Buying a new Tele: 52 vintage RI or American Deluxe Ash?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by welcometoashley, Feb 12, 2008.


  1. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Supporting Member

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    hey all,

    i'm planning on buying a new or used Tele. i sold the American Standard I had for a good price and am looking at the 52 vintage RI. but, i also just came across one of the new American Deluxe Ash Teles that's pretty much in the same price range new or used.

    i like the vibe of the 52RI, but like some of the modern features of the American Deluxe Ash model (individual saddles, noiseless pick-ups)...

    edit - so i tried a 52RI today and it sounded great. not sure if i was too comfortable with the u-shape neck. the standard teles i've used in the past have had c-shape necks which i like. what struck me the most though was i thought the finish on the 52RI seemed kind of "plastic" looking and the lacquer seemed really, really thick. not sure if i liked that. i've taken a look at the "thin skin" 52RI, but they're a bit out of my price range.

    so, a few questions for those of you who've had experience with one or both of them.

    - how tonally different are the pick-ups?
    - will a good set-up on the 52RI alleviate all potential intonation problems (I've always had individual saddles on my teles to fine tune each string). I've never used a 3-saddle bridge before.
    - any other insights you guys have is much appreciated.

    thanks
     
  2. ylo

    ylo Member

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    I prefer the American Deluxe for the modern features, but I like the intonation, sound and playability of the Suhr Classic T even more, and bought one, and it is now my favorite guitar. It beats out my 1968 ES-335, ESP Strat, and roughly matches a custom hand-made archtop that cost me close to $8 k in many ways, although the sounds are quite different.

    Depends on your budget, but Suhr's (ex Fender Custom shop guitar maker) are awesome, you should try one.
     
  3. drod2045

    drod2045 Member

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    like the 52 but want modern features? Vintage Hot Rod 52 tele!!!!
     
  4. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    If you want true Tele tone, buy the '52 with the three saddle bridge. A good tech will be able to take care of intonation.
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i dig the vintage bridge for tone (it won't fit an american std or deluxe) and big frets for playability, so either get a 52 or a 62 and have it refretted (it's what i did with my 62ri) or get the vintage hot rod. it's easy enough to make the v. hot rod look stock with a new pickguard and neck pickup.

    the next level up would be the suhrs, or also certain custom shop relics that now come with big frets.
     
  6. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Can I correctly assume that "ex-custom shop guitar maker" means that the Fender Custom Shop not only builds great guitars, but holds the knowledge base that is capable of creating people who can then go out and build great guitars? I hope the answer is a simple "yes."
     
  7. Wayne8

    Wayne8 Member

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    For what it's worth, I own the American Deluxe and it's my third and favorite Tele. Pickups sound fine to me.
     
  8. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

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    As far as refretting, won't there still be an issue if one does not like the vintage 7.5 radius?

    I kind of like the idea of getting the Hot Rod, and some extra parts to have the choice of a stock pup selection.
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I think that these are the best value guitars in the Fender USA range - I actually bought one from GC. I was talking to the Manager when one came in fresh off shipment from Fender and I grabbed hold of it before it went on display - beautiful neck, featherweight, big tone.

    Best, Pete.
     
  10. Bluewail

    Bluewail Silver Supporting Member

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    Having owned both a '52 RI and an American Deluxe Ash (both very good but different guitars) my recommendation is talk to Chris at K-line. He will get you the tele you want, with the features you want, and you won't spend too much more than either of the Fenders sell for new. My K-line tele is about as good as it gets. I got it used, put in a Glendale cutaway bridge and Twang saddles and it's just a sweet, terrific tele that I would not trade for either of the aforementioned Fenders.
     
  11. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    Another suggestion - you can get a used Custom Shop Custom Classic tele for about the same price as a new AVRI or AM Dlx.

    They're a great blend of vintage and modern.

    Hill Country guitars has a used one (it's not mine on consignment or anything, I just happened to come across it on line).
     
  12. ylo

    ylo Member

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    Yes!
     
  13. Dollar

    Dollar Member

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    Or check out the Thin Skin 52 RI available from www.wildwoodguitars.com as well as a couple of other select dealers. Vintage 3 saddle bridge, 9.5" radius fretboard w/ 6105 frets and 100% thin nitro finish. I can vouch for the fantastic service at Wildwood.
     
  14. radcliff

    radcliff Member

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    I've never seen this Wildwood shop, wow they have a nice amnt of stock!
    :)
     
  15. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Honestly, you really need to go play both to decide which one is for you. The 52 is the vintage version, and the Deluxe is the modern version, neither is necessarily better, or worse than the other, just different. As some have mentioned the 52 Hot Rod is a blend of the old and the new. Another rout to consider is to get another American Standard and customise it to your specs yourself.
    As a sidenote the 52 vintage RI seem to be very plentifull on the used market, and you could save a substantial amount buying one. The neck is usually the reason for some to part with them. Although, the neck is the very reason some desire them. So you see it is a very personal decision and the only one that can decide that for you is you.
    Best Regards!
     
  16. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    You really should try a Baja Tele as well as good as both but way less money .They do vary a lot in weight so shop around.
     
  17. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Member

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  18. martyncrew

    martyncrew Supporting Member

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    The Baja Tele is a very good option with the features that you are looking for. The point about shopping around to find one with the right weight for you is dead on. I just picked up a used one that weighs in just over 7lbs for $475 off my local Craigslist.
     

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