Played A $4,700 Telecaster This Weekend...

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by bsman, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2003
    Santa Clara
    I’ve never understood the insane prices for those custom-shop beat-up numbers. However, I was passing some time at Bananas at Large in Santa Rosa yesterday, checking out a few teles (through a Hot Rod DeVille) - really liked the Baja and may just end up with one. At any rate, after I played several, the salesman put one in my hands and told me to play it before I looked at the price. It looked like ten miles of bad road, but the neck felt good, and it was nice and light, so I plugged it in and my God - no settings had changed on the amp, but it just sounded huge, profound, and resonant.

    The guitar itself was a master-built custom shop. I would call it a ‘custom-custom’, because it had the double binding like the ‘62 customs and a HB in the neck like a ‘72 customs. It also had, interestingly enough, a left-handed bridge (i.e. the bridge pickup was slanted the opposite direction you would normally expect).

    The way that guitar felt, sounded, and played, it was simply incredible. I would gladly trade all my other guitars for this one, but I tend to doubt I’ll ever have get one like it.

    Attached Files:

  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Could you tell an audible difference with the left hand bridge?
    Ripradiant and nojazzhere like this.
  3. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 13, 2010
    selden, ny
    Cool.....but I wouldn't want to even try it, simply because I might fall in love with one. And then I'd have bad dreams, because I would never buy it....and I actually can afford it. I just don't believe in spending that much on any guitar. In fact, I wouldn't pay one half of that for a guitar. I buy used, and only when the price is right.
  4. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 29, 2016
    West Lothian, Scotland
    That salesman... cloven feet, horns and a tail by any chance??:eek::twisted:
    Hope those minutes of pleasure playing that beauty will be sufficient compensation for the months of misery to come until you sell your soul / car / guitar collection / life story to make it your own...:cry:
    coloradojeff, Kebmel, Netty and 11 others like this.
  5. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

    Apr 10, 2014
    I’ve had a similar experience. Quite a feeling when the one Tele you wouldn’t buy because you could never justify the spend blows every Tele you own out of the water.

    That’s just the way of the world!

    I’m not in the guitar buying market so I don’t think about it too often.
  6. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    So, you should be calling it a custom-custom-custom ('62, '72, and custom shop). ;)
    Kreepy and bsman like this.
  7. Sinner1980

    Sinner1980 Tele-Meister

    Dec 11, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Interesting. I’ve played my share of custom shops but never touched a master build (yet)...

    I sometimes play with the thought of selling all 3 of my beloved guitars to buy the ‘one to rule them all’ but thank god I haven’t run into ‘the one’ yet... ;)
    Shuster and nojazzhere like this.
  8. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    Yep, I have had a similar experience
    with the higher end Custom Shop relics.

    Easy for people to scoff and say they hate relics or whatever, but when you pick one up, you understand why they cost so much.
    joebloggs13 and bsman like this.
  9. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    Dude, for the price of two Stones tickets it could be yours.
  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    If fender can build the guitar to do better, so can you. I've built four guitars so far, and bought another 20 or so this year.

    I built two mid-weight guitars (of cherry) and one of ash and bubinga (a strat) and a strat made out of cheap lightweight wood.

    I can't say I've had any guitars that play any better mechanically, but the white ash and bubinga strat is so heavy that it reminds me of a heavy set neck guitar - sounds OK, but heavy and doesn't feel as good in the hands. The light guitar is dead, probably because the body wood is too cheap to really feel musical.

    What I'm getting at is that I don't think the qualities that make the expensive guitar sound and feel bigger are items of expense, just items of care.

    (the other way to find a guitar like this is just to play the used guitars in every store you go through. You'll eventually find something routine that matches this guitar - perhaps fender is more selective in the musical nature of the body and wood in their master built guitars, but it can happen randomly in the normal american or mexican guitars)
    DHart, Netty, Beachbum and 2 others like this.
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2017
    If I was like people here who have 5-6 telecasters and I came across an expensive one like this Master built one... and I absolutely knew it was "the one" and it blew away my whole collection I'd buy that crazy expensive one and sell the 5-6 that now seemed mediocre in comparison.

    I sure don't like the relic jobs, and in my case I have 1 Telecaster, so it'd be way hard for me to ever get in this situation.

    Way better to have one perfect example than a bunch of lesser examples.
    DanDII, Ricky D., Netty and 1 other person like this.
  12. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Glad you could try one :) it was an experience wasn't it ?

    I had the opportunity to give a look at a John Cruz master built 52, didn't play it ... but everything was absolutely flawless and top notch, a couple of days later, i had a master built strat in my hands to test an amp ...uh boy that was good :), the things the OP wrote are things i noticed too, what knocked my socks off was the definition of the single notes, and the great balance in sound.

    There's more attention to detail and probably super selected stuff in a master built ones, they're a dream to me, i'd be lucky if i'd be able to afford a CS tele/esquire one day as i'm really longing for one of these for quite some time now
  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I kind of relate, although I wouldn't say I don't believe in spending that much on any guitar. I would say that I wouldn't spend $4,700 on any tele. Leo Fender's Telecaster design was simple but effective. $1,500 or so is where I would top out, for a tele. But I can see paying more for a hand-carved archtop or something.

    But it's all academic, anyway. Short of sweepstakes or rich uncle money, it would be irresponsible of me to spend more than $1,500 on an instrument.

    If I had "3 of my guitars" that were "beloved," as in treasured, cherished, dear to the heart, I'd never entertain the notion of selling them to fund a "one guitar to rule them all" quest.

    Oh, wait...I DO have 3 guitars (and more) that are beloved/cherished/treasured/dear to my heart. I'll never sell them. I don't believe there's any like guitar (comparing teles to teles, specifically) out there that is so much better than what I already have.

    It's not hard to understand why relic'ed guitars cost more. But picking one up and playing it won't tell you that. It takes extra time and effort to put fake wear on a guitar, and that's what costs more. The relic thing is of course a personal choice in terms of cosmetics, but in terms of playability or tone, the fake wear adds nothing.

    The cosmetics of a guitar are important to all of us, to one degree or another. Some want their new guitar to be in mint condition, to look pristine, and they hope to keep it looking that way as long as possible. As wear and tear does occur over time, they may wince at the moment of a scratch or a ding, but they will also come to embrace it as part of the guitar's story. Others want their new guitar to not look like it's new; they want it to have (varying degrees of) a "road worn" appearance.

    I can well imagine that a relic'ed finish adds more to the price tag. But an artificially scalloped fretboard won't feel better to play or play better. Neither artificial buckle rash nor a fake worn spot on the lower bout where a forearm rests will give the guitar body better resonance or improved sustain.
  14. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 19, 2017
    I’d say that the amount you spend on a guitar should be in line with what you’re going to be doing with it. I have no reason to spend more that 1500 for a guitar that will not be making me money. In the bedroom at recording volumes, they can all sound similar but not identical. If you can get yourself a 4500.00 guitar to play at home, can I come over and play it too?
    DanDII and greenhornet like this.
  15. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    The way that guitar felt, sounded, and played, it was simply incredible. I would gladly trade all my other guitars for this one, but I tend to doubt I’ll ever have get one like it.[/QUOTE]

    I will wait for the I sold/traded/whatever and bought this guitar I really liked. Should take maybe until after Christmas. Sounds like you really liked it. I ended up with a Martin 0000-18 Sinker Mahogany from Gruhns like that. My wife nodded and said it was OK but after I got it she said you know that is the best sounding guitar you own. Sometimes it works out.
  16. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    Pssst, hey kid. You wanna try this guitar?

  17. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    I tend to avoid playing anything I can't easily afford, I broke that rule once and played a 4.5K vintage SG/LP Jr. it was sublime..I still think about it. I have played a few 2K amps that made you say "..oh Ok now I understand the tube thing..."

    The one advantage to occasionally stretching your ears is that you have benchmarks for comparison, sometimes you find a prize. I have a few things that are far from CS or high end vintage yet still have a touch of the magic..
    AAT65, bsman, bcorig and 1 other person like this.
  18. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 11, 2018
    Chino Hills CA
    Yeah I thought I was getting a Baja and played an Elite first. Bought the Elite. $1000 bump
  19. Evil Funk

    Evil Funk Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2017
    That's pretty much what i did. I knew i wanted a Fender American Elite Tele for $2k, and a Z-Wreck for $4k, so i sold everything, got what i knew was perfect for me, and never looked back.

    Don't miss the stuff i sold at all. Knew too many bedroom rockstars that own $5K in crappy guitars, yet moan about how they could never justify buying something decent.
    tweedlux and joebloggs13 like this.
  20. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    Hell its only 5,000.00 USD whats the problem?

    for that amount of money you could buy Toto's Dad a whole candy machine full of peanut M&M's
    The Angry Possum likes this.
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