NGD - American Original 60’s Thinline

johnnybregar

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Oct 12, 2021
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55
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Bainbridge Island, WA
It’s been a long road to a Telecaster for me. My first one was from Wildwood in 2017. A fine looking 52 thinskin reissue. It looked great - super nice craftsmanship, and felt solid, but it never really played all that well for me. The neck didn’t feel great to me, and something about it just never felt right. There was nothing really wrong with it, I just never bonded with it. So I sold it eventually.

More recently, I decided that a Mexican Player might do it. So I bought one off of Sweetwater. I think that guitar actually has potential, but construction and setup issues are getting in the way. The neck angle is wrong (I’m in the process of finding the right shim), and the nut is offset so the high E string is so close to the edge of the fretboard it just gets pushed off, and is not playable. So between the buzzing and the nut issue, it’s not really been put through the paces. It also sounds fine, but just not awesome to me. It is a perfectly adequate guitar in my mind, but it needs some work to get it to a place where I might be able to enjoy it.

Enter the American Performer. It arrived from Sweetwater in Sonic Blue, and looked to potentially be the one, until I realized that it too had a neck angle issue (possibly also needed to be plek’d), and I just ended up sending it back. It was also a fine guitar, but it didn’t speak to me - it played quite well, and sounded great. I have to say that the jumbo frets are a little overkill for me personally.

But yesterday, I took possession of a truly amazing guitar. It is a 2020 American Original 60’s Thinline. It is stock, in perfect condition, and it is epic. I mean, over the top, resonant, fast, gorgeous guitar that will be a keeper. It is so far above the other three I’ve been through that there simply is no contest. My son is getting to be a pretty good guitar player. Today he walked in from the studio and said, ”Dad, that Tele is freakin amazing - it’s probably the best guitar I’ve ever played.” It is punchy, has so much lovely clean tone, it gets dirty SO nicely, and it is such a player that my fingers are killing me because I can’t put it down. It is heavy by Thinline standards (7lbs 9oz) and I think that contributes to the true Tele tone - it has it for days. Tons of sustain, and tons of just plain ol mojo. The neck is fantastic. Best neck profile I’ve ever played.

I don’t know if this is indicative of the other guitars in the AO series, but I cannot recommend this one highly enough. I may end up buying another one at some point, just because I am blown away by how good it is. I’d probably pick up a solid body with a rosewood neck.

All I can say is wow - I’m totally over the moon with this guitar and I just wanted to shout it from the proverbial tree tops.
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BobbyMac

Tele-Holic
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Aug 21, 2003
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680
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Texas Panhandle
Beautiful Thinline you have there. Just so you know, the bridge saddles on that guitar are not original. They appear to be some sort of compensated saddles, not the originals that came on that model, like these:

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IrishBread69

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Posts
451
Age
37
Location
England
I love mine, your photos prompted me to get it out of the case and fall in love all over.

Enjoy! There seem to be quite a few AO Telecasters in stock at the moment which is good to see.
 

johnnybregar

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Posts
15
Age
55
Location
Bainbridge Island, WA
Beautiful Thinline you have there. Just so you know, the bridge saddles on that guitar are not original. They appear to be some sort of compensated saddles, not the originals that came on that model, like these:

View attachment 974409
Interesting… I was wondering about that. They don’t look like the Gotoh’s - but they do work fine. I actually bought compensated saddles from StewMac before the guitar got here and then saw that it already has them. I guess I’ll have to buy a solid body for my new saddles… *wish*
 

Killing Floor

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Feb 3, 2021
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That’s really pretty. Congrats.

And don’t give up on the MiM. The new MiM necks are well made and you can replace the nut.
 

johnnybregar

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Posts
15
Age
55
Location
Bainbridge Island, WA
That’s really pretty. Congrats.

And don’t give up on the MiM. The new MiM necks are well made and you can replace the nut.
Do you know which nut to get? I was able to get the old one out easily - just need to replace it. I'm planning to re-shim it this week and if it works well, I'll use it for gigs and keep this one for studio work only for the time being.
 

Killing Floor

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Do you know which nut to get? I was able to get the old one out easily - just need to replace it. I'm planning to re-shim it this week and if it works well, I'll use it for gigs and keep this one for studio work only for the time being.
Not a better/worse choice. I prefer bone just because they seem to be durable. Any bone or graphite would be fine. Bronze if you want, there is really no wrong answer. I'm not very "precise" with files so I take mine to the shop. You can get a nut cut for $20-30 range many places. Any good local guitar store should have someone.
 




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