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What is the best Telecaster to buy right now?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DrRoy, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. __curtis

    __curtis NEW MEMBER!

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    I'm also a fellow LP player who just 6 months ago took the plunge and got a tele to add some sparkle to my small collection. I don't have great advice as I just ordered one sight unseen, but I am really happy with my american professional in candy apple red. I was willing to spend more, but the am pro ticked all the boxes for me spec-wise, and it's living up to my expectations for what I was looking for.
     
  2. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Rather than buy and Esquire, I'd buy a regular Telecaster and just use only the bridge pickup. Why give up the option of having a Neck pickup, and the Neck/Bridge combo, just because you want the Esquire "look" ? I know there is more to it than that, like the Esquire wiring. But you can make ANY Telecaster into an Esquire, but can you make ANY Esquire into a Telecaster ? My motto is: Keep your options open.
     
  3. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Unfortunately, used guitar prices seem to be tracking new guitar prices...both have risen lately. Selling costs on Ebay and Reverb have also contributed to the rise. FB Marketplace and Craigslist sellers seem to be following suit.
     
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  4. Captdan61

    Captdan61 TDPRI Member

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    Open plan Les Paul since the mid-seventies I'm on fenders periodically through the years never been much of a fan of strats alone for five of them I've only liked one of the ones that I've owned and generally is the last guitar I'll reach for don't know why. Telecasters on the other hand I love and after I bought myself a 2016 Custom Shop R9 Les Paul and spent stupid money on it I decided to build myself an Esquire so I switched the parts myself painted and put it together myself as a natural wood black card it weighs 6.4 pounds my new Les Paul weighs 8.5 my old was Paul I've had for 40 something years waste 10 lb. Thus the ESQUIRE gets a lot of love! I have a blackguard Telecaster in cream with a 4 way switch. It has a Jerry Donahue and I've got a tele custom with a humbucker in the neck that has a broadcaster pickup in the bridge now there's the Esquire then there's a 60s style Telecaster so I have four or five telecaster and two Les Paul's blackguard tele or in a square you can't go wrong with either. A Les Paul's like a sports car it's a Porsche or a Cadillac a Telecaster that pickup truck a damn good pickup truck
     
  5. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Afflicted

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    Y

    Yes you can make a Esquire to a Tele.
    My CS Esquire 1955 Ltd. came with this kit.

    211732-1.jpg
     
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  6. Tom Grattan

    Tom Grattan TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    If you've got deep pockets I'd recommend looking for good late 60's/early 70's Tele. Never understood the "relic"
    nomenclature. Look around, they're available at reasonable prices, in what sounds like you budget range. Get something with some mojo, not something that is trying to look old and worn. It's taken 62 yrs for my Tele to look "relic". If you can, listen and play some older Tele's to get a good comparison with the new stuff.
     
  7. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Well THAT is a bonus, for sure. I think I was thinking on whether or not there are neck pickup routes on Esquires. But I see Fender gives you that option...sweet of them.
     
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  8. greatgb99

    greatgb99 TDPRI Member

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    Buy a cheap knockoff and mod it. It’s very satisfying knowing you built your own guitar.
     
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  9. doctymie

    doctymie TDPRI Member

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    I concur. I found a near mint 64 AVRI and it is the best guitar I have ever played. All my others rarely leave their cases now.
     
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  10. jwclark_SD

    jwclark_SD NEW MEMBER!

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    Find an early 2000's "8502". There's an 8502 thread on here that has all the information you'd ever need to know. Perfect combination of vintage and modern, and if you're playing LP's you probably won't mind the weight that comes with the Ash body.
     
  11. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    just as an addendum - there are probably more MIM and MIJ floating around there with the specs you want from the get go. they take more chances with going super traditional or going super non-traditional than with american, which are usually just an MOR compromise for the era's preferences. so there's a larger variety out there.
     
  12. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    A friend has me getting GAS over this one:

    Capture.JPG
     
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  13. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    It doesn't help that Fender just has WAY TOO MANY GUITARS!!! Even while eliminating some cool ones their lineup continues to grow. It's crazy. If it had to be a Fender I'd see If I could find, new or used, the MIM Nashville three pickup, largely because of the 12" radius which they almost never use, not to mention I like the colors it comes in. Then get a regular pickgaurd and dump the middle pickup. Just sayin'.
     
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  14. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    They didn't start the 12" radius until, I beleive, 2016. My 2014 model has 9.5" radius. So potential buyers need to be aware of when the specs changed.
     
  15. Johanns

    Johanns TDPRI Member

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    almost an impossible question ;-)

    i am a real telecaster fan. I have (had) several. One plays nice, the other sounds nice, but there are not many telecasters that I really fell in love with.

    At one point i wanted a really good telecaster too, so went to a store with a good range of telecasters, especially the CSs. I played a large number of telecasters and none of them really clicked. There were quite nice instruments, but there were no butterflies in the stomach. for example, I visited a number of businesses in my country and held telecasters from 2500 € to 5000 € ... at the last shop the owner came to me with a number of custom shops in the test room. He made one with a terribly ugly color (seafoam green with a white piping) of which I immediately said "take it back into the store, I don't want to be seen with such an ugly guitar" ...
    it was a CustomShop Fender custom 50's Telecaster Relic. The seller advised me to play on it anyway and you guessed it ... bought it (and it was the cheapest too! € 2500).

    I have now found a beautiful CustomShop '63 custom (3TSB with white trim) and I now own two super fine Fender telecasters.

    What I also managed to get is a Novo Serus T ... also telecaster configuration and that beast is just great. So sometimes I cheat on the Novo.

    A friend of mine imported an original 57 telecaster from the USA. That's a completely different story ... I've handled a lot of crappy original telecaster from the 50's, but this one has something magical about it. you cannot explain that, you have to experience that. the guitar cost a multiple of my Custom Shops.

    The problem is that that friend does not dare to play it live, because he is afraid that he will be stolen from the stage. well, then just a "normal" custom shop.

    Check in any case the 50's telecasters Customshop. for me the most satisfying tools of the custom shop.

    Good luck! Always try it yourself and don't buy something too quickly.
     
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  16. Chester Burnett

    Chester Burnett Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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  17. MusicBill

    MusicBill TDPRI Member

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    I'm building one now. I'm putting Humbuckers in it and splitting both to get that tele sound if I need it. Its not gonna be an expensive one. Just using parts from guitar fetish just to see how it comes out. They have rail humbuckers the size of single coils that sound great so I'm gonna split them. I'm going with a candy apple red body gold hardware Amber neck with a rose wood fret board. I'm bored sitting home doing nothing so I thought Id give it a try. Good luck in your search. If you cant find it , build one for yourself.
     
  18. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I would say if you want to order exactly the guitar you want, contact any G&L dealer and go over their options list and get exactly what you want minus the bullsh!t "custom shop" price tag. Plus you'll have a consistently better built instrument. You'll pay around $1,500 give or take. It'll be more the fancier you want to make it with woods, finish, etc.

    G&L is the only USA made Strat or Tele shaped guitar I would spend my money on.

    As far as the "best" FENDER Telecaster, I have 2 and both were made in Mexico.

    1) Fender Classic Player (MIM) Baja Tele... new they were $825, used I got one at a pawn shop for $300 in mint condition. $300 !!! - Fender Custom Shop pickups, comfy soft-V neck. 4-way blade switch. S1 switch in the volume knob (like the top of the line Fender Elite series have). This was seriously the only Telecaster with Fender's name on it I thought I would ever buy... until...

    2) Fender Deluxe (MIM) Nashville Telecaster... new they are $825 and I paid full price new (I usually never buy new). -- 3 x Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups (2 x Tele pups bridge and neck, Strat pup in the middle position). 5-way blade switch like a Strat.

    I can do way more with these 2 Teles for an $1,125 investment than I could with one over-priced Fender custom shop anything. I got an incredible deal on the Baja and didn't realize how fantastic it was until I got it home and plugged it into my own gear. Damn. I think the Noiseless pups were the selling point for me for the Nashville.

    I'm set for "Fender" Teles... if you want the best Tele made, buy a G&L.

    http://glguitars.com/made-in-fullerton-guitars/

    G&L options page:
    https://glguitars.com/guitar-options/
     
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  19. Deed

    Deed TDPRI Member

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    X2
    ...and also the truss rod adjustment in the heel!
     
  20. Deed

    Deed TDPRI Member

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    X2 concernig JV. My 1985 Squire Strat and is an amzing guitar
     
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