Refinishing a Special Edition Amber FMT Tele - am I crazy?

Mcirish

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Location
Chicago area
I have been trying to find my perfect Telecaster style guitar. Some things that are non-standard were:
1) Set neck (not a bolt-on) - not critical but maybe nice
2) Control cavity routed from the back - I don't this the plate look
3) TV Jones classic pickups (half-way point between a sc and humbucker)
4) Pickup selector not in the typical Tele position (my fingers are too big to make fast changes)
5) Gold top with a stained back, sides and neck
6) Belly cut

I really liked the 2019 Cabronita in Gold, but it has a few problems:
1) Bolt-on neck (I could live with this)
2) No tone control (that's a problem) - doesn't look like there is enough room to add one either
3) Impossible to find one (I heard they only made a few hundred total?)
4) I could buy a few good guitars for $2K instead of just this one overpriced guitar

I ended up just buying an Special Edition Amber FMT HH. I don't even have it yet but I'm already thinking of what I want to do to it to make it what I want.
1) Install some TV Jones Classic pickups
2) Strip the top and paint it gold (that seems a real crazy idea. I'm just not into the flame top look. I was really wanting a gold top

I know your are thinking I should just buy a Gold top LP. I do already have a gold top Gretsch Jet and a black Duo Jet. I also have two Telecasters already. I don't really care for LPs. Too many controls, bad head angle, tuning issues and I also like the shape of a Tele better.

The FMT HH isn't a very expensive guitar because it was made overseas. I think they might be made in Indonesia now. The one I bought is a little older so I'm not sure where it was made. It may be tough to get the poly finish off the top. I'd then have to spray the top with lacquer and I'm not really sure how well the poly and lacquer would stick to each other. Yep, I'm crazy and a little bored.

Thoughts?
 

Singin' Dave

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At first I was thinking - just play it man!

But on second thought, I'd do this:

Swap the pups save the originals and then just play it...give it some time. A finish is not the soul of the guitar and if it makes sounds that make you fall in love, beauty is in the eye of the literal be(you)- holder.

If it doesn't cover the sonic ground you want, swap back in the originals, save the TV Jones and sell it.

If you love its tone but the finish still bothers you, THEN think about popping for a refin OR finding another goldie to check that box. By then, your reserves are back up and you've just added another sonic treat to your arsenal.

Patience Grasshopper :)
 

Bakersfield66

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I have the Amber FMT and I love the plan. I'm not a huge fan of the SD pickups in it and am thinking of suitable replacements and never thought of TV Jones, but that is a smashing idea. I'm also with you about the color; it's too something for my normal tastes. lol I guess I'm not a flame type guy. Now, I have to really think about it. Thanks for the inspiration! Gold top or Pelham Blue...hmmm
 

dreamingtele

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Go for it man! Nothings too crazy nowadays and if you got time or money to burn and do it, no one’s stopping you!

Honestly if I’m gonna change anything on that guitar, its the slim neck! But obviously you cant since it’s a set neck. But id probably refret to 6105 and re-radius to 9.5 or something.

But go for it man. Excited to see the end product!
 

John C

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Kansas City
Sounds like a good plan - not sure about what will be involved in stripping the finish and refinishing one of these though for that part but it should be an interesting project

Regarding the country of manufacture - these are made for Fender by Cort/Cor-Teck (sp??) so they were originally made in Korea but have been made in Indonesia for at least the last 10-12 years.
 

Mcirish

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The Tele.jpg
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Thanks for all the replies. I think Dave is right. I will install the TV Jones Classics is the Amber FMT and then use it for a bit. If I really love it, I can then figure out the best way to make it look like I want it to. The pictures are of the two guitars I'm writing about. I love the gold top on the Cabronita.
 

Sax-son

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Three Rivers, CA
View attachment 996886 View attachment 996887

Thanks for all the replies. I think Dave is right. I will install the TV Jones Classics is the Amber FMT and then use it for a bit. If I really love it, I can then figure out the best way to make it look like I want it to. The pictures are of the two guitars I'm writing about. I love the gold top on the Cabronita.
Oh man! Both of those guitars are to die for in my opinion. I love the colors on both of those guitars. To refinish that amber ax would be a travesty in my opinion. Just get a guitar in the color you like if that is a must.

PS! I have the TV Jones Classics in my LCs. I got the classic in the neck and the Classic plus in the bridge. A perfect Filtertron marriage in my opinion. You might have to get the TV Jones mounting rings if you are using standard size Filtertrons or you could get the humbucker sized classics for the humbucker routing on the FMT.
 
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Mcirish

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Joined
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Posts
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Location
Chicago area
Well, I got the Amber FMT HH in a few minutes ago. It's in very nice condition for a used instrument. Well built and holds tuning. I have a feeling I may be passing it along though. I know it's been said by many people, but I didn't believe them, but the neck it fairly thin. I know it is listed as a C profile but to me, this feels like a shallow D profile. It's not bad, but it is different than what i am used to. Surprisingly, the most comfortable neck to me is the soft V of a Gretsch Duo Jet 59. Well, I thought this would be the one for me but I guess not. I'm sure I will take a loss on it as I paid way too much for shipping and tax. Bummer. It is pretty.

This may have convinced me to only buy what I can actually play in person.
 

Mcirish

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Joined
May 17, 2014
Posts
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Location
Chicago area
I've put my FMT HH up for sale. It's really a nice guitar but my hand can't work with a thinner neck. PM me if anyone is interested. I know I will lose a ton of money on the sale. Bummer. It really is nice
 

Mcirish

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Joined
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Posts
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Location
Chicago area
What I had wanted was a tele shaped gretsch. I know, silly. I do own two great telecasters already and got the FMT HH to swap out the pickups with Filtertrons. It would have worked out but the neck is just a bit thin for my playing style and the age of my hands. So I will let it go.
I did end up just buying a Gretsch G6118T Anniversary in vintage white. Kind of a low bling White Falcon. I guess the filtertron itch is done for now. I still really, really like the look of that Cabronita Tele with the gold top. If I had found one in my area, I would have bought it!
 

hemingway

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What I had wanted was a tele shaped gretsch. I know, silly. I do own two great telecasters already and got the FMT HH to swap out the pickups with Filtertrons. It would have worked out but the neck is just a bit thin for my playing style and the age of my hands. So I will let it go.
I did end up just buying a Gretsch G6118T Anniversary in vintage white. Kind of a low bling White Falcon. I guess the filtertron itch is done for now. I still really, really like the look of that Cabronita Tele with the gold top. If I had found one in my area, I would have bought it!
Sounds like you might want one of these
https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Schecter-PT-Fastback-Gold/3B8M
 

xtrajerry

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Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Posts
10,879
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
I have been trying to find my perfect Telecaster style guitar. Some things that are non-standard were:
1) Set neck (not a bolt-on) - not critical but maybe nice
2) Control cavity routed from the back - I don't this the plate look
3) TV Jones classic pickups (half-way point between a sc and humbucker)
4) Pickup selector not in the typical Tele position (my fingers are too big to make fast changes)
5) Gold top with a stained back, sides and neck
6) Belly cut

I really liked the 2019 Cabronita in Gold, but it has a few problems:
1) Bolt-on neck (I could live with this)
2) No tone control (that's a problem) - doesn't look like there is enough room to add one either
3) Impossible to find one (I heard they only made a few hundred total?)
4) I could buy a few good guitars for $2K instead of just this one overpriced guitar

I ended up just buying an Special Edition Amber FMT HH. I don't even have it yet but I'm already thinking of what I want to do to it to make it what I want.
1) Install some TV Jones Classic pickups
2) Strip the top and paint it gold (that seems a real crazy idea. I'm just not into the flame top look. I was really wanting a gold top

I know your are thinking I should just buy a Gold top LP. I do already have a gold top Gretsch Jet and a black Duo Jet. I also have two Telecasters already. I don't really care for LPs. Too many controls, bad head angle, tuning issues and I also like the shape of a Tele better.

The FMT HH isn't a very expensive guitar because it was made overseas. I think they might be made in Indonesia now. The one I bought is a little older so I'm not sure where it was made. It may be tough to get the poly finish off the top. I'd then have to spray the top with lacquer and I'm not really sure how well the poly and lacquer would stick to each other. Yep, I'm crazy and a little bored.

Thoughts?
Get the guitar first and play it for awhile before you decide if it needs anything. I know those get lots of love from some people..
 




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