Does Fender Make a Bang-for-Buck Tele?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by PlexiFuzz, Jul 6, 2006.


  1. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    I think I might need to get a tele. Haven't had one in a while, but my new Bassman is telling me I need one, and who am I to argue?

    So, my question is this: does Fender make a tele with the bang-for-buck quality of my JV Strat (american hardware, electronics, etc.)? I am very happy with the JV Strat's tone and quality and I'd like to find something along those lines in a tele---no Ping hardware, no imported electronics.

    I don't want to spend a ton because I'm mainly a humbucker guy and just want this for some flavoring. Looking forward to your opinions.

    Thanks,
    BAN
     
  2. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    Check the highwy 1 and 'classic' series teles... I think the 50s classic is a GREAT 'bang for the buck' telecaster, but I'm not sure it meets all your criteria.

    Another possibility is the Muddy Waters... many players rave about those, as well.
     
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    MIM Muddy Waters
     
  4. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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  5. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    I second this. My CIJ Tele is a keeper. I swapped out the electronics but the wood, fret and other work is just CS quality or better.

    The TL52 guitars are as Blackguard as it gets, once you put in some correct pups.
     
  6. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    If it makes any difference, Bill Frisell's main touring axe is a MIM thinline tele. I'm pretty certain it has some harmonic design VP pickups, but other than that, completely stock...and cheap!
     
  7. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    +1 :dude

    It's the least expensive guitar I've owned in quite a while and it's gotten about 90% of the playing time in the 1 1/2 years that I've owned it, at home and with bands.
     
  8. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    The MIM Classic series are, IMHO, the best "bang for your buck" you can buy. You should be able to buy a used one for ~$400-$450 all day. Just check any website's sale pages. The Muddy Waters would be a close second but those are a little more expensive than the Classic Series.
     
  9. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I never played one personally, but I've been hearing good reports on the "Lite Ash" Telecasters for a couple years. They seem to be from Korea.

    I think the MIM Telecasters will beat them on price. If you like ash Telecasters though, the Lite Ash ones are probably a better choice for an Econo-Tele. And you'd already have the traditional 3-saddle Tele bridge.
     
  10. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Just have to pick through the many, many options available in and around San Fran, USA. There are a ton on great Fender Teles to be had in the $5-700 price point. Just always, ALWAYS play the guitar before buying.
     
  11. Sardocasm

    Sardocasm cupcakes Supporting Member

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    If I were you, I'd look into getting a used G&L ASAT. You'll get a lot more quality for your dollar than with a Fender.
     
  12. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never thought G&Ls had the Fender vibe at all. Well built and consistent (the old ones were, anyway, before the company was sold) but not Teles or Strats by any stretch.
     
  13. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    jpage, I agree completely, G&L's are great, well-made guitars but they're not a Strat or Tele....
     
  14. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    Thanks for all the advice so far---really good suggestions.

    I've owned 2 G&Ls, an ASAT Z3 and a Tribute S500. I liked them okay, but I just couldn't get into them---especially the Z3. They both felt cold to me.

    The CIJ idea is an intrguing one, but I hate not being able to play before I buy. I do some business over there, so maybe I'll check them out on my next trip later this year.

    As for the Muddy Waters, I like the specs minus those knobs, can they be changed easily?. Guitar Center (I know, I know...) is on my way home, so I think I'll see if they have the MW and some others to play around with.

    Nice to know there are options.
    BAN
     
  15. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    I've read on other sites that guys have changed the amp knobs to regular tele knobs with no problem. Also guys have switched the pickguards to one with fewer holes, again, with no problems.
     
  16. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I third that, my CIJ Tele is great and has a lot of bang for the buck, but if you buy from Ishibashi you're buying blind.
    Having said that, if I was to buy blind a CIJ Tele would be a pretty safe bet.

    If I was buying my first Tele I'd shop around the MIM Classic, Muddy Waters and Highway 1 and see which fit me best.
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Squier Standard. Cheap. Do a good setup----experiment with pups---refine your taste---then get a ......well I'm tempted to say G&L---or maybe you are not a Tele guy----it's Ok
     
  18. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    That nashville tele with the strat pup in the middle rocks.
     
  19. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Another vote for the MIM Classic 50's and/or 60's series. I've got the 60's Classic and really dig it - great quality on my particular guitar. I've played several Classic 50's models too that were great. Killer bang for the buck.
     
  20. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Member

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    +1 on the MIM Muddy Waters Telecaster -- ash body, great pickups, American hardware, and yes, the knobs are easy to change.

    There are so many versions of the Telecaster neck however -- you really have to know what you want to like what you get. There's a huge difference in the feel between a '52 reissue neck, an American Standard neck, etc. The Muddy Waters neck was exactly what I was looking for: modern C shape, narrow nut width than the American Series, and modern, i.e., larger, frets.
     

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