1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

It's 2020. How much should a "good" tele cost

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MAXXFIELD, Nov 16, 2020.

How much should a "good' tele be

  1. $0-300

    11 vote(s)
    3.9%
  2. $300-500

    51 vote(s)
    18.1%
  3. $500-700

    79 vote(s)
    28.0%
  4. $700-1000

    74 vote(s)
    26.2%
  5. $1000-1500

    41 vote(s)
    14.5%
  6. More than $1500

    26 vote(s)
    9.2%
  1. MAXXFIELD

    MAXXFIELD Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    210
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    A follow up POLL to the other thread about current high prices for Teles. Some interesting arguments being made there. I define "good" as a Tele that plays and looks the way you want. The least expensive Tele I've had that did this was a used $320 Chinese Thinline deluxe with p-90's. Most expensive is the richie kotzen.

    Realistically a blindfolded audience wouldn't be affected for better or worse with either. Therefor the Kotzen is too expensive in this regard, simply not a $1300 improvement. The $320 Tele was competant but I'd be lying if I didn't prefer to have a bit more choice of color/pickups, so for me probably $500-700 range would be my answer.

    How much do YOU think a good Tele should cost?
     
    ponycar, dvh2 and mojek like this.
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    7,950
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Antelope, California
    I said $500 - $700, which up until March would get you a nice used Classic Series or American Standard, or a brand new Player Series. At least for me, a "good" Tele would be roadworthy and have decent sounding pickups.
     
    KW1977, dvh2 and lestbrown like this.
  3. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,910
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    I chose $300-$500, by which I meant that with proper research and a little patience, there's no reason you can't get a great Tele (either the whole package or a base + mods to your liking) for that price, especially if you can do your own set-up and mods, if applicable.

    Fine Tele's can be had below $300, but I feel like luck plays more of a part in that.

    And, of course, there are more expensive great Tele's.

    EDIT: This does not take into consideration very specific preferences one may have that will necessarily jack up the price. By "good Tele" I mean a perfectly serviceable guitar that does the job and does it well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  4. NEED4TWEED

    NEED4TWEED TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    35
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Should, or does?

    I think good Teles do start at $700-900 for a used Baja if you must have Fender brand.

    If not, the best Tele you can get for the money will be a Partscaster which could be less than that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
    makam, Marblatx and Leonardocoate like this.
  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,451
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    Used? It's that 2010 American Standard Tele that's hanging on the wall at Unicorn Pawn for $120.

    For a new guitar, it depends a lot on the player, their goals and desires, their ability to make mods and some other factors.

    Below $300 new, the Squier Affinity and Bullet aren't bad, especially for a beginner or modder. The same can be said of some of the off brands like SX, GFS and Glarry. I enjoy modding so I might pick up a cheapo to mess with just for the fun of it.

    $300 to $700, things get much better out of the box as you get into the upper end Squier models and the MIM Players. It's mainly finding one that has a good neck feel and feature set you like. For example, I like the Player better than the Classic Vibe due to the neck feel but someone else might like the CV's feel better.

    Above $700, expectations should rise. If you're spending in this range, don't settle for something you don't like.
     
    Keep on Truckin and Jay Jernigan like this.
  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,514
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    wisconsin
    300-500 gets you a Classic Vibe, which in my opinion is a pretty big step up from the Squiers and whatever other imports below that bracket, and again my opinion, is as good or better than many Fenders that cost more.

    For my money, only a Baja is clearly better than a CV until you start getting into the $1000 (used) or more range. But the CV is a very good guitar, I’m confident in that 300-500 range. Not so much below that.
     
    Keep on Truckin likes this.
  7. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    A used Baja 50s will do it. Excellent value and quality.
     
  8. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,030
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    A Tele ,the only one available, cost USD 1858 in 1952 btw in today's money according to online inflation calculators.

    (USD 189 without a case in 1952)

    We have it REALLY good these days.
     
    Maguchi, biffnix, bsman and 6 others like this.
  9. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    442
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2020
    Location:
    Midwestern United States
    Couple grand? I mean, I want people to have nice things.
     
    Maguchi, Munchie99, tfaux and 4 others like this.
  10. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,239
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    I'm embarrassed for not knowing this...

    What is the difference between a Baja and an MIM? Is Baja just another term for MIM, since Ensenada is in BCN MX? Or is/were there specific tele models referred to as Bajas?

    And $300 is my target for 2000 to say, 2010 MIM strats and teles. There are still a few out there at this cost. Tons for more. But I'm not convinced they're selling quick. A good'n in that price range is fine by me.
     
  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,939
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    Initech, Inc.
    The Baja is a specific model of MIM Tele. Pretty cool one too, it had 4-way selector with a phase switch on the volume. I prefer a more classic Tele neck pickup over the Twisted Tele it came with, but the Broadcaster in the bridge is the goods.
     
    Marblatx and Whatizitman like this.
  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,610
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    Sweetwater has Telecasters from 229 to 7000 dollars. Anyone complaining about guitars being to expensive has no idea what we had to pay for guitars in the early 70's. The selection and quality available today at almost any price point far exceeds anything in the so called golden age.
     
  13. MojoTrwall

    MojoTrwall Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    410
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Location:
    Paris
    300-500 I think.

    Buy a 2 piece raw Telecaster body, finish it with tru oil.

    Maple roasted neck, and pickup + pickguard is not that expensive.

    It takes less than a full day to complete this way and you'll have a really good tele.
     
    lossforgain likes this.
  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,329
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
    My number one Tele is a partscaster I found used in a shop for about $350. I put in pickups of my choice and it is a great, great guitar. Best Tele I've ever owned, and I've had at least a dozen in my life.

    If buying used it should be very possible to get a great gigging and recording guitar for under $500, Fender brand or otherwise, presuming you are a) patient, b) know what a good guitar is when you have it in your hands, and c) know how to do a basic setup and adjust wiring/pickups yourself.

    If buying new then maybe go up a couple hundred bucks.

    If you don't know so much about guitars, then have someone you trust, such as a good guitar teacher or musician friend to help you find a winner. Or maybe even the Sweetwater guys-- they seem pretty fair to me.
     
    Flaneur and Axegrinder77 like this.
  15. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    Telecasters aren't that complicated. 300-500 should get you a good playing, good sounding instrument. Are we talking used value or new?
     
    Keep on Truckin likes this.
  16. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    2,662
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    I couldn't find the 5k option.
     
  17. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,351
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Near Cleveland Oh
    In my experience if you want something that looks good and plays great and sounds fabulous you couldn't go wrong with the Squier CV line for about 4 bills. The downside is a lack of variety in finishes but they have alnico pups and very nice necks.

    After that there's a gap in price, at least for me, where the option is a nice playing guitar, a number of finishes but the pups gotta go (the discontinued Modern Player line was a nice in-between option...oh well)

    The Player models(used to call em Standards) MIM and nice looking finishes for about $7. The downside is ceramic pickups that aren't so nice unless you have a liking for them.

    The happy medium imo would be a Vintera model. Eight different models all in a more trad design, all very acceptable types, with lots of color options and nice pickups of different varieties also.

    But you can replace pups in any and all of the above so it comes down more to what you want to spend on a finish you like.

    Good luck
     
    mojek likes this.
  18. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,451
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    Player Teles have Alnico V pickups.
     
    scotman and howardlo like this.
  19. Henley

    Henley Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    365
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2017
    Location:
    Beach Cities
    I agree OP,. 5 - 7 is realistic for a good used right handed USA Fender Tele.
     
  20. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Meister

    Age:
    24
    Posts:
    343
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2020
    Location:
    Somewhere between here and there
    Personally, I think the MIA Telecasters should be around $650, Especially in light of the mods that are installed almost immediately by many people. I mean really...How often do we see something like "I just paid >$1,000 for a brand new MIA vintage spec Telecaster, but I hate the pickups" or "I hate the neck on my new custom shop tele." Well you just blew a thousand dollars, don't you wish you had bought a cheaper one that you actually like?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.