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What's a Good First Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MarkF786, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. J Lacey

    J Lacey Tele-Holic

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    Im no expert , but I've been messin with these things for along time as well. And I pretty much suck when it comes down to all the little specs that alot of guys here know by heart on each and every model of a Tele there is on the planet. But I can in fact offer this opinion.
    I've owned four USA Teles. A midnight wine that looked awesome but sounded pretty much dead to me, more than likely 'cause I'd been use to strats most my life so I sold it. A Black one with a serious pup upgrade that will smoke it that I plan to keep. A 2007 USA tele that was vintage white that was in my opinion awesome looking but dead in the water the day I bought it as far as sound goes. Sold it the other day. I also owned the ever famous AVRI52 which most here will push to the top of the gotta have list, which I asked here before I bought it, so I bought it. HATED IT! Hated the feel of it, the look of it( mine had a crappy looking grain just above the pick guard that most here would have not liked as well), and I didn't like the vintage wiring, the neck, the frets, the, the, the, well, I sold it and took the $350.00 hit. What I did find recently was the Baja that seems to fit my hand like a glove, it sounds great from the factory, it will twang, it will rock it, all for around $750.00............I feel the USA Teles I have owned were all top rate fit and finish guitars with-out a doubt. But I'm begining to learn that there's more to guitar buying that looking at pictures, deciding on colors, wanting built in USA this or USA that just for the sake of pride. I was stupid about all this for a long time..........From now on I'll be shopping according to necks, frets ,bridges, and pups, where ever it's made.......because when you really think about it, those are the things that seperate all these guitars soundwise and playwise......in a nut shell

    Good luck in your search............my Brother just bought a new CV50's the other day for $329.99. Good value no doubt. He says its the best electric guitar he has ever owned. He's had Teles, Strats, and a LP or two over the years.

    Best wishes

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  2. gotie

    gotie TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Beef it up

    1- As you said, you lean towards humbucker guitars so why not start with a humbucker équipped Tele.

    2- Also you have been playing for 20 years with guitars which have a relatively flatter radius than vintage Telecasters.

    3- You seem to have the means to buy a good instrument and the experience necessary to appreciate one.

    If I were you, I would seriously consider the Hot Rod 52 Telecaster. It has a Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini Humbucker in the neck position which will give you tones that your ears are used to. The Custom Vintage single coil near the bridge will ease you into the wonderful world of Tele twang and the 9.5 inch radius will feel more familiar to you then a 7.5 inch Vintage neck.

    That USA made instrument is a beauty, finished in butterscotch blond over a premium ash body. The neck is Maple.

    Thus equipped you will have proper Tele tone with extra beef.

    Guaranteed to get a smile on your face and perhaps, like me, you will leave your other guitars in their cases after you sample a good Tele. It is truly the Stradivarius of guitars.

    England's Guitarist magazine said of this model: <The Hot Rod's Seymour Duncan neck pickup adds girth, but thanks to the mini-humbucker design, keeps a good degree of sparkle and chime>.
     
  3. opticnerv

    opticnerv TDPRI Member

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    I just got my first tele a couple of weekends ago - 2005 American Standard, stock. It's good but now that I have it I wish I'd spent more time trying different models (Craigslist). The build is great, but it's not "the perfect" guitar for me. All my others are HH or HSH, thinner necks, some with trem, some not. But I STILL want a great Tele.
     
  4. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    If your budget isn't an issue, get a MIA Tele with the traditional single coil pickups. You've already got the HBer's and P 90's.

    A MIA tele will always retain its value and you won't get upgradeitis. Feeling a need to upgrade right away can get expensive.

    You won't need to worry about going through a stack of CV's or MIM's in noisy music stores to get a good one. I think you'll be the happiest to add a true MIA tele to your collection.
     
  5. looney77

    looney77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Considering you are accustomed to quality guitars already, I tend to agree with the 52RI or MIA suggestions. The CV and CVC are very good for what they are, but they aren't nearly as good as the American made teles, IMO. I actually do prefer them to most MIM fenders. I would definetly go with the classic single coil tele config. as well since you have all the other options. You may wind up replacing them with customs and deluxes later anyway.
     
  6. Steamroller

    Steamroller Tele-Meister

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    IMO :

    - Whatever tele (the better you can buy), but with two single coil pups.

    - Forget the ergonomy (neck profile, fretboard, ...) but be carefull with the guitar setup. Teles aren't easy guitars.

    - Talk with a tele-experienced friend who can show you what you can do with your tele and your amp working together.
     
  7. Baaford

    Baaford Tele-Meister

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    My first was a partscaster. I got MJT to do a body and neck to my specs, bought fender hardware and got some rumpelstiltskin pickups. It's my no.1 now.
    I would play a few Teles and then either buy your fav or do a partscaster based on what you like. I based mine loosely on a CS Nocaster which was out of my price range.
    +1 on trying a 52avri, personally I think the old spec Teles are spot on. Leo got it right first time.
     
  8. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

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    This.
     
  9. devnulljp

    devnulljp Tele-Meister

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    I've been playing for 30+ years and I just bought a CV50 -- love it. Doesn't feel like a $300 guitar.
     
  10. Maggot

    Maggot Tele-Afflicted

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    If you already have humbucker equipped guitars, I'd go for a classic-style Fender tele - meaning some kind of plate around the bridge and alnico, single-coil tele-style pickups. Squiers count. My main guitar is a Squier CV 60s Strat that retains way more of the vibe, and especially the sound, of a vintage Strat than most of the American Strats that have come along in the past 25 years.

    My experience is, if it's not a Fender Tele, it's not a Tele - in the same sense that a bunch of geniuses can get together to make the perfect Les Paul, but it doesn't end up sounding as Les Paulish as something a couple of mouth breathers and a marketing department at Gibson come up with and stamp "Les Paul" on. Unlike Gibson, Fenders QC is pretty good too, and has been for quite a while.
     
  11. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    Just a thought for the OP - consider what tone you're going for in your decision. Don't tell yourself that you have to have a Tele, for the sake of having (a traditional) one. If you do so, you may end up soundwise, in the situation I was in until recently - hating the tone, due to it being "too twangy" or "ice picky" sounding. I went through this with 3 different "traditional style" Teles, and ended up selling each of them after only owning each of them for a few months. My Tele of choice ended up being a G&L Tribute ASAT Classic I got used for about $375. Its MFD pickups give it the sonic zing and sting I want, with added extra low end (that I like - without sounding like a humbucker), and has none of the uber twang/ice picky tones I don't like. After 32 years of playing, I've found myself a keeper in a Tele-style guitar. In a nutshell, don't limit yourself to one specific Tele style guitar. Good Luck in your search.
     
  12. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I'm just going to say, you've got the other bases covered pretty well, and you've got the money -- I'd shoot for the '52 RI, two single-coils, maple neck, vintage frets & radius, the most tele of teles.
     
  13. Rockergirl21

    Rockergirl21 TDPRI Member

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    i love my Squier Vintage Modified Teles

    I have and SH and an HH (used to be an SSH....has since been modded).

    I enjoy the glossy maple fretboard/necks, and the sweet & rocking tones I get from them. They are made in India, and with the intonation set, a bone nut installed, and a bit of smoothing of the fret edges, you are good to go for $350 (or less if you find a sale-- got my White One for $329, and the Black for only $279!)...I prefer these to the Squier Classic Vibes, but those are REALLY GOOD too. Don't be afraid of Squier...They make some really good stuff.
     
  14. fuzzworks

    fuzzworks Tele-Meister

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    Most of the electric guitars I have had have cost over $1000, one cost over $5000, only the most expensive one is comparable to my CV50 in terms of fit and finish. And soundwise it's my favorite electric guitar, period.
     
  15. wannapickone

    wannapickone Tele-Holic

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    The "ONE" that has the perfect tone, fit, finish, neck and personal appeal.......all you have to do is go find it........
    "KEEP ON'A PICKIN' " WPO
     
  16. General Lee

    General Lee TDPRI Member

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    Mark et. all,
    For the true tele experience and the point from which all future purchases of the beast can be intelligently made, you need to find one with an ash (preferably swamp) body and maple neck (9.5 radius). It doesn't matter so much if it MIM, MIA Or MIJ as long as it has these basic woods. Also, look for one with good single coil pickups - preferably alnico overwounds - for a true vintage/modern vibe. Humbuckers just don't give you the true tele experience. Finally, find something that has a light lacquer finish (xcludes squires and any kind of asian copy). There should be a natural body-felt resonance coming from the instrument. Play one of these for a while and you will know if, when and how to move on from there. Best of luck and good pickin'!
     
  17. steviemac

    steviemac TDPRI Member

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    Play a bunch of inexpensive Teles......I hope you're near a city where you can do that....it's what the cats did back in the day, when Fender was just starting out....choose one that plays really well......then buy Callaham or another quality bridge/knobs/etc and outfit it under the hood with pickups from Vintage Vibe......Pete Biltoft builds the best.....absolutely incredible...
    with his bridge & neck pickup w/5-way switch you'll never look back. If something happens to it, you can replace it easily......and you're not out a lot of cash. I know what I'm talking about....my best buddy has a '52 Telecaster that was the best I've ever heard, until I outfitted my inexpensive Tele with Pete's setup.
     
  18. tweeddeluxe

    tweeddeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know how you could possibly be satisfied with anything less than a new 52RI
     
  19. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

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    Just try some out. I played a Squier w/rosewood fretboard that sounded neat. There's good from every batch, whether made in China, or a CS Masterbuilt.
    .
    .
     
  20. yangounet

    yangounet Friend of Leo's

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    My first tele was a highway1. I warmly recommend it.
     
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