Looking for some advice - reformed LP player looking for the perfect Tele...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Blind Luck Music, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    550
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Van Nuys CA
    As a fellow Les Paul player, I think you would do well with a regular Standard model Tele. It's not a "snob" model, but it WILL work very well and last forever.
     
  2. Blind Luck Music

    Blind Luck Music TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Location:
    Boston
    This is all great - I really appreciate it.

    I think the ‘snob’ part for me is this ingrained desire to both run nice gear, and also have a numbers-matching guitar that will appreciate in value. My favorite LP is a rebuilt and upgraded Epi Custom that I swear is indistinguishable from a Gibson other than the headstock, but I’m determined to look to something collectible this time around.

    This is what is preventing me from going the Partscaster route.

    I really like the thin necks, which is what is steering me away from the Standards that I’ve found. I played most recently some vintage reissue Strat that had a soft V neck that felt so playable in my hands compared to the boatnecks everyone seems to love. I think that’s pushing me to try to seek out an AV/AVRI before I make a decision.
     
  3. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    189
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    I'm wondering if you have issues with the 12 inch radius or if its the lower fret height on the LP's. In any case to keep the weight down look for an Ash body, I have three the lightest is 6.75 lbs. The other two are 7.5 lbs and 7.9 lbs.

    I have been on a Fender American Highway One Texas buying spree and now have three. These are more rare and hard to find because they cost $200 more than the standard highway one at the time and people seemed to opt for either the less expensive highway one or the more expensive American standard. Price varies from $750 to $950. Kind of a unique mix of features on the Texas. Vintage tuners, vintage 5 hole pickguard, vintage bridge plate and brass saddles, 21 frets vs 22 for the standard highway one.

    I upgrade the crap out of them as follows...

    Gotoh vintage locking tuners.
    Glendale single cut polished stainless bridge plate.
    Gotoh compensated brass and titanium saddles.
    Fender vintage Bakelite pickguard. The Fender brand stay away from StewMac's.
    Fender STEEL "F" neck plate (the factory plate is plane). There's a bunch of junk pot metal plates out there so fair warning.
    #1 Dimarzio noisless area T pickups
    #2 SD quarter pound pickups
    #3 Bare Knuckle brown sugar pickups
    Hard case SKB 1SKB-FS-6 for all three.

    Only issue for you is the Texas has a 12 inch radius fretboard with narrow/tall frets. Same height as the super jumbo but not as wide.

    Behold...

    #1

    [​IMG]

    #2

    [​IMG]

    #3

    [​IMG]

    Added CTS pots to this one, some caps and a resistor from my amp building stash, and some higher grade shielded wire.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ivorytooth

    Ivorytooth Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    196
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Location:
    Idaho
    You like the thinner necks, rosewood and 4 positions and some out of phase tones along with the standard classic tele sound? You want one of these. Great pickups and a great quality tele.

    2014-2016 had rosewood fretboards. The Classic Player Baja 60. I got this one under $600, but I see them out there now around $700-$800. These years sold for $799 new. The Pau Ferro ones from 2017-2018 were $824 new.

    They don't make these anymore and have been replaced with the Vintera 60s Modified. The value of the Baja 60s and 50s are not going down. The 50s has the beefy neck.

    IMGP0056.JPG
     
  5. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,145
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Location:
    WALTHAM MA
    But.... but all Teles are perfect

    Gary
     
    Straydogger likes this.
  6. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    96
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    I think there's a lot of extrapolation in your plan, and some missing elements to consider.
    I did not see where you had even played a telecaster. I believe that is somewhat mandatory to " dipping your toes into the water". is to actually put in 30 to 60 minutes at the guitar center with 2 or 3 different telecaster's.

    I don't think 7.25" radius, should be high on the list, so many good guitars coming in around 9.5" radius. it's great to know that you can live with that, that opens up an additional set of guitars. 7.25" is fine but more favored towards barre chording, and can limit your single note runs and solos they feel slow. still minor consideration I think.
    just make sure the radius fits your music and the playing style required for that music.

    Just deciding that some type of guitar is going to be your number one has never worked for me. my number one's survive the honeymoon period by demonstrating great tone. great playability, tuning stability, and minimal flaws, or idiosyncratic features, after about 6 months.

    with some of those caveats out of the way, I've owned about 10 Les Paul or Les Paul style guitars hoping and demanding one would end up being my number one guitar , it just seemed if Slash from guns and roses,and so many other guitar heroes use it I should be able to use it too. always very close to gettin amazing guitars, but always some element of tone eluded me, then I played my first telecaster, I have sold all of my Les Paul's,

    My Fender telecaster elite is my Les Paul killer, it sounded like everything I wanted out of a Les Paul, Fenders fourth-generation noiseless, just take mild moderate gain so fantastically, it's not the best clean ever, (does anyone play clean?) about the same as a Les Paul. but the mild twang and resulting harmonics and the super amazing clear string attack, and no mud, anywhere in the guitar. awesome.

    Totally love the idea of the 64, fantastic guitar, the highway ones are great, jumbo frets on the American special Tele are what can give you that ability to chord like a 7.25".
    I also recommend you at least try out the Fender American elite telecaster, see how that fits with you. it has an S-1 switch that puts the 2 pickups in series and sounds so close to a full powered Les Paul. As it has comfort cuts in the body.

    That might be the biggest thing for some people is telecaster's don't fit their body type, sad but true , not everyone likes the telecaster.

    no doubt if you find the right one it's an LP killer.
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/electric-guitars/telecaster/american-elite-telecaster/0114212700.html
     
  7. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    953
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    Problem solved. Next!
     

    Attached Files:

    DrASATele and wtk0315 like this.
  8. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    96
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Location:
    San Francisco, California
    it still has the humbuckers that would get muddy.
    and is missing that awesome steel plate that makes the telecaster pickup so beautifully nasty.
     
  9. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    953
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    Sorry, it was just a joke.
     
    Irondog likes this.
  10. Aussiedave

    Aussiedave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2018
    Location:
    Australia
    Well it seems like we have similar backgrounds! I too am a reformed gigging drummer with mid 90’s DW kit and Zildjian cymbals. KZ combo hihats if your wondering :)
    Anyway as us drummer always yearn for higher quality gear I can appreciate your desire to play better built guitars. I have a LP standard and bought a seconds hand Tele Hot Rod which does have a 9.5 radius neck but it is very comfortable with beautifully rolled shoulders and it has a mini hum bucker in the neck position. Otherwise it is a nitro thin skin 52 reissue kind of between custom shop and AVRI. The bridge pickup is a monster and it also has really nice glassy strat like tones. Amp wise I’ve been enjoying the Marshall JCM 800 studio classic 20/5 watt switchable. Breaks up at low volumes lots of crunch. A bit trebly for some but so sweet. Hope this helps. Note the Hot Rod is no longer available new but there are quite a few out there in the second hand market. Good luck!
     
  11. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,681
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cologne
    If you like the 7,25 fingerboard curve look out for an American Vintage. 52 if you like butterscotch blonde, 58 if you like a smaller maple neck or 64 if you're a rosewood man. I have a 52 and it is the best tele for a vintage vibe I know of – I prefer it to every Custom Shop tele I ever tried.
     
  12. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,220
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    One must understand that the perfect Tele likely does not exist, and one will
    contract an incurable case of GAS in the quest to obtain it, which is better than getting kicked by a mule and many other afflictions that may befall you.
     
  13. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    1,614
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Blind Luck allow me to introduce myself, I am degenerate Tele player looking for perfect Les Paul, maybe we can help each other. 1950's styles of Tele are a great starting place, you may wind up trying several different neck styles and you may likely try two or three pickup configurations (possibly four or even more). Be prepared to wind up with at least a modest collection because they are so much fun, lightweight generally speaking, and tone versatile giants, with a minimum of control knobs. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
     
  14. Blind Luck Music

    Blind Luck Music TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Location:
    Boston
    Thank you for the replies, everyone! Much appreciated! (Hello to all the reformed drummers too! ;). )

    This change-over is a very well/researched one. I’m a 42-year-old newly-divorced dad of two kids, and I spent a large chunk of my post-college time as a touring drummer for a few bands - one a bit of a guitar-driven post-hardcore group, and prior to that, an 8-piece ska band.

    In essence, I have about 20 years of sitting between a Mesa 50/50-Formula half stack on one side and a Marshall JCM on the other. And all Les Pauls.

    So when I settled down, the natural progression was to get a Les Paul and a Marshall and call it a day. Since then, though, I’ve started to build a studio in my post-divorce ‘man-house’, and fell in love with a Vox AC15 HW.

    (It’s probably notable that Joe Strummer is my spirit animal as well...)

    Most recently, I was taking guitar lessons locally and using a vintage Strat with a soft-v neck, and loved it. My brother had an American Standard Tele in his studio as well, and I fell in love with the body and the sound, and HATED the neck. From there, countless hours at the local GC until I stumbled on a vintage reissue Strat with the 7.25, and everything fell into place. (Although they have one of those special editions in seafoam with the all-rosewood neck that was awesome.)

    So it’s been a serious undertaking to figure all of the different lines out on the Teles, and to find the one that checks all the boxes without going Partscaster.

    @Irondog - there’s an AM Elite local that I overlooked that I’ll try this weekend. It looks like a bit of a miss on the 52 and 64 RIs around here, so I’ll need to hunt a bit, but it’s good to keep those in my sights.

    Just for reference - what’s the feeling on mid-range vintage Standards? There’s a ‘76 and a ‘78 (both butterscotch) local and for not-killer money, but I don’t really know what to look for there. Trying to get a serial number for a lookup.
     
  15. Blind Luck Music

    Blind Luck Music TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Location:
    Boston
    I nearly forgot to speak to the reasons for that neck preference too - I inherited my mother’s Polish hands - wide and with short fingers. (Perfect fo playing the drums...).

    I’m working my way through picking up all the music theory and lessons that I missed back in the day, and I have sights on being a decent well-rounded guitarist, but my primary love is to bang out rhythm, and the 7.25s are just so easy to fret barre chords for hours on end. It just feels ‘right’ to my hands.

    I think there’s a future of a PC with a compound radius, but cart and horse...
     
  16. Straydogger

    Straydogger Tele-Holic

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    888
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Location:
    Western Pa.
  17. Blind Luck Music

    Blind Luck Music TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Location:
    Boston
    Edit: double post
     
  18. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire England
    Don't forget the Japanese Tele's. 7.25 with great build quality. If you feel the need to upgrade the electrics it is cheap and easy to do. The 62 custom reissue is about a grand in the UK, cheaper used and is an excellent guitar. Plus it is double bound so has Les Paul qualities to make you feel at home.
     
  19. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,779
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Location:
    CT
    If you don't have some specific reason to go for the late 70's Tele (You had one as a kid, played one loved it, price too good to refuse, "investment" (that's obviously a risk and this date range is not "hot")etc) then you'd probably do better for your money with something that isn't barely vintage.
    Just for the sake of research, I'd play them both and see for yourself what you think. Maybe one of them is a good price and you love it.
     
  20. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,756
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    Blind Luck, welcome aboard. I don't really have much to add; there's plenty of advice here already. Good luck with your search. There's an American Deluxe listed on CL in Attleboro that looks nice. Not to muddy the water, but what about a Strat?
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.