My Telecaster journey

Hawkmoon269

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2022
Posts
7
Location
Idaho
Thank you all for your help over the past few months. I have been silently lurking, reading and learning. I have purchased a tele after a long search.

Actually I purchased two. The first was a Squier Classic Vibe. I was drawn to the Squier for a couple reasons. I own a late 80’s Squier strat that I absolutely adore. It’s Korean and it’s completely out of spec, so replacement parts like pickguards don’t fit. Also my friend has a Japanese tele from the 80’s that I borrowed for a few months. I love that one as well.

I bought the CV new in box. Actually it was still in the box at the music store. I only played it for a few minutes before I bought it. But it was on sale and I wanted a Tele badly so I pulled the trigger.

A couple notes on the CV. Overall the quality was fairly high considering the price point. A couple small blemishes on the finish but nothing major. The one exception is the dreadful plastic nut that Squier used. I would have gladly paid $20 more to have a fake bone one. The tuners were OK, not great, as to be expected. But I blame the tuning problems on the nut. The pickups were OK. The neck pickup on its own sounded bad, I thought, but the bridge pickup was surprisingly good and the middle position sounded great. I recorded some stuff with it that turned out well. The action on the guitar was set way, way too high. I’m not even a low action guy but I had to drop it by half once I put new strings on it, and it was still high. I guess they assume that they set the action for beginners for guitars at this price point.

But the pine body of the guitar was just too light. It made it feel cheap to me. (I understand that there is no direct relationship between quality and weight, it’s just a perception.) I didn’t realize it when I played it in the store but I just prefer instruments with a bit of heft to them. I started thinking about all of the improvements I needed to make on the guitar (nut, tuners) but realized that I could never fundamentally fix what truly bothered me.

So after having the CV for a week I traded it in with some cash and walked away with a 97 American Standard. I love the Standard. Tuners are great, knobs and switches feel premium and the guitar has as much heft as a tele can have.

The neck pickup sounds amazing. I like the bridge as well but the only problem is that the middle position isn’t hum canceling. I really like having a hum canceling position but generally don’t want to use noiseless pickups. That’s a shame but it’s a fixable problem. I’m just sad that I might have to swap out the neck pickup in order to remedy it.

The frets on the Standard are jumbo frets, my first time with a guitar with frets of that style. Initially I was put iff by them but truthfully they make me sound better. I’m a convert.

So I learned a lot. The CV has the barrel saddles and classic bridge plate, which I actually liked. The Standard has strat-style saddles which I suppose are more practical but lack that charm. But it’s not really that important to me either way.

Anyways, that’s the story.
 

JSMac

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Posts
1,520
Age
69
Location
Front Range Colorado
The CVs are pretty nice but you made a nice upgrade. I'm surprised you found the pine body on the CV too light. Mine is really heavy, which is really my only complaint.
 

Hawkmoon269

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2022
Posts
7
Location
Idaho
The CVs are pretty nice but you made a nice upgrade. I'm surprised you found the pine body on the CV too light. Mine is really heavy, which is really my only complaint.
We should have swapped! I’m guessing that pine is inconsistent. Mine was light enough that I had to google to check if it was chambered.
 

IrishBread69

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Posts
548
Age
37
Location
England
I have such mixed feelings about Classic Vibe guitars. It's almost a default recommendation for a lot of people but I've been disappointed every time.

Sounds like the US Standard is a good buy. You've also got the bug, may it be the first of many along your journey.
 

McGoldTopp

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Posts
255
Age
50
Location
ABQ
your pictures aren't loading....

scantily clad spouse holding the guitar pictures are preferred....

or guitar in the background of sed pictures.... or guitar in the case in the other room
 

Fuggle

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Posts
206
Age
53
Location
Georgia
So after having the CV for a week I traded it in with some cash and walked away with a 97 American Standard. I love the Standard. Tuners are great, knobs and switches feel premium and the guitar has as much heft as a tele can have.
Just out of curiosity, how much does the '97 weigh?
 

redhouse_ca

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 13, 2022
Posts
254
Age
54
Location
USA
Thank you all for your help over the past few months. I have been silently lurking, reading and learning. I have purchased a tele after a long search.

Actually I purchased two. The first was a Squier Classic Vibe. I was drawn to the Squier for a couple reasons. I own a late 80’s Squier strat that I absolutely adore. It’s Korean and it’s completely out of spec, so replacement parts like pickguards don’t fit. Also my friend has a Japanese tele from the 80’s that I borrowed for a few months. I love that one as well.

I bought the CV new in box. Actually it was still in the box at the music store. I only played it for a few minutes before I bought it. But it was on sale and I wanted a Tele badly so I pulled the trigger.

A couple notes on the CV. Overall the quality was fairly high considering the price point. A couple small blemishes on the finish but nothing major. The one exception is the dreadful plastic nut that Squier used. I would have gladly paid $20 more to have a fake bone one. The tuners were OK, not great, as to be expected. But I blame the tuning problems on the nut. The pickups were OK. The neck pickup on its own sounded bad, I thought, but the bridge pickup was surprisingly good and the middle position sounded great. I recorded some stuff with it that turned out well. The action on the guitar was set way, way too high. I’m not even a low action guy but I had to drop it by half once I put new strings on it, and it was still high. I guess they assume that they set the action for beginners for guitars at this price point.

But the pine body of the guitar was just too light. It made it feel cheap to me. (I understand that there is no direct relationship between quality and weight, it’s just a perception.) I didn’t realize it when I played it in the store but I just prefer instruments with a bit of heft to them. I started thinking about all of the improvements I needed to make on the guitar (nut, tuners) but realized that I could never fundamentally fix what truly bothered me.

So after having the CV for a week I traded it in with some cash and walked away with a 97 American Standard. I love the Standard. Tuners are great, knobs and switches feel premium and the guitar has as much heft as a tele can have.

The neck pickup sounds amazing. I like the bridge as well but the only problem is that the middle position isn’t hum canceling. I really like having a hum canceling position but generally don’t want to use noiseless pickups. That’s a shame but it’s a fixable problem. I’m just sad that I might have to swap out the neck pickup in order to remedy it.

The frets on the Standard are jumbo frets, my first time with a guitar with frets of that style. Initially I was put iff by them but truthfully they make me sound better. I’m a convert.

So I learned a lot. The CV has the barrel saddles and classic bridge plate, which I actually liked. The Standard has strat-style saddles which I suppose are more practical but lack that charm. But it’s not really that important to me either way.

Anyways, that’s the story.
I bought a nut file set a few years ago and im happy I did. The one I got is from Japan and I really like it. After I got it, I was surprised how many guitars I’ve used it on (and friends have used it on). Out of the box I think most guitars nut grooves are just too high and that makes it hard to know how the intonation will end up if you file the slots but maybe that’s something to think about before returning something you are unsure of. Naturally if you think you may return, get a replacement and file that, but I never fully appreciated how important that little piece of whatever (bone, plastic, tusq, cryptonite) is until I got that file set. I really think it’s at least as important as the bridge set up and maybe more so (assuming bridge is set roughly correct). I always test at the low frets with an Am, F, and G, and the first few bars of Purple Rain (played near the nut) but if I file, I chromatically tune each string since one change can change everything. Anyhow, for me, ill give a little on intonation in the middle of the neck for better intonation with open chords in the first three frets. It’s always a compromise, but that’s how I prefer it.
 




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