MIM Roadworn Quality Control

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Knave101, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. Knave101

    Knave101 TDPRI Member

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    Roadworn Tele Deluxe thoughts.
    Just yesterday I received a Roadworn Tele Deluxe. The neck is fantastic, the parts and body are great. However, what's up with the "dull" Nitro finishes that look like they were polished with rough steel wool, and then topped off with mediocre "aging" such that it’s easy to see it’s a faux relic.

    Secondly though the action is perfect on mine, the saddles are as high as they can go...the hex screws far down in the saddles. But to me the most interesting thing is the solder job. I immediately set to replace the Wide Range humbucker (which sound excellent), with a pair of CUNIFE pickups (which are unbelievable!)...received months before (when they were available). Though these may be constructed in Mexico, the solder job was clearly not done by "Gloria Fuentes" or anyone with her attention to detail (Gloria is the solder person from the early 50's who signed her perfect work on a small piece of masking tape on early Tele's in the electronics route, and is clearly visible in my 53' Tele). My solder job looks like Ray Charles worked on it. The solder on the roadworn tele was globbed, wires way long, and the leads were not in the lug holes. It just looked rushed and sloppy....as if quality control was on break that day.
    Thoughts
     
  2. filtersweep

    filtersweep Tele-Meister

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    Each of the six Fenders I’ve owned have had QC issues. Half were US, half Mexican. Meanwhile Gibson gets all the QC hate.

    I believe the attitude is that everything is so adjustable that why bother?

    The goofiest issue was on my new-in-the-box Deluxe Reissue: the volume and tone knobs were reversed. It just gives an indication that this is just ‘factory work.’

    Non CS fretwork is rarely impressive... and finish buildup on maple boards is a way of life. I swear that modern Fenders use softer fret wire to make them quicker to build.

    Roadworn relicing never looked authentic. Why can’t Fender just make Mexican nitro guitars? Let nature take its course?
     
  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suppose at that price point there are compromises.

    On the plus side, the more you play it, the more natural the finish will look.

    And if a guitar sounds great I generally end up not caring what it looks like.
     
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  4. Knave101

    Knave101 TDPRI Member

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    I completely agree regarding the nitro on non reliced guitars.
     
  5. Knave101

    Knave101 TDPRI Member

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    Has anyone shined up a mim relic nitro? Will they take a shine? Are they actually nitro or “nitro-like”?
     
  6. filtersweep

    filtersweep Tele-Meister

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    Nitro over urethane- or whatever they use— so it ‘feels’ like nitro. But the nitro isn’t ‘in’ the wood.
     
  7. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    It is rushed.
    The way Fender's Ensenada plant operates is with a piece quota.
    If the workers complete a certain amount of pieces they can leave early.

    Also not helping is because of the pandemic they have had to ramp up production, it is quite possible an inexperienced worker was involved.
     
  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’s been that way since the first “roadworns” were introduced. They’ve never looked particularly authentic. They’re mass produced instruments.
     
  9. filtersweep

    filtersweep Tele-Meister

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    At least they don’t use screening or decaled reciling— like LTD.
     
  10. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I'll take the R/W finish over a Baja's thick plastic any day.
     
  11. Knave101

    Knave101 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm enjoying the RW guitar.....and I may try to polish it up, or maybe a Nitro overspray
     
  12. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Haha! I don't know where to start. Never mind.
     
  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Any kind of relic looks a lot better a year into ownership than it does off the line. Play the snot out of it, rub it up real good with some gig sweat and bar dirt. It’ll start to look a LOT more believable.

    As far as the saddles and the rest of the issues- as somebody else stated Gibson gets all the QC hate, but to me Fender is the company that deserves it. Especially the MIM stuff. But saying that out loud around these parts is sacrilege. So I’d advise against it.
     
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  14. Knave101

    Knave101 TDPRI Member

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    Well thanks for the input. I guess there is a reason to buy American, but I think Vintage Fenders were made by a diverse group of Americans and represent the best we can be. I love reading about Tadeo and Gloria, etc. I was hoping south of the border the same attention to detail would be present.....but alas! I guess when you don't have Leo making sure the quality is there....you get the stuff we get now...hit and miss!

    I'm selling the guitar on the left in the photo.....only because I can no longer guarantee it won't end up being stolen in the end. It is the real deal! Where is Gloria Fuentes when you need her!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  15. rpt50

    rpt50 TDPRI Member

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    Perhaps QC has seriously slipped over the last decade. I love my MIM guitars (the newest purchased maybe 2010 or 11), so when I got the urge to get a bass, I figured the MIM Fenders were for me. I have to say that I was completely shocked and disappointed. Bowed necks, crazy fret sprout, and lots of playability issues. At first I wasn't sure if it was just something about basses (I was thinking maybe they all require a setup when new due to sting tension???), but as I played other brands, it was clear that it was a Fender issue, as these problems were not showing up in multiple trials of other basses.

    In a way I guess I still ended up in the Fender camp. I wound up purchasing an Indonesian G&L which has turned out to be a wonderful instrument.
     
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  16. quackzilla

    quackzilla TDPRI Member

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    Things come out crappy when production is rushed. Ive always thought RWs looked dumb, but if they still make em then I guess there's a market.
     
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  17. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Afflicted

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    I haven't been able to tell whether I like my MIM Tele because the truss rod needs to be adjusted every time I take it off the wall. Doing that uses up my playing time, and I hang it back up. I play a different guitar for a while, go back to the Fender, and it's bowed again. I have a long standing policy of not selling guitars, but this one may get a waiver.
     
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  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Agree there’s a process and labor difference between CS and MiM and other steps between. But it will look more natural the more you work it.
     
  19. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The pics are not loading.:cool:
     
  20. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    In December I got myself one of those limited edition Road Worns (not Vintera) from GC, and the guitar was pretty terrible. I took it back in January with a faulty bridge pickup, warped neck (laterally, not with the truss rod), a few small humidity-related issues, and significant fret sprout. It could have been worked on to be more playable, but I returned it for a full refund and ordered a different serial number.

    The new one is great! Same guitar, only it didn't have the quality control and acclimation issues. Both were 2019 serials. In my experience, the vinteras have been better playing as a whole, but the older RWs have better relicing. The RWs aren't perfect, but the vinteras just looked rushed...
     
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