CS or 70's

wengr12345

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Hello. So it appears to me that the price of a new CS 51 nocaster could also buy a 70s Tele.
I would prefer to avoid searching through issues laden 50yo guitars since I would have to buy online, but I also have no experience with new CS guitar either. Any comments welcome.
 

msalama

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I'd buy a 70's all original maple neck Tele if I had that kind of money myself. Alas, no; and I'm actually saving my pennies for an original 70's Tele Deluxe at the moment anyway, so no fooling around with other blondes just now :)

But anyway - buying vintage(ish) guitars online can be a hit and miss, so insist on full return rights so you can send the fiddle back if it doesn't meet your expectations of originality and/or overall condition. Caveat emptor!
 

adjason

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If you have not done so try to make a drive somewhere and play a couple of each variety. I'd rather have vintage 70's but not all of the ones I have played would I want over a custom shop model. I'd have to play them first and look them over in person-or has been said spend more buy from someone who will take a return
 

Resojazznblues

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The Custom Shop. I remember up until maybe 10 years ago that the 1970's decade of Fender and Gibson were considered junk. As a matter of fact, most anything post CBS Fender was considered low quality. The Fender Custom Shop have for the most part, always put out a really nice product. With the CS, everything from wood grade to hardware is better than 1970 era Fender. Also, way less of a risk based on stated above.
 

bgmacaw

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A current Custom Shop is going to be great.

A 70's Fender is going to be luck of the draw so it will be imperative to inspect it and try it out in person. You'll need to check for fret wear, mods, damage along with general playability.

I remember up until maybe 10 years ago that the 1970's decade of Fender and Gibson were considered junk. As a matter of fact, most anything post CBS Fender was considered low quality.

Uh, huh. I fell for that line and sold a very nice 1973 Strat I owned for peanuts.
 

JL_LI

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Finding a ‘70s Telecaster that hasn’t been played to death or had enough of its parts replaced to be a partscaster, will be difficult. There are shops that can be trusted for mail order, Wilcutt, The Music Zoo for instance, but your selection will be limited to what’s available when you’re looking. Order a CS guitar and you’ll get exactly what you want. You can order a “‘69” but get it in your color with a roasted neck, and hand wound pickups of your choosing. Relic or not is up to you. Pickups in series or reverse phase? Just order it. And you’ll have a new guitar that will outlast you. If you’re lucky enough to find a premade one in stock, you’ll save some time, maybe some money, and maybe get something entirely unexpected, in a good way. Either way, the build quality will be outstanding.

To me, a CS guitar is for playing. A vintage guitar is for hanging in a showcase. Do you have art hanging on your walls at home? How often do you stop to look at it, to admire it? Really? Buy CS if you’re a player. Buy baseball cards if you’re a collector.
 
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Telekarster

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Why buy one when you can have two at twice the price? :)

Seriously though, if I've learned anything out here I've learned that you have to be careful buying vintage. Keep in mind that back in the day, these guitars were nothing more than tools and so many of them have been modded in one way or another. IMO before you buy a vintage anything be sure to get pics of the neck pocket, heel, under the pick guard and control plate, and run em past the experts out here to make sure there's nothing "screwy" going on with it. If the seller refuses such pics or otherwise drags their feet on providing said pics, it would be a hard pass for me. Likewise make sure they have a reasonable return policy too. Good luck man!!!
 

BramptonRob1958

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As you are buying On-line, sight unseen and not being able to play first, Custom Shop without question.

Both require a substantial investment on your part.

With CS you can get the exact specs, colour, build that will be far superior to hunting down possibly many, many 70's deals and hoping and praying that you bought the Unicorn you've been hoping for?

Buying Vintage is fantastic if your heart is set on certain time period because it holds a special place for you..... However, it can be a harrowing experience even for the Vintage Veterans.

As others have stated finding that "Special" guitar is not easy.

What grade will you accept? Players, Closet Queen, Relic Rash? Will you like the colour? What about Refins?

Original or replacement parts? Are the body and neck original?

Has the neck seen a re-fret along the way? Were the frets original spec or changed out for the owners favourite? What about the truss rod?

Has the wiring been altered along the way? Would you know or care?

Is the seller the original owner?

If not, is the seller trustworthy and knowledgeable on Vintage Guitars to be able to describe your dream guitar without misrepresenting it (intentionally or unintentionally).

With the Vintage guitar you end up in a rabbit hole and yes the journey can be fun, learning along the way is fun. Even with a solid seller and a return policy on your side, there are no guarantee's that it will meet your expectations.....

If you were buying in person and being able to play said guitars "Paying" it takes a lot concern out of the mix....Buying on-line? Not worth the potential risks unless your knowledge exceeds your ego.

Even the veterans make mistakes. I'm not going to tell you to "Go out and Play" a bunch till you find the right one......as last time I looked there weren't too many stores stocking 70's Fenders or Gibsons etc.

There are some Dealers that specialize in Vintage and are highly recommended and much safer to buy from......Those dealers remove a lot of risk, but for the reduced risk you pay a premium. A 70's Tele from Norm's or a similar guitar off of Reverb may or may not be priced the same way. that goes for grading, shipping and Risk.

You have to decide what level of risk you are willing to accept. Even if it's just to package it up and send it back.

The FCS reduces the risk on almost every level.....except "Bonding".

Reselling a Custom Shop, would likely be easier and quicker that trying to sell off a 70's guitar that you don't bond with.

Good Luck
 

brookdalebill

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If you want to play it, I’d get a CS (custom shop) guitar.
It will be far better built, and probably sound better than any 70s Fender, IMO.
The 70s were not a great era, again, just my opinion.
70s guitars are gaining in value.
They’re pushing 50.
It could be postulated/discussed/argued that CS guitars are a direct reaction to, uh, less than stellar 70s guitars.
Plastic finishes, plastic neck finishes, microphonic pickups, heavy body weight, unstable neck joints (loose/sloppy), and narrow nut widths.
You couldn’t give me a 70s Fender.
If you’re investing, I’d look elsewhere.
If you want a player, CS stuff is great.
IMHO.
 

Dan R

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70's telecasters can be pretty cool. I've owned one for many years. Plenty of pros have them, so the bad press is a little overstated. However, every CS Nocaster I've ever played was stellar. The CS is a sure bet. a 70's tele is hit or miss.
 
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wengr12345

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Thank You all for the very helpful responses. I tend to agree with the consensus here that the 70s guitar is too difficult to buy sight unseen. And if I choice from those within driving distance then my choices are severely limited.
So CS it is, but then again there are those Suhr Classic T's.......
 

Masmus

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I love my 78 Strat but when I bought it there were 20 to pick from and I got the one that I liked. 70’s quality control was all over the place and you don’t know what you’ll get if you can’t hold it in your hands and play it. The CS will be great right out of the box and better quality. If you buy from GC you will have no problem returning it if you don’t like it.
 

Texicaster

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Custom Shop all the way!

Crazy that 1970s CBS era Fenders are getting any traction!

As I have read CBS did everything they could to F up the brand! Didn't most of the guys left after Leo split or get forced out....?

Geez! 1970s Fenders CREATED the vintage market as we know it now!

A modern CS should be head and shoulders above the bulk of 1970s Telecasters.
 

57joonya

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Custom shop for me . Every one I have played, the quality is top notch , IMO. It would be hard to go wrong . I don’t think the 70’s fender are as nice as what the custom shop is putting out now , good luck . The hunt is half the fun
That’s not to say there isn’t sine great 70’s telecasters out there . I know there is, I had one for awhile , that I should not have sold
 




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