I don't have any guitars anymore, starting over, need tele advice.e

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TheFoodScientist, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. TheFoodScientist

    TheFoodScientist TDPRI Member

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    So about 7 months ago I had to sell ALL my gear to fund my return to college and pay for classes. I was left feeling absolutely naked not having a guitar hanging around, so I went out and bought a cheap acoustic guitar thinking that would fill the void and it hasn't. I really miss an electric. I don't even need nor can I afford an amp just yet, I would be very happy just being able to play the electric guitar acoustically for now, thats how much I miss it!

    So, I have played strats my entire playing life. I have tried getting along with other guitars but I am most comfortable on a Fender. Which is odd because Gibson's and PRS are actually much easier to play for me with the shorter scale length, but they lack that low end thump you can get with a Fender on the low strings.. that fat hollow sound we all love.

    So what is making me lean towards a telecaster is the fact that when playing strats I never ever use anything other than the neck or bridge pickup. Maybe I'm the odd one but I do not like the 2 and 4 positions on the strat, the quack does nothing for me. I have been trying out tons of telecasters in music shops and Im really falling in love. I love the tele neck pickup tone, and the bridge is just so much more fun to play than a stratocaster bridge pup.

    I have been looking at the following tele's and this is how I feel about them...

    Squier Classic Vibe Custom
    I absolutely love the look of this guitar. Its gorgeous. I can adapt to pretty much any neck shape so the somewhat thin neck doesn't really bother me. What does bother me about this model is that it had the more modern narrow string spacing. Other than that I think its a great guitar and by far the prettiest of the tele's in my price range.

    Standard MIM Tele
    I am very impressed with the MIM standard tele's because nearly every one I have tried in local GC's and Sam Ash's have played great and have been setup quite well, nuts look like they were cut well, and the action has been great. Since I know GC and Sam Ash are just pulling these out of the box and putting these on the wall this tells me Fender Mexico is setting them up pretty nicely from the factory. This model feels like it uses a wider string spacing than the classic vibe. What I'm not nuts for on this model is the modern 6 saddle bridge (just doesnt look right on a tele to me) and I'm not nuts for the gloss fretboard. I would much prefer if it were satin on both the front and the back. If I were to get this model, I would be replacing the bridge with a vintage bridge.

    Road Worn Telecaster
    So far this model is my favorite. I love the finish, it feels and looks vintage. I love the wider vintage spaced nut width and string spacing, and it has the vintage bridge. The biggest selling point on this model for me is that the neck has that broken in feel and doesn't feel sticky, and the 6105 frets are an absolute DREAM to play on. I thought the frets on the classic vibe and the MIM were fine until I played this model and the tall narrow 6105's made the guitar so much more fun and enjoyable. My ONLY gripe with this guitar is the 7.25 radius. I really wish it was 9.5, I really only care about being able to do one step bends, so with a fret leveling and a great setup from a pro I imagine I can get this guitar to have a very low action and still be able to do one step bends right? This model is also a little beyond my price range, but I would be willing to go for it because it wouldn't need any modifications at all, and it by far felt the most solid and well built guitar. The nitro finish made it feel somewhat "expensive" , it felt closer to a custom shop relic than a mexican guitar. So, I am very much leaning towards this model however I am completley torn on whether to go for the ash or alder version? I much prefer the 2-tone sunburst which only comes in alder, but is there a reason I should consider the ash version other cosmetic?

    If anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them. Also, I'm not really interested in purchasing a used guitar, mainly because I will be putting some of the purchase on a credit card and I want a shiny brandy new guitar!

    Lastly, I would love to find a lightweight tele, what would be considered a light one?
     
  2. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic

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    Hi Food Scientist. It seems to me that you've already decided and I wouldn't disagree with your choice. The 7.25 radius neck is a bit of a problem for some people, but with a good set up you should get your one step bends. Easily. However, for more ambitious stuff it is normal on these tightr-radius necks to have the action up a bit.
    With regard to cost, I sometimes suggest to people to go that bit further, financially, in their acquisitions, especially if they already play or are truly hooked. That way avoids constant "upgrades" and thus saves money in the long run. I don't know whether you've considered the Classi Series MIMs, but they are truly great instruments. One is '50s style, the other '60s.
    I know what it's like to be without a guitar so you are, in my opinion, doing the "right thing" in re-equipping yourself. I wish you good luck in your quest.
     
  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    get a saxophone
     
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  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Buy the one that feels best to you when you play it. I believe that's the "go to" in buying new or used. Other matters can be dealt with but if the neck, the weight, and the balance aren't what you like move on. That part is harder to change.

    EDIT; There's not all that much difference between a 7.25" radius neck and 9.5" and I'd be willing to bet you could do one step bends on any one of those models the way they came out of their boxes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
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  5. nick-melb

    nick-melb TDPRI Member

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    I was actually going to suggest the classic vibe, but that's based on my experience with them against the others. soulmans got it right, go with the one that you think suits you the most.
     
  6. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    First off let me say, hats off to you for selling off your guitars and gear to take care of your priorities. Not many would do that. soulmans right in my mind> its gotta feel right. Go kick as many tires as you can, till you find the one. Don't over look the Baja, a very nice tele. Good luck on your tele hunt, and all the luck in college.
     
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  7. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like the Deluxe Ash Special Edition at GC is what you're looking for. Essentially a MIM with 3 barrel bridge and 9.5" radius. Also has reversed control plate. Very nice fit and finish. I have one and like it very much. Weighs in at 7.2 lbs. FWIW, I found that I prefer the 7.25" necks, but still can enjoy the 9.5" ones as well.

    A word of unsolicited advice regarding the credit card. Try not to use if you can't pay the full amount each month. Interest is a bi-ch.
     
  8. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Welcome!

    You want a shiny brandy new Road Worn? :)

    I do feel a difference between 7.25 and 9.5, but it's not insurmountable, especially since the RW seems to be far and away what you want. If you can swing it financially (and I agree about trying to avoid putting it on your credit card) go for the one that is going to make you happy.
     
  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    On my 7.25 radius guitars I have the frets themselves stoned to 10 inch to get the comfortable feel of vintage without the fret choke on bends.

    I've done this for decades and it is very effective. Adds to the cost of course but it is money very well spent.

    Btw I have a newer model 50s roadworn and it has subtle aging and really great a vintage feel. You wouldn't regret it. I had the frets done on that too. It's a lovely guitar.
     
  10. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    Given that you might still be a student with lower income perhaps you should buy the most affordable Tele that will do the trick for you. And buy it used.

    I find squiers to be excellent - especially my vintage modified tele custom. In fact better than the 3 Japanese Teles I have owned.
     
  11. wiretap

    wiretap Tele-Meister

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    I have a road worn in blonde (the ash one) and I love it, I personally have never had any problems doing bends at all on the neck and my action is quite low and nice. The radius, you can get used to it very quickly. I switch between it and the far flatter radius of my ESP's with relative ease. At the end of the day you wanna buy the one you like best without breaking your bank over it, but going for the lower you do have the possible hassle of kinda topping out on the stock stuff and the possibility of ending up spending more to get it where you like it.
     
  12. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    Welcome. I've been guitar less in the past too and wasn't fun. Take your time and get the right one, even if you have to save a bit. Been in bad spots with credit cards before, it can be a bear to crawl out from under.
     
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  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I second the Baja suggestion – 50s or 60s depending on how you like your neck (real chunky on the 50s vs substantial but not that fat on the 60s) and your board (maple on 50s RW on 60s).
    I love 60s style Fenders so I have bought a Classic Player 60s. I love it. I am suggesting it because you seem to like a vintage vibe to your tele with a preference for a 9.5’’ radius. Technicalities apart, it’s a great tele and a great guitar! Plus, I think it costs quite a bit less than your Road worn, and having tried both I prefer the PUPS of the ‘60s Baja over those of the Road Worn.
    That said, I also second what has been said about fretboard radius (not that much of a difference) and the Classic Series 50s or 60s are also excellent and great value. (Classic Series ≠ Classic Player ≠ Classic Vibe :))
    PS: there is an alternative between buying an amp and playing your electric acoustically: buy an interface and hook it into your computer. I have an Apogee Jam and while I much prefer playing in the amp, for recording I usually go for Interface + Computer + Garageband or other DAW.
     
  14. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    i have a CVC and the string spacing is no different than my classic 50's or any other fender i have or had. Not sure where you got that dea from, but nut width is standard and spacing at the saddles is your call depending on where YOU place the string on the saddle because there is no single notch.

    Now 'm not specifically recommending the CVC, tho i must admit with the mods did to enhance tone (pickups, saddles, bridge plate) i must honestly say it's the one of my 5 current guitars that cuts thru the mix with the most complexity and clarity and fatness intact where my others tend to lose some of that in a mix. Great tele, tho i AM pretty adamant that it must be upgraded to make it sound that good. Then again so does most every guitar have including my MiM classic 50's, which by the way doesn't hold up as good in a mix as the CVC.

    There are a lot of great choices other than the CVC like the baja tho. But you really don't sacrifice with the CVC so base your choice on which one just does t for you. Even with the upgrades my CVC was still 1/2 the cost of a MM classic series or baja. So if cost is a factor thats one to consider.
     
  15. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Hmmm, student. Returning student. Good luck - that is a worthwhile endeavor.

    I love my Baja - but they run $800. The Deluxe Ash at GC has gone up to $700. If you are looking to spend that much coin, I would suggest to go with a Baja.

    The MIM standards are nice. There are some threads around the TDPRI regarding the 3 screw vs. 4 screw bridge plates and what you can and cannot replace. I don't remember the details off the top of my head; a quick search will reveal the details.

    The Squire is a decent guitar as well. You may have to do a bit more work to get them set up, but no biggie.

    Weight. My Baja is just about 7 pounds, maybe 7.2 lbs. Some are boat anchors at 8.5 lbs. Same with MIMs - they tend to be all over the board. You may just need to find "the one". Ash vs. Alder is all about preference for finish. There is such small differences between these woods sonicaly it's really not worth considering. Some woods paint better, some stain better. Find the color, weight, and feel you like, and the rest will work itself out.

    Oh - and hey - welcome to the TDPRI!
     
  16. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  17. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Whatever you do, BUY USED. The new guitar you buy in the store loses 40% of it's value when the door closes behind you - did you ever wonder what those hang-tags cost? The used guitar you buy an ebay, Craigslist, or in the used section of the big store, loses almost nothing and should require less break-in. It will probably require new strings and a setup, because the original owner never figured those things out.

    I really like the natural ash body, maple neck combination (see avatar), but I can't advise you on the current offerings from Fender. Mine is a one-of-a-kind thinline "partscaster" built by a very fine local guitar tech.

    Welcome! This is a great forum. Happy hunting.
     
  18. TheFoodScientist

    TheFoodScientist TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions. I'm just gonna keep saving my cash and when I see a super lightweight nice woodgrain roadworn on sweetwater I'm gonna pull the trigger. They only have one roadworn 50's sunburst in stock now and it has a really ugly seam in the body, I've seen much nicer bodies on the RW's. Not in any rush, don't want to make an impulse buy, I am patient for the right one

    I went to GC again today, a different store, and got to play a Baja. Awesome guitar, loved the neck, however I hate the fact that its all gloss poly. It played much slower for me compared to a stock MIM standard tele. The MIM standard tele they had was setup absolutely perfect and had a perfect low action and straight neck, I almost pulled the trigger on it because it played so well, but I know I will enjoy the road worn more with its 6105 frets. But yeh, I think its gonna be the road worn, I tried a classic 50's lacquer model today just to get a feel for the 7.25 radius, and it was no problem at all and that was with the vintage frets. So, no worries there, I actually really enjoy the curved 7.25, feels very organic in the hand.

    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I was playing through one of the new Vox AC10's, man did that thing sound sweet for 450$.
     
  19. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Don't buy a guitar. every time you think, "Wow, i really want a guitar", shoot yourself in the foot with a shotgun. if you do that consistently, you'll eventually get out of the notion of playing a guitar and take up some useful pursuit that contributes to society AND to your own peace of mind.

    one day, you'll thank me.
     
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  20. TheFoodScientist

    TheFoodScientist TDPRI Member

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    Hey im studying Food Science so I can have a positive affect on the food supply of this country and help my fellow man okay! Gimme a break!
     
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