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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by lepaulo, May 16, 2020.
I may well do that one day. Thanks for the suggestion.
well, the two different price points have to yield some differences. Whether or not one wants to pay for those differences is another question the answer to which is subjective. I consider the neck on any guitar whether it is $100 or truly big money. Without a good line of neck, it takes a truly interesting guitar to be worth anything at all for my purposes....no matter what price someone else has put on it.
Some of the frets looked leveled down with a block, just to get it to play. Then not crowned. Gibson plek's, why can't Fender?
I agree with the look of much of today's cheap rosewood. I call it fence wood. Buy a juicy rosewood (or real ebony) neck Fender, MINT shape, on the used market. It might not have the new heel joint but feel is important. USA Fender used to round their fret ends back in the day too.
There are better Asian built (CAD CAM) guitars out there.
Not commenting on the frets, but nuts cut a bit too high is common place even on custom shop guitars. I had a Gibson CS Les Paul with similar issues. It's a 5 minute fix with the proper files.
I think they do it intentionally as erring on the high side is an easy fix while erring on the low side is a nut replacement. I seen plenty of guitars with too high cut nuts for sure.
I may be In the minority and have bought many new fenders and the frets are always nice on the USA models I have haven’t had much trouble , maybe I’m just lucky and they play great (after setup)
Sorry can’t help the op
Yes, it makes sense to cut the nuts like that as some guitarists like theirs a bit higher than average.
Anyhow, I've seen the Anderton videos touring the Fender factory and it seemed to me that all the production guitars go through essentially the same production line with the same craftsmen and women. After seeing some Ultras mixed in with the other guitars, I reasoned that there is no "special treatment" handed out to them and the premium pricing comes from the noiseless pups and the additional time spent shielding the cavities and shaping the neck/body.
Actually, it still doesn't make sense. Good marketing by Fender though and if that means a bit extra profit to keep them going, so be it...
I kind of feel like this is our fault...
Before my local guitar shop closed they would sell you a new guitar and tell you to come back in 3 weeks and they would make any set up changes you wanted and address any issues like fret work.
Nobody back then would have accepted anything else when buying a new guitar.
Now the shop has closed down because 90% of people coming in started to say "I can buy it cheaper online" and leave.
Now we are in a position where we just accept that we are going to have to pay to get a guitar sorted out even when we are buying higher end models from one of the biggest manufacturers.
No, no special treatment. Good guitars are now pretty much 'good enough' guitars.
But isn't this better?
In the shop you mention you'd have to pay premium whether your guitar needed work or not
These days you get it cheaper .. and it is up to you to decide, whether you'll pay for a set up and additional work or not.
It suits me because I don't mind doing a bit of set up work myself. But it's clearly not better for everyone.
No no .. but now they can pay the fee for getting their guitar set up themselves .. before it was equally spread over all consumers thru higher pricing, so you paid half of their luthier fee (or whatever fraction it was)
Wow, it's almost as if these are instruments made out of wood that reacts to whatever climate zone it's been sent to once it leaves the factory. ALL guitars need some setup or attention. My guitars require truss rod adjustments twice a year when the seasons change - once in fall and once again in spring. Fret sprout is also common in winter climates because the fretboard wood shrinks a little when the humidity drops. That's why guitars have truss rod adjustments, and pickup height adjustments, and adjustable bridge saddles...
As for the comparison to cars. Actually dealer prep is mandatory on just about every vehicle that comes off the truck when they arrive from the factory. Dealers have to fix all sorts of assembly flaws before they hit the showroom floor. Saying a guitar needing a setup before it goes on the floor is NOT the same as a car having a bent frame. Now, if the guitar has a broken truss rod then yeah, that's a structural problem.
Sorry to rain on your parade but that fretwork is atrocious for it's 2K price tag and I don't agree with a fellow member that stated "polished frets don't exist from any manufacture" as I've owned several from Thorn, Suhr, Collings and a few Nocasters. What bothers me most about the fretwork is they weren't rolled on the ends. Send it back for a refund. FWIW for 2K I also wouldn't settle for an alder body or any Tele that didn't have the superior sounding 3 barrel saddles plus it's a standard polyester finish. The Vintera series is half the price fyi, just saying.
I agree on the fretwork - my 3 most recent guitars bought new have been a 2018 Fender American Performer Mustang, a 2019 Gibson SG Tribute (mine was the "2019 Model Year Version", but that model didn't change when Gibson redid their lineup in April 2019), and a 2018 PRS S2 Vela (it was NOS when I got it in 2019; must have been in Guitar Center's warehouse for 6-7 months before it arrived at the store in August 2019). In all cases these were among the least expensive USA-made models from each manufacturer, and in all cases the fretwork was excellent. Granted the Fender and Gibson weren't mirror polished, but they were shaped correctly and were very smooth; the PRS was mirror polished.
So Fender can do a much better job than this particular American Ultra Tele, and they did it on a guitar that at the time had an $1,100 MAP; now the American Performers are $1,150 MAP, which is still $750 less than the American Ultra.
genuinely curious. why is it that you would not prefer an alder body on a higher end guitar?
That guitar in my OP is the replacement. The first one had dodgy electricals. I can't remember if the frets on the first one were much better because I only had it for about a week before Fender asked me to return it to their EU centre. I don't think I want to go through that again.
Also and more importantly, I don't think Fender warrants the quality of the fret-work, do they?
I'll wait for things to return to (new) normal here in Europe and will sort out the frets then. It's still playable. I toyed with the idea of crowning and finishing the frets myself but the risk of stuffing it up on such an expensive guitar has put me off.
I guess I'm in the minority, but I look at all my guitars as tools for recording music. My expectations are fairly low as it comes to setups when I buy, and I just assume I'll be tweaking the guitar for my needs.
And I'm looking at an Ultra now.
Not wanting to sound argumentative because you've had your hands on more guitars than I have. But my Suhr came straight out of the box ready to go. It has SS frets, so maybe thta's the difference. It is 100% perfect out of hte box. I've had PRS (already discussed) that were spot on, as well as my Fender American Original 50's tele.
don't sleep on hte players series. Mine showed up and was great. Only thing I had to do was file a few fret ends and round them a bit and it plays as well as every elite and ultra I've tried. I was going to get one until I tried hte new players series. I swapped the pickups to SD LaBrea's (wasn't really needed) and that's all that's been done.
Well these days the MAP of the least-expensive Suhr is $2,800 - so for $900 more (give or take) than an American Ultra I would certainly expect a Suhr to be spot-on; but then again for $1,900 I would expect the American Ultra to be spot-on as well. As I mentioned my $1,50 American Performer Mustang was pretty much spot-on, as were the two guitars I got after purchasing the Mustang (a $1,000 Gibson SG Tribute and a $1,400 PRS S2 Vela) - so Fender can get it done.
Suhr does Plek their instruments which helps - and the Plek is set to how John himself used to do all the necks personally