1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

early '90's "Tele Special", experience or opinion

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by humblepie, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. humblepie

    humblepie TDPRI Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Birmingham, Alabama
    I'm sure lots of you guys have owned the early '90's Tele Special w/ a humbucker in the neck.
    This is the model that was supposed (?) to be built in Mexico, then the plant supposedly (?) burned down and they had to be assembled in the USA plant.
    What is the consensus on these teles?
    Are they good guitars?
    Can mods be done that make a big difference for any shortcomings?
  2. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Go for it

    The Tele Specials were great teles. I owned this black/maple version a few years back. The neck was reasonably beefy, with 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets, very comfy compared to vintage specs (IMO). The pickups were OK, but I'd change the bridge pup. The neck HB was actually pretty decent. Since it was string thru, it will accept a 3-saddle vintage ashtray bridge. All in all, wish I still had it :(
  3. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    I never heard that fire story............... but I really like the guitar.

  4. CharlieO

    CharlieO Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    Re: Go for it

    A few years ago I did some research, trying to find out as much as possible about my '94 Tele Special. As far as I can tell, the bridge pickup is an American Standard pickup. It does seem that plenty of owners swap it for something else. I kept mine stock.

    Harmony Central reviews:

    [url]http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Fender/Telecaster_Special-01.html [/url]
  5. BradKM

    BradKM Tele-Holic

    Apr 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    I've got a '95 burst. I went through a few bridge pickups before settling on an HD-S90. I also switched the six barrel bridge for a three saddle brass unit. The original never gave me any problems, but I've got corrosive sweat and the height adjustment screws eventually went south because of that. I may eventually switch out the three brass for three steel, but that's just personal preference. It's a great guitar, and has been my #1 for quite a while.
  6. ashtray

    ashtray Tele-Holic

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ventura County, CA
    I found one a few months ago and traded a guitar for it. Even though I lost some equity in the trade, it worked out great for me b/c I love this guitar! (I got the trans red one, like above, but all stock.)

    I have been playing it exclusively for the past month, and I just picked up my #1 tele, and it didn't sound/feel good at all! Yikes!

    The one thing that shocks me about this guitar (and I don't understand why) is the amount of "snap" the strings have... well, the tone. Grr. Impossible to describe, but it's a full pop when you hit the strings (or pull out on them). I am not sure if it's the bridge, or the pickups (both pickups have this feature though).

    I wanted a humbucker in the neck tele (ala G&L Bluescaster... or whatever they call it), but I find myself never using the humbucker - I choose the 4 position which taps it to a single coil. How silly of me is that?! And that's my favorite position! Doh!

    But it really sounds great, has a great feel to it, and with the stock pickups, it sounds real nice, unlike my other guitars. I like the vintage style features/looks it has.

    I hadn't heard the story of the manufacturing, but MIM or MIA, it's a good guitar. They go for around $250-400... more recently, I found 2 of them for $399. Mine was $325, but again, with the trade - and I had to pay out of pocket some as well... so it was more like $425 I paid, but worth it.

    Ok, I said a lot. Anyone else experience the unique attack the guitar has?
  7. InstituteOfNoise

    InstituteOfNoise Tele-Holic

    Jan 12, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've got a '95 Tele Special. Great axe! Records great, rocks live! I replaced the bridge pup with a Duncan Little '59 and the bridge/saddles are a Callaham.

    I paid $290 for mine. Bridge and pup where about another $125.

  8. Rizo

    Rizo Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 28, 2005
    Athens, OH
    About the fire...

    I've heard about the fire too. Actually I have a black MIA strat, but instead of saying "Fender" on the headstock, it says "Squier by Fender. Made in USA." The the logo is not black, it's that silvery green script with a black outline. It also has an unusual serial number on the neckplate.

    Ok, so an MIA Squier seems a little odd but then a fella told me about how the plant in Mexico burned down so they took the parts to Cali and built them and labeled them "Squiers." It was supposedly made in the late 80's/early 90's. I think in the neck pocket is says in red ink "8-91" (?) but I forget to be honest.

    Does anyone know if this fire story and moving the manufacturing is true??? I haven't been able to find out anyting about this guitar.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.