So tell me more about the Fender classic series 50s

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by klasher, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. klasher

    klasher Tele-Holic

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    So in a separate thread someone was kind enough to give me the fender part numbers for the pickups in a classic series 50s tele (not the squier CV50, but the Fender classic series 50s). Can someone tell me more about these axes? Are they boat anchors? Are they super light? Does the answer depend on the production year? Is the neck super chunky or somewhat thin? Or somewhere in between? What value are the pots? How does it compare in tone to the squier CV50s? Noticeable step up? Or is it impossible to tell the difference?
     
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  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    They're basically Fender's Mexico plant taking the torch from the old MIJ reissues of the '80's and '90's, which were outstanding guitars. The pickups and electronics of the Classics are significantly better than MIJ reissues, and the build quality of the wood parts, and finish quality, tend to be slightly lesser, but they are still quite good compared to MIJ.

    All things considered, while I am a huge MIJ Fender fan, I think the Classic Series are better and more "ready to roll" guitars for the money, because the electronics are up to snuff, and don't "need" to be changed out. While I think that the MIJ ones are technically built better and finished better, they improve dramatically once the electronics are gutted and replaced. The Classics, I would keep bone stock, except perhaps some nut and fret work (like I do on most new guitars, even expensive ones).

    Weight can be all over the place. Neck profiles I'm not sure of.

    They are good guitars for the money on the used market, and they were even OK values when new (I think the regular Classic Series reissues were usually retail priced at $600 to $700 new, while the special ones like the Baja were $800).
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
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  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Mine is 7lbs 6 oz, pots 250K. Neck I would call vintage C, incredibly comfortable, bigger than modern C or CV50 neck. My favorite Tele. I like the pickups better than my Baja, your tastes may be different. I put in a 4-way switch. You should really play this guitar but they aren't that easy to find.
     
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  4. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    I have the 60s version and it is a great guitar. I have bought it online after asking how heavy it was and couldn't be happier.
    The classic series is simply amazing.
     
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  5. Kreepy

    Kreepy Tele-Meister

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    I currently own 3 of the classic series telecasters. Bought the 60s first on a gear binge and didn't realize what I had. Fell in love with it and bought a 50s to go with it and a 72 custom. Had the 72 telecaster deluxe reissue but didn't like the 12 inch neck radius. It's not for everyone but I love the 7.25 radius on the classic series .
     
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  6. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Had 2 classic 50s and a classic 60s. I think they;re great, but to be honest i now have a squier CV 50s and i like it better then any of them after swapping the bridge plate for a AVRI one (ebay about $10-12) and fender compensated brass saddles ($17) and a fender USA custom 52 bridge pickup and twang king neck pickup. Before you think thats a lot of modding, note that i did the same to the MIM classics (except the plate because it's already a USA plate) and it was even more necassary because the classic vibe pickups are better ! Sill not great like what i put in it tho. The MIM saddles are also not as good IMO.

    Heres the thing..as much as i liked the MIM classic 50s teles, the CV just has a much less plinky sounding high end and the low strings are tighter where the CVs were loose sounding in the lows. And it just sounds fatter and smoother with gain but as you clean up it gets real twangy. The MIMs sounded plinky in the high end by comparison even with gain. Just my opinion, but i like this CV a lot more then the MIM classic series after having 3 of them. It's just a killer tele. Both IMO need upgrades to be top notch tho, but thats cheap. And the CV allows more wiggle room for mods being 1/2 the cost to begin with. And finally, the CV does something that speaks volumes about it's goodness.....it inspires me to play a lot more than i usually do I have a CV 50s strat too that is also great, tho i prefer its stock pickups to fender USA. (tried 2 different sets in it) It's rare i stick with stock pups on any guitar but those CV 50s A3 ups are fat and great. You just can't beat the CV line. But if u get one act fast because they are moving production to indonesia and i doubt they will be the same.

    As to the necks, that could be a deal breaker for you. I Love the CV 50s necks. Theyre thin, but not super thin like soe of the other CVs. Actually had a MIM classic player 50s neck once and it was the same or maybe even thinner. But the classic 50s MIM are much fatter. I'd say Beefy but not huge. I prefer the CV, you may or may not depending on your preference. But the medium frets and 9.5" radius and size all add up to what i feel is a perfect neck. It plays itself IMO. The MIM classic are vintage frets with 7.5" radius, so that is a consideration for you too.
     
  7. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a 50s classic in sunburst, my only Tele. The only things I changed out were the Jack socket, and I added some Wilkinson compensated saddles. Sounds amazing now, no plinking as mentioned by @fender4life, the saddles made a big difference. I think the overall fit and finish on these MIM models has improved tenfold. I've had a 60s classic too, a little older than my 2018 50s, both have been absolutely perfect in fit and finish. I would really recommend these Teles, although I'm not sold on the new Pau Ferro fretboard on the 60s, or any other MIM Fender to be honest, it's rough and dry needs to be darkened and sanded down, but ymmv.
     
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  8. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

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    Play them all and see what you think. I have an opinion, others have opinions, but they're nothing but our experiences and opinions and they may or may not have any resemblance to what you experience or think.

    They're fine guitars, no doubt. So are the CV, so are MIJ Fenders, etc. It's reasonable to cross-shop them all.

    My .02? I'd take the typical MIM Classic series all day long over the typical Squier CV, easily, without hesitation. In my experience, better build, better pickups, etc. Just a better guitar. Again--my experience, which runs counter to that of many others.

    Again, I personally prefer MIJ Fenders to MIC or MIM, but that's just my personal experience. I don't pretend it's biblical truth.

    So again, I say play them and find one you like a lot and get it, and don't worry about where it's from. A good example of any of them will do the job wonderfully.

    IF anyone says there are hard and fast rules about which guitars are better they're not telling you the truth (in my opinion!). The best guitar for you is the best guitar for you, and only you can find that. And it may or may not be the more expensive guitar.

    For me, sometimes it was. Sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes it depends. Example: the smoothest playing guitar I've ever owned happened to be the most expensive one I've ever owned. However, the guitar I own that most often makes the hair on my neck stand up because it just sounds and feels perfect is nowhere near one of the most expensive guitars I've owned. In fact I put it together from AllParts parts (effectively Fender MIJ parts).

    Go play. Listen. Feel. Then pick the one that moves you. Any audience won't give a crap about where the guitar came from. They'll only care if you can make it sing.
     
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  9. WelshBluesMan

    WelshBluesMan Tele-Meister

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    I owned a fiesta red one for a while, before selling it back to my dad, who'd sold it to me in the first place. It was a really nice Strat, a bit lighter than my MIM Standard. The neck felt fine, although the soft-V shape took a bit of getting used to after years of playing modern-C shape necks.

    One thing I was never keen on was the fretboard radius, and the vintage style frets. It took some serious adjustments to get it playing as fast as a modern Strat. But it's certainly doable if you're prepared to do a full setup.

    I don't know if it was a mod by a previous owner, or if it's a standard feature on these Strats, but mine had a treble bleed cap on the volume, which made it very ice picky on the bridge pickup. I clipped it off eventually, which warmed the tone up a hell of a lot.

    EDIT: Definitely take a look at the Classic Player series too. I bought a '60s one after selling the red one. It's by far the best playing and sounding Strat I've ever owned. Vintage look and tone, with modern playability.


    Classic Series '50s in fiesta red.
    Fiesta Red Stratocaster.jpg

    Classic Player '60s in sonic blue.
    Sonic Blue Stratocaster.jpg
     
  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    I disagree, and having owned about 6 MIM classic strats and teles and 5 CV's i have yet to own a CV who's build literally wasn't as good or better then not just MIM classics, but any USA strat or tele i have owned. The MIMs are about the same but a few of mone had less than perfect builds and one was downright pathetic. As to pickups the MIMs have plastic bobbins which do not sound like USA pickups because they winds are wound around plastic sleeves the mags are in which moves them slightly away from the magnet and creates a softer attack that results in a less cris tone. The teles don't even have a baseplate, a detail constantly mentioned as big art of the teles bridge p/u tone ! They are IMO passable at best and every one i owned i put USA fenders in to great improvement. Add to that a ton of posts about how good CV pickups are and trust me, you are in the minority in that opinon. And of the uncountable guitars i have owned in my life there are only 2 i can recal leaving the stock pickups in, a gibson with P90s and my CV strat ! The ones in my CV tele aren't bad either even to not my favs and i replaced them But look at the youtube video where a guy A/B's a fender AVRI 52 with a CV 50s and playes the same riffs on each labeling them guitar A and guitar B, then in a later video reveals which was which. Almost every reply chose the CV as the better sounding one. My belief is what they were hearing wasn't the pickups but the guitar's inherent voice. But either way you take it, i think that speaks volumes about the CV. My 50s tele is my fav tele to date and my CV strat while not my fav strat to date is great and hangs with my MIM classic easily, and thats with the MIM sporting a set of fender USA while the CV sports the great sounding A3 stock pickups. Love that set enough that i would buy them off ebay for another strat if i had a 3rd. And lets not forget this fact....street prices are $800 for the MIM and $400 for the CV.

    IMO the big difference that should make the decision for anyone is neck and fret size and radius. If the CV's are too thin for you, which in some cases like the 60s tele are ridiculously thing, of if radius and fret size are better for you on one or the other, that's should really be the deciding factor. But if u r good with either i would recommend the CV 50s tele all day long. Mine at least is spectacular.
     
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  11. klasher

    klasher Tele-Holic

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    The CV50s tele's are fun to play, and I've heard they're remarkably consistent from guitar to guitar. But there's something about the Classic Series 50s that just sounds more like what I'm after. It's a shame to hear their quality is inconsistent, but that doesn't surprise me about Fender. I'm more surprised that Squier's are consistent than I am that Fender's are not.
     
  12. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I have two classic series Fender guitars (70s Jazz Bass and Lacquer Jazzmaster). Much better than the old MIJ Fenders in finish and electronics. Full size pots, well constructed and fret work is great. Some finish flaws in both but they’re minute. They could do the shield them better, mind. The hardware is usually Taiwanese/Korean on MiMs I think, and I find a lot of mid-range no-brand parts are slightly better quality. Not a lot between these and a high-end Squier now... I think the MiM Fender are maybe 15-20% overpriced when you compare the quality of the competition.
     
  13. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    the thinnest sounding guitar i ever played..kept the case tho..one of those that looked better than it sounded..the guitar that sent me back to Gibson ..so i do appreciate it for that aspect 50's tele.jpg
     
  14. jiri_c

    jiri_c TDPRI Member

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    hello.
    classic 50' is my only tele (and the only electric guitar as well). i got mine (year 2007 model, i think) used. and it was plinky, oh yeah,i must agree. but i bought it in that well known compulsive moment. i had an MIM std 2011 at the time, and even stock std. (with ceramic pups etc) was sounding way better. but i had a better feel on the 50. resonance, neck, touch... it felt way way better. so the MIM std went, my new used 50' tele got brass Wilkinson saddles and Lindy Fralin pickups and i know, that this is for good. i would have to pay at least as twice as much to get into "noticeably better" level. i am fine. the guitar is great.
     
  15. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had one of the 60's models, and the workmanship seemed every bit as good as the two MIA's that I had. I didn't like the guitar though, something about the neck profile just didn't do it for me.
     
  16. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool! As I said, it was just my opinion which runs counter to others. In my experience, based on guitars I've owned and played (on every price level) I've found the MIM Fenders to be consistently better than the CVs. I know others (clearly you) feel differently and that's fine. I didn't state my thoughts as a fact like many do, claiming that my thoughts have to be the right thoughts. It's my experience. And while you say "trust me you're in the minority in your opinion" I don't agree with that either. But that's Ok, we don't have to agree.

    To be clear--I do not currently own a CV or Classic 50s tele. I do own one MIM fender, a CP Jazzmaster. And I own guitars made in the following places: Mexico, USA, Japan, China, Korea. So I'm not a snob or tied to one manufacturing location.

    I have owned $3000+ hand-made acoustics and electrics that played heavenly, and I have played MIC import guitars that play and sound amazing too. Not just for the $$, just straight out great.

    The mix of guitars I own now run the gamut from expensive to affordable, from all over as stated. I kept the ones that speak to me and sold the ones that didn't. Some of ones I sold were cheap, and some were the most expensive guitars I've ever owned. You won't find me saying that they sucked, or that that type of guitar or from that manufacturer or location sucks because I didn't click with it. I just didn't feel it, so on it went.

    That's why I said he needs to play guitars and find what works, period. My opinion is...frankly...pretty useless to him as a player. It's good to do research but nothing says more than one's own fingers and ears.
     
  17. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    See my experience is the total opposite to yours. I've always found CV models to be crammed with cheap nasty electrics, hopeless pickups, pots that are total junkyard trash. Fit and finish has been really poor too. I had 2 60s strats that both needed neck shims, were badly finished on the body and neck. In fact one of the bodies didn't even have a veneer cover, looked like 4 to 5 piece body, and showed. Utter junk!!!!

    None of the above is true, but do you see what your post looked like? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  18. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    So what....i should lie and downplay what i see as so good about them? Then why bother replying to the OP? It only sounds silly if you assume a inexpensive guitar can't be that good, which many wrongfully do. Thank god for that however because otherwise my CV woulda cost e twice as much.
     
  19. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Uhuh......:rolleyes:
     
  20. MrHamburger

    MrHamburger Tele-Holic

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    I bought a classic 50s lacquer Tele neck for my partscaster after playing one in a local shop. I like vintage frets and radius and the neck is slightly chunky. Standards feel thin to me and I had a 50s baja neck for a minute but it was slightly too chunky. Squier cv & vm feel to thin to me. My cs neck is one of the most comfortable necks I’ve played, the other is a cij strat same frets and radius but v shape.
    Your best bet goldie lox is to play a bunch of different models and see what you like. Even then you might not know until you play the thing several hours wether it will be a good fit.
    I personally prefer to find a neck I like because that really dictates the feel of the guitar. Pickups and hardware aren’t that hard to change.
     
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