What do you as a Bad Dog member actually think of a Telecaster?

Strat Jacket

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Posts
660
Location
Land of Lincoln
It doesn't play like it looks. In a good way. I was very pleasantly surprised at the playability and huge tone scope when I actually brought one home to roost.
 

cometazzi

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Posts
2,511
Location
Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
I had never owned nor had much interest in a Telecaster prior to joining this forum. I had always regarded them as "Country Guitars" for decades, and then somewhat recently as "Hipster Dipweed Guitars". I actually came here because I ran across Rob Robinette's website about cars and tube amps, and on there was a mention of the DIY forum at TDPRI. I'm here in Bad Cafe because I think you guys are cool and I like hanging out here, not so much because of Telecasters.

However, the place has been an influence, and I did purchase a MIM Telecaster. Got it for a good price, and it was the 3rd choice on color and aesthetics (#1 was unobtanium as the one in the movie Crossroads wasn't real, #2 is a Butterscotch Blonde w/ maple neck and there were none for sale, so I got choice #3). Photo for posterity:

IMG_20220124_182718.jpg

It's a fine guitar, nothing at all wrong with it. I bought it used and it looks like it was hardly played. Everything works, it sounds great, and all that.

I don't love it. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I even like it. The neck is just a tad too beefy for me. I can still play it but my hand always thanks me when I go back to a Stratocaster. The single-cutaway seems 'more in the way' somehow than my LPs and Gibson-like guitars. It's heavy, it's a big dense slab with uncomfortable sharp edges everywhere vs. the Strat's lighter, better balanced Contour Body. And I just can't get it to sound like any Telecaster recording, or anything they're notorious for like the 'twang' or that 'rude bite sound' I hear people talk about.

It's like we both want to be friends, but we just don't speak the same language and don't fully understand each other.

I haven't given up on Telecasters. Maybe this particular one isn't the right one for me, and maybe a different Telecaster is somehow a better fit. Or maybe I'm just a Strat Guy and that's all I'll ever get along with.
 

bobio

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Posts
2,786
Age
59
Location
Here
I actually think I need another Tele. Just ordered a new body on Reverb.
Going to mate it with a Fender Roasted Maple neck.
Looking at Seymour Duncan Hot Rails.
Black pick guard and Toneshaper electrics with a 4 way switch.

pe25xluv9aznwpxwimvp.jpg zalsztwypllzwy0ucqhi.jpg
xhssmjvtbj0c0362q2y9.jpg

 
Last edited:

MelodicBend

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Posts
118
Location
Washington
I had never owned nor had much interest in a Telecaster prior to joining this forum. I had always regarded them as "Country Guitars" for decades, and then somewhat recently as "Hipster Dipweed Guitars". I actually came here because I ran across Rob Robinette's website about cars and tube amps, and on there was a mention of the DIY forum at TDPRI. I'm here in Bad Cafe because I think you guys are cool and I like hanging out here, not so much because of Telecasters.

However, the place has been an influence, and I did purchase a MIM Telecaster. Got it for a good price, and it was the 3rd choice on color and aesthetics (#1 was unobtanium as the one in the movie Crossroads wasn't real, #2 is a Butterscotch Blonde w/ maple neck and there were none for sale, so I got choice #3). Photo for posterity:

View attachment 1059286

It's a fine guitar, nothing at all wrong with it. I bought it used and it looks like it was hardly played. Everything works, it sounds great, and all that.

I don't love it. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I even like it. The neck is just a tad too beefy for me. I can still play it but my hand always thanks me when I go back to a Stratocaster. The single-cutaway seems 'more in the way' somehow than my LPs and Gibson-like guitars. It's heavy, it's a big dense slab with uncomfortable sharp edges everywhere vs. the Strat's lighter, better balanced Contour Body. And I just can't get it to sound like any Telecaster recording, or anything they're notorious for like the 'twang' or that 'rude bite sound' I hear people talk about.

It's like we both want to be friends, but we just don't speak the same language and don't fully understand each other.

I haven't given up on Telecasters. Maybe this particular one isn't the right one for me, and maybe a different Telecaster is somehow a better fit. Or maybe I'm just a Strat Guy and that's all I'll ever get along with.
There's always room for critiques. I applaud your extremely detailed analysis.

A little disappointing to hear since I love the Telecaster so much but excellent write up.
 

maxvintage

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
6,443
Age
63
Location
Arlington, VA
I like everything about the tele, except maybe the neck pickup could be a little more like a P90. I find that a stock tele covers everything really well, if not perfectly, and I really like the simplicity and the innovative kind of crudeness of a tele. The lack of fussiness. I find them very comfortable to play either sitting or standing.
 

cometazzi

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Posts
2,511
Location
Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
There's always room for critiques. I applaud your extremely detailed analysis.

A little disappointing to hear since I love the Telecaster so much but excellent write up.

Those are entirely _my_ observations and experience mostly with one Telecaster. Just because this one doesn't thrill me it doesn't mean a different one won't. I do like the simplicity of them and a lot of really great music has been made on a Telecaster for sure. And just because one doesn't thrill me personally, I fully believe they thrill other folks like yourself.

Like I said, I haven't given up!

My "Hipster DipWeed" comment is more about a specific group of musicians I encountered about a decade ago in a local venue. That doesn't apply to anyone here that I've seen.
 

ping-ping-clicka

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Posts
9,679
Location
left coast
oh, ah.... teles are alright by me and I 'm adding an elbow relief and a tummy cut to one of mine. the sunburst , I still am lest than a sunburst fan. Sunburst was o.k. on a 40's cowboy guitar, but as stunning as the Turquoise Edsel was... even it eventually went out of production🤔
The plastic that they sprayed on this thing is horrendous, horrific, horrible, hell spawned. I'm spraying the soles of my birkenstocks with this finish. I will never need to get them resoled.
wire brush coarse sandpaper, scraper, the works😣
next is a cheap belt sander.😵

lynx 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

PBO Blues

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Posts
954
Location
Chatham County, NC
Stepped away from guitar for 40 years. Always thought I'd come back but never pulled the trigger, partially because the guitars I would have liked to come back to were economically ridiculous given my hack (and rust) status. I never stopped looking and appreciating the instrument, though. Teles, however, were nowhere close to the short list. Ugly country guitars. Slabs with silly headstocks.

So, anyway, no guitar for me until I had an eye-opening health scare that made me realize that life was just too short to not go after what you wanted. The same week, Fender did this...

Hello Beautiful.jpg


...and I was smitten. The universe was speaking to me. Not your daddy's Tele but that's what jumped out at me. (That and I have a weak spot for blondes.) It's been Tele love ever since.
 
Last edited:

Bucster752

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2022
Posts
89
Location
Texas
I very much like the particular Telecaster I own and play and cannot claim that all Teles are created equal. This one is a no-brainer for me: huge 'U' neck profile, excellent action over a 9.5" radius dialed in flat, hand wound pickups that soar, very stable tuning bed.....what's not to like? Simple build, serious music.
 

Recalcitrant

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
354
Age
72
Location
Philadelphia
I had never owned nor had much interest in a Telecaster prior to joining this forum. I had always regarded them as "Country Guitars" for decades, and then somewhat recently as "Hipster Dipweed Guitars". I actually came here because I ran across Rob Robinette's website about cars and tube amps, and on there was a mention of the DIY forum at TDPRI. I'm here in Bad Cafe because I think you guys are cool and I like hanging out here, not so much because of Telecasters.

However, the place has been an influence, and I did purchase a MIM Telecaster. Got it for a good price, and it was the 3rd choice on color and aesthetics (#1 was unobtanium as the one in the movie Crossroads wasn't real, #2 is a Butterscotch Blonde w/ maple neck and there were none for sale, so I got choice #3). Photo for posterity:

View attachment 1059286

It's a fine guitar, nothing at all wrong with it. I bought it used and it looks like it was hardly played. Everything works, it sounds great, and all that.

I don't love it. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I even like it. The neck is just a tad too beefy for me. I can still play it but my hand always thanks me when I go back to a Stratocaster. The single-cutaway seems 'more in the way' somehow than my LPs and Gibson-like guitars. It's heavy, it's a big dense slab with uncomfortable sharp edges everywhere vs. the Strat's lighter, better balanced Contour Body. And I just can't get it to sound like any Telecaster recording, or anything they're notorious for like the 'twang' or that 'rude bite sound' I hear people talk about.

It's like we both want to be friends, but we just don't speak the same language and don't fully understand each other.

I haven't given up on Telecasters. Maybe this particular one isn't the right one for me, and maybe a different Telecaster is somehow a better fit. Or maybe I'm just a Strat Guy and that's all I'll ever get along with.
There's nothing wrong with MIM instruments.

A suggestion: Your gorgeous Tele sports what appears to be an American Standard bridge. If so, its plate is made of brass. Many Tele players believe a steel plate, (aka "the ashtray") which is thought to interfere with the magnetic field of the pickup, is better because it enhances tone versatility, twang, and overall rudeness. (Perhaps some extraordinaire can give details.) Anyway, for a price, steel bridges are out there made to fit Am Std Teles. See: JB Am Std. Rutter's Guitar also makes a pretty "cold rolled steel" flangeless one.

Then there's the pickup choice....
 

cometazzi

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Posts
2,511
Location
Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
There's nothing wrong with MIM instruments.

A suggestion: Your gorgeous Tele sports what appears to be an American Standard bridge. If so, its plate is made of brass. Many Tele players believe a steel plate, (aka "the ashtray") which is thought to interfere with the magnetic field of the pickup, is better because it enhances tone versatility, twang, and overall rudeness. (Perhaps some extraordinaire can give details.) Anyway, for a price, steel bridges are out there made to fit Am Std Teles. See: JB Am Std. Rutter's Guitar also makes a pretty "cold rolled steel" flangeless one.

Then there's the pickup choice....

Yeah, I've got nothing at all against it being a MIM Tele. Not a flaw on it and I'm sure that in the right hands it can really sing.

As for the bridge, I took a magnet to it and the baseplate is steel, or at least ferrous metal. The saddles don't appear to be magnetic.

Are bridges (or other parts) interchangeable between MIM and AM Fenders?

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

Recalcitrant

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
354
Age
72
Location
Philadelphia
Cometazi, there are small string-spread diffs between Standard (aka Mexican) and American bridges, and measuring and searching alternative parts is a pain. Be aware Standard and Vintage bridges aren’t interchangeable. A compensated three-saddle bridge is typically preferred to a six. (Brass barrel saddles, steel plate.) By the time you spend for parts you wonder if you shouldn’t have just bought another guitar. Anyway, just setting up the guitar you have the best it can will get you a sonic improvement. Adjust the pickups so they are a width is a nickel away from the strings. Any worn frets? Intonate the booger. Try going up a gauge. Etc… We at TDPRI never tire of these topics.
 

Tele-beeb

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Posts
3,853
Location
The Bluegrass
I started lurking as a non-member here after 2k for a range of info. I was all G&L Strats and Strats then.
A friend said I’d look good wearing a Tele (wow, was he right?)
Tele was my six string fave for the last decade… until, now I am completely immersed in bass. If I were (am) to ever go back to six strings… it will be another ASAT Special as blingy as they come!
So, yes… Telecaster of course.
 

Lucius Paisley

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 19, 2020
Posts
1,581
Age
47
Location
Sydney, Australia
I came here originally looking for tech help, a guitar is a guitar after all, with zero plans of owning a tele ever.

Then along came this...
1672879541231.png

... after I removed the bridge pickup cover (for the black/chrome|chrome/black look) and reversed the control plate, it "became" mine.

I wouldn't build a collection of only teles, however.
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,605
Location
Up North
I hope they don't move this thread to a more guitar type forum, because I don't want to know what Tele aficionados think of the Tele, I would like to know what guys who post on here think of them.

Personally, I've owned several, and only one of them I really liked. I actually wish I'd found something else to play, since they are a study in how to cheaply build a guitar. There are tons of people who will argue for the simplicity of the Tele 3 saddle bridge, but it is just another way to build cheap, no matter what you do to it, it will never be in tune. I finally gave up and put a Kluson six saddle on mine which is WAY better, IMO and that's the only one that counts. The same can be said for most of the tuners found on many teles, I replaced mine with Klusons. Again, much better in the only opinion that counts, mine! ;)

The question is:

Do you actually like/love Teles, or are you just a creature of habit, and that not of your own doing, but by someone Elses opinion foisted upon you?

PS:

Everyone seems to love the sound of a Tele, if that is true; Why are there so many people who have posted that they have changed the pickups in theirs?
I just enjoy the simplicity of it.
95% of my playing is the Neck Pick-up.
That Pick-up is a Noiseless from Fender.
It has been my main guitar for over 5 Years.

Strats are cool but, I have a bad habit of getting excited and accidentaly turning the Volume Down during my Solos.
 

BryMelvin

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Posts
2,434
Age
70
Location
Arivaca AZ
I have three "telecaster" guitars. One Hohner and 2 Fender porducts. If I didn;t like them I wouldn;t have them. I have to admit although I've used them live. I have never recorded with anything but a strat and a hollow body.
 

Timbresmith1

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Posts
3,846
Location
Central TX
I hope they don't move this thread to a more guitar type forum, because I don't want to know what Tele aficionados think of the Tele, I would like to know what guys who post on here think of them.

Personally, I've owned several, and only one of them I really liked. I actually wish I'd found something else to play, since they are a study in how to cheaply build a guitar. There are tons of people who will argue for the simplicity of the Tele 3 saddle bridge, but it is just another way to build cheap, no matter what you do to it, it will never be in tune. I finally gave up and put a Kluson six saddle on mine which is WAY better, IMO and that's the only one that counts. The same can be said for most of the tuners found on many teles, I replaced mine with Klusons. Again, much better in the only opinion that counts, mine! ;)

The question is:

Do you actually like/love Teles, or are you just a creature of habit, and that not of your own doing, but by someone Elses opinion foisted upon you?

PS:

Everyone seems to love the sound of a Tele, if that is true; Why are there so many people who have posted that they have changed the pickups in theirs?
It’s the 4th best Fender.
I like a good one, but prefer the liquid shimmer of a Strat or Jazzmaster. P-bass beats a Tele too, I’m afraid. Jazz Bass does not.
 




Top