So considering getting my first tele

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Blackbird86, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Blackbird86

    Blackbird86 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2019
    Location:
    Indiana
    My main electric currently is a custom shop strat. Considering buying a new tele in the next couple years (after a nice acoustic and a gibson sg standard). I played a baja telecaster at the shop and loved its brightness and twang compared to my strat. The only thing that threw me off was that it's made in mexico. Are there any tele models out there that are super bright and twangy like the baja but made in america?

    Thanks!
     
    Telecaster88 likes this.
  2. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    222
    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    There are many smarter people than me here, but IMO all telecasters are bright and twangy. It's in the pickups and the bridge, and to an extent in the three saddle design. Try an American Pro, or some used American Standards. You can't go wrong. The Baja does have a pretty unique neck, so take that into consideration.

    All that said, Mexican Fenders are great guitars, and nicer at times than many American made examples. It takes some psychological doing, but getting over the MIM bias will open up enormous options for you!

    (Along with many MIAs, I have a MIM Deluxe Strat and a MIM Tele Thinline that are among my all time favorite guitars.)
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  3. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Why are you turned off if its made in Mexico?

    Tons of us here loved it because of the tone not because of where it's made.. and also the Squiers that are made in China and indonesia are also bang for the buck! dont ignore them when you see them, try them out and see if you like it..

    Other than that, if it has to be US made, There are plenty.. Start with the American Performer, and then American Professional, and the American Traditional 50's..

    but honestly, you can never go wrong with a Baja made in Mexico.
     
    Deeve and 8barlouie like this.
  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,854
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Space
    I too came to Tele's after 12 years with an American Strat. I went with a MIM Standard. I've modified it a bit, but in mostly meaningless ways, tone-wise (new pickguard, control plate that pushes the volume knob a little farther from the switch, etc.).

    I still love my Strat and it's still my number one, but that Mexican Tele gives it a serious run for it's money. They're both fantastic guitars that each do a different thing and do it excellently, and I rarely think of where either one was made.

    You shop for what you want, of course. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that MIM necessarily equals "bad", or less than MIA in terms of the quality of the thing.
     
    JL_LI and 8barlouie like this.
  5. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    222
    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Forgot about it in my earlier post, but you might also look for a used American Deluxe Tele, those are really nice guitars too, and a little cheaper than an American Professional.
     
  6. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    755
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    Position 4.
     
    8barlouie likes this.
  7. Fuggle

    Fuggle TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    Amen to that! Go for a taco tele!
     
  8. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,151
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
    Any of the AVRI's 62 or 64 should work.
     
  9. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,101
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
    omaha
    Don't even mess around. Get a custom shop Nocaster, they are by far the nicest teles that Fender makes. Since you want an american guitar and are already used to custom shop quality, you won't be happy with anything less. For some reason it seems like the custom shop always does a nice job on those blonde CS nocasters. Nothing else they produce seems to come close.
     
    Telecaster88 likes this.
  10. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,761
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    Seekonk, MA
  11. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    6,171
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    I've got a Mexican Standard Strat and a Mexican Cabronita. Both are just as well made as my US made Fenders, and get just as much love and playing time. Baja is a great guitar, and would be a wonderful introduction to a Tele. Having said that, you can't go wrong with a US Tele either. I'd say go try a bunch out and pick the one that feels and sounds the best to you regardless of where it was made.
     
    JL_LI and Telecaster88 like this.
  12. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    480
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    Location:
    Denver
    Welcome!

    It might help us to know your price range. You're basically searching for that signature Telecaster sound. To my ears, many if not most of the single coil Telecasters I've played have had that bright tone in the bridge position (pretty helpful, huh? =)). I'd avoid humbuckers/P90s/lace sensors...etc. A lot of folks will look to the Nocasters and early Telecasters (and their reissues). Those models are kinda like the trunk of the tree for that sound.

    That Ensenada Mexico plant has only been around for like 32 years. It sounds like it took some time to get things figured out but the quality gap between MiA and MiM has been steadily getting smaller. There are small things about the workmanship on say...my MiM Strat that strike me as not the most precise. Many of the fret tangs were already sprouting when I bought it, the thick gloss layer on the face of the maple fretboard dimples down right along the frets, the outline of what looks kinda like a CNC entry point on the neck pocket protrudes into the body (but is hidden by the pickguard). Minor stuff like that.

    If you haven't been doing this already, you might wanna consider taking your amp with ya when you go to the guitar store. When searching for a specific tone, it really helps to have your own amp.

    Good luck, I hope you enjoy the Telecaster as much as many of us have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    JL_LI likes this.
  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,564
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    All Fender guitars are partscasters at heart. When you or I build one from scratch or modify one we already own, we decide which will parts go into it. So it's a partscaster. Baja? American Professional? Nashville Deluxe? A product manager decided which parts to build it from but at heart, it's a partscaster. I've toured the plant in Corona. Custom shop is something special, but I was told that a lot of the hardware used in the US is shipped to Ensenada for assembly into guitars there. Outside of Custom Shop where you specify your partscaster with professional help and decide exactly how beat up you want it to look, the biggest difference I see is which side of the border the guys who built the guitar live on. That's especially true because almost no one leaves any Fender guitar exactly as it came from the factory. Find one you like. Like @Bergy said, bring your amp with you when you shop and find one to love. I have guitars made in four different countries and can't honestly say one is better than the others... or maybe not. The one from Japan is still just about flawless, even after 10 years. For the ones from the US, Canada, and Mexico, build quality's about the same all around and anything I didn't like has been replaced.
     
    WingedWords likes this.
  14. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    459
    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Location:
    Cicero, IL
    If you're here on the forum, there ain't nothing to consider. Get what you like and play the heck out of it.
     
  15. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,511
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    The MIM products are seriously good if you don't absolutely have to have a US made model. I actually prefer my Baja to the US Standard Tele I had a while back and my Mexi Cab is decent quality too. Both solid, good sounding workhorses that have served me well at many gigs, rehearsals and jams.

    All personal taste I guess.
     
    WingedWords and 8barlouie like this.
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,781
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    The brightness and twang in a Tele is 90% the ergonomics of where your picking hand naturally rests on the guitar. A Strat volume knob keeps your picking up by the middle to neck pickups so you don't knock the volume around. A Tele you're resting your hand sometimes behind the bridge plate and picking on top of or between the bridge pickup and the saddles. Do the same thing on a Strat and you can be bright and twangy.

    In fact, get a set of Tele pickups mounted in a Strat pickguard and move the controls and you can sound like a Tele easy.

    .
     
  17. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,522
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    Green Lane , Pa
    Even made in USA Fenders are made by Hispanic workers. So what’s the big deal. Great guitars no matter where they make them and fifties Bajas rule !


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Mexitele Blues likes this.
  18. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,443
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    The nearest US-made model to a '50s Baja is probably the American original '50s. It costs about twice as much as a Baja did and has a nice nitro paint finish. The pickups aren't quite as good and the frets are a bit taller, which I don't like- but otherwise, it's a reasonable alternative, if you can't find the real thing. :lol::D:cool:
     
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    10,487
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    If your motivation is to buy American (USA), I can respect that. I do that, too, but not exclusively. I'm retired, have health issues, etc., so I sometimes have to consider guitars made south of the border, or north of the border, or even somewhere in the Far East. My collection is about half and half: 8 made in the USA, 7 in the Far East: 2 MiJ, 2 MiK, 1 Indonesia, 1 MiC or MiK, and 1 probably MIC.

    If your hesitation to buy MiM is about concern for build quality, as you can see by the responses in this thread, many of us have no such concerns. And I guess your own playing of the Baja should tell you that as well.

    FWIW, all 5 of my teles are custom made in the USA (Delafield, Wisconsin) by Bob Logan of Logan Custom Guitars.
    10-08-2019 - Logan teles, Philco cabinet - 2.jpg
     
    Telecaster88 likes this.
  20. cincyguitarplay

    cincyguitarplay Tele-Meister

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    236
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    ohio
    I just bought a Squier Tele...its an awesome guitar...made in China...and it plays and sounds better than some Teles that were made in USA...twangy and very bright!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.