NGD: Cheap, fancy Partscaster

mretrain99

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Posts
25
Age
52
Location
Atlanta, GA
I bought this partscaster off Facebook Marketplace the other day for $150. I just liked the look of it with the butterscotch body, gold pearloid pickguard and bound rosewood fretboard with MOP dots.
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The headstock wasn’t visible in the photos, so I didn’t know it would have an ersatz Fender Telecaster decal on it. In the seller’s defense he never claimed it had a Fender neck, although the tuners and bridge are supposed to be genuine Fender. The neck is definitely Chinese, and I guess the body is as well since it’s a Guitar Fetish. The body wood is heavy ash, and it has a good ring to it acoustically. Bridge pickup is GFS, not sure about the neck.

When I got it there was pronounced relief in the neck with .009s on it. Not a ski jump or uncomfortable to play, but not “straight” either. And the truss rod wouldn’t turn. At all. The short end of an Allen wrench wasn’t long enough, so I had to use the long end, which didn’t make it any easier. I applied WD-40 and tried turning it with pliers and it still didn’t budge. Eventually I just said “screw it” and started tapping it in the loose direction with the pliers, like a hammer, and it started to budge. After some tapping back and forth it loosened up and I was able to turn the truss rod by hand normally. I tightened the truss rod and was able to get the neck straight, and after putting on a bit heavier set of strings it had just the right amount of relief. The neck is stable and feels good in the hand, a nice medium C shape.

It plays very well now and sounds great, but after all that I’m not sure if I’m in love with the bound rosewood fretboard on a Tele. I ordered an inexpensive roasted maple neck that I might put on it, which I think would suit it. I also plan to “Cooderize” it with a Gemini Suprocaster tele pickup and one of a couple of vintage Teisco gold foils I have, and I think that should also look ace. As it is, though, it’s not bad, especially for what I paid for it.
 
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mretrain99

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2022
Posts
25
Age
52
Location
Atlanta, GA
I like everything about it minus the bound fretboard. Looks like a good deal for the dough.
I like the bound fretboard because it’s different, but I’m not crazy about the MOP inlays. Really don’t like the headstock, which is Tele-esque shape but not quite right.

As clichéd as it is, the butterscotch body seems to be crying out for a tinted all-maple neck, so I have a Chinese-made roasted maple neck on order. Trying to keep the cost down. The seller also provided a black pearloid pickguard, so I’ll see if I like that better on it.

Once I get the Suprocaster tele bridge pickup and the Teisco gold foil installed it should look and sound pretty spiffy. It might seem like trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear putting a desirable vintage pickup on a cheap guitar, but I already had the pickup languishing, waiting for a project. I should either use it or sell it, and I’d rather use it.
 




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