New Telecaster dilemma - Baja or AO 50s

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by telecastoras, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. telecastoras

    telecastoras TDPRI Member

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    Hello all,

    Currently i have a Kotzen Telecaster that suits me fine but i am thinking of bying a second tele to cover my "vintage" tone needs.

    My question in general is "If you had the money would you buy an american original 50s Tele or a Baja?"

    I like fat necks thats why my first tele was a Kotzen. How the Baja quality and tone wise is compared to the AO 50s Tele. Is the AO 50s Tele a better guitar that justifies the almost double price?

    I am mainly a Guitar direct to amp player if that matters. I have seen the Baja in shops in the past but just by looking at it it seems to me that it looks cheap side by side with say a 52 AVRI or AO50s but it that may be from the color, i dont know know how to explain it defferently.

    Every help is appreciated to help me decide.
     
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd look secondhand Nocaster or Broadcaster. Or AVRI, AO if you like the flatter board.

    I had a Nocaster Thinline I sold to cover vet bills (bloody cat died anyway). I wouldn't get another at the same $$$$ today. Monster tone especially into Tweed or warm SF. Had a 2002 AVRI 52, great guitar too, but not as organic.
     
  3. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Of the two, I'd probably punt for the superior finish of the AO.

    That said, my Baja (FSR White Blonde) at least, does not look cheap to me and I have some top end incl. Custom Shop guitars. The neck carve is lovely on the Baja.
    I don't use the out of phase options and you may prefer the straight 3 way switch of the AO.

    Baja FSR White Blonde.JPG
     
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  4. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the professional Tele in BSB black guard in my hands the day before I bought my BSB Baja,
    I could have purchased either.
    To me the Baja had way more to offer.
    one of the best playing necks I've ever owned and pretty close to half the price too !
     
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  5. Torz Johnson

    Torz Johnson Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Have 'em both, love 'em both. If I lost the AO I'd be OK with just the Baja... it's really good. Look for one that's not a boat anchor though.
     
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  6. absurdocaster

    absurdocaster Tele-Meister

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    Other than the whole you’ll know when you play it advice and the minor spec differences between the two it sorta comes down to budget. Both will be more traditional than your existing tele and both are slightly modern flavours of the 50’s tele vibe. Both are great choices that will serve you well. If you want nitro and have the cash the the AO is the only way to go from these choices. However, as others have said if you want a more vintage vibe then there are other options if you have the time to hunt.

    Happy hunting.
     
  7. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    I'd go AO, it is the same guitar as the Baja but with nitro finish, probably lighter. Generally speaking of course, you can find dogs in every series!
     
  8. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    Judging by the nature of your question, you would best be served by going to a store and actually playing each for yourself to feel and hear the differences.
     
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  9. Rusty Stauffer

    Rusty Stauffer Tele-Meister

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    I’d go with the Baja, having owned or played (a lot) several of each. Get one under 8 lbs — not hard to find. The Baja is so versatile, yet can sound very close to the 50s tele as well.
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Telecastoras, if you're genuinely looking to cover the kinds of "vintage tones" the Kotzen is less well designed for, you may as well get the model with the more vintage guts. That of course is the AO 50s. It is a Vintage sounds guitar with flatter board radius and smaller fretwire (things that are hard to quantify, tone wise).

    As great as the Baja 50s is, it has less vintagey pickups that were selected to work exceptionally well with a 4 way and even does an S-1 thing. Extremely versatile, less emphasis on the classic vintage sounds.

    Sounds like your ideal 2d might be a second Kotzen model, but with some vintage pickups in it.
     
  11. horax

    horax Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I was in this same boat about a month ago.
    The Baja is amazing, but the AO is a much better overall guitar, especially in feel.

    The neck is the fattest available, with a 9/5 radius and vintage tall frets. VERy nice feel.
    The pickups in the AO are more pure IMO, adn it comes with a killer case.

    If you want the four way switch, get the baja, but if you're a traditionalist, the AO is the only way to go.
     
  12. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    SO I tried was superb build and quality. If I had the beans it would be my next guitar.
     
  13. Stardog75

    Stardog75 Tele-Meister

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    Good man.im sorry the cat died but that was the right thing to do.I wish everyone cared for cats that way.id trade all my gear for mine too
     
  14. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    I sold 2 guitars to pay vet Bill's for my cat who died too. What can you do.
     
  15. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Step One, don't hire veterinarians named "Dr. Rich".

    :^(
     
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