Want a new Tele - Custom shop or production model?

airvian

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So, I've been shopping around for a new Tele for some time now. With Fender currently being behind in production I have not been able to play an AMOriginal 60s Tele at a shop. I am looking for a nice 60s custom in a sunburst (or a modern metallic color). Now I've seen a 2020 Custom Shop 59 Tele Custom (chocolate sunburst, handwound 58 PUs etc.) for around 3k on Reverb. I'm now wondering if I should just pull the trigger (sadly wouldn't be able to play it in store) or wait until the AMOriginals are back in stores and/or they launch some new colours or refresh the line (like they did with the pro 2). Any thoughts? I have some reservations over buying the guitar without playing it first, as well as it being worth it compared to a standard vintage spec production model. The new Jason Isbell signature looks good too tbh, though I don't dig reliced guitars...
 

Jay Jernigan

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The Jason Isbell is probably the only relic treatment I would consider buying. In fact, it's one of the few new Fender guitars that I would want. I read up on the process that was used in arriving at it and it's my kind of thinking. Even the aging process makes sense.
 

Minivan Megafun

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Based on my experience, I would never buy a Custom Shop without having it in my hands first. The necks on them can vary wildly and you never know what the thickness or carve is going to be from one to the other.

I bought an American Original 60's last year and it's the best guitar I've ever played. You absolutely can't go wrong with one.
 

Fretting out

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Based on my experience, I would never buy a Custom Shop without having it in my hands first. The necks on them can vary wildly and you never know what the thickness or carve is going to be from one to the other.

I bought an American Original 60's last year and it's the best guitar I've ever played. You absolutely can't go wrong with one.

I too can vouch for the A.O 60’s, it’s as good as the American vintage ones I played and they are generally great

My A.O 60’s happens to be my workhorse

Although I wish I would have known they were going to do a burgundy mist
 

GuitarsBuicks

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So, I've been shopping around for a new Tele for some time now. With Fender currently being behind in production I have not been able to play an AMOriginal 60s Tele at a shop. I am looking for a nice 60s custom in a sunburst (or a modern metallic color). Now I've seen a 2020 Custom Shop 59 Tele Custom (chocolate sunburst, handwound 58 PUs etc.) for around 3k on Reverb. I'm now wondering if I should just pull the trigger (sadly wouldn't be able to play it in store) or wait until the AMOriginals are back in stores and/or they launch some new colours or refresh the line (like they did with the pro 2). Any thoughts? I have some reservations over buying the guitar without playing it first, as well as it being worth it compared to a standard vintage spec production model. The new Jason Isbell signature looks good too tbh, though I don't dig reliced guitars...

I typically don't condone buying guitars online...although I have done it once and got lucky with my 70th Anniversary Broadcaster, I wouldn't part with it, however I wouldn't do it again as it was a stressful experience worrying about whether I would hate it once I got it. Like I said I got lucky, I will probably never do that again unless it is a really, really good deal on an odd-ball guitar that I cannot live without. I much prefer buying guitars that I can try.
 

brunogio

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Mar 20, 2021
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I recently got a American Professional Deluxe Tele. I think it's a 2017 model. I have to say that I'm impressed with the build quality on it. I originally was looking for a custom shop or AO/AVRI model but because I wanted dual hum buckers this was the only one I could find for the price range I had available. I'm impressed with the satin finish on the back of the neck and overall the thing is well built. It also came in Candy Apple Red which was a color I've wanted since a teenager. If the idea of poly finishes in not a problem I'd say try one out and see how it fits you.
 

Tonetele

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Based on my experience, I would never buy a Custom Shop without having it in my hands first. The necks on them can vary wildly and you never know what the thickness or carve is going to be from one to the other.

Agreed. I 'd love a 62 Bound edge Telecaster. Could have got one for $650 in 1981 from a professional "jingle/ads " musician but it had a huge neck. Across the street was a Sienna 62 RI for the same price and a slimmer neck, should've bought that, I'd have a 40+ year old guitar now, it was a keeper. Doh!!
 

loudboy

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You need to try them. I've honestly never played an un-aged CS Strat or Tele that was any nicer than a production model, which I'nm not all that hot on, either.

The Relics are a different story - most of them have been great.

The MIM Vintage/Classic Players are also really good guitars.
 

ping-ping-clicka

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Welcome to telecaster heaven. We are a kind bunch, of raised on looney toons and Screaming Yellow Zonkers or so it might seem, harmless and very friendly. Watch my posts and you'll learn that there is no question to stupid to ask.
 

RadioFM74

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I'm not sure that "CS or production model" is the best approach to selecting your tele. The questions I'd ask myself are:
- what kind of neck, radius, frets do I like?
- what kind of pickups and electronics?
- am I going for a traditional telecaster (3-saddle, vintage tuners, TR at the heel) or modern?
- what's the look I'm after? Yes, you have to like your guitar in that respect too I think…

Once you have your "spec list" worked out, my very personal take is that high end production (AVRI, AO…) is plenty good enough and if one checks all the boxes no reason to go CS. MY take: YMMV!

So, assuming you're on the lookout for a vintage-style, 60's tele…
-- I'd look hi and lo for an AV64 – but I've found mine, and need no more teles :D Not bound tho.
-- The Jimmy Page is nothing short of splendid … at least the one I briefly held in my craving hands. Not bound either. Perhaps the neck is a tad smaller?
-- If you want vintage style with a slightly more modern 9.5" radius, AO60s are great – I'd look no further.
-- If you happen to like the "60s Custom tele" look but prefer thinner necks, an old AVRI Custom 62 tele (used) would be perfect for you. They are incredibly beautiful and have wonderful pickups. Neck too slim for me, but maybe not for you…

So: make up your mind on the kind of specs you're looking for, and then your options will become clearer ;)
 

Chicken Curry

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I've got an 50's AO. Problem is, next step up is a custom shop and I want one because it's a custom shop. But then there's Master Built, which I will want if I had a regular team built. But if I get a Master Built then I will want an original 52 or a 58. If I end up achieving that I will then want a 51.

So based on that, best thing to do is what the above poster, RadioFM74 suggested.
https://www.tdpri.com/members/radiofm74.119244/
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi & welcome.

If you're spending that kind of $$, check out Ron Kirn. Or another custom builder...If you don't need it to say Fender on it...

For some people I suspect “Fender” on it is important. Sorta is and isn’t for me.

But anyway, that was kinda my first thought too, except mine was more like, if I was inclined to spend that kind of money, I might just rather build a swish partscaster and pay someone to finesse it at the end if it proves too hard for me, or just go with someone like Ron Kirn from the get go.

Probably not much help as an ‘answer,’ but that’s one set of things I would definitely consider.

Pax/
Dean
 

Blackshadowrider

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Years ago I was very hesitant to buy online sight unseen and unplayed. Since my first guitar purchase on eBay and many it generally has been a favorable experience knowing what I want and am looking for. Buying used is really the way to go as new prices have really gone up and then you take a big loss when selling. Patience is the key in the current used market as those prices are up as well. I have seen Fender CS Tele's go for as low as $1750 in the last year. A bound Tele Custom may have a going price average of $2500. The newer American 60's are nice, several new ones out there. One used I found in quick search
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=303994389092
 

airvian

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Austria
Thanks for all the replies! I just now got around to read through the thread. So, I have kinda lost the idea of buying a custom shop one. Now I am in another dilemma though. I have now played an AM 60s in sunburst that's factory fresh at a store now. They also carry a used AVRI 62 Tele custom in Black from 2008 (I didn't think I'd prefer the black over the sunburst). It played almost equally well as the AO 60s. Now the 62 reissue doesn't come with the original case nor case candy, has (for some reason) the original staggering of the bridge pickup sanded down, doesn't have the original threaded saddles and has a couple dings and dongs. Hasn't been played a lot though (definitely was owned by some kind of collector of sorts). They are asking 1600 for it though (which i find ridiculously steep considering the work I'd have to put in to get the pickups and bridge stock again. How much would you guys say that guitar would be worth? I'd have estimated it at around 1300. The offer I have for the factory fresh AO 60s is 1900.

Decisions, decisions....
 

dscottyg

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Dec 9, 2020
Posts
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55
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Jacksonville
Years ago I was very hesitant to buy online sight unseen and unplayed. Since my first guitar purchase on eBay and many it generally has been a favorable experience knowing what I want and am looking for. Buying used is really the way to go as new prices have really gone up and then you take a big loss when selling. Patience is the key in the current used market as those prices are up as well. I have seen Fender CS Tele's go for as low as $1750 in the last year. A bound Tele Custom may have a going price average of $2500. The newer American 60's are nice, several new ones out there. One used I found in quick search
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=303994389092
Wow. $1675 still with the pickguard sticker!
 




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