Do I still need a tele?

Justwilliam

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Hi, I’m new to the forum, but owner a tele for years. In particular it’s a 1998 American Standard.

I loved it for years. But I haven’t really picked it up in the last year, and when I have it hasn’t felt particularly inspiring.

I mostly play country-blues-rock. Maybe a little M Ward, a little Dave Davies, a little Mayer, just not as good as any of them!

I acquired a Duesenberg earlier this year and it has become my no 1. I also have a Starla (I realise I may have a thing for Bigsbys, but that’s another problem). I’m thinking of selling the tele to help fund maybe a Heritage H150.

However a friend is convinced the 90s teles are undiscovered classics. Will I regret it?

Will changing the pickups give it a new lease of life?

Any advice here would be welcome!
 
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8bit

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However a friend is convinced the 90s teles are undiscovered classics. Will I regret it?
Hmmm. Well teles are about a simple and straightforward as electric guitars get. And they've been mass produced for decades. So I don't think it's a situation where you'll regret it forever if you do sell. You can always just get another one. I don't think ones made in the 90s are necessarily any better than ones made in the 80s or the 00s.

I mean, if you're not playing it you're not playing it. I try to move on from stuff that's not getting used.
 

TwangerWannabe

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Are you broke and hard up for cash? If the answer is “no”, then just put it in its case and under the bed for a while. The honeymoon with the Duesenberg may or may not wear off and you may be happy later on and rediscover the Tele.
 
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Trenchant63

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The biggest enemy of the Tele or any guitar is getting bored quickly. Look closely at why you are bored (uninspired). You might find it’s the music you play - expanding it can fire up your appreciation for the the instrument’s voice - no matter the model. That aside - the Tele has an awesome voice indeed!!
 

57joonya

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Hi, I’m new to the forum, but owner a tele for years. In particular it’s a 1998 American Standard.

I loved it for years. But I haven’t really picked it up in the last year, and when I have it hasn’t felt particularly inspiring.

I mostly play country-blues-rock. Maybe a little M Ward, a little Dave Davies, a little Mayer, just not as good as any of them!

I acquired a Duesenberg earlier this year and it has become my no 1. I also have a Starla (I realise I may have a thing for Bigsbys, but that’s another problem). I’m thinking of selling the tele to help fund maybe a Heritage H150.

However a friend is convinced the 90s teles are undiscovered classics. Will I regret it?

Will changing the pickups give it a new lease of life?

Any advice here would be welcome!
A telecaster is sort of an indispensable tool in the guitar world. Maybe try getting a pro set up , or set it up your self to your preferred specs , amd see if it’s a little more inspiring. If not , maybe try some other teles . There’s just important sounds that teles do , that can’t quit be duplicated. But if your a one guitar kind of guy,
U can literally get by with one good electric in my opinion. Any kind , as long as it’s good
 

TokyoPortrait

Friend of Leo's
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Dec 10, 2017
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Tokyo, Japan
Hi.

I have a Les Paul I never play. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, it sounds really good. Just, I prefer both my Telecasters.

I’m not going to sell it because I do like it and it is so nice. Also kinda rare, as it’s an Epiphone from when Epiphone Japan existed. So, it has a Gibson headstock and a one piece neck, etc.

Two days ago I solved the ‘never gets used’ problem by stringing it with a Nashville / High Strung set of strings.

Yoinks! What fun.

I specialise in poorly played, rhythmically stiff, awkwardly phrased, technically limited, childishly written, boringly arranged home recorded ditties that go on for too long.

Now, by double tracking it with a regular strung guitar, I specialise in poorly played, rhythmically stiff, awkwardly phrased, technically limited, childishly written, boringly arranged home recorded ditties with a nice, chime-like interesting guitar sound that go on for too long.

Try it, nothing to loose really. Especially if you buy a normal type 12 string set and use just the high / octave strings. That way, if you don’t like it, you can just slap on the other, regular six (or, use them on another guitar).








Pax/
Dean
p.s. duh, of course you need a Tele :)
 

Sea Devil

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The Heritage is a fabulous guitar. I recommend holding onto the Tele until you find one you bond with, though. When you find it, you'll know. And I bet you will get another Tele eventually!
 

Jakedog

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I maintain, and will take to my grave, that the ‘95-‘04 American Standard and American Series Strats and teles were the best instruments Fender has ever produced on a mass scale. They never made anything that consistently good before, and haven’t since on a large factory scale.

The pickups in particular are great, and very underrated. No, these guitars do not look, play, or sound particularly like they’re from the 50’s. So if that’s what one is after, they should look elsewhere. As an overall extremely well made and high quality instrument, they’re very hard to beat with any other mass produced instruments.
 

Killing Floor

Doctor of Teleocity
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Austin, TX
Even though Tele ownership should be enforced, it’s not. If it’s not for you, play what you love.

Also, I’d suggest googling how to calculate inflation. If you buy a guitar and years later you’re able to sell it for few buck more than it cost new that is not growth. A guitar you bought in 1995 for $700 and sell it today for $800 that was $1,370 in current dollars, for example. Most musicians would see a $100 gain as really savvy but in reality it’s a huge depreciation.
That’s ok because you personally enjoyed owning and using it.

Just don’t take guitar investment advice from guitar players. You’ll be fine.
 

Justwilliam

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2022
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40
Location
UK
Thanks for all the advice so far. Super helpful.

That’s what’s holding me back- one day, maybe a year from now, I’ll want that Darkness on the Edge bridge pick-up sound, and nothing else will do it!

Any experience here with swapping the pickups? I’ve read good things about the Lollars. But I may end up spending a few hundred pounds for little benefit..
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi again.

I should mention, as they talk about in the JHS video, not only can you do the regular hard left / right panning as usual with double tracking, to give you that rich 12 string-like, shimmery effect, you can also treat the Nashville strung track differently from the regular track, with plugins, etc. This has all sorts of possibilities to enliven things, even just adding regular delay, chorus, tremolo, etc. plugins. Try a reverb from an aux send and pan it to the opposite side, for starters, if you have a sparse arrangement.

Last night I layered a backwards version under the normal track (via sending it to an aux and using a back masking plugin), and that produced really interesting results, mixed just underneath, that subtly showed through in places.

Still sounded like plodding, awkward drivel. No magic bullet for that problem :)

If you don’t record, might not matter to you, of course. But thought I’d mention it, as you or others might find something in it.

Just another reason to keep / reinvigorate a less used guitar.

Pax/
Dean
 

Dismalhead

Doctor of Teleocity
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Have you tried other Teles? Maybe you just don't bond with the one you've got, or maybe it needs a good setup? A '98 American Standard is a great, pro quality guitar. I've got an '06 American Series - it melts in my hands. I'd never get rid of it.
 
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