Recommendations Needed on Tele Search.

Gorquin

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Posts
406
Location
Texas
Hey All !

I'll try to keep this short.
I don't know if I have a dilemma or I'm not looking at the right Tele models.

Price range for a used guitar....$1100 - $1800.

I prefer transparent finishes like the old 50's and 60's guitars. Clear turned yellowish/orange like a Nachocaster, or the American '52 reissues, or beat up and faded like Robben Ford's 60's Tele or transparent Desert Sand or Blonde finishes.

I also would prefer: Ash, Nitro/Lacquer, Ashtray Bridge w/3 saddles, Kluson type split tip tuners, a narrow neck (front to back) but 1 5/8"+...more like 1 11/16" and Large Frets. I could change hardware so it's mainly the neck and body if something fits the budget. I could go Maple or Rosewood depending on the body. I would prefer 10+ years old but could go for something newer.

The dilemma appears to be that most of the nitro/lacquer finishes are on 50's reissue models with large necks and small frets. I have small/med hands. I played some riffs that are harder for me to play on a variety of necks and I play better on more narrow necks...playing them one after another at one sitting back and forth.

I like the HWY 1 Texas Tele but the necks aren't nitro and even if the body has a nice relic the neck, unless really beat up, is going to look newish for years, they don't seem to age. And on those I'd probably prefer the blonde but with a rosewood FB which they didn't make on the Texas version.
Some of the Road Worn 50's could be considered but then again...small frets...fat necks.
The American Vintage '64 looks interesting but to purchase and eventually refret with larger frets would most likely put me well over budget.

So, what am I missing....?

Or, do I need to assemble a partscaster Tele or... hunt for a bargain and do a refret and/or neck shave?


Suggestions?
 

Kamen_Kaiju

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Posts
48
Age
45
Location
DC
hmm, everything I'd recommend has a large neck.

and the BSB Mexi-Teles with the smaller necks I don't think the finish is transparent.

...sorry, I guess none of that helps.

Maybe a BSB Squier CV Tele? You could probably swap out for a mexi-neck that's a bit bigger than a stock Squier but not as big as a vintage style Fender? Maybe a Mexi-Player neck or something would fit? You could easily do that with your budget. Get a CV Squier body that's transparent BSB and a Mexi-Fender neck you like, and then put in the pickups of your choice?

...just a thought.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Posts
48
Age
45
Location
DC
no wont have Nitro.

I think you need a Road Worn (maybe Ventura?), or some American models for Nitro.
 

Sax-son

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Posts
2,394
Age
71
Location
Three Rivers, CA
Just the candidate for building your own. You have realistic spending amount so that is good. However, I think there is a little misconception regarding the paint colors on those early 50's Telecasters. Most were a blond finish which were not transparent, but opaque and have yellowed with age and now they call it "Butterscotch Blond". Blond is a different color than white. I saw Robben Ford's Telecaster when he first got it. It looked like "new". He has personally put all that wear and tear on it for the look it has now, but that is over a period of 30 years of touring and use.

If I were you, I would look into the Jimmy Page mirror model that is pretty similar spec wise to what Robben Ford is using. It has been getting some great reviews and may fit your bill. You may be able to pick one up for between the $1800 to $2K bracket, but it checks a lot of your boxes (also ash body). If you are stuck on Ash, 52 reissues or Nocaster reissues there, but those had the thicker necks.

I have built about a dozen or so early blackguard era Telecasters, they are pretty simple once you get all the right parts, but that is also a possibility. I rarely go to music stores anymore to look at guitars. They never have anything close to what I want or like. Just walls and walls or Squires and entry level guitars. Go to top level guitar shops to do your shopping. Don't mess with any of the GC stores. They just stock what the headquarters are pushing and are not really a music store anymore. Good luck, hope this helps.
 

Gorquin

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Posts
406
Location
Texas
It's funny but I've had to reevaluate my spending and move it up a few notches.
We've all been spoiled by "import" guitars and the effect it's had in relation to our spending on US made products. I'll give a perspective for the younger folk.

I purchased a brand new 1972 Fender SB Maple Neck Stratocaster w/OHSC for $275 total...out the door in 1972 at Sam Ash on 48th Street. It was next to Manny's who wouldn't give me the time of day because I looked a lot younger than I was. OK...so over to Sam Ash. In 2022 $275 sounds cheap right? Actually....NOT.

In 1972 the minimum wage, in NJ at that time, was only $1.60/hour! So, divide $275/$1.60 = 171.875 hours I had to work to buy that guitar. Today's minimum wage in NJ (I'm in TX now) is $13/hour. So $13 x 171 hours = $2223 ! So $275 wasn't cheap and spending around $2K for a new USA guitar is not really out of line historically speaking.

Back to my situation. Yes...I may have to go the partscaster route or get a blackguard and shave the neck to my liking. I'm very good at setups and assembly as I used to be in electronics and when I was younger I worked in machine shops but wasn't a machinist. Just basic layout, assembly, mods, drilling parts etc...handy stuff. And yes, I've assembled a few guitars. One is a 2007 Am Tele neck on a Rutters Tele body with HB's and a 2 point modern Fender style mount Tremolo Bridge made by Mann. Great bridge! Very solid, perfect fit, super sustain, easy to set up with great string spacing. Any way, yes I could do an assembly...just thought it would be easier, ha ha, if I just found a guitar with most of what I needed.
 

doctymie

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Posts
212
Location
St Louis
I'd second the above on the Jimmy Page Mirror Tele. I think it checks most of your boxes. Fender says it has "vintage" frets. I love mine. It's only second behind my 64AV.
 

Gorquin

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Posts
406
Location
Texas
Doctymie: Tell me about your American Vintage '64 Tele please. That's one I have been considering. I checks the boxes except for the frets...but I can still play 60's-70's frets I just like playing larger frets more. I have a 1976 Strat that I'm selling on Reverb because I prefer how a Tele lays on my body better.....Insane...how the 70's Tele's go for sooo much more than the Strats!

OK...so your 64AV?? Inquiring minds want to know. LOL Really!
 

Wildcard_35

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
548
Location
Austin, Texas
Check out Berly guitars on instagram and Reverb.com. They have some kind of unique tele-style guitars that always look good to me. I think you could get what you want from them.
 

FuncleManson

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 23, 2021
Posts
475
Age
58
Location
Moline, IL
Hey All !

I'll try to keep this short.
I don't know if I have a dilemma or I'm not looking at the right Tele models.

Price range for a used guitar....$1100 - $1800.

I prefer transparent finishes like the old 50's and 60's guitars. Clear turned yellowish/orange like a Nachocaster, or the American '52 reissues, or beat up and faded like Robben Ford's 60's Tele or transparent Desert Sand or Blonde finishes.

I also would prefer: Ash, Nitro/Lacquer, Ashtray Bridge w/3 saddles, Kluson type split tip tuners, a narrow neck (front to back) but 1 5/8"+...more like 1 11/16" and Large Frets. I could change hardware so it's mainly the neck and body if something fits the budget. I could go Maple or Rosewood depending on the body. I would prefer 10+ years old but could go for something newer.

The dilemma appears to be that most of the nitro/lacquer finishes are on 50's reissue models with large necks and small frets. I have small/med hands. I played some riffs that are harder for me to play on a variety of necks and I play better on more narrow necks...playing them one after another at one sitting back and forth.

I like the HWY 1 Texas Tele but the necks aren't nitro and even if the body has a nice relic the neck, unless really beat up, is going to look newish for years, they don't seem to age. And on those I'd probably prefer the blonde but with a rosewood FB which they didn't make on the Texas version.
Some of the Road Worn 50's could be considered but then again...small frets...fat necks.
The American Vintage '64 looks interesting but to purchase and eventually refret with larger frets would most likely put me well over budget.

So, what am I missing....?

Or, do I need to assemble a partscaster Tele or... hunt for a bargain and do a refret and/or neck shave?


Suggestions?

You should be able to build a partscaster to those specs for near the lower end of your budget, or less, depending on how expensive your pickups are. I've got a similar blackguard project in the works, except with a catalpa body, fat neck and stainless steel frets. I think I'm gonna try a set of Bootstraps. I think it should end up not much more than $800 all in.
 

doctymie

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Posts
212
Location
St Louis
Doctymie: Tell me about your American Vintage '64 Tele please. That's one I have been considering. I checks the boxes except for the frets...but I can still play 60's-70's frets I just like playing larger frets more. I have a 1976 Strat that I'm selling on Reverb because I prefer how a Tele lays on my body better.....Insane...how the 70's Tele's go for sooo much more than the Strats!

OK...so your 64AV?? Inquiring minds want to know. LOL Really!

The 64 gray bottom pickups are fabulous, some of the best Fender made. The neck can give me the darker tones that I love, while the bridge gets you that classic twang. The neck is comfortable. I prefer fat necks, like on the 70th Broadcaster or the Vintera 50s. But this one is not that. It's also not thin like most modern Fender necks (my 04 MIA Strat, for instance). I also just love rosewood fingerboards. Add that Lake Placid Blue finish to it all and it's just a winner. This is the AV (post 2012) and not the AVRI (earlier, which had the very thin finish that people didn't like because it chipped too easily).

I see the 64 and 62 AVs on reverb rather frequently in various finishes.
 

kuch

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
1,768
Location
Great Northwest
a fender 52 avri hotrod tele might fit your needs.... if you can accept the sd mini hum neck pickup. it has a 9.5" fretboard radius with medium jumbo frets. I've owned 2 of them and the pre '08 models had a slimmer neck.

good luck in your search

20220130_104847.jpg
 

Gorquin

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Posts
406
Location
Texas
I saw Robben in the 70's with George Harrison on the Dark Horse tour at MSG in NYC. His Tele now
looks great all beat up!
 

kuch

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
1,768
Location
Great Northwest
Here are a few guitars I like the look of.

https://reverb.com/item/56181289-2006-fender-telecaster-mij-52-reissue-telecaster-tl52-88tx but it's Poly.


Here's another one for you. It's my 2011 Am Std Ash. Someone on another thread posted that it's a nitro finish. I looked up the article and that's what it said, but I would have to look into it further to confirm for own sake. Anyway, I think these are going for around $1100-$1200 with ohsc.

Definitely slimmer neck than my 52 hotrod

20220331_122929.jpg
20220331_122950.jpg
 

John C

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Posts
5,061
Location
Kansas City
Here's another one for you. It's my 2011 Am Std Ash. Someone on another thread posted that it's a nitro finish. I looked up the article and that's what it said, but I would have to look into it further to confirm for own sake. Anyway, I think these are going for around $1100-$1200 with ohsc.

Definitely slimmer neck than my 52 hotrod

View attachment 1019066 View attachment 1019067

In 2011 Fender had an Anniversary edition that was an ash body American Standard with a nitro finish, but they also had the "regular" American Standard in natural with the "regular" urethane finish. And to make things more confusing both had that 60th Anniversary of the Telecaster neck plate. I think if you run the serial number through Fender's lookup it should tell you if its the Anniversary model or the regular American Standard.
 




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