What is a true Telecaster today (and which one would you consider to be a RIP-OFF)..?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by PetarA, May 6, 2019.

  1. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I started out with a very inexpensive electric guitar. I basically wore the frets to the point that replacing the neck cost more than a new guitar. An Affinity is a "great" low buck starter guitar, but once you get over the hump with playing, you'll quickly find the short comings of such an inexpensive guitar. We have a Squier that is now in it's third generation of family members. It did it's duty and lives on, but is an experienced player going to call this a great guitar? Of course not, unless you spend more than it's value on improvements. That is really all I'm saying. I think they suck basically because of the frets and pups. The one in our family (a strat) has inspired three people to continue on with playing guitar, but from the outset, it was worthless to me. I know three people who really liked this Squier ... until they got better at playing guitar. YRMV.
     
  2. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister

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    Given that today’s Fender corporation has little connection with Leo’s company, everything is a copy, including theirs.
     
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  3. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm no master in English, but in Dutch (which is my native language here in Flanders) both go in the direction of 'good'. "Decent" is more or less a synonym for "good" and "great" is "a lot better than good", neither means anything that goes in the direction of "bad". So there is a difference, but they are not THAT dissimilar.
    Firstly, I do agree that some Bullet teles are better. But let's see, what EXACTLY did I say about the Affinity???
    Just pointing out I called the Affinity "decent" (linked to the price segment), and that some other people called it "great". I did NOT call the Affinity "great".
    In defense of those eldery persons: 50 years ago we did NOT have easy access to the great American guitar brands in Europe. So basically almost everything that was sold here makes the Affinity shine.
    You could argue that you don't think the Affinity is a decent guitar for what it costs, but in the end, that would only be personal opinion. I think it is, you might think it's not (I don't know what you think in that aspect).
    I do agree with that, completely.
     
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  4. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

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    Anything associated with Leo Fender:D
     
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  5. PetarA

    PetarA TDPRI Member

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    Those are subjective opinions....

    In my opinion, once instrument is able to be properly set up and is fully functional (playability, action, frets, properly functioning electronics) ...it is a perfect platform to become great, which may happen in the right hands...And that is all there is to it...

    Sure there are differences...and might be awful lot room for further improvements on all aspects, playability, sound, looks etc...especially with todays possibilities and all the options...
    Yet all those further upgrades are not at all crucial, hence just nuances...

    Personally, i want my guitar to be, of course, fully functional and, very important aspect: i have to like it overall...which consists of its functionality/playability and the looks...
    Like stated before, todays more affordable instruments are mostly decent especially compared to what was available decades ago...so we are indeed lucky from that aspect for living in these times...!
    All the snoberry is, just in my opinion, complete dead end... sometimes we have to remember that all teh greats from teh 60s 70s were not playing supreme vintage instruments, but what was available...
    pardon my rent, i wet too much out of the topic...!
    Liek stated above, great thing about teh forums is that we hear other peoples opinions, and we might learn some new insights and expand our own views..so i do appreciate different opinions and theres where all teh fun is...!
     
  6. PetarA

    PetarA TDPRI Member

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    Forgery is great term to describe it!
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    So, in the nutshell, any guitar that doesn't score an "F" on one of the basic elemental aspects of its function, not only passes muster, but it goes to the head of the class.

    I'm in love with the idea of a player so full of talent, he can take a very ordinary guitar and may sounds of joy come from it. But that doesn't make the instrument perfect or even that good. That's the musician - the credit goes to him.
     
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  8. PetarA

    PetarA TDPRI Member

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    I explicitly stated fully functional, which is by no means near F nor BASIC...but yes, once acomplished, it makes it more than enough...it is an instrument...a tool for musician...there is not much needed above that...
    Rationaly speaking, imho, that is all there is to it...
    Yet, i also need and love that hardly to describe absolutely irrational subjective likeness factor...mostly consisting of some overall vibe/looks/who-knows-what

    to sum up, its magic..whatever works for anyone...:D
     
  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    TDPRI as a discussion forum settled this debate long ago. Of course, this didn't settle any legal matters, but for the purposes of discussion here the terms "telecaster" and "tele" were determined to be inclusive. I read that in a thread early on in my time here, but since I joined TDPRI 11 years ago this month, it's been a while, and I don't remember what forum or sub-forum of TDPRI it was in, much less what thread. Maybe a search will find it, but truthfully, I'm not really motivated to search it out.

    I know that I read it, and I know that for 11 years those inclusive definitions of telecaster and tele have been applied in a general and inclusive way to: non-branded partscasters, Schecters, Coleman Customs, Logan Customs, Charvels, Michael Kellys, Harley Bentons, ESPs, Danocasters, Suhrs, Crooks, ad infinitum. Each one of these guitar makers have made guitars styled after Leo Fender's Broadcaster re-dubbed the Telecaster, and we have for more than a decade referred to these various guitar builds as teles.

    Some may feel somehow disloyal to Leo if they called anything else but an FMIC product a "Telecaster." Others may have an affinity for some other brand that makes a telecaster, tele, T-series, T-style, whatever, and so apply "telecaster" and "tele" to that. Here on TDPRI, it isn't about legal or trademark issues. Strictly for the sake of discussion here, they're all teles.
     
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  10. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Magnetic pickups were pioneered by Rickenbacker in the 30's. Leo copied that design.
    But many say Fender copied Bigsby's headstock, since Bigsby also made solid body electric guitars many years before Fender and some say Leo copied Bigsby.

    [​IMG]

    And then there was the Stauffer headstock that is also very Tele like.

    [​IMG]

    "
    The Fender vs. Bigsby Headstock Dispute
    So what’s the deal with this headstock shape? Something seems familiar when you look at the Bigsby headstock. It’s reminiscent of the head scroll of old violin family instruments, but we now associate it with a single instrument, the ever-present Fender Stratocaster!

    One of the major factors was the distinctive scroll headstock, which was the maker’s mark of Bigsby guitars. But that shape eventually became known as the Fender Stratocaster’s defining detail. We all immediately recognize this uniquely shaped symbol as one of the mainstays of the Fender and the electric guitar in general."

    "According to guitar legend and lore, Leo Fender was performing research on many guitars before he began to create the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. During some of his museum trips, the headstock shape of earlier European guitars that mimicked the scroll of a violin headstock piqued his interest. Many had assumed, negatively, that when Leo Fender saw the shape Paul Bigsby was using for his guitars that he decided to make his own variant."

    https://ledgernote.com/columns/guitar-guru/merle-travis-guitar/

    .
     
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  11. marcflores

    marcflores Tele-Meister

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    I'm glad other Teles exist, or T-style guitars as other companies call them. Fender's a little weird about the mish-mash of features they do with Teles now. For example, a Road Worn Tele a few years ago would've had a 9.5" radius neck, and now that series only has 7.5". Or the decision to put vintage-style tuners in modern guitars. If you want a T-style body with Tele pickups, but you want a flatter board or a compound radius, companies like Reverend or guys like Bill Chapin can do that for you since you won't find Fender doing that.

    For a guitar with just two single coils and no tremolo, it seems you can do so much with the guitar (like the Baja Tele's switching options, or Greg Koch's active pickup version).

    I'm not sure what I'd define as a "true" Telecaster today. Is a Mexican-made Player Series Tele any less of a Tele than an American Elite? I call most guitars with the Tele body shape and two Tele singles coils a "Tele" these days--I think if the spirit is there then it's cool in my book.
     
  12. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    IMB these are... tho they're from yesteryear...

    G_amp_L Broadcaster ad from 1985.jpg 83caebe765c5120c643a19fe85d7fdf8.jpg images.jpg

    Which ones do I consider rip offs? Well... I'll keep that to myself tho it isn't all that difficult to suss...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Look, to some a “real tele” is an original blackguard. Others will include all pre-CBS. Others, anything made by Fender. Others still Squier. Then G&L. Then anything else that is a T style. I am personally in the latter camp, although I admit to having a soft spot for the “Fender” logo on the headstock. Please look at Nacho’s recreations of 50s instruments. Would you call that a rip-off? I’d never dare… I salivate every time I see one, and I respect the amount of love and knowledge that goes into every piece of those guitars. Or our good John Backlund’s take on the tele design, presented on these very pages. A “rip-off”? I plan to make a partscaster out of very good parts to recreate a very specific tele I want … a 54 whiteguard. So long as I respect Fender’s trademark rights, I dare anyone to call it a rip-off (definition: “a fraud or swindle”). It will be a respectful tribute to a revered instrument.

    “Fake Fender decal guitars” are an entirely different matter. If someone makes partscasters, applies a Fender decal, and tries to sell them as Fenders, that is a rip-off. If someone puts together random original pieces and tries to sell it to you as something it’s not, that’s a rip-off.

    PS: should have read the thread more carefully because @boris bubbanov and @LGOberean made the points I make already. Oh well…
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  14. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I do not understand the question/s.
     
  15. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you think somebody might buy this as a Fender?

    40701758722_e752690e9f_z.jpg

    The fake Fender decal is under the finish, and I don't really want to do a refinish.
     
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  16. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Do you intend to sell it as an original Fender guitar to an unsuspecting buyer? Per my definition, that’s key in defining it as a rip-off.
     
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  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    interesting topic, and also can be quite personal which I believe it is. Its not a right or wrong or one vs another

    For me, the 1st connection back to the early days is the FACTORY brand name on the headstock. "FENDER".

    The next rule of thumb for me is USA

    Various models over the years are still " factory" . I don't have any issue with a 2018 made Tele with the factory logo and the USA birthplace.

    we buy new cars don't we ?

    There was no MIM or Squire under Leo's reign , so to me there is no connection. Thats not a diss on the Instruments, its answering the ops question. So don't start yelling at me that those are better guitars, thats not the topic.

    My Fender guitars have "Fender" on the headstock and all but one are USA made, the lost wandering puppy is a 1986 MIJ / TL62.

    I don't see others as rifp offs, I just don't consider them for purchase.

    But this is just me. My opinion.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  18. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't plan to sell it.
    In 50 years, or less, somebody else is likely to have it. Cannot vouch for their actions. Somebody who knows about Fender guitars would know it is not a Fender.

    It might take a little more knowledge to figure out that the neck isn't Fender either. (At least I don't think it is a Fender, and the guy who sold the guitar to me didn't think so.)
     
  19. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    That’s fair by me. And if someone down the line, 70 years from now, tries to sell this guitar as a Fender original knowing it’s not, then HE (not you) will be trying to rip-off someone else. My previous post was just to say: I sure don’t accuse you of ripping anyone else off just because you have a piece of kit with a Fender decal on a non-Fender neck.
     
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  20. PetarA

    PetarA TDPRI Member

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    Thank you..a lot of interesting info...! invention vs innovation is always interesting terrain to explore...!
     
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