Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by telewacker, Jul 12, 2008.
How do they compare? Tone, feel, quality? Anyone prefer one to the other? If so why?
I have a guitar center nearby that has an amazing highway one and a fairly mediocre baja...but guitars are so individual that you just have to play a bunch until one speaks to you. I've played some other highway one teles that were not nearly as nice as this one was and I'm sure there are some amazing bajas that I've not had the privilege of playing.
Understood. I guess I'm looking at the two models "average" in terms of features, vibe, etc.
People either love or hate the H1, so you are better off trying one first. The big differences are: Baja has gloss poly finish vs thin, satin nitro finish on H1. I'm not a fan of the H1 finish because it is very prone to scar and I find it slippery.
The Baja has awesome Custom Shop pups and the S1 switching system. I love the pups, couldn't care less about the H1. The necks are very different. The H1 is sort of a large C with jumbo frets. The Baja is a V with smaller frets. Again, I love the Baja.
I also love the fact that the Baja is available with the "blackguard" color scheme, although I'm also a big fan of sunburst like the H1. Also note that there are two types of H1 - "standard" and Texas. Overall I like both of the them, but I'm a bigger fan of the Baja.
Ok, well here's what I found on the two that I compared...
You have ash (baja) vs. alder (hwy 1)
the baja I played was a lot heavier than the hwy 1
hwy 1 is available w/ a rosewood neck
The neck on the hwy 1 is great for my hand...I like the modern nut width (43mm) and I HATED the super narrow nut width on the baja (41.3mm). There's such a difference between the two that I don't think a lot of players would like the feel of both necks. I do like the medium jumbo frets on the baja better than the jumbo frets on the hwy1, but fret size is not nearly as big a deal to me as nut width. Both guitars have 9.5 radius which I like.
Hwy 1 has a nitro finish and the baja has polyester (I prefer nitro, but not a deal breaker for me).
Baja has all the crazy electronics configurations with the 4 way switch and phase button. Hwy 1 has the standard 3 way switch.
Personally, I feel like I could be very happy with a highway 1 with the pickups changed out. I know I could never vibe with the baja neck...but you might be the opposite in that respect
Interesting. Thanks. I have the chance to try the Baja...he wants $450 for it. The H1 is in the Emporium and has a different MIM neck. It's rosewood which I prefer, but not being able to try it out is a gamble. However I have bought guitars online with good results. I figure if the Baja doesn't grab me I'll take a chance with the H1. They're both cheap enough to swap pups, necks, etc. if need be I suppose.
The Texas Highway One is ash. The only thing that took some getting used to for me were the HUGE frets. I mean these are big suckers. I've never tried a Baja but I like the pickups in the Texas. They're fairly hot and warmish which I like. I've never tried the four way switching but I know for a fact I don't care about S1 switching. I've been thinking about getting a blonde one and putting a humbucker in the neck. Pickguards are about the least important feature to me as they can be swapped for a few bucks. If you're into the relic thing the Hwy 1 relics itself fairly quickly.
As other folks have already mentioned the frets on the Highway are substantial. I liitle to much for me. I only tried one Baja so far as I have not seen many around. It was a sweet guitar but the weight reminded me of some 70's boat anchor LP's and heavy weight Strats I have owned in the past. I read around that the weight varies on them so that's good news.
All in all I would choose the Baja. The specs' are really good (imo). I will def' be on teh look out for a used one on the cheap.
I'm looking for classic twang. But I have pups or can get them if I need to. The H1 I'm looking at has a non original neck with what looks like more of a medium jumbo fretwire. I'm not into the relic thing, just good tone and playability.
$450 is a great price for a used Baja (imo). I would be all over that. Is it 100% stock? You could flip it easy enough for a small profit.
It's stock, and mint supposedly. But if it has a narrow nut that's not good........
I'm not at all into the relic thing either but the satin finish wears to a semi-gloss from play wear. The Texas Tele has different pickups than the standard Hwy 1. If you can find one I'd recommend checking it out. It's a nice guitar.
According to the Fender site:
Baja @ 41.3MM.
Highway @ 43mm.
This is the best advice you'll get. I think the Highway 1's are quite a bit more consistent, but as others mentioned, they are not for everyone. The Bajas unfortunately really run the gamut on the quality front. You owe it to yourself to check them both out firsthand.
If I am not mistaken the jumbo sized frets on the highways is a newer spec'. The older versions did not have them. Might be a consideration when on the hunt.
Yes, but the Fender site, as usual, is full of baloney.
Checked 3 Highway Ones, and they are all right at 1 + 11/16ths.
Checked four of my seven Bajas and they are a little less than 1/64th less than that, on average. So, overstated by roughly 300 percent, no?
What is strange is, all except one of my Bajas average a string array at the nut of 1 + 3/8ths inches, while another is 1 + 5/16ths inches. Some kind of fluke. The neck is normal width; big clearance on the fret edges ( I'll replace the nut).
The Highway Ones are also almost 1/64th on average wider in string array, over the Bajas.
Listen, if that Highway One has a nice big aftermarket neck with average size frets, that would make it much more attractive. Only the saddles and pickups would be at issue.
Meanwhile, beware any Baja that sits unbought at that price. I love my nice ones, but there are heavy ones and there are 'dull' ones, and I don't care how cheap it is, unless you are prepared to start swapping out parts until you find out what's holding it back (might not be so bad), you would be better paying more for the pick of the litter. Having the near worst example of an exemplary model guitar would not work for me.
Also take fretboard radius into account. I don't know about the standard ones but the Texas Hwy 1 has a 12" board.
That's an EXCELLENT pricealmost too good to be true. Make sure it's not too heavy (unless you like that). Bajas are notorious for being on the heavy side. I personally love the the soft V necks on the bajas.
Ha, It wouldn't surprise me if the Fender site spec's are goofy. The old trying before buying still works the best.
I bought a Pinecaster, which is what I really wanted. So...........
I appreciate the info and intelligent commentary.:AOK