What Tele kit would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Cantbreak100guy, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Cantbreak100guy

    Cantbreak100guy Tele-Meister

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    I want to assemble a Telecaster. Classic type. Looking for affordable, but, good quality kit. There are several online and they all "look" okay, but, I just don't want to buy a piece of crap. I'm hoping to keep it under $200, unless I find a side job soon. What say you? I am more interested in a decent body and neck as I could upgrade the hardware and stuff later. I am a cheap bastard and want to do as much as possible myself. Any helpful input would be awesome. Thanks!!
     
  2. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wouldn't it be cheaper to get yourself a second hand Squier Standard tele or so? These have full sized string through bodies and are pretty decent in my book. I even love the alnico pickups, in effect I wouldn't even change them for "boutique" pickups costing more than the whole guitar.
    New, they are advertised on the Squier website for 250 dollars, so you could certainly find one for 150 or below.
     
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  3. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

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    I second just buying a used Squier.
    With a kit you'll have material costs that will run up on you and you'll be spending more Jan you intended for a final product that won't be better than Squier can put out. Let's say used 150. You can upgrade pots, cap, jack, wiring for 30 bucks and be under your initial budget. Figure out if the pups need to be replaced and se5 some future money aside knowing the rest of the wiring is set.

    In the future you could even refin to a color you'd ideally like and learn a new set of skills.
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    If you want to go the kit route, I highly recommend kits from The Fretwire, such as this T-Style kit.

    Kits require more work, such as finishing and shaping the headstock, than buying a factory guitar. Putting one together is a lot of fun though, if you are prepared to put the work into it and you want to make something that's unique to you. However, if you're concerned about things like resell value, then a kit isn't for you.

    If you want to go the upgrade route first, then you might want to consider a Squier. Although there are other good, yet inexpensive, Tele style guitars out there, such as the SX's from Rondo, a Squier is going to be more compatible with third party parts.
     
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  5. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Meister

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    Normally I would agree with you on the new vs. used prices, but have you seen used prices lately?!?

    I live in Western New York and have been checking Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Rochester Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Reverb and eBay for over 2 months. In many cases the used prices are only $20 less than brand new, and places like Musicians Friend have open box Teles for less than used beat up modified ones on the above mentioned venues.

    You can get an open box NEW American Special Telecaster for $799 @ MF. I don't see anything used that good a deal.

    I think the best deal for string-through entry level Tele is the Squier Bullet at $179.00:

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/search?sB=r&Ntt=Bullet+telecaster
     
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  6. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Afflicted

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    True, some people seem to think second hand guitars are made of gold dust. I just mailed with a seller of an Affinity top load... He really thinks a beaten up heavily scratched copy will get 180 euros, if you can buy it new for 199, with two years warranty and delivered at my doorstep. I offered him 80, he refused, I smiled and told him my offer will still be there in a month or so and that he could contact me.

    I constantly read here that people seem to pay a lot less for new guitars than what is advertised on the Fender site, so perhaps new might be a solution too, even for standard. Like whenever there is a new "deal" of the day or a certain percentage for whatever holiday season it might be.
     
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  7. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Meister

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    I got my Squier Classic Vibe 50s Vintage Blond new for $340 US from an online retailer (15% off) simply because I asked for it even though it wasn't included in their online sale.

    I laugh when I see them used for $350 PLUS shipping, like "what are you smoking?!"
     
  8. televillian

    televillian Tele-Holic

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    now is the time to buy
     
  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    In WNY you have to take the long view and be patient. The CL opportunities are there, but it takes a long time and diligent watching to spot them. You may do better with the local music stores that post on CL. They are generally rational on pricing and dealing.
     
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  10. Cantbreak100guy

    Cantbreak100guy Tele-Meister

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    Good points made by everyone. I like the Squier idea. Played some nice ones at the store and have seen some decent CL deals here and there. The thing is, I really want to build one. Tough decision.
     
  11. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Meister

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    Building one is NOT cheap, but you will get exactly what you want.

    I thought I was using good but certainly not great parts and I'm at $450: neck, body, tuners, string guide, nut, neck plate, strap buttons, ferrules, control plate, knobs, electrosocket, bridge, saddles, pickups, pickguard, pots, caps, wiring, and screws because some parts don't include them. Then there's sealer, primer, paint, toner, clear coat, sand paper, polishing compound, tools and last but not least, strings!
     
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  12. Cantbreak100guy

    Cantbreak100guy Tele-Meister

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    Uh oh, now you're scaring me!
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    With a kit you will spend many more hours sanding and finishing and finishing and sanding than any other part of the build. Some find Zen-like calmness in sanding and sanding and finishing and finishing but others get impatient at those steps. That is the decision you want to figure out for yourself. I'll do it if I start from raw board scratch build but a kit I'm more interested in the other aspects. I fulfill my Zen calmness need in fret work.

    Rondo or Thomann sell kits I think too, as well as attractively priced finished guitars to mod.

    Stratosphere sells pieces and it might be an advantage to buy a MIM neck then search for a body (Squier or other) and various parts local on craigslist. You can and should buy all control electronics yourself (bourns, cts, crl, switchcraft) as you can usually get the same parts used in $3,000 guitars for $30 or so.

    What I'd search your craigslist for is First Act, Spectrum, and other similar guitars for cheap. I have found I like them better than Squiers just because their necks more often match MIM/MIA chunkiness than the skinny little Squier necks. I've gotten these off-brand for $10,$15,$25,$30,$35... in various states of abuse and disrepair although not in a while locally, might be some ebay options. They all need fret levels (but will play like MIAs when done well) and is a great skill for later scratch builds you'll do. You can block the trem and install Tele pickups and controls and it will sound just like a Tele (I did this for my first 'Tele'). You can buy guitars up the food chain of price too. Examples for abused guitar 'kits' ...
    one
    two
    three
    four
    five

    .
     
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  14. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    In contrast, I spent about $250 on my Fretwire Mosrite style build. The kit was $160 after a discount code. I upgraded the electronics using parts I had on hand, lets say $20. Paint and swirl dip supplies, about $25 to $30, but I already had most of this on hand. Abalone topped knobs, $12, because they look good with the swirl finish. String trees, $3, but I had these as well. Used SD Quarter Pound Strat pickup, $30.

    Now, if I didn't already have all the tools I needed on hand, then that would have added probably another $75 to $100 to the price tag.
     
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  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Just to add to this thread....

    Guns and Guitars on YouTube did this comparison video of 3 inexpensive Tele kits (GFS, TomTop and The Fretwire).



    I also recently noticed the Kiesel (previously Carvin) added a T-Style to their Bolt kits. It's more like a Strat-Tele hybrid though. However, it is US made and you can get some neat options. https://www.kieselguitars.com/catalog/kits/tlk1
     
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  16. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    Monoprice Indio Tele, $200 or less on sale. Some people like them better than the CV. I just gigged with mine again last night, I love it. Solid as a rock, nice and light, gorgeous finish, etc, etc.
     
  17. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Well, since owning a guitar is usually (not always) about playing it and creating music then I'd hunt for the used Squire CV.

    Often if you show up at the sellers' place with money close to if not the asking price you can find a deal.

    With the CV Squire you can grow with it, change the PU's (or not) and get down to what owning the guitar is supposed to be about.............. playing music and the sooner you are doing that, instead of waiting for paint to dry, running out to get solder to wire the pu's etc etc etc. the better.

    Gary
     
  18. goldsend

    goldsend TDPRI Member

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    Just to throw my two bits in. I have tried building myself and if you get the wrong kit, it can take a lot of the fun out of the project.
    My suggestions are Solo Music Gear, or Fretwire. Both of these companies have decent kits that don't require a whole lot of correction to the basic parts as soon as you get them.
    GFS if really hit or miss with everything they sell, meaning that item may be really quality product, but the next may as well be thrown away as soon as you get it.
    I haven't tried anybody else.
     
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