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How many of you build a Partscaster versus buying a Factory Made Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Jun 25, 2020.

Do you prefer to:

  1. 1) Build a Partscaster.

    127 vote(s)
    64.8%
  2. 2) Buy a Stock Telecaster and do a few mods on it.

    39 vote(s)
    19.9%
  3. 3) Buy a Stock Telecaster and do no mods on it.

    30 vote(s)
    15.3%
  1. egotrip

    egotrip TDPRI Member

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    melbourne
    do you want some more home made Telecasters , or do you know anyone who wants one . this is a small sample
     

    Attached Files:

  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't build partscasters. I either buy Fenders (AV, mostly), or build from scratch.

    I can build something almost as nice as an AV now (still perfecting my finishing skills), but I do so like to see 'Fender' on the headstock...
     
  3. Big_Vig

    Big_Vig TDPRI Member

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    Wilmington NC
    I get a kick out of building a partscaster with quality parts that ends up feeling and sounding better than a company manufactured guitar. I have built many partscasters as well as modifying manufactured guitars. I can produce a guitar out of procured parts to my personal satisfaction with no compromises. My choice for finished weight, body contours, neck shape (I like a modern maple v-neck, hard to find), pickups, locking tuners, bone nuts, stainless frets, my preferred action, quality electrical controls and circuitry, proper bridges (perfect intonation), cavity shielding, no poly on the fingerboards, polished wood finishes, and more. Here are some examples of mine.


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    guit--1993-roncasters.jpg




    Modified factory 1968 Fender Telecaster
    guit-tele-1968.jpg

    2018-vc-bld-7.JPG
     
  4. TeleNation

    TeleNation TDPRI Member

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    Apr 25, 2013
    Location:
    Homestead
    A VERY good friend of mine asked me one day, "If you had a choice, would you choose a Strat or a Tele?" I told him, "Probably the Tele." A few weeks later he handed me a rectangular, brown, guitar case and told me to open it. He custom-built me a Tele! It's brown, maple thick neck with roasewood fretboard, and a slightly-green pick guard. He put in a 4-position Pickup selector. [4th position puts neck and bridge PUPs in parallel.] It plays AWESOMELY!
     
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  5. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Feb 18, 2010
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    CoolsVille
    I generally buy used legit Fenders, then mix & match/mod to the point that all my Fenders are Partscasters with "mostly Fender bones". I rarely buy the individual pcs for the purpose of making a Partscaster.
     
  6. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Holic

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    538
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    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Orange County California
    Hmmmm...the neck on the Frankenstrat seems to be awfully familiar...Glad the neck worked out for you! :)
     
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  7. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    You only do the thinline-desert thing once though because of all the sand that gets in your F-hole.
     
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  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, I was just looking the other way, when people chose to call our projects "Partscasters".

    I think it is a term of disparagement.

    My idea of the True Partscaster is when someone orders parts from Stratosphere, hires someone else to assemble them, and then complains that the result is meh. Their contribution? Only dollars.
     
  9. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm going with "all the above."
    Built my first partscaster because a friend gave me a sweet set of vintage DiMarzio pickups and I had no guitar that I wanted to put them in. I went with a Tele body because it seemed like a good place to start.
    Learned a lot, wound up with a good looking guitar that plays well and sounds killer.
    I've been guilty of modifying my guitars always. That hasn't changed. Probably won't.
    I have two factory Telecasters, both modded, one is almost to the point of being a partscaster, the other one is more factory. Built four more partscasters, no two are even similar. Trying to quit. One more to go.
     
  10. AntigonesAncestor

    AntigonesAncestor TDPRI Member

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I see myself eventually falling down the partscaster rabbit hole but haven't gotten there quite yet. That said, my current arsenal is:

    CV 50s Tele - minor relic, new hardware and pickups in the mail
    Epiphone Wilshire Pro - Custom pickguard, tele neck pickup, new knobs and switch tip
    Jay Turser LP Copy - This one was a gift from my now-deceased grandfather so I wasn't willing to simply set it aside once I outgrew it. The only original parts on it now are the body, neck, bridge, and tailpeice.

    The only thing that gives me pause with regards to making partscasters is my lack of experience in the paint/finish department and a general illiteracy when it comes to neck profiles. I really have no idea what kinds of necks I like so shopping for them would largely be a crapshoot. All of that together leaves me greatly predisposed to painstakingly modifying factory guitars as opposed to making my own... though my lineup could use a strat...
     
  11. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Northern Virginia
    Cheaper in the long run...and NO COMPROMISE.
    Fender will NEVER make a guitar with neck specs I like. 2pc maple/maple neck, truss rod adjustments at heel, 7.25" radius, vintage frets, and a hard V profile. You'd be hard pressed to find 5 other people who'd look at those neck specs and say "Wow..that's what I want." ;)
     
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  12. Muttlyboy

    Muttlyboy TDPRI Member

    Age:
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    Queens, NY
    I think that a lot of small builders are really just Parts caster Assemblers and maybe good paint finishers and hopefully good at fretwork.

    I think they have about the same chance of good luck in finding a couple good sounding pieces of wood as any of us.

    I'm thinking if they wind up with a Turkey, after all the work, finish and frets...they aren't going to say "oh well" and chuck it in the trash.

    Anybody's best bet on outcome is to try before you buy...Even when we're talking about the small builders with the best reputations.
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Jacksonville, FL
    While there are many that prefer a guitar with a specific heritage, there are also many that enjoy the joy and advantages of building one for themselves.

    When building, it's pretty difficult to get through to the end without becoming aware of many of the technical aspects that rarely get discussed.. and the process of bring the project to fruition with the setup, fret leveling, electronics, etc instill an understanding of those technical aspects..

    that carries over into the ability to better assess issues with your other guitars... enabling YOU to do the work.. with each "repair" saving you that $$ .. thus.. it's possible that building one, may actually save you money, to the extent, it costs ya nothing.

    r
     
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  14. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    Location:
    San Francisco
    This is a really good point and just what I've been going through. I started with some minor mods (change a pickup, tweak various neck things), which led to a whole bunch of learning - how to solder, change the nut, level and crown the frets, basic guitar electronics, how to do a setup, etc.). Along the way, I learned things like why I've been fighting the treble on my '74 Tele for 30 years (because Fender got it in their head to put 1 meg pots in there - what were they thinking?). The flip side is you start to learn how much you DON'T know, and how many subtleties lie in each of these areas. That's another point I've seen Ron make elsewhere. I'm not sure if I come out ahead; I may spend $$ on tools and parts chasing perfection I'll never have the skills to create. But what makes a good electric guitar is no longer voodoo to me.
     
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  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    this is crucial... it is the apex of learning... once ya achieve that pinnacle.. the rest comes easy. . . relatively.. a point made by Hans Bethe one afternoon when were were filming an interview.

    The bachelors of science thinks they know it all, a Master's ponder what there is remaining, the Ph. D is sorry they ever thought about it...:p

    r
     
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  16. LAPlayer

    LAPlayer Tele-Meister

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    LA / Denver
    This would be me as well. If I were in the market for a low-priced Tele, I would just buy a Squier Telecaster Affinity and play that. My time is (okay used to be) more valuable to me so I would opt for a great Squier than a parts-caster. I like "Fender" on the head-stock on my guitars & I couldn't bring myself to put water-slides on a parts-caster that said "Fender". However, before I would spend $2,000 on a new Tele, I would build my own from Fender-authorized, or made, parts.
     
  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Make that six. :)

    That's not my go-to neck (I prefer rosewood), but I could see making one at some point, and liking it.

    Necks are one of the main reasons I began building my own. Fat profile, tiny frets, and tight 7.25 radius...

    I like heel adjust, but I must say, I like it even better with an embedded spoke wheel.
     
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  18. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    dublin
    This is my tele. There are many like it, but this one is mine..
     
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  19. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    What if he was named Leo Jones?
     
  20. Gclef

    Gclef TDPRI Member

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    Tampa
    I voted for partscaster.

    I did this one 20 years ago.
    20181012_070521.jpg
    Alder/spalted maple body with a mahogany/ebony neck and harmonic design v+ pickups.

    Swapping the pots/caps and adding a treble bleed made all the difference.

    Plus, the process is kinda fun if you ask me.
     
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