What you are truly getting when you buy a "Tele"

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Backbeat8, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Leo Fender was an Amp Builder. He built and sold amps and players wanted a guitar to go along with the amps so Leo built the guitar for function and least cost. He saw, and got feedback from players, of the common guitar flaws ... hollow body feedback, headstocks breaking, no easy way to replace worn frets, and cost. Leo saw that a worn out neck could be replaced with a fresh factory one rather than paying someone more than that to refret an old neck.

    Gibson on the other hand were Guitar Builders. Steeped in traditions of instrument building they scoffed at solid bodied guitars (it took Les Paul's design combined with Fender's rapid market share rise to convince them) and then later players asked for amps to go with the guitars and ... Gibson struggled. The mix that became classic to Gibson guitar players was to match them with a Marshall amp.

    ...I find it interesting that the heel joint, takes the same machine time to cut bodies and necks to fit each other, and the Fender model has to tool and source steel plates and screws while all the Gibson model has to do is squeeze a little glue in there. Who has 'more cost' in that connection? The player benefits with the bolt-on style because they can replace the neck or the body any time they want -- if marketed today with no historical opinions to contend with, that is a feature worth higher product pricing.

    .
     
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  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Heal? Heel thyself, acousticmusic.org!
     
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  3. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    Maybe we aren't talking bout the same Squiers. Maybe we are. Are you talking about the Chinese Classic Vibe Squiers, Squiers other than the Chinese Classic Vibe Squiers, or ALL Squiers?

    I can ONLY speak to the Chinese-made Classic Vibe Squiers (teles and strats) as those are the only ones I have owned. I can't and won't speak to any of the ones I haven't personally owned and have experience with.

    The three Classic Vibes I own (two teles and a strat) did not need any "work" to play well at all. A basic setup? Of course. But my guitars in the $1,500 range and above have also required a basic setup as well. Beyond that basic setup, none of the three required any mods at all to play well. The Strat I left bone stock because it plays every bit as well and sounds even better than my Made in Japan Fender Strat. I wouldn't dream of upgrading or modding that thing. It is absolutely perfect as is. The two teles I have made modifications to. Not because they were needed to "play well"... they were great players bone stock. However, they are the perfect platform for modding if that is something you are into. Some people buy a $1,200-$1,800 guitar and then mod it. To *me* that doesn't make much economical sense. If I pay that much money for a guitar I want it to be perfect without having to make changes. However, a $399 guitar that plays well out of the box is a perfect platform for modding in my opinion. And I don't mean modding for playability... they were perfectly playable out of the box after a basic setup. I mean modding for tone and/or looks. I swapped the pickups in mine to Cavaliers just because I had heard such great things about those pickups (and what I heard was true). It wasn't a necessary mod, but an easy and affordable mod that I didn't mind doing to a $400 guitar (not a mod I would necessarily want to do to an $1,800+ guitar). I also swapped out the saddles on the teles. It wasn't a necessary upgrade at all, but I have a particular sound I like and a mix set of brass and aluminum compensated saddles is what I like. You might be able to get that stock on an $1,800+ guitar, but it was a $25 upgrade for me which on a $400 guitar (or $275 new for my factory blem) was nothing. Throw in some custom pickguards and I have personalized guitars that not only felt and played great from day one, but also sound and look great too... all for less than what a stock MIM Fender tele would have cost me.

    In my personal experience (I can't speak for everyone else's experiences with the same line), upgrades or modifications were not needed at all (which is why I've left one of my CVs bone stock). However, at that price point, it is such a fantastic platform to mod... even if it doesn't *need* it.
     
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  4. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    I have never for the life of me worked out where my extra £s go when you get beyond an AmPro with good tuners, we’ll finished neck and frets and decent materials. I’m the same with most products. I’ll buy Levi’s or equivalent but not Armani, a basic, non bling, Rolex but not a Patel Phillipe, an AmPro but not a custom shop. There’s a level where you’re paying for quality but go above and IMHO, you’re paying for a name or some sort of perceived kudos.
     
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  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I think the value increase beyond a certain level of price increase has been shown to be negligible.
     
  6. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yeah...

    This is the best.

    giphy.gif
     
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  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I'm going to guess even in the early 50s they could already stamp out the heel plates on a machine cheaply and with less training for the employee than the training required to do the set neck construction.

    People seem to get upset if there is an unsightly gap between neck/body but it doesn't seem to necessarily hurt the performance of the guitar all that much.

    The other benefit of course is no expensive neck resets but I guess that's more of an acoustic thing.
     
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  8. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    What you're truly getting when you buy a Tele is a mass produced musical instrument.

    Nothing wrong with that. Now just play the damn thing.
     
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  9. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A 2018 $400 classic vibe today would have cost $43 in 1952.

    An $800 Baja would have cost $86

    I would suggest you would not have been able to buy a very good guitar in 1952 for $86 much less something of the quality of the Baja. Or a $43 Classic Vibe for that matter. I don't like the CVs but I bet if you brought one to Leo in 1952 and told him you could sell it for $43 and make a profit, he would be shocked.
     
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  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    What's an OSHA?

     
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  11. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    I was wondering that, anyone?
     
  12. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

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    That's where the mojo comes from... nipple hair and chest sweat!
     
  13. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

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    I noticed this a bit ago on a AmPro in Natural with RW fb that I was looking at, there was a noticeable gap where the neck is housed and fused into the body. I was thinking "should I be bothered by this?"
     
  14. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Holic

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    I'd say you're getting a design classic. A complete redesign of the guitar for it's age.
    And when the Strat came out - game over. An iconic object. The Les Paul didn't have that kind of mojo.

    There's an interview with Jeff Beck on Reverb where he's talking about buying a Strat for £147, which was as good as a million to him back in the early '60's. But he wasn't going to settle for a Silvertone, he had to have this amazing thing. (He does say that he was more into Tele's).
    So the market was not flooded like it is now, there were very few options if you wanted a decent electric. What else are you going to get for £147 ?
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Haha OSHA is the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    OSHA regulates how operations are performed and how facilities and machines are set up to ensure safety of the workers.
    This of course increases the manufacturing cost.

    Most overseas competitor manufacturers don't have these protections for the workers, plus they don't generally have the EPA regulating release and disposal of their toxic wastes.

    Seems in this new global market, protecting US workers health and safety has lost many of them their jobs.

    Funny though, you'd think the MIC/ MIK/ MII etc Squiers would have nitro finishes on some models?
     
  16. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I didn't see it in the vid. But in SoCal it is this......

    https://www.osha.gov/
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, you know I have to consider that lots of players love the CV Squiers and have a herd of them, when i make comments about not being impressed with their quality.

    The MIC CV Squiers might be the most popular "Fenders" made today, so obviously they make lots of people happy.

    I'm a cheapskate when it comes to buying guitars and I've never spent more than $800 on a guitar.
    Having worked on and played guitars for decades and been a guitar tech, I just find them to be sort of what I'd expect for $400.

    I would not voice my dissenting opinion on the CV line if it wasn't for the huge amount of posting about how great they are.
    If everyone posted that they are decent serviceable guitars for the money, I'd have no reason to dispute those claims.
    But I keep reading that they are great, that they are as good as or better than US Fenders, and even that they are better than CS Fenders.
    Obviously much of that is hype, but that's what buyers read when they go shopping.

    Being cheap and liking guitars, I keep checking out the shipments at local shops looking for the one that speaks to me.
    And sometimes I even buy one and bring it home.

    I'm sorry but I cannot agree with the kind of praise they get.

    They are certainly an excellent product in a widely varied market, and for many players they are just right.

    Maybe I just miss the '80s MIJ Squiers selling for $100 back in the '90s.
    Or the USA/ MIJ parts Fenders selling for $300 in the early 2000s.
    Or even the MIJ Tokais that were around $250 not that long ago.
    Those days are gone and now we have decent inexpensive Squiers and J Tursers, Corts and Yamahas flooding the market.

    I do have a pretty solid MIC Squier Stagemaster 7 string I bought for $100 in the early 2000s, which was better to me than the popular Schecter (diamond series?) 7 strings around that price range at the time.
    Ive also come very close to buying a J Mascis Jazzmaster, and ended up buying a JMJM neck on ebay, but was relieved that it got dinged in shipping, because it was to me just not on par with my preferred necks.
    Not bad, but...

    Preferences and standards may vary!

    All opinions are certainly valid, and while mine is unpopular, I think it deserves to be heard.
    I really really want to find a used $300 Squier that screams "take me home!".
    Maybe one day...
     
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  18. nedray

    nedray Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Never Mind...
     
  19. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Just for clarification, from someone who was scraping together "paper route" money in 1959, a Tele cost $169 (with case) and was still below $200 in 1970. At least in Carolina. Around 1964 the Strat jumped from $260 clear up to $350, cases included. At that point, the Strat was more expensive than the Les Paul Custom, 1969 price still at $325, but no case was included.
    I still have the well worn catalogs, marked with prices that were always a few bucks beyond what I could afford.
     
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  20. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    No it doesn't. Leo built what he was able to, he was not trying to achieve "simple and cheap ", he was targeting professional guitarists. Strats were fancier and more expensive than Teles, as were Jazzmasters to Strats and Jaguars to Jazzmasters.
     
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