Fender Baja Tele vs Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Johnnyseven, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Johnnyseven

    Johnnyseven TDPRI Member

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    Hello TDPRI. Not sure if this belongs in this forum or the Squier one, if I got it wrong please let me know and i'll start a thread there instead.

    I'm thinking of getting another tele (I already have a US Standard Tele) and I know the Fender Baja Tele's and Squier Classic Vibe Tele's are highly regarded. Just wondering how they compare with each other, primarily to work out if it's worth spending the extra on the Baja. I'm primarily interested in the Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele, the one with the maple neck - as I like the maple neck on my US Standard Tele. Can anyone help?

    I like the chunkiness of the neck on my US Standard and would prefer something similar, but have no idea if it has a U, C or V shaped neck - how can I tell? I think it was made in 1998 or 1999.
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went through a very similar quest. I was looking at a Baja and an FSR Ash. For months, I could only find one or the other, and could not quite justify the extra $300 for the Baja.

    I was on a business trip, and a GC had a Vegas Gold Baja and an FSR Ash in stock, so I pulled both down, and got to play them back to back. I was not interested in the Vegas Gold, but it was a Baja.

    My conclusion? I liked the pickups better in the Baja, but the neck on the Baja is what sold me. It just felt "right" in my hand.

    Of course, you may feel differently. The Baja is more money, but still a great value (yeah yeah yeah this is all relative...)

    I think the US Standard neck is a modern C or a C shape; the Baja is a "soft V", which has a bit larger shoulders and a bit more thickness through the middle.

    The CV 50's is listed with a modern C; a quick web search (which may not be accurate!) shows the 1999 American Standard to have a modern C as well. If this is true, the CV 50's will be very similar, and the Baja will be chunkier. You should try one out - you should be able to find one in London (unless you are in London, Ohio!)

    Note I am talking about the 50's Baja - the 60's Baja also has a modern C neck.
     
  3. Johnnyseven

    Johnnyseven TDPRI Member

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    Yes i'm in London, England.

    I wasn't aware that there was a 50's and a 60's Baja, thanks for pointing that out. Is the 60's the one with the rosewood fingerboard? I'd prefer a maple really.
     
  4. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    I have both. They both sound very much like Telecasters. I put a 4-way switch in the CV (Vintage Blonde with Alnico 3 pickups, the Butterscotch Blonde CV has Alnico 5s) because it's a feature I really liked in my 50s Baja (I don't really use the S1 out of phase sounds).

    The only substantial difference is between the necks. Noticeably chunkier in the Baja. The neck on my CV is remarkably similar to the neck on my '88 Am Std.

    Otherwise, I consider them to be on par in terms of workmanship and playability.
     
  5. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Think pinto vs mustang.. If you've got the dollars get the Baja and dont look back.
     
  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep - maple neck on the 50's Baja, rosewood (or rosewood like substance?) on the 60's.
     
  7. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Friend of Leo's

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    No comparison...the Baja has an amazing neck, full profile, great feel. The Squier is a toy neck, thin in profile and the overall guitar feels cheap and "plastic". The pickups on the Baja are bold and full sounding...the CV sounds dull, sure tele like twang, but just "meh".

    Also to the OP - the 60s Baja has real rosewood on the fingerboard. I played a nice Sonic Blue version in the fall - really nice guitar. Actually, I liked the pickups in the 60s far more than the 50s Baja.
     
  8. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    they're both really nice guitars. i'm a huge fan of the baja... it's got one of the nicest/chunkiest necks out there. but the squier classic vibe is probably the best value out there in terms of quality vs price. it's certainly no toy!

    you really can't go wrong with either at their respective price points
     
  9. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I love my CV-50 blonde Tele. The neck on my 2010 CV is bigger than the one on my '91 American Standard and it is better made, too, imo.. It is NOT A TOY.. It kills my AM Standard by a long shot. Never tried a Baja. But the CV pickups are stellar. I bet you can't find one of the Blonde CV-50 pickups on ebay. Why... Because nobody ditches them.
     
  10. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The CV are very good guitars IMO. The Alnico 3 pickups in them are FANTASTIC. They're Tonerider 'Hot classics' and really dont need to be upgraded IMO.
    A 4-way on a CV50's would make it all the more better. The 'series' sound is really useful, IMO.
     
  11. Johnnyseven

    Johnnyseven TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info. I think i'm going to have to give one of the CV 50's Tele's a try, as this would be a 2nd guitar behind my US Tele I would prefer to avoid paying £600ish when I could get a perfectly decent guitar for half the price. If only they did one in black though as I love a black Tele with a black pickguard!
     
  12. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    take it to an auto/motorcycle shop with the money you save. i had my first guitar shot in a tangerine metalflake for $100... and it was great. i'm sure a standard black finish could be had even cheaper...
     
  13. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought my 2008 VB CV50s Tele used for £175 including a nice gig-bag. Nice little guitar and totally giggable. If you can find a used one for a similar price and then for some reason find you don't like it, I think you'd easily be able to move it on at no financial loss and put the money towards a Baja instead.
     
  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all about the different necks. Some people like the CV neck profile. I found it too thin for my tastes (thin in the dimension from fingerboard to back of neck). Some Bajas can be on the heavy side, I'm told, so you may want to try and find one of the lighter ones.
     
  15. christhebrit

    christhebrit Tele-Holic

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    A Londoner wouldn't be seen dead in either as they don't go round corners:)
    Agree though, the Baja is a significant upgrade, even just for the pickups, for not a lot more cash.
    I'm sure if you head into Regent Sounds, they'll have both in stock for you to plug in
     
  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There are some major differences beginning with the neck profile. The Baja has a fairly deep soft "V" neck while the Squier CV has a much shallower "C" profile. If you prefer a "chunkier" neck you'd most likely gravitate more to the Baja although you can always swap the neck out on a Squier CV. They'll take any neck that fits an MIA or MIM Fender.

    The pickups and electronics are also much different with the Baja being ahead of the game in that department. Better pickups and 4-way switching with an S1 circuit as well although some remove that one. But again, you can swap pickups and add a 4-way to a Squier CV as well.

    The Baja has an ash body whereas the Squier CV in pine. I wouldn't call that a major issue but it's another one of the differences between the two in addition to the hardware on the Baja also being slightly better.

    Overall I think these are two guitars that are very fairly priced for what you get. At their typical selling price you're looking at roughly a $350 difference in cost between the two and that's about what it would cost to do the modifications to the neck, pickups and electronics to turn a CV in to a Baja plus your time in doing it.

    So IMHO yeah, a Baja is worth the extra money if that's exactly what you want. But an even better deal would be to seek out a barely used Baja in the $500-$600 range. That's the approach I would take if I was in the market for one.
     
  17. Willyguitar

    Willyguitar Tele-Meister

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    I have owned both (in fact a few versions of both). I actually think the bridge pickup in the cv is superior. The Bajas I have had were quite a bit brighter. The 50s cv has a very beefy A3 pickup that I think is much more useable... I therefore definitely don't think the extra £300 is worth it unless you have to have a thick neck. Overall, the cvs were also better made. I've played some absolute dogs of Bajas over the years and some v heavy ones. The Baka neck pickup is better but not massively so
     
  18. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wow, guess you don't own a Squier CV huh? You'd get no argument from me that the Baja is a better guitar but you're putting the Squier down way below it's quality level based on nothing more than YOUR opinion of it. That OK but then say so.

    As I posted, within their respective price ranges each is an excellent guitar. When you compare an $800 guitar to a $400 there are gonna be some differences but the CVs are far from "toys" with bad pickups. Just your saying so doesn't make it so.

    Sorry but I'm getting tired of reading people kick the crap out of good and very playable guitars with inaccurate BS just because they don't care for them personally. If you aren't able to make a fair comparison maybe you shouldn't make one at all.
     
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Johnny, this sounds like Deja Vu all over again. I'm always puzzled when people cross shop the maple board 50s style CP Baja against something like a Squier CV. They're really not for the same people, in the same way a large Ford F-250 pickup and a Miata are both good but nobody I know cross-shops them once they're on to these basics.

    Taking your existing American with its fairly slim modern C neck as a basis point, the 50s style Baja neck is substantially larger, 2 to 3 sizes larger. Meanwhile the CV 50s neck is either just a little thinner or is a full size thinner depending on which version (body color/pickups) you can find.

    If you want a larger neck, forget about the CV. If you don't want a larger neck, forget about the 50s Baja (although if you can accept rosewood the 60s Baja would be nice sized for you). Find some guitars with neck girths in the range you want - focus on those and don't give another thought to guitars which we may love here but which don't suit everyone.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I don't think it is a prerequisite to insight about a particular guitar, to buy one or more of each of them. I've tried doing this but at some point you gotta throw in the towel and just rely on how a half dozen or couple dozen examples of them strike you - as compared to how other model guitars inspected and played under the same circumstances. Yes, I know some guitars are more ready to play than are others in the form we find them in stores. This is the strange paradox about the meticulous way (the vast majority of) CVs presents right out of the packing. There's NO other Squier product even remotely as ready to play out of the box as the CVs are. The other side of the coin of course is, if you work at it you can get that Squier Standard or Deluxe or Affinity better and better. You gotta be careful with the CVs though - seen a fair number of used ones where the previous owner tried to make it better and made it clearly worse. :oops:

    And one of the curses of the CV that its fans like to gloss over is, these are awful playable and guys have next to nothing invested in them and the fretwire is not as hard as the wire sourced in the USA. Finally, I know I'm clearly an acolyte of thick necks for the feel of them and the short term stability of them but there's nothing you can say to convince me a guitar with a thinner than usual neck (like a CV) is ever going to stand the test of multiple seasons of changing weather and rough use and treatment. The CV is the '84 Mazda 626 of the guitar world. Exciting to own and drive when new and great value for money but where are they all now? They're used up. I prefer to buy a guitar knowing it will be ready to go after I dig the case out from under 20 others. The hard truth is the CV was never specified to be able to do that - use it now, use it hard; use it up I say. :)
     
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