Talk me into a Bullet Tele

68Telebass

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DOOOO ITTTT!!!!!
Perfect mod platform, and pretty nice stock as well.

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drmordo

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I have to say my Bullet is a surprisingly good guitar. The neck is straight and the fretwork is ok. The fretboard feels flatter than 9.5" to me, but that might be my imagination. I upgraded the electronics in mine (Stratosphere had the Jimmy Page PUs and wiring for a while). I agree about the 6 saddle bridge. I may buy a 3 saddle ashtray and replace mine.

LPB Tele.jpg


I played mine for most of this gig, which I have posted before:
 

John Stephen

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...The fretboard feels flatter than 9.5" to me, but that might be my imagination...
Interesting that you mention that. I've got the Bullet Tele, and also a CV 60s Thinline Tele. Both are advertised as having 9.5" radius, but the Bullet fretboard feels flatter than the Thinline. Not by much--just a tad--but noticeable.
 

Ronzo

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there’s mine. Tort pick guard and Bootstrap Alnico III pickups. And brass saddles. Bridge was ok as is-

yes to flat radius. But plays nicely…oh…abalone knobs with the surf green/tort.

Oh- “Raw Nickel” on the neck pickup cover…:D
Really pretty. Tort looks great on that color.

You have the “Bill Kirchen reversed control plate”, too. 3-way or 4-way switching?
 

1 21 gigawatts

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Thanks all! I have been all over the place in my tele search since making this post (from Bullet to Monoprice to Hadean to MIM to Classic Vibe to Affinity back to Classic Vibe...). I think that I have come full circle- or maybe I've just worn myself out. :lol:

GC has the Surf Green Bullet on sale now, and my local store has it in stock. It is my son's birthday, so depending on where he wants to go to lunch, I may be able to pop in to check it out. If so, I have a feeling that I'll bring it home.
 

John Stephen

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Interesting that you mention that. I've got the Bullet Tele, and also a CV 60s Thinline Tele. Both are advertised as having 9.5" radius, but the Bullet fretboard feels flatter than the Thinline. Not by much--just a tad--but noticeable.
I just used my handy-dandy Stewmac radius gauge on my Bullet Tele, and it measures as 10". Which is kinda how it feels to me. Great great guitar.
 

John Stephen

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Thanks all! I have been all over the place in my tele search since making this post (from Bullet to Monoprice to Hadean to MIM to Classic Vibe to Affinity back to Classic Vibe...). I think that I have come full circle- or maybe I've just worn myself out. :lol:

GC has the Surf Green Bullet on sale now, and my local store has it in stock. It is my son's birthday, so depending on where he wants to go to lunch, I may be able to pop in to check it out. If so, I have a feeling that I'll bring it home.
How’d it go? Did you bring one home?
 

1 21 gigawatts

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Fate intervened and my son chose a restaurant not anywhere close to GC. I planned to go this weekend, but I just ordered a new amp instead.

Having had a week to think about it, I think that I was more interested in the deal than the guitar. The lack of a good way to install a vintage bridge is a big deal to me. Better off to not settle and wait for the right one to present itself.
 

Ronzo

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My Squier Teles all still have the stock six-saddle bridge. It works for me; YMMV. My MIM Tele got a vintage bridge and ashtray when I changed the pickups. I feel it looks better aesthetically, but the effect on the tone was minimal. Again, YMMV. But I wouldn’t let the stock bridge get in the way of the purchase if you like it other than that.
 
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Willie Johnson

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I think you know in your heart you want that Bullet, but if I can offer just one last alternative in case you really want that vintage bridge:

View attachment 996053

$520+shipping and it says "Fender" on the headstock.
That does seem like it would be a pretty cool guitar--50's style body with pau ferro board--but on the other hand, if you don't care about the name on the headstock, you could get two (or more) differently configured Teles for the same money (or less). My Squier Tele Bullet, Squier Cabronita, and used Squier Tele Standard came out to a grand total of $502.
 

gentrywhite

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I bought a Bullet Tele (any colour you like as long as it is black) in Brisbane, which was around $200AUD. A bit of fettling and setup and it is probably the best-playing guitar I've had (including some nice USA Fender stuff). Pups are weak, but for less than $200AUD, I put in a Toneshaper four-way switch kit and a set of Tonerider ALNICO II Blues. Now it is also the best-sounding guitar I have ever owned. Total expenditure is less than $400AUD; it should be trivial if you need to swap to a three-piece bridge. PS I am jealous of the FSR colours available in the US.
 

Wrighty

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A few thoughts...

Bullet Tele's are pretty good for the price, even if a bit rough around the edges sometimes. If you can, try it out in the store to make sure it's not too rough. If you can handle a basic setup, minor nut slot file/lube and light fret edge smoothing it should be good.

As always, I recommend not hopping right into mods. See how you like it "as is" before tearing into it. You know it's kind of a compromise, given it's roughly 15% of your max $1200. If you don't think you can embrace those compromises, save your money up.


A kit or parts build might be an option if you enjoy doing that kind of thing. That would give you more control over parts and you could get something closer to what you really want. It will probably cost a bit more than a Bullet, depending on what parts you go with. You also won't know how good it fits for you until you're done with it.
I’ve had two bullet Teles and a Strat. Couple of years ago a local shop had them at ‘to clear’ prices and I bought a matching pair. Really, really good for the price, so much better than others on the market. Spent some time tidying them up and they became my ‘to hand’ guitars about the house and grandchildrens’ (Under supervision) play things. Sold them on to add to my savings pot for a Strat.

Only issue I had was not one of quality, simply that the necks were Sioux thin and narrow, pencil like!
 
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