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Hi! And - 2012 Custom Shop or brand new American Pro II?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Dellis, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Dellis

    Dellis Tele-Meister

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    Hi all,

    I used to be active on here... ooo, about... eight or nine years ago. Then life took off and I didn't seem to find the time anymore. But over the past year or so I've been back lurking - this is still the lovely, friendly community I remember so fondly. I was heartened to see a message on behalf of Mark Davis, too, who was always so helpful.

    I still have my old Telecaster (06 Japanese model, with all sorts of things done to it, including a pick-up from Mark Reilander, who sadly appears to have stopped winding, but I met him here too), as well as an amp this forum gently steered me to, a 1969 Pro Reverb.

    I bought an Elite Strat last year, but have found... well, it's too Stratty. Now I'm on the hunt for a new Telecaster. The things I love about the Elite Strat - the board being a bit flatter, the rounded neck heel, the fact it's so, so easy to play - don't outweigh the fact I'm not love with its sound. It just doesn't cut like a Tele does.

    I'm rambling but now I'm looking for a new telecaster and, being left handed, I'm stuck for options. I can pick up a second hand heavy relic 52 from the Fender Custom Shop (2012) for £1800, but while I had a chance to play it, I couldn't plug it in due to no-mixing under the present Covid rules (I was about to buy it in person then and there but a PayPal glitch stopped me, which I took as a sign). I'm still considering that guitar, though generally I'm not drawn to relics, which (stupidly) is putting me off. It did have a great neck to play.

    I see the new American Pro II and think that looks rather good - like the extra fret, the rounded neck heel. And the flatter board - sometimes with my Japanese board, the high E feels like it might slip off (it is 7.25 radius, like the 52 is).

    The Pro II is a touch cheaper, but not enough to make such a difference.

    Am I crazy for considering it over the Custom Shop at what I consider to be a good price? I play all sorts of thing - Bruce-y rock, jazz, blues, singer-songwriter stuff... I tend to play clean or with a tube screamer. I just want something that cuts in a mix, so I feel a Tele is the way to go. But... which one?!

    Any thoughts would be very helpful - thank you.
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Loaded question.

    The 52 Reissues tend to be 7.25" radius boards, fat-U necks, and vintage style pickups and sound.

    The AP-II series tend to be 9.5" radius boards, deep-C necks, modern style pickups and sound.​

    While these are not two completely different instruments, they are two completely different Telecasters.

    I know what my preferences are; I like a vintage-leaning sound and the 9.5" board and deep-C necks - almost the APII specs. I could easily live with the APII pickups.

    However, many here like the fat-U necks and the 7.25" boards.

    Yeah yeah yeah, you probably know all of this already.

    It's probably going to come down to feel. You already mentioned liking the 9.5" board. The American Elite Tele has a 10" - 14" compound radius board. Yeah, it is a bit more, but maybe that would be better?

    Given the choice of the two you mentioned, I know where I would go.
     
  3. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Oh - welcome back!
     
  4. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The asking price for the SC 52 seems about right, neither too cheap nor too expensive. I think unixfish hits the important point. Sure would be best if you could go to a shop and play a few before buying. I have found that the neck shape is really critical: the thick necks on the 52 and Nocasters and the wider necks on some of the "deluxe" models do not work well for me. I really like the early to mid 60's configurations. The good news is that in many cases, the neck specifications are available on the internet. Happy hunting!
     
  5. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    With no other info available, my choice would be the CS.
     
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  6. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome back
     
  7. Dellis

    Dellis Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all for your replies! And good to be back.

    Unix, thank you for a very thorough response. I think I'm probably only drawn to the Custom Shop because it's just that - a custom shop. I don't know if they are inherently better built or what have you. It didn't seem notably better than my elite strat. Does anyone here think Custom Shops - even from a few years ago - are just a cut above?

    With the Pro II, I suppose I was thinking I could always put in vintage-style pickups if I needed to, for that vintage-style sound with a modern playability.
     
  8. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    Keep in mind there will ALWAYS be something from Fender like the AmPro that you can pick up basically anywhere. If you don’t love the AmPro in six months or whatever, you’ll probably sell it at a loss (because it would then be used.)

    However, if you don’t love the CS, if you’re patient, you’ll almost definitely be able to get your money back.
     
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  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Welcome back!

    If you're liking the neck carve, fret size and board radius on that Elite, I think the Am Pro II is a better idea. For me, the '52 would be better - but IMO there would be some overlap with the MIJ you already have.

    Owning an Am Pro II and a MIJ along more "Vintage" lines would get you one Modern Tele and one Vintage one - you're not way out in Strat country but you'll have two different voices to work with.
     
  10. Dellis

    Dellis Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all - and thank you Boris, I remember you so well.

    I think I will go the Pro II route. My MIJ is pretty vintage (in style and sound) and a good'un and if I hate the new one when it arrives, I can always return it, whereas the Custom Shop is a done deal. Nice to have the variety and, frankly, if the Pro II plays properly, I can give it that vintage sound with a few swift changes if needs be.
     
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  11. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Holic

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    You really just need to play them both to decide. I understand that this is not always possible but I don't think there is any other way of knowing which of these guitars would be the best for you.

    Specs are important but not as important as the sound and feel of the real instrument. I've only had one CS Tele and I still have it and play it often. But it is not my number one.

    Good luck!
     
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  12. Dellis

    Dellis Tele-Meister

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    Thank you! I will update the thread when the guitar arrives. Excited to see what it's like.
     
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  13. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    MUST...HAVE....PICS!

    oh...and welcome back or something like that. LOL!!
     
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  14. Hibernian

    Hibernian TDPRI Member

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    I have a Pro II in the house now for a few weeks and I really like it. I also have a CS Strat which is a great Strat, undoubtedly, but know what you mean when you say a Strat is not a Tele. More to the point, the CS is really well put together, as one would expect, but I don't see it as being obviously better put together than my new Pro II. Mine is a fine specimen, light, resonant and great to handle and play. I think Fender got it right with the Pro II and I've not picked up another guitar in weeks. Since you have return option on one, I'd say it's the right choice and will be interested in your thoughts on it when in hand.
     
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  15. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Same price ... Custom Shop .
     
  16. Dellis

    Dellis Tele-Meister

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    Annnnnd the shop (that said it had them in stock)... didn't have them in stock, so my order was sadly cancelled. Hopefully I'll get one soon... quick one, some places say the butterscotch Pro IIs are made of alder, others say roasted pine... does anyone know which is true?

    Thank you!
     
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