New Tele - Advice?

Maguchi

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Hi Folks

First post here though I've been reading for a good while now. I'm no spring chicken, though not quite over the hill (if it exists)...been playing the better part of 4 decades and have lots of guitars in the collection - varied from old Strats (90's Fender MIJ, 00's Fender MN), lots of kits and partscasters and even a Gibson LP :-O (still love my LP...always) with a handful of teles I either built or modded, using kits and parts...none are perfect though and I conclude I need a nice Fender Tele to finish the collection for now.

I no longer gravitate towards heavy rock and such like and I am loving my teles ever more. I find myself now looking to knock out some decent country/modern country/southern rock influenced tunes having thrown off the genre shackles of youth and now just make music I like. It works well and I have every tone largely covered guitar wise. Except, a genuine and reliable Tele. Hence my current hunt for a Tele...and this post!

Money is a thing though Im old(er) than I once was and can spring up to a US Pro - cant spring any higher than that tho. Looking for vintage tone, lots of the classic twang (I know lots comes from me and Im good with that) but I guess the purpose of this to be clear - I dont want or need any heavy tones or lifeless pickups and I dont swap em out either. Just wnat a great out the box machine that will give me all the above and keen to hear your experience as owners and players of the same. NB I think Ive ruled out noiseless and I think (on account of more grunt) ruled out Twisted Tele models? Happy to be persuaded otherwise though as a 75th Anniv in 2 tone bourbon looks lovely to my eyes!! :)

Any input most welcome...based on current models available today.
I currently have 6 Teles and a Squier. A couple of them are MiMs and they're pretty good after I did some pickup and hardware upgrades. I Really like the American Performer and American Pro 1s as those are made of alder and ash. Haven't tried the Pro 2s yet, and am a little leary of the pine bodied models, as the soft pine wood dents so easily and screw holes tend to strip out. Tried a few noiseless pickups and couldn't find any I liked. I guess If I only had one Tele with no upgrades or mods, I'd go with a Performer or a Pro 1. Great feeling and sounding guitars. Very well finished frets, rounded fingerboard edges, superb pickups and hardware.

5 Teles.jpg
 

Sax-son

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A little bit of a contrarian here. I like both the vintage and the more modern Telecasters for different reasons. Sometimes I prefer the twang of a vintage tele but other times I prefer the more modern version with slightly hotter pickup and a six saddle Gotoh style bridge. I would try out some of the more modern versions first to see if you like them. If not your cup of tea, you can play the vinteras or the AV's. Whatever is you choice, you can't go wrong with either. Play a bunch of them if you can.
 

PurpleSage

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Thanks folks. I am going into the store to try a few and have also spotted a lovely 2 tone bourbon burst 75th Anniversary edition...wow mann, that is a lovely looking machine! I'll be owning a tele imminently :) Thanks for your help folks. Appreciate the input.

Maybe you've already made a purchase @LovinTheTwang, but I'd echo @mimmo and @Fendereedo - the Vintera 50s are very nice traditional teles.

As a fellow UK resident currently searching for a twangy machine, given there is limited second hand stock floating around to try, they are high on my scorecard.

I wouldn't say the pickups are going to blow your mind, they just sound like a proper 50s tele. The only consideration is the 50s U neck on them is seriously beefy. I'm in the market for a tele with a thicker vintage neck, but I found it a *little* too much.

On the AmPro2 - I'm in the minority here, but I've played them and was disappointed. They are beautifully made modern guitars, lovely finishes, but for me they lack character. The "deep C" neck is too skinny, not much different to a modern C ... maybe verging on a 60s shape, but without the nice oval profile. I also found the Yosemite pickups a little meh. The extra electrical features didn't add a lot to my experience. Don't get me wrong, they are immaculately made guitars. But for the money I wanted more wow.

Maybe that's just me, but definitely worth playing before you order! On paper it's a perfect guitar, but I found it very different in hand.

If I was shopping with your list on your budget I'd want to try an American Original, but they are hard to find new in stock in the UK right now. Consider a used one?

I don't know where you are based in the UK, but I was at Regent Sounds on Denmark Street last month and they had a gorgeous late model American Performer fitted with '51 Nocaster pickups in stock for £900. Used but mint condition. Lovely satin neck, despite being a modern C. If I was in the market for a thin necked tele I would have left with it. Those pickups in an American ash body were killer. Incredibly articulate, so much better than the Yosemites for snappy twang imho.

Good luck and let us know what you find and where you find it!
 

Fendereedo

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Maybe you've already made a purchase @LovinTheTwang, but I'd echo @mimmo and @Fendereedo - the Vintera 50s are very nice traditional teles.

As a fellow UK resident currently searching for a twangy machine, given there is limited second hand stock floating around to try, they are high on my scorecard.

I wouldn't say the pickups are going to blow your mind, they just sound like a proper 50s tele. The only consideration is the 50s U neck on them is seriously beefy. I'm in the market for a tele with a thicker vintage neck, but I found it a *little* too much.

On the AmPro2 - I'm in the minority here, but I've played them and was disappointed. They are beautifully made modern guitars, lovely finishes, but for me they lack character. The "deep C" neck is too skinny, not much different to a modern C ... maybe verging on a 60s shape, but without the nice oval profile. I also found the Yosemite pickups a little meh. The extra electrical features didn't add a lot to my experience. Don't get me wrong, they are immaculately made guitars. But for the money I wanted more wow.

Maybe that's just me, but definitely worth playing before you order! On paper it's a perfect guitar, but I found it very different in hand.

If I was shopping with your list on your budget I'd want to try an American Original, but they are hard to find new in stock in the UK right now. Consider a used one?

I don't know where you are based in the UK, but I was at Regent Sounds on Denmark Street last month and they had a gorgeous late model American Performer fitted with '51 Nocaster pickups in stock for £900. Used but mint condition. Lovely satin neck, despite being a modern C. If I was in the market for a thin necked tele I would have left with it. Those pickups in an American ash body were killer. Incredibly articulate, so much better than the Yosemites for snappy twang imho.

Good luck and let us know what you find and where you find it!
I'm pretty sure it's been mentioned that the AO series has been discontinued now, to be replaced by the American Classic series(?). If you can get an AO, it will no doubt be on the used market now OP. Not sure when the new line up is due, but I can only imagine the price it will cost in the UK after mark up. P
 

Vibroluxer

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An old new one, maybe a new old Baja
This would also be my choice but a 50s Baja rather than a 60s. If you are looking for new, a similar one is the Vintera Modified Tele. Ive had quite a few teles over the better part of 4 decades(!) and am down to one: a 50s Baja. It does everything a tele is capable of and it really does it well.

Let us know what you select.
 

PCollen

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From all that you say, I imagine the 50s vintera would be quite a good fit?

That said, the 50s baseball bat neck is a little big for my hands, so I have a 50s vintera modified Tele which came with Custom Shop Vintage Style (bridge) and Custom Shop Twisted Tele on the neck (I know that you ruled out twisted Tele pickups though).
It’s around £800/£900 just now.

It’s a lovely Tele though, looks, sounds and plays perfectly.
That Vintera 50s Modified version has a modern, not-so-fat soft-V shaped 9.5" radius fretboard neck with medium jumbo frets vs. the fat U-shaped 7.25" radius fretboard neck with the smaller vintage frets , right ? And it seems that the pickups are different.
 

PurpleSage

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That Vintera 50s Modified version has a modern, not-so-fat soft-V shaped 9.5" radius fretboard neck with medium jumbo frets vs. the fat U-shaped 7.25" radius fretboard neck with the smaller vintage frets , right ? And it seems that the pickups are different.

Correct, Vintera 50s Modified is just a new name for the Baja. Same neck, specs as you describe. But it also has the Baja pickups and wiring, i.e. the Twisted Tele in the neck and a 4 way switch / S1 button for 'out of phase'. They are great MIM guitars and the neck profile is fantastic.

I guess just a question for the OP if those are the sounds he's looking for.

The bridge pickup twangs ok, but I'm not a fan of the Twisted Tele in the neck. In general I'd say they are guitars made for players looking for a wide range of more modern sounds, rather than purists looking for a twangy 50s tele. Though the consensus seems to be they allow for those tones too. I've only played them in shops, not owned one so I can't say for sure. Always tempted though as the neck is nice.
 

PurpleSage

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I'm pretty sure it's been mentioned that the AO series has been discontinued now, to be replaced by the American Classic series(?). If you can get an AO, it will no doubt be on the used market now OP. Not sure when the new line up is due, but I can only imagine the price it will cost in the UK after mark up. P

Yes, but you still see some new AOs remaining in stock in shops at the moment...
 

JP22

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That Vintera 50s Modified version has a modern, not-so-fat soft-V shaped 9.5" radius fretboard neck with medium jumbo frets vs. the fat U-shaped 7.25" radius fretboard neck with the smaller vintage frets , right ? And it seems that the pickups are different.
Yes that’s basically right enough.
Medium-jumbo frets.

I love the neck.
Having ordered it, I was worried that it would be too thick (hence one reason why I didn’t go for a 50s).
To be honest, I don’t know why they just don’t go with soft V as a standard thing. It’s easily the most comfortable neck I’ve ever had for a Tele.

50s looks (I’m a sucker for Daphne blue) but for me, that in combination with the hotter pickups, the 9.5” radius and the soft v neck give it the best of both worlds.
 
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JP22

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Correct, Vintera 50s Modified is just a new name for the Baja. Same neck, specs as you describe. But it also has the Baja pickups and wiring, i.e. the Twisted Tele in the neck and a 4 way switch / S1 button for 'out of phase'. They are great MIM guitars and the neck profile is fantastic.

I guess just a question for the OP if those are the sounds he's looking for.

The bridge pickup twangs ok, but I'm not a fan of the Twisted Tele in the neck. In general I'd say they are guitars made for players looking for a wide range of more modern sounds, rather than purists looking for a twangy 50s tele. Though the consensus seems to be they allow for those tones too. I've only played them in shops, not owned one so I can't say for sure. Always tempted though as the neck is nice.
100%.
Worth a try if the OP has the opportunity.

The pickups/wiring thing felt to me (normally a bit of a traditionalist) to be a little gimmicky (I’m never tempted to use the “out of phase” thing) but it ticked all the other boxes and it just gets so much right in terms of looks, feel and sound, that I’m quite okay with the unnecessarily extra stuff.

Also, I can’t overstate how much I love the soft V neck. Perfection.
 




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