I've got a MIM standard with barden bridge + fralins. Sounds every bit as good as a '52 RI to my ears. Only thing i'd change is that the frets and neck are both too small for my tastes. Wanna switch to a fat neck w/ 12" (or compound) radius w/ big frets.
Got two of those 1599 GC Nocasters. Heaven.
I almost paid 2300 for the relic. Would have been worth it to me. But I lucked out. Knocking on wood. I liked the 52 with the Duncan neck mini humbucker. Nice guitar. The round thick necks of these Nocasters are a surprising delight. Never played an electric guitar neck I like so well.
Ok, what about taking one of the Squires and replacing the neck and electronics...will the all[arts neck fit the Squire body? What PU and other electronics are favored...want the original Tele look and sound.
Thank You. The red one has been stripped (simple with the HW1 bodies)and spraypainted a couple of times. No clear coats or final sandings, it's pretty rough, but I wanted it that way. The neck had been reliced by the previous owner and the back is sanded down to the wood. It is the most comfortable guitar I own, and with the Little 59 and 500k pots, it has a GREATsound.
I have several Strats. The ones I've made by adding good parts are good guitars, but they're not worth near as much as the Custom shop model I have. I bought the CIJ rosewood neck and Tex Mex maple neck for about $400 each, then added pickups, good pots and switches, and a fret level, so I've got maybe $750 each in them, and they're worth maybe $400 if I was to sell 'em.
The Custom Shop Strat is probably worth more than the $1550 I paid for it now. It's cheaper in the short run to build a lower cost parts 'caster, but in the long run, the higher end models hold their value better, especially if purchased used.
Of the lower cost Teles, I like the Baja. Plays good, sounds good.