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In defense of the Baja Tele...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AlbertoMilanese, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like it stripped! Did you do it yourself?

    I have a 50s Road Worn that the prior owner stripped (very badly) trying to make it into a Springsteen Esquire and sold me super cheaply.

    I finished it off in oil and put '51 Nocasters, and a bone nut on it. It's a great Tele.


    IMG_4831.JPG
     
    Watchdogg, jfgesquire and Mike Eskimo like this.
  2. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    The Baja Tele
    (a limerick)

    It's clearly plain to see
    That I'm a Baja owner wannabee
    I suffer from envious lust
    It just seems wrong & unjust
    that everyone has a Baja Tele but me


    :(
     
    gregulator450 and RadioFM74 like this.
  3. 53Strat

    53Strat Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I own one too and probably will never sell it. There are however some features which grate with me in the way it and many other MIM guitars are marketed.

    I love the thick neck, don't care for the S1 positions and never use them. I don't hear any strat like sounds there just a fully out of phase position - but maybe that is just me.

    It is not a middle of the road piece of wood. Mine has veneered top and back and the thick paint is to hide the joins for those veneers. The body is probably made of 5 pieces
    of offcuts which makes for a 7 piece body or maybe more. I'm sure this accounts for some of the extra weight.

    The pickups while marketed as Twisted Tele neck and Broadcaster bridge are not CS pickups. The wiring to the pups is plastic not cloth as seen in the CS variants.
    I have three Twisted Tele neck pups if you include the Baja. One is on a CS guitar and one is a CS set. While the Baja is a nice pickup or pickup set it does not sound the same compared one-on-one with the true CS pups.

    The bridge on the one I have was inferior and I changed that for a Wilkinson compensated item , which as pointed out by a member here to be a relatively low quality item as well, is
    still superior to the standard bridge.

    I would agree with you that the instrument is gig worthy, but, IMO confirms the adage "you get what you pay for".

    The Baja sits clearly at #3 below my other two with similar pickup configurations, and they all sit very definitely in order of what I paid for them.

    YMMV
     
  4. Sybo

    Sybo Tele-Meister

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    I had to install some 92 Seymour Duncan pups, new scratch plate, and after a really good neck/ fret massage, it ain’t goin nowhere!!!!!!
    https://imgur.com/a/iLhKePF
     
  5. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    The first refreshing new take on the Tele, from the Ensenada plant. A serious blow, for the origin loyalists and label snobs. Looks old- plays modern, sounds great. All the hardware is 'good enough'. Probably best of all- the first affordable Tele with a decent fattish neck profile. For players on a budget, who hate to buy used instruments, that was a huge thing.

    I paid £300 for mine, five years ago and have played maybe 100 gigs with it. Throw it in a gig bag, take it on the bus, leave it on the stage during a break......

    Might be the best value Tele...... ever?
     
  6. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    If I could only take one guitar to a gig it would be a Baja. Does it all.
     
    drlucky likes this.
  7. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As Boris said, I am a poser who was scared off by the thick finish. I have only played the banana pudding ones though, as they were always the ones I ran across at the stores.

    Have always liked everything else about them though.
     
  8. kohoutec

    kohoutec Tele-Meister

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    Exeter, UK
    I bought one new 12 years ago, kept it for a couple of years and foolishly sold it to a friend, who still has it and still loves it.
    For me that particular one was okay, but not great.
    Recently though I've been missing it for whatever reason, so have been on the lookout for another.

    As per the recent prices thread, the Baja's have gone crazy over here in the UK in terms of cost. I managed to find a BSB one on eBay for a reasonable price so took a gamble
    It's the same age as my first one (and probably just as heavy!), but this one speaks to me. It's a lovely guitar. I wish it were lighter, but that's my only criticism.
    Now to try and find a desert sand one....
     
  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why would the Baja need a defense?
     
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  10. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 50's and 60's and if I gave up all the other guitars those would remain, and if I had to lose one off those, it would be a hard decision which.
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    With a budget for a US Deluxe or a Cs/RI, a 50’s Baja was the one that shone. The stock pickups and neck were perfect.

    Flipped plate, removed S1 and added simple fender compensated saddles to tweak it for work.
     
  12. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    gregulator450 and WingedWords like this.
  13. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is the exact tele I'm saving for right now. I have strictly bought only used, lower-end guitars for almost ten years, because I rarely gig on guitar (but often gig on just about every other instrument), and I am a capable enough tech that I can make almost any guitar play really well. I didn't even shop new guitars for years, but when I saw this Vintera 50's Modified and what it offers, it basically has every feature I would put into my dream tele, the right radius, neck profile, bridge, maple board, and 4-way switch. The S1 phase switching isn't something I'd normally install on my own guitar but I will never complain that it's there.
     
  14. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    I cringe a little when I hear someone talking about replacing the Baja's pickups. Throw around all the names you want, but they are going to come up short compared to the originals. Friends have been there, done that. I own the first Baja I ever picked up (2006), completely stock, and I see/hear no reason to change that.
     
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  15. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I like deglossed polyester a lot. (Stock is too shiny for me, visually, but there's nothing really wrong with it.) Once you let go of trying to turn it into fake nitro (and today's nitro is not so wonderful anymore, and often it's just sprayed over poly undercoats anyway) it's fine. It's really hard stuff, and not the vibration-killing rubbery poly of the past. Thje one downside is that it doesn't allow you to pretend your guitar is old by doing a bogus relic job, but as long as your ego allows you to play a new-ish guitar without feeling deep shame, poly's OK. My deglossed guitar feels great and inviting to the touch, and the neck feel is fantastic.
     
  16. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Holic

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    The guitar in my avatar is a partscaster w/ Baja neck, MIM 62 RI body, Cavalier Fat Lion bridge pickup, CS Relic neck pickup, compensated brass saddles, standard Tele wiring. All parts except Fat Lion bought used on eBay. Best damn guitar around, and I only have about 400 bucks max in it.
     
  17. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

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    Another happy Baja owner-- it's in my avatar. Provided you like the fat neck, there's not much ground a Baja can't cover. Personally, I love the combination of the 4-way + S-1 switch. The N+B in-series/out-of-phase is a super useful tone for funk and rhythm work.

    That said, the real killer feature of the Baja was that you used to be able to get one used for around $550 - $650, just a fantastic value for the quality of the Baja. The new Vintera equivalent (the 50's modified Tele) sells for right around $1,000 and the used Bajas now sell for closer to $1,000. While the Baja is definitely worth about $1,000, it's no longer the no-brainer value proposition it used to be.
     
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