Reason to Buy More Expensive Fender

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by RoCkstAr256, Feb 4, 2020.

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  1. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    To summarize, are you saying MIM guitars are the same as MIA guitars, just built with cheaper labor?

    In my personal experience, I have had great MIM guitars, but I have not found them equal in quality (including materials, components and fit & finish) to my MIA Fenders.
     
  2. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    No, I'm not saying that, because the specs are different - and that's where Fender's marketing 'justifies' the extra cost of a guitar made in the USA - it's called perceived value. And that higher value is only perceived by those who think a guitar made in the USA is better than one made elsewhere... it's what Fender would have you believe about a product in order to screw more money out of you. (Just to reiterate, I'm not talking Custom Shop here... I totally accept that more goes into the making of those guitars.)

    So in terms of production costs, I'm saying that the biggest actual (not perceived) difference between the two, is the cost of labour and the relative costs of running a plant in Mexico vs the USA - not the skills of the workforce, not the time it takes to make a guitar, not the raw materials and not the components.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  3. Bluesidae

    Bluesidae TDPRI Member

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    Simply because you are worth it! Treat yourself to the best guitar that YOU can afford. BTW I choose guitars over golf clubs, fishing boats and fast cars!
     
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  4. BenTobith

    BenTobith TDPRI Member

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    Well, a lot of that is due to the fact that MIA models have cut corners in almost every way possible over the years. It has been a slow boil. Only if you go back far enough will the stark difference become clear. JMHO.
     
  5. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Meister

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    Tone chasing is so hard. Most of the time your pocket will dictate your choice of instrument. I've seen some guys
    playing less than average guitars and they were okay, but the same guy with a better guitar was .....wait for it......wait for it......better.
     
  6. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    You make a good point, and it was part of my point as well...that it's not the skills of the workers or country of origin that makes the difference in the guitars.
     
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  7. allthumz

    allthumz Tele-Meister

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    I got it right. But if you had waited like a minute between each test I doubt I could tell any difference.

    I play at home. Occasionally with friends. If someone gave me the Fender I'd be ecstatic.

    For my own money? The HB every time assuming build quality is acceptable.
     
  8. kickflipino

    kickflipino TDPRI Member

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    My first Fender is an American Elite thinline tele limited Honduran mahogany edition. Bought it for about $2000 Love it. Got a FCS recently for $4500. Is the FCS twice as good? Maybe not. But its a very clear upgrade in all aspects compared to the MIA Elite. Ive tried Squiers and MIMs. They're all good but they can never be better than a MIA.
     
  9. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Holic

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    There are players who swear by their Classic Vibe guitars. I play my mim Nashville Tele most of the time, while my Am Std Tele sits in its case. :D
     
  10. tamer_of_banthas

    tamer_of_banthas Tele-Holic

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    i don't think you're wrong. i've purchased 5 or 6 american made fenders over the past 10 years. a couple deluxe models in there. i have not been terribly impressed. i think the best move is either to save up for a custom shop or just run the racks for a Mexican made model and then modify it to taste.

     
  11. mysticguitar

    mysticguitar TDPRI Member

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    I'd think I'd like a Fender Ultra Tele. Why? After all I'm only a intermediate player but I've had a ton of MIM guitars and they are nice but before I die, which could be soon, I'd like to own a high quality guitar. I also like the idea of easier access to the higher frets, a fast neck, compensated saddles and a beautiful guitar.
     
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  12. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Theres cheap Whiskey and expensive Whiskey, you can get drunk on both. There's production BEER and Premium Beer, you can get them both cold and they both go down like water. Then there is Thunderbird wine and French Beaujolais . Connoisseurs will tell you in a NY minute the differences. The common man or social cocktail hour person cannot tell the difference between any of them other than price. More often than not, they don't even care. Its about the drink, not the quality of the drink.

    My only response to this crazy question and thread is I purchase what I want and who cares what anybody else thinks. Can I play gigs on $199 Squire and sound pretty good ? I'm sure I can . That never crossed my mind because its irrelevant to my personal choice. Its irrelevant to my life.

    For me, buying Fender BRANDED guitars is a lifestyle and has been since I was a kid. Album covers, the Ventures, , Stevie Ray, Buddy Holly , The Yardbirds etc..seeing all those incredible Fender Guitars in photo's was a life changing inspiration. Still is.

    For me, call me crazy, call me old school stuck in the 60's or 70's, I don't much care, , the actual playing of the guitar is only one part of the equation. I look across the room at my FENDER guitars and I see an entire musical journey covering 4 or 5 decades flash before my eyes, all of my influences, the music , the players , the evolution of the guitars...etc...For me, I am connected to HISTORY, as small a connection as it may be. I get equal satisfaction looking at my guitars as I do playing them. as nuts as that sounds.

    I recently purchased a Brent Mason Tele, its the most expensive new guitar I ever purchased. I hadn't bought a new guitar since 2004 . Is it actually better than the best Squire etc..? I dunno, I don't care. But I can tell you this, its pretty darn good , it ain't no slouch.

    What I do question though, as a few have stated above, is that they bought guitars they didn't like , doesn't matter where they came from, Why didn't they return it ? In my journey I've picked up hundreds of Telecasters over the years, and I've put hundreds back on the rack. There is no way I would pick up ANY guitar and keep it if I didn't like the way the neck and frets felt. Who would do that ? I own 5 Teles , it took well over 20 years to acquire these 5 and brand them as keepers. There have been plenty in between that didn't make the cut. I have never purchased any instrument with the notion that over time I would bond with it, get to like it. NOPE. I'll give it an hour. IF it doesn't start talking back in that time, it will never TALK BACK. I can change all the pups and strings I want, but its still the same guitar underneath all the fluff !

    If someone wants to challenge me that their $199 Squire from Korea is every bit as good as any of my guitars, I'm good with it, its not my call, I'll raise my glass of Thunderbird Wine and toast them ! :) Then we can jam on Mary Had a Little Lamb.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  13. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Shane recently bought an AO 50s Strat, which he says is the most expensive, and the finest Strat he's ever had.

    After he did this video, he loved it so much that he bought it.
     
  14. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    He also did the AO 60s which has PV 65 pickups instead of PV 59s, and I prefer the sound of that guitar. Now I want a set of PV 65s more than ever!
     
  15. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

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    My only experience with Harley Benton was with the, I think, HB300(?), parlour guitar which was so cheap I took a punt. It was pretty bad and frankly needed more money spent getting it right than I paid for the thing in the first place, which I wasn't prepared to do.
    There have been numerous reports of faults in new H-B guitars, both acoustic and electric-particularly the most important parts, the nut and the frets; almost invariably the latter are unfinished, un-levelled, uncrowned, unpolished. If you don't have the time, desire or tools to do the job yourself that's another £100 or so for a tech. That inexpensive purchase can quickly become quite costly in no time.

    Now, that said I have three 'Telecasters'; a Fender AO50s, G&L Tribute ASAT Classic and a Cort-Manson Classic TC. The Fender cost three times what the Cort did, but there is no difference in build quality whatsoever; if anything the fret job on the Cort is done better-especially the fret ends which are beautifully rounded-off and polished, unlike the Fender's which appear to have been simply clipped off and filed flat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I never understand these threads. Its like arguing that $100 is superior to $1000, because it costs less, and it can provide the same calories - rice versus beef.
     
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  17. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Meister

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    My mindset is I have 'nice' gear because I like it, simple as.

    I'm confident I could play a 'cheap' guitar and still find usable sounds and still enjoy playing it. If Ever, God forbid, my gear were stolen or lost to some disaster, I wouldn't reinvest in it. I'd buy a Squier Affinity Telecaster and a good-ish amp. I've considered doing it anyway simply to prove the point - it's not the painter it's the brush.

    I'm not saying nicer gear doesn't have benefits, only that it's not worth getting too hung up on. Gear snobs will be gear snobs. The "best" guitar is the one you have and the one you want to have. Life is short, play!!
     
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  18. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    If you pay $3,000 for a Fender and it loses 25% in the first year, you’re down $750. If you pay $300 for a HB and it drops 90% in the same period you’re still only $270 down. % ages don’t really work, you lose way more hard cash when you move on expensive kit that you bought new. Buy cheap used kit to establish your need, ‘do I really want/need a Tele?’. Then, if the answer’s ‘no’, either keep it as a beater or move it in for what you bought it for. If the answer’s ‘yes’, buy a good quality, carefully selected used Tele and you’ll probably keep it. If you do get it wrong, you’ll lose the minimum amount moving it on. I should add that you should, perhaps, do what I say not what I do. I’m a sucker for the bright, shiny, new guitar hanging on the wall in my local shop.................but I rarely buy something that I later sell.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    ‘The colour of a guitar affects the tone’........discuss............or, perhaps, let’s not!
     
  20. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    The secret to internet happiness is to never, ever watch youtube tone comparison vids! The sound quality of youtube, the crappy laptop speakers you hear it through, and the fact that somebody else is playing it (not you) in a room that is not yours, means you will never learn anything useful. It's truly just an arm of the advertising industry and there is no actual point in arguing over or even watching such drivel except pure entertainment.

    In my own actual experience playing and modding guitars, price v. quality, most (not all) of what you tend to get in a higher price point is the hand work involved in proper fret finishing and general setup, plus the relative labor costs in the origin country.
     
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