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American Standard Telecaster - What Can You Tell Me?

Troubleman

Member
Messages
4,370
I'm a recent convert to the school of Tele lust.
I spent ten years playing only Les Pauls, and almost twenty after that playing Stratocasters 90% of the time.
I guess it's been a couple of months now since a set of Don Mare pickups (curses don - you've created a monster!:D) dropped into my "I own it just to say I own a Tele but just about never play it" mutt Telecaster did something neither a Danny Gatton Sig Model Tele nor a real '68 Thinline that I used to own could - converted me to the Tele darkside...

So... as it turns out, after decades of ignorance, I know precious little about Teles, but I'm jonesin' 'em big time. Everybody pines over vintage Teles, reissues of same, and the myriad of boutique clones they've spawned. Nocasters, Suhrs, Glendales, etc - EVERYBODY raves. Even the MIM Roadworn Tele has been drawing accolades.
One model I don't hear raved about/drooled over - the lowly Fender American Standard.
What gives?
Are they decent?
Flawed by can be made decent with parts swapping?
How do they compare to their vintage-styled cousins...?
How do they compare to say... a Roadworn, or a Baja Tele?
I can't afford the Fender Custom Shop models, nor the boutique brigade.
Not until the kiddies are out of college anyway :facepalm
Now a used American Standard......?
Might be a different story

School me please
Tele GAS is gnawing at me
Okay - "gnawing" like the opening sequence of Jaws.. chomping at me would be more accurate
(any tele-sluts in the house feel my pain?)

pEAcE,

jb
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,323
1. Welcome to the Telecaster dark side. We have cookies.

2. My '52 Reissue will be the last guitar I let go.

3. Can't speak much to the American Standards except that they seem sturdy and reliable & they're Telecasters. If you want one, get one.

 

5E3

Member
Messages
5,055
I like my American Series just fine :AOK



There are so many Teles and Tele variations to choose from, it's mind boggling :jo

Good luck in your quest :)
 
Messages
579
One reason the American Standards don't seem to get a lot of love at the moment is because they have a modern style bridge. Most tele nuts prefer a vintage bridge.

I bought a telecaster about 18 months ago after going into a shop and literally playing every tele model they had. If you're looking for a new tele I suggest you do the same--there are so many different kinds that you need to discover for yourself.

Me? I ended up with a Japanese Fender '62 reissue.
 

dunara

Member
Messages
1,900
The bridge is wrong, and they're overpriced for what you actually get. If you can't afford to go CS, Japanese is your best option.
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
4,938
Predictably, it all comes down to the Tele that suits you best. American Standards are fine. They're well built and sound good. But many Tele lovers dig the quirks of the original design, rather than the modern features (all intended to be improvements) of the American Standards. And really, for the majority of players, especially those that are not long time Tele partisans, many of the features of the AS series make good sense. The neck carve and radius are very average. Not skinny, not fat, not vintage, not flat. Same with the fret size. Not huge, not small. The modern bridge was designed to address the perceived "shortcomings" of the original, etc. So it really comes down to how close do you want your guitar to come to the original design?
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,323
Like bluegrif hinted, i prefer the shortcomings of the original over the so-called "improvements" .. but I'm a nut.

:D


Old school, non-compensated bridge.






7.25" (curvy!) radius, tiny fret wire.








Not for everyone.



But for those that are being twanged, it's the power of the Tele.
 

roknfnrol

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,575
I dig most of the vintage quirks of the old teles but I like larger/taller frets. The thin skin and road worn are nice.
 

BadAssBill

Member
Messages
7,459
I've been playing my A.Standard since early 06...and it's my #1. I find, somehow, a lot of guys who play LP's can also identify and play Tele's. Not sure why/how...but it usually doesn't seem to be a challange.

It does everything I ask of it, with it's simplicity, amazingly well.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,874
I went ahead & grabbed an '08 AST not two days b4 the price increase. I opted for the ash/maple/lacquer combo. I have had some fun with it right out of the box. It's nice & light, and plays great. Admittedly, my '83 stock AS does sound a little smidge better. But, the '08 plays better. At least, stock, off the shelf. So, I have an Area T neck, and a PB-1 bridge. Now, I'm waiting for my Callaham bridge, & plate to get here. I am betting once those upgrades have been made, I will most likely, be able to actually kill you with a guitar! At least 5 different ways too, LOL!!! Pics & clips once it's all ironed out. Oh, and I do agree on trying out as many as you can get your hands on. What I did was take a friend with me down to GC. He's a very old school Tele kinda dude, so he was having almost as much fun as I was. You find a suitable amp to demo these with. I chose the new Bogner Alchemist, because I wanted to try one of those too. I also wanted to see how well the stock pups handled some high gain. So, I started with a MIM RW, or Relic, or whatever these are called. It was cool, I dug it. I happen to like shiny new looking guitars, so I didn't spend too much time on these. Then, my buddy would look around, sizing up the options, and bring me one, after playing it dry, and say, "Here, try this one." I'd play that one for a little while, and he'd walk up with another one that he'd already scrutinized. Here, try this one. Here, try this one. Here, try this one. Here, try this one. Here, try this one. I ended up with the '08 from that process of elimination. Of course, I could tell off the bat that it would need the upgrades I am implementing. So, that was my process of finding a USA made tele that works for me.
Good Hunting!!
 

steelhead

Member
Messages
160
Bought an American Standard used about 2 years ago and wouldn't change a thing. People say they like the 3-barrel bridge, but for intonation purposes, I feel 6 saddles are much better. (Sorry to offend the vintage bridge brigade, but only my opinion). Plenty of used ones out there for a good price and if you could pick up the 52 for less than $900, they're great guitars also. (even though they're 3 barrel). I say play as many as you can because every line will have a lemon in it, but also some nice ones.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,314
Flip over to the Greg Koch thread and watch a few vids of him playing those 'horrible' new style Tele's. No tone, right?:messedup
 

BrentB6

Member
Messages
368
I picked up an 03 AS on the cheap. Black w maple board.....nothing really special cosmetically... Absolutely kills.
 

uberpict

Member
Messages
504
IMHO, best deal you can get for a guitar is a used American Standard Tele. Tele's can do it all from rock to jazz, simple controls and just has a big fat tone that kills.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,161
I bought a 2008 Am Std last year. To me it sounds like a Tele. I like the 9 1/2" radius and bigger frets better than the original. I got mine before the price increase and thought it was a really good deal.





 

5E3

Member
Messages
5,055
^^^^^^ Yeah, that's a really good looking Tele Brian! The tortoise really sets it off :AOK
 
Messages
23,951
It's a winner if you chuck the 6-saddle jobbie........
Yeah, but we need to let them know chucking the 6 saddle bridge assembly is tough - a lot of guys are never gonna try it and some will try and they shouldn't.

You can do the bolt on long plates from Callaham or Glendale. But grafting a 4 holes above 6 through holes assembly where there was a 3 holes below 6 (slightly narrower, slightly closer to the neck) through holes takes finesse and some decent tools:



 

Troubleman

Member
Messages
4,370
Yeah, but we need to let them know chucking the 6 saddle bridge assembly is tough - a lot of guys are never gonna try it and some will try and they shouldn't.

You can do the bolt on long plates from Callaham or Glendale. But grafting a 4 holes above 6 through holes assembly where there was a 3 holes below 6 (slightly narrower, slightly closer to the neck) through holes takes finesse and some decent tools:



Was it necessary for you to end up drilling new holes for the strings to pass through the plate? That qualifies as an intensive pain in the arse modification. That does address my "easily modified to decent?" question. That sucks.....

jb
 




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