What's the Difference Between CS and Stock Production

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Encinitastubes, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Encinitastubes

    Encinitastubes Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    425
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Encinitas, California
    I've been looking around at Nocasters. Judging from the large amount of them out there, it doesn't seem like they would be made in a small custom shop. If they are, what is the custom shop - is it just another production line? What is the difference in build (not specs.) between a CS model (other than master built) and a stock production model? Thanks.
     
  2. fws6

    fws6 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    43
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Location:
    netherlands
    The price !

    Mostly though. Of course the CS makes good guitars but so does the standard line of Fender products.

    They make zillions of guitars in the custom shop. Like any company the big guitar factories nowadays do their research and they want to make something fit for each wallet. They make a crappy chinese line to serve teens just starting out, they make good guitars at a decent price for those who know how to play, and they make very expensive guitars to serve those who saved up / just have too much cash.

    cutom shop, special edition, 'limited issue ' etc are made up words to serve the higher end of the market. These editions are only limited by how many market research has shown they can sell.

    what you should look for is a guitar to match the specs you want. Configuration, body wood, finish. For the rest pickups and parts are all interchangable (that's how Leo designed it) and most new Tele's can be set up to play great.
     
  3. dibber124

    dibber124 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,212
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Usually $1000.00-1500.00 USD. Other than that and a cool decal on the back of the headstock, not much at all.
     
  4. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    5,769
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Prairie Hill, Texas
    Yes, but with Fenders best workers. The custom shop guitars are equal in quality to the high priced boutiques. I have owned 3 CS guitars (and 1 master built) and they have been great. I particularly like the necks, the fretwork is superb. You get what you pay for, that's the bottom line.


    Hey, how far are you from Corona? If Fender gives tours, we could use a firsthand report.
     
  5. Encinitastubes

    Encinitastubes Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    425
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Encinitas, California
    Maybe I'll do that. I have a friend who has a friend that works there. I'm about an hour. I'm also about an hour away from Ensenada. Perhaps I will do a report.
     
  6. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,725
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    White Mountains
    I seem to gravitate towards the MIM Classic Series.
    Excellent construction all around for a reasonable price just like Leo evisioned for the working Musician and Student.
     
  7. Skrik

    Skrik Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    744
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Norway
    This is going to provoke, but that is not my first intention. I have a Squier BSB Affinity Tele. It cost me under $100 delivered, and I live in the far north of Europe. This guitar has a perfect neck. The frets are deliciously seated, levelled, and polished. I do not understand how it can be improved on. Please enlighten me.
     
  8. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,741
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta Area
    There's no doubt that the CS makes great guitars and in a lot of cases, you do get what you pay for. That being said, I've played quite a few CS Telecasters & Esquires and while they were really nice, they still didn't feel, sound or play as good as my current Esquire. I know I talk about it a lot, but it is a great guitar and perfect for me. I got lucky. CS guitars are expensive and If I found one I "had" to have, I'd find a way to buy it. Personally, I think there is a difference in CS and regular productions models, but most important is finding the guitar that feels best to you.
     
  9. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    5,769
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Prairie Hill, Texas

    I don't doubt the quality of any Fender, whether it is a Squier, MIM, MIJ, USA or CS. I had a Squier Classic Vibe Tele and it was a great guitar (if the neck neck would have been like my Nocaster, I would have sold the Nocaster and kept the Squier), but there were definitely some differences in workmanship and overall feel.
     
  10. Newfie_J.

    Newfie_J. Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    291
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    North Bay
    I have no real experience to draw from but I like to hope that the custom shop picks the best pieces of lumber from the pile and gets guaranteed perfect fit, finish and setup by the best trained workers in the industry before leaving the factory, or the "shop". Plus you probably get some fancy paperwork and goodies to verify its pedigree.

    At least thats what I hope it does. The truth may vary.
    I enjoy the import stuff because I can afford it, its good, and I love to tinker.
     
  11. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    The truth is that Fender's Custom Shop is now a production line too. They certainly don't make as many guitars as the regular production line, and when you're looking at Custom Shop guitars, you're generally getting 2 piece bodies, straight nitro finishing and features not available one the regular production guitars.

    But put all of that out of your mind for a moment. You're looking at a Nocaster right? Well, that guitar is widely considered to be the best Tele that Fender is making and the best Telecaster that Fender has made in decades. They're very consistent and everything a great Tele should be.

    If I found out that Fender had the Nocaster built by trained monkeys, it wouldn't change anything.

    It's a GREAT guitar.
     
  12. tboy

    tboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,370
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    CS uses superior materials. The best cuts of figured wood, lightest ash, more hand work, more comprehensive final check. The manufacture process is a bit more like a small, boutique shop might make a guitar. Whether or not this translates into a better playing and sounding ax is debatable. It does guarantee that you are getting a guit made as good as the US Fender shop can make one, and this should translate into better resale value.

    That said, I've owned a number of them, and have sold all. My favorite Strat is a blue 80's, 60's re-ish MIJ. It's "better overall," than any CS or Standard Strat I've ever owned. Sound, weight, feel, whammy action, stay-in-tune, etc...
    I've also had a number of CS Teles. Not one has come within a mile of my main, a '59, but that's me. I've had other 50's that were dogs. Luck of the draw with any guitar, no matter how or when it's made, it would seem.
     
  13. andromeda673

    andromeda673 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    446
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Hubertus Wisconsin
    I have two squier telecaster's nothing cheap about them, sure they skimp in some areas, but they play really great once you get them setup properly. I would love to own a Artist's series, but I simply can't afford it. I can't justify paying as much as some people do for a "real telecaster" or "nocaster".

    I'm on a budget, and my budget isn't $2000 and higher for guitars. The custom shop series, is really awesome, I think any good guitar player can make any guitar sound good. I don't buy into the theory of "this more expensive guitar, makes me a better player"

    I think hard work and pratice and patience makes you better not a $2000 custom shop or artist series telecaster
     
  14. tboy

    tboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,370
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Yea man!
     
  15. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    31,486
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bakersfield Ca.
    The main difference is the wood the CS uses a completly different wood supplier than regular fender uses.

    More time and attention is paid to the necks and fretwork and thats really it.

    They are all cut on CNC machines so I dont see any advantage to better workers cause the same machine that cuts the necks and bodies at the CS cuts em at Regular Fender too.

    Im with Stantheman the Classic series MIM's gives me all the quality I need.

    Ive owned 4 CS Fenders 1 was really good a 97 Cunetto the other 3 werent any better than the $500 Classics Ive owned.
     
  16. Torsten

    Torsten TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    42
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    Denmark
    I beg to differ! Of all the CS guitars I have owned or played, the most incosistent model is that '51 Nocaster reissue. I have tried great examples aswell as surprisingly lousy units bearing the CS '51 Nocaster tag.
    I don't know how those bad units have been able to leave the Custom Shop, but something must have gone wrong in the quality control.

    Regarding CS/Stock production;
    Roughly I'd say, that every third CS-instrument I try, makes me want it. One in every ten makes me want it REALLY bad. So much that I dream about it at night! (a scenario that usually ends up with me buying it)
    The American Standard (ESPECIALLY the new AM STD) guitars are very consistent. Very good instruments indeed, but rarely I find one that makes me want it, and I have yet to find one that keeps me awake at night. And I have tried a lot more AM STD guitars than CS guitars.

    I guess it all comes down to finding the most qualified personel to build the guitars. I could buy all the parts I wanted on ebay, but I'd never be able to replicate the feel and comfort of the work of a masterbuilder who's been doing this very thing every single day of his life for the last 20 or 30 years.
     
  17. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    Allright. I can appreciate that you've had a different experience than I've had, but I'll let you know when I play a bad Nocaster. I've played more than a dozen of them and the worst one was just "OK."

    Also, when you say that the new American Standard series are very consistent, I'd have to agree with that and say that all of the ones I've played have been average. Nothing bad, and nothing great. Still, very consistent!:D
     
  18. XKnight

    XKnight Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,748
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    While it's true that the bodies and necks are all cut on CNC machines, it requires a skilled worker to properly program the CNC machine. Then, once the neck and body leave the CNC machine the real work begins to put the finishing touches on the neck and body. I would imagine the workers at the Custom Shop spend a bit more time fine tuning the bodies and becks by hand before they are complete.

    To answer the OPs question, if you want a NoCaster you have no choice but to buy one from the Custom Shop since Fender does not make a regular production NoCaster anymore. Unless of course you have the cash for an original.
     
  19. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    I don't know about the current situation at the Fender Custom Shop, but an ex-master builder told me that they used to regularly switch necks on bodies if the builder didn't think that the neck/body combination was working well. This is one reason that the Cunetto era guitar could have a neck with a build number that didn't match the rest of the guitar. If the builder didn't like the finished product, he switched the neck. Numbers be damed! This is something that he felt was a strength that Fender had that smaller builders didn't have much access to.
     
  20. jedi

    jedi Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    632
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    on the bridge pickup
    The following items command the bigger dollars on a NoCaster or other CS guitars......."Wood" - selection is more specific with weight considered. "Finish" - the NoCaster has a nitro base and top coat like the 50s. "Fretwork" is superior to regular production. Last but not least is the "vibe" which you cannot put a price on because everyone has different requirements. :p
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.