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How close is the Road Worn 50s to a Nocaster?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Spaceboy, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Spaceboy

    Spaceboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Tim Lerch posted a video about a year or more back, going over some of the features of the updated Road Worn '50s telecaster. He, in so many words, considered it the poor man's Nocaster due to some of its appointments, like a fatter neck, vintage radius, pickups, etc. It seemed like there was some talk here about it, and it was momentarily popular, but maybe it's not as popular now. I am talking about the new version of the RW50s, updated sometimes in maybe early 2014. What are opinions of this particular guitar? Is it worth the retail price of $900? Has anybody with experience with a Nocaster shared Mr. Lerch's observations?
     
  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've seen two recent ones in stores and neither had a neck anything like a Nocaster. Working from memory, but noticeably thinner than the PV52's, which in turn are noticeably thinner than a Nocaster, in my experience. Which is limited to trying 2 of each in stores at different times (and owning none of the 6). If he got one with a "Nocaster" size neck, I wonder if that was the exception, rather than the rule? The Roadworn necks I tried were thicker than the standard "modern C" however.
     
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  3. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    The original RW necks were fatter than the current ones. But still not as fat as a Nocaster. Very comfy necks though.
     
  4. Spaceboy

    Spaceboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I found the video I was referring to.

     
  5. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Funny. Was watching that earlier today.
    I do fancy one of these later road worns. I'd get one used if I could find one. Look excellent value for money and I've a set of nocasters waiting for the right guitar..... Though the stock do sound lovely in Mike's hands.
     
  6. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm sure there are a few guys out there that tell themselves that the Road Worns are every bit as good as a Nocaster.. they aren't but I guess they are the closest for that money.
     
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  7. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a coupla Nocasters and have tried the newer RW Teles. For reference, my Nocasters are 7.25" radius with vintage frets. The RW is 7.25" radius with 6105 jumbo frets.

    The RW gets you (roughly) in the same park in as far as a nitro finish, maple neck, aged and honey blonde. But they're not the same as a Custom Shop Nocaster. Nocasters have Nocaster pickups and brass saddles, while the RW has Hot Mex pickups and steel saddles. Also, my Nocasters are all slot screws, the RWs use Phillips screws.

    However, the RW I played was a stellar example, with the current ones not as 'beat up' on the fretboard and body. From 10 feet away, it looked a lot like my Closet Classic Nocaster.

    So which to choose? If you can afford a Nocaster, get one - you won't regret it. But if you like 6105 jumbo frets, the newer RWs are fine Telecasters for the money.
     
  8. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    Also just FYI the RW neck finish is "Road Worn® Urethane" while the body is nitro. Direct info from Fender.

    And I agree, the RW is not equal to a Nocaster but then again neither is the price! I upgraded my RW pickups and wiring. I love it but it still is not my CS guitar.
     
  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What pups did you put in there, did you do any other changes and how happy are you with the result.
     
  10. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wish there were more thoughtful and informative guitar reviews like this. What a good dude he seems.
     
  11. TeleKato

    TeleKato Friend of Leo's

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    My view of the RW50 is that it is the best production-level Fender you can get. There are those who would say the Baja is that as well. And those who would kibitz further and add "... for under $1000" to the declaration. But back to MY opinion ...

    I have a 2008 RW50 I got used. It had the pickups upgraded to Budz Purebreds and the control assembly rewired by the shop that sold it to me (who had apparently gotten it 'dorked up' by the previous owner). If you read a lot about the RW50 on the forums, you may find that about the only complaints are the hokey neck relic work (on the older ones) and the pickups. I'll chime in on the former and say it has grown on me and I don't really look at it any longer.

    I have two RW50 necks on MJT bodies -- one from '13 and one from '15. Both seem a bit slimmer than my '08, but still bigger than a standard tele neck. Gone is the odd-looking relic finish, which is visually appealing but made no real difference in the playability. I like the 7.25" radius with the larger 6105 frets. The rounder fretboard is comfortable to my hand and playing style, but the larger frets make it easier to hit and bend notes in my experience.

    Look for a used one -- but there aren't that many that often. Most seem to go for the $575 - $650 range on Reverb or eBay. I'd be tempted to take a chance on one of those -- I did and it worked out for me. YMMV of course.

    I've not had a traditional FCS Nocaster; I briefly had something from FCS that they called a '51 Nocaster, but it seemed to be that in name and neck-pocket-overhang alone! Wrong neck back, wrong frets, wrong pickups, wrong-wrong-wrong! I also had an 'Nocaster imitation' made by Tony Mellichampe and it was a helluva guitar. I parted with it because I felt it was too nice for a hack like me. But generally, I do like big-beefy necks.

    If you have the money and want the real thing, then I'd say go find a FCS Nocaster (probably be able to score one in the low $2Ks). But if you are unsure and just want a player, I'd get an older RW50. If you don't like it, chances are you'll get your money back on a resale and then go get the more expensive guitar.
     
  12. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Maybe less than 3/4 of the way to a Nocaster.

    I do like them very well for the money.
     
  13. rdonahue

    rdonahue Tele-Meister

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    Tim recently did a follow-up video on his Road Worn. Another great, informative walkthrough of the guitar and how he gets his sound out of it.

     
  14. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    I actually converted it to an Esquire. John Benson custom pup and all new wiring. I love it as an esquire. 1st position no vol or tone load, 2nd normal vol and tone and 3rd cocked wah. Very versatile. Great platform to tweak if you're into that stuff.

    I have the older version. The neck is fat enough to keep me happy. Sorry the pix are from before I improved the relicing on the neck. Added wear between 9 and 12 and also on the base of the neck. No where near as good as my CS Relics but better than stock.
     

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  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool. Never got me an Esquire. that looks very good.
    TBH I really like the Les Paul Junior as my (only) single pickup guitar. I do like to switch to the Tele neck pup once in a while, but I also think the middle position on a Tele is pretty special.
     
  16. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    I also have a Junior that I love. That being said don't rule out an Esquire. It's a different animal. And remember there is no such thing as too many guitars. :rolleyes:
     
  17. OldStyleBlues

    OldStyleBlues TDPRI Member

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    I put some No-Caster pups in my RW to get it a bit closer to a NC. ImageUploadedByTDPRI1450884786.824340.jpg Replaced the synthetic nut with bone too.
     
  18. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's the neck thing for me. If you like a nocaster neck then an Allparts FAT is the only alternative.
     
  19. gtrwrks

    gtrwrks Tele-Afflicted

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    ..
     
  20. gtrwrks

    gtrwrks Tele-Afflicted

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    Killer looks. Dig it.
     
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