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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MAXXFIELD, Nov 16, 2020.
FWIW, I'm happy with CS or Squier ...have both and sound great on both.
My price is around the £300 region. I have just bought a chele with American two piece swamp ash body, which I have just bought a roasted maple neck for, as I want to put the original neck on a strat I have refinished in white. I am amazed at how ‘resonate’ it is, only ever heard people talk about that with les Paul’s. This thing moves when you strum it. It sounds damn good even with stock pickups. Total cost inc extra neck is £300. My only other tele I have owned was the fender baha, I didn’t get on with it, one of the strings at the cowboy end was always out of tune when playing chords. Nut looked fine, intonation was to spec, well as to spec a 3 lump bridge can be. Sold it.
To me "good" means I could play out with it, not have any issues and be comfortable playing it. I voted for $700-$1000, while you can certainly get playable options for less there not as plentiful as a few years back. I bought a CV once for under $300 just to see how they were and it was fine, my MIM was probably around $300 years ago and that guitar was very serviceable but you can't touch them anymore for under 5 around here. I would expect to pay over 5 for a parts-caster with good bones and I know I can buy a Logan for around $1k that will be really nice.
I bought a new in the box USA built Fender American Professional solid Rosewood necked Rose Gold Tele from GC for $1250.00, and it sings.
After calculating my investments in 2 total 100 o/o mods on 2 nice used MIM Teles (all in at $770 each & my free labor) AND looking at the new Surf Pearl maple neck Player Tele for $700 that I like so much AND the new American Performer Vintage White (cream yellow) maple neck Tele I would also love to own..... I'd say average is $1000 USD.
In 1970, I bought a used USA Tele for $125. In today’s dollar that would be $838.88. So, that’s the amount I’ll vote for.
I've seen numerous Fender built Telecasters that really float my boat, visually.
Unfortunately they have NEVER built one that fit my fretting hand, and for less than THEY would charge via the custom shop, I got so much more building my own via Warmoth, Pete Biltoft, et al.
In order of cost, 1. Classic vibe, 2. Baja, 3. USA deluxe/Elite.
Found a dean tele copy on Craigslist for $100 then out new pickups and electronics in it as well as set it up and it plays like a damn dream. Put a strat pickup in the neck and added a series toggle switch too. I love this guitar.
Grab a used USA G&L.
A great telecaster can be had for this amount +- 10%.
You only need one of them .
Buy it and play it.
really don’t want just a good one.
I also own a $350 Chinese Thinline with 2 humbuckers that is an excellent guitar. It required a pickup upgrade (Fralin p92 & TV Jones Classic Plus) and new Callaham bridge saddles to achieve it's potential. That said a "good" tele by my experience costs:
TV Jones: $150
Callaham saddles: $40
Real good tele: $700
I went with $3-500 because of the key word "good" in quotation marks. Not "great" or "incredible."
Not "killer" or even "awesome."
And I have played a couple of sub $300 Teles that were good.
They are all tools of the trade and if I can tick the requisite boxes I'm good to go.
I have to admit that I am a bit of a bottom feeder so tone, sustain and intonation are high on the list and not much else matters, except for maybe vibe.
It seems, also, that I can't resist making modifications on Fender types so I'm best served in that price range.
I’m the same way - I want it right, and yes, the Richie Kotzen checks all the boxes for me. I got mine used from a brick and mortar store, otherwise I never would’ve known I liked that big old fat neck! Per my personal preference, the rotary switch had to go, but I’ve saved it in case I ever sell it. After two years playing it, I don’t see that happening.
Just over $1K - the Brad Paisley Esquire with the "Secret Agent" under-the-pickguard pickup for $1400 on Reverb would be my choice, all day long.
Guys, there are "competent" Teles, "Good" Teles, GREAT Teles and Grail Teles.
How much for a real '52 to 56 that's resonant, plays like the angels and looks the business because is IS the business? How about a star guitar tele? The fair price is whatever someone will pay for it.
I have to agree that a lot of barely competent Teles sell for too much in the retail shops. If you're buying used online, you can't see that the neck alignment with the body is a little off. Squires of a certain age had plastic gears in the tuners and would not stay in tune. Then there is the wood. Cheapies have wood with too much moisture in it. They have all the resonance of a feather pillow. They usually weigh a pound or two more than they should. Do you like poly finish on your Tele? I don't. Hows the setup? If you want to do it yourself anyway, I guess this isn't an issue...but are the frets nice and even? Again, if you're a DIYer with a full cadre of Stu-Mack luthier tools, you can fix anything...buy cheap and have at it.
I only have ONE "Tele". It was hand made from old lumber collected by Michael DeTemple. It is exceptional and it wasn't cheap. I don't need another. I started buying at the top and worked cheaper. I got a '61 Gibson 335, then a '57 Gold Top, then a Masterbuilt John Cruz '62 strat relic, then this Tele. Yeah, it's pretty nuts, but I have these reference guitars now that I can judge anything on a store shelf against.
BTW, I think both Collings and Knaggs guitars compare favorably against any of these grails.
They're not cheap either but they sing in a way that only a few Fenders and Gibsons do.
Wow, wasn't there also a Jeff Beck Esquire with that sneaky neck pickup prior to the Paisley?
Whatever Jimmy Page or Steve Cropper paid for theirs.
My ‘92 MIM was $300-ish used. In 2015 I think ?
I thought I over paid then but, you couldn’t pry it out of my hands now.
$3000 or $3500 for a relic Nocaster or similar?
If it is exactly the way you want it, I have no problem with that.
I’ve played a real ‘57 and a real ‘53 and a real ‘51 - and there’s no difference !
So getting one for 10x less money is great.
My least expensive Tele cost $500.00. The most expensive was purchased for around $3000.00. While most electric guitars models would get my vote in the more than $1500 position Telecasters are a different animal. Leo used a cheap simple design along with inexpensive parts and put together a wonderful instrument. My $500.00 Fender MIM Telecaster played just fine. The pickups could have been improved but I left it stock. It feels good in my hands and the plain white body looks plenty good to take a stage with. I would think the Telecaster is the best "bang for the buck" electric guitar ever designed.