NGD! When is a Telecaster no longer a Telecaster?

Gary in Boston

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Maybe we should just all agree to the following.

The originally issued, stock Telecaster, traditional body shape, maple, bolt on neck with or without rosewood (slight concession), traditional pickups, three barrel bridge.

That above is a Telecaster my fraternity of T

Everything else beyond that formula but still sort looks like it once was a Telecaster is........... wait for it.................


A Modified Telecaster
 

blackspider57

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This is my new #1, I got it because I damaged the nerves in my right arm and needed contours. Supremely comfortable and sounds like the most beautiful Tele in the world.* I call it a Stellacaster... Fender calls it a Parallel Universe Whiteguard Strat.

View attachment 1045335
View attachment 1045336
*Nocaster pickups, ash/Nitro body
Wow!!! Another very cool guitar!!!
 

arlum

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When I think about Telecasters I have two trains of thought. What parts and specs are original and what have changed and become acceptable over the years. In truth .... when I'm dreaming / remembering / thinking back ...... a Telecaster is a flat top single cut that sports a bridge plate with a 3 saddle bridge made of brass. Today I own three T-types and only one fits this description. In my opinion it's the most "Telecaster" of all of them. That said ..... I think of the other two as later renditions of the Telecaster as it changed over time. I don't believe change is always for the better but I recognize that change occurs over time. I own a Suhr T-type with a Nashville three pickup setup. The bridge pickup is a direct mount in a body wood cavity rather than set on a bridge plate and uses six saddles. I still think of this instrument as a Telecaster. I have another T-type from Malancon that sports two humbuckers and a six saddle bridge but I still think of it as a Telecaster, (as well as a Les Paul disguised as a Telecaster). Over all the years the Telecaster has been around the only specs that seem to be important are the Telecaster body shape and the Telecaster head stock shape.
 

Twang-ineer

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I love all of those blurred lines models, a whole ton of fun IMHO. I know what I like to see in a Tele .. the bridge and rear pickup mounting kinda define it for me. But I think the actual answer to the question would be the iconic silhouette of the Fender single cut. It is what an average consumer, familiar with the basics of guitardom would just look at and call a Tele.
 

Monoprice99

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Palm Coast, FL
The body shape defines it for me, at the very least it's a Telecaster/TL Style derivative. Single cut telecaster body with other parts as a Fender partscaster.
 

Hallski

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Clarkston, MI
I love it, congrats! I think I'm learning that the Tele is great as it was originally built, classic of course. But the Tele body/archetype as a platform is something certainly worthy of experimentation. So I love that Fender isn't afraid to play around with the classics and take a new look at an established format. Enjoy it!
 

Blues Twanger

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SoVT
Maybe we should just all agree to the following.

The originally issued, stock Telecaster, traditional body shape, maple, bolt on neck with or without rosewood (slight concession), traditional pickups, three barrel bridge.

That above is a Telecaster my fraternity of T

Everything else beyond that formula but still sort looks like it once was a Telecaster is........... wait for it.................


A Modified Telecaster
Except there was a point when even Fender considered the standard telecaster to be different than that.

Get off my lawn with your get off my lawn attitude lol.
 

robt57

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Portland, OR
News flash, none else cares what any of us think what defines a tele. We just post our opinion for some reason. Like hearing yourself talk, only on the interwebs. ;)

I can say outta a few dozzen I have cobbled only the one with WR Pickups did not have an actual fender vintage bridge/plate. So clearly that bridge plate and baseplate is what it is all about [for me]. Although I don't think my Pre-B1 Dimarz has a baseplate, and I diverged with that just because it made that pine Tele a NastyCaster. Who cares? ;)
 

Jakedog

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If it was made in the fender factory, and says Telecaster on the headstock, then it’s a telecaster. If it wasn’t and it doesn’t, then it isn’t.
 

robt57

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If it was made in the fender factory, and says Telecaster on the headstock, then it’s a telecaster. If it wasn’t and it doesn’t, then it isn’t.
I think it is not hard to sell the idea that a hand made custom 'copy' is a Telecaster. This forum for as long as I've been here has thousands of DIY and lots of them very good ones..

I sold all the actual Fender Strats and Telecasters I had once my cobbling skills [with lots of help and reading in the "Tele-Technical" forum here] got decent. Being a casement carpenter to start made for a resonable fast path after that 1st 12lb Walnut Tele 20+ years back. I still play Burtonesque one over there to the left of each of my posts.

Is it a Tele? Is it a Telecaster? Is does have a Fender neck with orig decal, not a Fender. Parts guitar...
 

Jakedog

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I think it is not hard to sell the idea that a hand made custom 'copy' is a Telecaster. This forum for as long as I've been here has thousands of DIY and lots of them very good ones..

I sold all the actual Fender Strats and Telecasters I had once my cobbling skills [with lots of help and reading in the "Tele-Technical" forum here] got decent. Being a casement carpenter to start made for a resonable fast path after that 1st 12lb Walnut Tele 20+ years back. I still play Burtonesque one over there to the left of each of my posts.

Is it a Tele? Is it a Telecaster? Is does have a Fender neck with orig decal, not a Fender. Parts guitar...
I know there are a great many absolutely fabulous T-style guitars out there, homemade, factory, and boutique. But I don’t call them telecasters, because they aren’t. None of the factories or boutique shops that make them call them telecasters, either.

It has nothing (for me) to do with quality or components or skill used to put them together. It’s just a fact- Fender (and their squier brand) make telecasters, anything else is not one, unless licensed by them to carry the telecaster name.

I’ve owned T-style and Tele inspired guitars by many different makers, as well as some very nice home brews. They were all very cool. Some of them a lot better than some of the Fenders I’ve owned for sure. But they weren’t Telecasters. I’m sure I’ll own other T style guitars again. It’s not meant as any kind of sleight to say they aren’t Telecasters, it’s just the truth.

I don’t call my Silver Sky a “Strat” either. Because it’s not one.
 

robt57

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"None of the factories or boutique shops that make them call them telecasters, either."

If they are selling them they can't right? Unless they wanna fight the legal girth of a big Corp with lawyers on payroll I guess.


I call my WD bodied All Part's necked Strat a Strat. It has Fender Keys, 57/62s, Fender guard and a EC Fender Trem. The parts isn't why I call it a Strat. It blows away the TX Special AM Strat it replaced. It sounds exactly like a good Strat as intended...

Not a Stratocaster, I know. ;)
 

robt57

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What should I call this? Not a Tele, cause what it is a copy of there was no such thing yet...

I swore one day I'd put a snake head stock neck on it. But my DIY fret on a quarter sawn neck was not VG. ;)

48-BroadProtoCopy.jpg
 




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