and an alder body.

    I had the 2006 version and it was a great player. Those were selling for around $600 a couple years ago.

    $800 sounds about right for a 2003 in good shape. I don't know if I'd pay much more for one myself, but if I were in the market for a Hwy1 I guess I’d be happy with either the pre-2006 or post-2006 models.

    This is from a 2003 Fender Frontline catalog:

    FA9806EB-B962-4ED3-BEAA-1D1156DDA81C.jpeg
    8FB9FD4A-AF03-4311-99F0-CD0EDF58ED06.jpeg
    ECE544DA-6A21-4D0C-BFCB-E8832DB85F6E.jpeg
    02FC3443-ED82-44CA-8FE8-6A41D4586F70.jpeg
    D3353409-F0AB-4905-AF51-714FC510B238.jpeg


    `
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
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  3. Jonloder

    Jonloder Tele-Meister

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    Spaghetti logo... check!
     
  4. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Mine came with jumbo frets-really tall. I like them, but for somebody with a heavy fretting hand they can be a challenge.
     
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  5. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Friend of Leo's

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    A few months ago I paid $461 for my '09 Fender Hwy 1 Honey Blonde Strat

    The are pretty nice guitars, but if the pickups in the '06 is like my '09, then the pickups are going to be a lot darker sounding than you might be accustomed to.

    They don't have the brighter spank that you associate with a strat.

    It does sound better for rock than a standard SSS strat, especially the bridge pickup.

    If you buy it, you need to accept it for what it is.

    If you buy it and change out the pickups and hardware, then to me , it's a waste of money.

    https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48547403381_cf6aa03eee_b.jpg
     
  6. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    Highway One TEXAS :twisted:

    - 12 inch radius fretboard
    - Two tone (not the red clown lip 3 tone) burst
    - Lightweight Ash body
    - Vintage string tree
    - Vintage tuners (replaced mine with vintage locking tuners)
    - Vintage 5 hole pickguard (replaced mine with a Fender vintage Bakelite pickguard)

    hw01.jpg

    - Gotoh compensated saddles
    - Glendale single cut stainless bridge plate

    tt06.jpg
     
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  7. julmust

    julmust Tele-Meister

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    Fender, PLEASE start making the Texas Highways again, I don't understand why they don't do it???
    So many people really like those specs.
     
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  8. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    I own 3 Texas, Steve owns 4 its a sickness.
     
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  9. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    if the pre-2003 HW1 teles have the medium jumbos, you got a really nice axe!! I dont like the newer ones that came with Jumbo frets!

    but both sound the same to me, really GOOD
     
  10. nedray

    nedray Tele-Meister

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    I had a HWY 1 Strat that was a pretty good guitar that I never bonded with because the HWY 1 finish was weird and I felt it was misrepresented in the eBay ad that I bought it from. The HWY 1 finish is satin and very dull and the colors are not the same as you would get from basically any other Fender model. Ideally you should see it before you jump.

    The sunburst is not the same as a two-tone sunburst in any other line and it just takes getting used to--or at least making peace with. It's probably good relic bait if that floats your boat. I'm not sure about your assumption that sunburst is a preferred color on a Tele anyway. Probably moreso on a Strat. Depending on the MiM model you own, I'm not sure a HWY 1 is that much of an upgrade and $800 is about what they sold for new, if I recall. Seems like you should be able too pick one up at least $200 less.

    Having said all this, the Strat I had sounded like it should and it played just fine. Other H-1 models I played in stores were also impressive, even after they changed them and put the big headstock on the Strat and big lettering on the Tele.
     
  11. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    i have 2004 Hwy 1 and I was surprised when I took out the bridge pickup as it did not have a metal bridgeplate!! The p/up is actually grounded to one of the three holding screws. Yes it is R/W/R/P, i.e. counter clockwise at neck ( N-S) and clockwise in the bridge ( S-N).
    - not absolutely sure but I get no hum in that middle position and little elsewhere. I swapped it for an Alnico 111 Tonerider. Yes it has the spaghetti logo and is set up nicely.
    As to price I got it down from $2,000 new to $1365 AUD, That's about $928 USD, if you're happy with $800 okay, but I'd try to beat that. I also replaced the whole bridge plate with a chrome covered brass Gotoh six saddle type from stewmac. Good luck.
     
  12. julmust

    julmust Tele-Meister

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    Shut up already!

    Just kiddin', that is awesome, I need one of those as well, one day, when the price is right. :)
     
  13. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    I had one and it was nice.
    I don't want to talk you out of it if you are looking for a change of pace, to try something else etc... BUT...
    I don't think it will be an earth shaking upgrade to an MIM. Sure, it is MIA but as far as the actual guitar goes, it isn't hugely different in quality, only minor(to me) spec changes.
    If you like the looks, feel, etc then go for it. But if it's as a big "upgrade" I wouldn't be as into it. I would tend toward replacing pickups in the MIM if you like how it feels, and hold off on your upgrade urge if you are itching for something higher end.
     
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  14. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice guitars, the $800 seems a tad on the hi side, I almost took one home from a Guitar Show last year for $600 . I do own an 04 HWY 1 Strat, bought it new, its as nice as any Strat I have ever owned, even though it has the very thin finish.
     
  15. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    Yes Sir! Count me in...
     
  16. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    $800 is too much for a HWY Telecaster unless it is the Texas version.
    You can go on Guitar Center used and get American Standards for that price.
     
  17. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Perfectly good guitars!
     
  18. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    Highway One finish is a thin satin acrylic lacquer. Emphasis on THIN. They can look dull its not a gloss finish. HOWEVER here's a trick. This is my #2 Texas Highway One, note the shiny finish. The previous owner had attempted to buff a shine on the body.

    I decided to remove all the hardware and buff it out so that it was even. I had a bottle of Meguiars water spot remover and polish and decided to give that a try. With litte more effort than is required to apply a coat of wax it buffed the finish to a nice gloss you see here. By the way DO NOT use this on real nitro lacquer, real lacquer is too soft.

    tt08.jpg
     
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  19. Jonloder

    Jonloder Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the input. After a little negotiating, I pulled the trigger. It showed up today but now I have to wait until quitting time. It's going to be a long afternoon.

    All in all, it's got everything I was looking for. It's old enough that it's really not going to depreciate. I'm partial to the Sunburst. I also really like the tone from this bridge style. If I went wrong in this deal, it wasn't by much.

    Once I get my strings on (D'Adderio 10-46), I'll tackle the clearance and intonation. It looks easy enough.
     

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  20. ADK Teleman

    ADK Teleman Tele-Afflicted

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    Congratulations! I have a Honey Blonde 2009 HWY1 Tele that I adore! Plays like butter! I did swap out the pups for SD stacked vintages and brass barrels. I have a light touch, so the big frets don’t bother me like they do some folks! Enjoy!!
     
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