Fender Baja vs American Special

Milspec

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I feel that you made the right choice, the Baja is the better instrument once it is broken in. By that I mean a few minor changes to make it just right.

1. Ditch the whole control wiring and replace it. Mine was a nest of excess wires and I didn't have any need for the out of phase tones.
2. Upgrade to an electrosocket jack. That vintage style looks good, but inferior in all ways that matter.

I really like the Baja, with those minor changes it has become a great player. I am not thrilled with bridge as much as some other telecasters, but the neck pickup is one of my favorites and gets all the attention.
 

krautcat22

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I feel that you made the right choice, the Baja is the better instrument once it is broken in. By that I mean a few minor changes to make it just right.

1. Ditch the whole control wiring and replace it. Mine was a nest of excess wires and I didn't have any need for the out of phase tones.
2. Upgrade to an electrosocket jack. That vintage style looks good, but inferior in all ways that matter.

I really like the Baja, with those minor changes it has become a great player. I am not thrilled with bridge as much as some other telecasters, but the neck pickup is one of my favorites and gets all the attention.

1. I don't use the oop tones either, but since the push-push button is unobtrusive, and I don't have any noise issues, I'll leave everything stock.
2. I might replace the jack plate later, but right now it's doing its job.

As for the neck pickup: it's very usable indeed!
 

Fenderdad1950

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Apples and oranges. The Baja has a fanatical dedicated following, like going to hell & back to retrieve their Baja. The Am Special, not so much. The main difference is the neck in your hand. Though a little over-stated, they refer to the Baja neck as having a baseball bat in your hand. Also cool switching on the Baja
 

bobio

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2018 American Special and 2019 American Performer, both GREAT guitars :cool:
Everyone has their preferences and "I" happen to prefer the American Special/Performer to the Baja.
The Daphne Blue is a complete partscaster, but has a Highway One neck, it's a cousin of the other two 😅

20210828_180243628_iOS.jpg 20210828_175917148_iOS.jpg 20210828_175853794_iOS.jpg
 

krautcat22

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Apples and oranges. The Baja has a fanatical dedicated following, like going to hell & back to retrieve their Baja. The Am Special, not so much. The main difference is the neck in your hand. Though a little over-stated, they refer to the Baja neck as having a baseball bat in your hand. Also cool switching on the Baja

100% agree with the "apples and oranges".

The Baja neck doesn't make me a better player, but it feels nice and chunky.
The 3-saddle bridge isn't really "better" than the modern 6-saddle version (in my opinion). But I like the old-school looks.
The switching, however, is objectively better. That 4th position: very useful!

Again: apples + oranges.

EDIT: I forgot to talk about the awesome neck pickup. The neck pickup is.... how can I say it? Awesome! :cool:
 

xtrajerry

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Earlier 50’s Baja’s were great, at some point they started putting thinner necks on them but still beefy. iirc the American special has tall frets, I tend to like them but feel pretty comfortable with most fret heights as long as neck isn’t to thin. if you can play them I say get the one that feels the best. If you go with the Baja may want to go at the back of the neck with some emery cloth or fine sand paper. If you can’t play them I’d lean towards the Baja but honestly don’t think there is a wrong choice unless you don’t like tall fret wire.
 

Disconnected

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I see you got Baja, congrats. I would chose the same, USA neck on the special is just a tad too skinny for me even with the jumbo (or super jumbo?) frets.
 




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