To Baja or not to Baja?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by j_hunter_hkr, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. j_hunter_hkr

    j_hunter_hkr Tele-Meister

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    I'm looking into buying my first Fender Tele as my only Tele at the minute is a partscaster. I played a Baja at a local shop and loved it. The neck is my sort of thing and I have no issues with it being on the heavy side (my number 1 is a Les Paul Custom, I'm used to something a little on the heavy side!). My only problem was cosmetic, It was "desert sand" with white guard.

    Ideally I want a blonde blackguard, which means I'd have to buy online. I'm all for buying online as it would be cheaper but I've heard you can get some pretty drastic variation in Bajas. Also the Baja I played had a really solid colour, virtually no grain visible through the finish. Are the blondes like this?

    Pics of your blonde Bajas would also be nice :D

    Thanks.
    Jamie
     
  2. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    I have the Desert Sand and I love the looks. If the axe you tried works for you, don't worry too much about the colour. One thing I would never do is buy a guitar without trying it out first - unless of course the website you're buying it from has a good return policy.
     
  3. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Not able to see it in this picture of mine - but the grain shows through nicely. I had to send one back (bad neck) before getting this one which was perfect. I really wanted the blonde/blackguard and I'm glad I waited for one.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rhomco

    Rhomco Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    You just have to walk in new shoes

    Before you know if you like'em. The Baja is no different. I bought one and tried awfully hard to love it but in the end I returned it to M'Friend. The Blonde I chose was an excellent build. The neck felt very good to me and I prefer the fret size and radius of the Baja. Where I lost the love was the tone of the S-1 System. It simply lacked the genuine 60's telecaster tone I prefer. I have six respectable telies in my stable ranging from Squire to American Standard Tele Plus.

    The right telecaster guitar for anyone is subject to the style you want to play and very much effected by the amp you partner it with. As for me, my absolute favorite for Rock & Blues tone is a Muddy Waters model neck and electronics mounted in a double bound alder/ash custom tele body played thru a Mission Kit 5E3 Deluxe 1-15 or VOX AC-30 or Fender Pro Reverb. The guitar is shown here with a VOX AC-15 which aint to shabby either.
    FWIW,
    Rob
    [​IMG]
     
  5. iorr

    iorr TDPRI Member

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    My own guitar is a modified baja.
    I played a lot of teles the last time...Cunetto, J.English, CS Broadcaster etc.
    Every of this guitars were sounding better as my baja-only a slight difference!

    If you like the shape and the maple characteristic of the neck you don't go wrong with the baja.

    Karsten
     
  6. benadrian

    benadrian Tele-Meister

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    I don't see how the switching would affect the tone in a negative way for the three standard tele positions. The neck, bridge, and both in parallel should be electrically identical to those settings with a standard wiring setup. Perhaps it was just the pickups?

    That said, I love the Baja tele. I'd rather have my girlfriend's dad's '58, but the Baja is damn close in feel, with slightly update pickups and 3 extra settings. But as we all know, guitars are very personal, so there's no fault in not loving every one:) I certainly don't!

    Ben
     
  7. romo

    romo Tele-Meister

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    I like my Baja. The neck and pickups are great. The S-1 is alright but I could do without it. It's nice that it is already wired with a 4-way switch though.
     
  8. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I love mine!

    Everyone is probably sick of me ranting on about the Baja Teles, but I tried a Blonde one shortly after they hit UK shelves and fell in love as soon as I hit that first chord!

    Not wishing to pay the shop price I got a mint condition Blonde w/blackguard off ebay for £125 less than what shops were asking - thinking it must be a dud (of which I'm aware some do exist, but it was every bit as good as the one I tried out!

    The build quality is fantastic - it looks stunning. Every bit the traditional Tele - but with lots of extra goodies hidden away!

    I've found uses for all the pickup combinations - and I really enjoy the Strat-like quack of the S-1 switch down on position 2.

    It just oozes tone - and really has become my "one guitar to rule them all".

    It left my 60's Classic looking and sounding shameful!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. j_hunter_hkr

    j_hunter_hkr Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the great replies guys. My GAS is overloading at the minute!

    I think I might just go for it and buy a blackguard Baja online. As much as I loved the one in the shop, I'd really like a blonde one.

    Does anyone know of any UK based online stores that would be willing to take returns on the off chance I'm not happy with the particular one they send out?

    Thanks again.
    Jamie
     
  10. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would assume all the major online retailers based in the UK (GAK, CODA etc) will take returns.
     
  11. Willyguitar

    Willyguitar Tele-Meister

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    After some initial teething trouble (I found the bridge pickup a bit thin, until I tweaked the height), my Baja is really growing on me. Only really been playing it a couple of weeks, but my American strat is more or less staying in its case at the moment. It is also winning other people over who have played on it.

    Mine is a blonde one and the grain comes through slightly. I bought it online and I am very happy with the neck. The only trouble with it is that it weighs a ton - not sure how much, but more than a Gibson LP. I think I can cope with it, because I am really beginning to love it. I got it from soundslive. GAK definitely do returns.

    Be careful though - if I were you, I would just get the one in the shop that you liked and not worry too much about the colour. That Desert Sand also looks very cool - Gilmourish.
     
  12. fancychords

    fancychords Tele-Holic

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    I bought my blonde from elderly inst. on line and I couldn't be happier..
    I've had a nocaster relic, and a 52 reissue..The 52 was an 83 or 84 and to me it was horrible..My Baja to me compares favorably to my once owned 51'nocaster reissue at a fraction of the price..I may get flamed for this but..While my 51 nocaster reissue was a fine guitar, my Baja to me is just as fine, and I've been playing many many years...
     
  13. Tele_MEL

    Tele_MEL Tele-Meister

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    Hey J_hunter

    I'd just like to support your decision to get the color you want ( Blonde/Black Guard ).

    I've bought most of my guitars used, to save money and get ' perfectly adequate' guitars at a good price.

    I recently had a chance to buy a good used Baja, with hard case - for $500. I know I like Baja's.. and that price was good! It was local. so no freight.

    Only issue was - but it was Desert Sand/ White guard which just isn't my first choice. Blonde/Black guard is what I want.

    So I struggled back and forth with the notion that the GUITAR was good. and a good value - and the pragmatic part of me said just go ahead and get it and accept the color -- I tried to tell myself the Desert Sand was just fine - but I knew that it wasn't the guitar for me.

    Finally- I let it go. The color is important in the overall happiness with the guitar.

    I'd rather put that money, plus a little more as need be - and get the one I really want.
     
  14. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    You should play it before you buy it, surely you can find a blonde badger in Hull, unless they're still making guitars out of old fish boxes. Try Dawsons on-line, you'll get pot-luck but all the Baja seem to be good. Ash body, blackguard, skunk stripe up that table leg of a neck, give it a good set-up and get a TBX tone pot in there and it'll do everything, you know you want it.
     
  15. DWBH

    DWBH Tele-Meister

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    I also love my Tele. The neck feels awsome, pickups are nice and hot (not harsh and trebly sounding, at least to my ears), cool wiring although I could also live without the S1 switch. Mine needs a bit of fret work though.
    And it's a shame that they don't come already shielded right out of the box. If they wanted to modernize a classic guitar, they might as well have shielded it.
    Anyways, go buy it! Fender's in UK have always great prices! I bought mine from Dolphin music, but dv247 (and another one which I don't remember) also have great prices.

    Also, they come with 0.10's and with a gig bag :lol:
     
  16. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

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    VWAmTele...what color is yours? It's tough to tell in the photo.
    Looks great. I need to add one of the Baja things to my collection
    very soon.
     
  17. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    I love my new Baja, except for two things:

    - the frets need some work
    - the single ply parchment pg seems pretty flimsy. Is that supposed to be a "vintage" feature or something?

    But, overall it's a great guitar with an awesome fat neck!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. benadrian

    benadrian Tele-Meister

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    I know this probably sounds crazy to most here, but I'm not certain I like the blonde/black look. I may try a white or parchment or tortoise guard.

    Ben
     
  19. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    +1. I replaced mine ASAP with a black Bakelite 52 RI PG. Much better. The original was already flipping up between the screws.
     
  20. WrayGun

    WrayGun Tele-Afflicted

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    same here. where'd you get your's from, and are you happy with it?
     
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