Reason to Buy More Expensive Fender

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

  1. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 28, 2019
    left coast
    what's the goal?
    conspicuous consumption or playing music.
    though the reliced guitars are deliberately ugly as sin, it doesn't matter because they might be excellent instruments. for the uninitiated bright and shiny, with lots of appointments could be mistaken for the superior instrument.
    I'm in actuality a form follows function guy.
    I bought a mini strat and made some changes, it looks like a kids toy, especially with the blizzard of hello kitty stickers on it. the scale length is that of a standard lap steel, the string tension is that of my lap steel. not very impressive to look at a child size strat.
  2. Stratohacker

    Stratohacker Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 18, 2013
    Reasons guitar players spend on instruments vary from player to player. I think an instruments value to an individual is somewhat unique to that person. As mentioned, build quality, materials, playability, and sonic attribultes all play a part in the instruments value. The aesthetic element of an instrument can drive the price up and might be more than worth it to the person who pays for and plays the instrument. A professional musician will also be able to justify spending more on something that is going to further thier craft. Also, someone with a large amount of disposible income may just enjoy buying nice/vintage guitars.
  3. billgwx

    billgwx Tele-Meister

    Nov 6, 2009
    Centereach NY
    More expensive to me often translates mostly to nicer finish. Nice but not necessary, way more important for the guitars to sound great, be functional, and be easily modded. An MIM Tele whose only blemish appears to have been a weird looking knot in the grain on the neck has been a great platform for Zexcoil Convertible pickups and locking tuners and is a perfect fit for my hands, an '88 MIJ Strat with thin profile Warmoth neck sounds every bit as good to my ears as more vintage Americans, and a new gold Gibson LP Tribute, while not as flashy as let's say a black Custom with binding and gold bling, still sounds just as nice or as heavy. Being left-handed is a big factor too...since availability in local shops is very limited, am more willing to take my chances buying used gear online via eBay or Reverb, than buy new and lose too much value to depreciation right away if unhappy. So far so good!
    Lefty Addams likes this.
  4. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

    Aug 3, 2008
    Worcestershire, England
    The guy in the video loves the Joyo American Sound, I hated it. OP said he thinks a Classic Vibe is superior to a Vintera. YMMV is the operative word in this thread, but for me I wouldn't feel any sense of pride in owning a Harley Benton Tele knock-off and there's no way the CV is superior to my 50s Vintera (Baja)... different, but not superior.
    Fendereedo likes this.
  5. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

    Dec 14, 2017
    Yeah, I'll try to post pics. I did it on my strat neck and it definitely pulled the finish off but if you're careful it just looks like a nice worn neck. Roll those edges too hard and you'll get chunks of poly coming off and that totally looks sloppy.

    Since most MIM necks have a tinted poly finish, having someone do this after the fact really isn't an option for me if I'm already paying $1000.

    That said, if I found a great deal on a used Vintera or classic lacquer MIM Fender, I'd definitely work on that neck. A brand new one though? Bot worth the risk. Depending on the model, a used US guitar is only a couple hundred more than the high end MIM ones.
    Martocaster likes this.
  6. Martocaster

    Martocaster TDPRI Member

    Dec 27, 2019
    Yeah I’ve been considering buying an aftermarket neck to mess around with and try the whole rolling thing.
    The neck on my ‘56 Strat is incredible and along with the nitro it justifies the price I paid for it in my opinion.
  7. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 10, 2017
    Tokyo, Japan

    I’m not necessarily saying this might not be an actual thing that happens, in some cases. But, I can see neither logical reason nor compelling evidence why the opposite might not be true.

    Mad Kiwi likes this.
  8. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 3, 2017
    Maybe not superior but its most cost efficient piece of wood
  9. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    Nov 17, 2009
    Land of the Long White Cloud
    I dont mean to be harsh or pick you out specifically because I see this atitude all the time....but I do want to respond to it.

    It seems to me like the text above shows the reverse Psychology of the good guitars can be cheap.....above seems to imply Good guitars can only be expensive/Made in USA/Have a high end brand name......

    "one can't seriously claim that a Squier is just as good as an American model, Custom Shop or standard production."

    Lets pause here......

    Why not...?

    There HAS to be some Squires that are as good as an American Model. Not all American models are fantastic, just like not all squires are crap. Logic dictates there is a crossover point/convergance.

    Your argument seems based more on a bias than reality.

    I have a USA Strat. After years of Squires, home built Strat and so on. I can honestly say, apart from it's resale value, the USA on it means ZERO to me.

    It doesn't play any better, sound any better or look any better than many other non USA guitars I have had. In fact my long sold on Jimmie Vaughan MIM was the equal if not better of it.

    MY "Made in New Zealand" by me Strat plays and sounds just as good as any of them (It was why I sold the Jimmie Vaughan in the first place). The neck could be slightly improved to my own taste but I can easily change that as required and I ONLY think that because I built it, so it has the "never finished" sort of mentality associated.

    Building my own guitar body from scratch was the revelation to me. The origin, wood etc all make spectacularly less difference to the core amplified sound than the years of marketing and self delusion would have you/us believe.

    Simply put, IMO - Country of origin is bull crap. GREAT guitars can come from any location and with any brand. It's just a matter of finding them....and THAT is one part of the fun of being a guitar player. :)
    Martocaster and grooveiron like this.
  10. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2006
    Portland, OR
    They sound very close in the video, but I put very little stock in guitar videos of any kind - it's like looking at a house through a tiny hole in a fence and trying to decide if you want to live there.

    I don't doubt that the Harley Benton is a very good value, but without having instruments under my fingers there is no way I'd commit to either of those guitars. Over the long run, a difference of even a couple thousand dollars isn't enough to sway me or most good players I know - you get what you want to live with.

    Side note: why ever demo a guitar with overdrive? That's adding some serious fixed coloration to the sound that is a distraction. If you're going to compare, keep it clean and clear so you can hear the guitar and not the pedal.
  11. davedederer

    davedederer TDPRI Member

    Aug 11, 2014
    Too bad that Jimi Hendrix guy had to play those crappy CBS-era strats. If only he had had nicer guitars, he might have amounted to something.
    navier and bradpdx like this.
  12. Leofender55

    Leofender55 TDPRI Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    I've usually preferred the American made Fender products. But a ways back I bought one of the first Tokai Springy Sound Strats to use at practice so I wasn't dragging my '61 Strat around. That guitar opened my eyes to the alternatives. Found a few nice Japanese made Fenders that came and went. My last "discount" guitar was a Squier Pro Tone Strat to keep sitting in the living room to noodle on. The Pro Tones are great guitars, paid $300 for mine.
  13. goodguy

    goodguy TDPRI Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Detroit - Rock City
    Jesus! another “my cheap guitar is as good as an expensive one” post? Who cares? If you like cheap, buy cheap. In my experience, more expensive means better 99% of the time.
  14. lightningflash

    lightningflash Tele-Meister

    Mar 24, 2014
    Buy cheap guitars and you'll be adding money to get the tuners upgraded, the nut upgraded, a new bridge plate because the cheap one is too sharp on the edges, new saddles, upgrade the electronics, and added money at the luthier shop to get the frets worked on, etc....and you'll have $500 into a guitar that's worth $200....or you just buy a good used USA Fender Tele for $700 and you'll have $700 into a guitar that will be worth $700 if you decide to sell it.

    True, it won't sound worlds better but it's a much sounder investment....there's the difference in sound.
  15. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Meister

    Jan 7, 2018
    I've wasted money on both cheap and expensive guitars and derived great value from both cheap and expensive guitars. Find stuff you can connect with, you can do that at any price point.
    Pointmonger and Greggorios like this.
  16. Jjmatashi

    Jjmatashi NEW MEMBER!

    Nov 12, 2019
    New Jersey
    I've played cheap Teles which I loved, and cheap Teles that I absolutely hated, but I've never played a Custom Shop level Tele that failed to blow me away. I had a Butterscotch Blonde MIM Tele which was great fun, a Baja I loved very much, and a MIJ Tele which sounded absolutely killer, but I couldn't cope with the 7.5" radius.

    However, once I played my 51 CS Nocaster in the store, I knew I just had to have it. Far and away the best Tele I've ever owned, and the only one I have left.
  17. MyLittleChicken

    MyLittleChicken TDPRI Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    I had a affinity tele and a 2004 american standard and I can tell there’s a huge difference between the two of them... both in sound and quality. The american made was top quality finish and harware with a neck that never fights you... the affinity was almost not playable. But yeah they sound almost the same in an average amp... with an average player... it’s just easier on an american Fender tele...and it’s a myth you can afford most of the Time as an adult.
  18. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I've owned three MIM strats and two MIA strats - I don't see how that huge price difference translates to a better product for the MIA, at least not proportionally. But, if I had a ton of money I'd splurge on the MIA guitars.
  19. daryle

    daryle TDPRI Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    The Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster brought me so much satisfaction; even a guitar tech commented on how nice it sounded after i had him set up the guitar for me — that i bought 2 in a row,

    Not long after, my good friend passed me his MIJ Fender Telecaster to safekeep as he was taking a long break from playing.

    Needless to say, the difference was HUGE. Everything was different. But not neccessarily better or worse. Just different.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jun 2, 2003
    One assumes you get something more durable and more finely finished with attention to detail with a more expensive one. But it's not 100% true. For one thing US Fenders often have wider string spacing, then the high E rolls off the neck edge. I had to convert mine to the narrow bridge. Other things can be amiss also. If I really wanted a better finish and better detail I would probably buy a G&L. I've seen some of those that are just superior quality.
    The "whole guitar" is a turkey shoot... I've played very expensive custom shop Strats that were "dead" terrible. It seems all the parts make up a whole unit that is unpredictable.
    I bought a used closet queen MIM about 17 years ago for $175. I upgraded to pickups etc I wanted and it's been my #1 ever since... even though I have a USA Strat too.
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