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Fender Classic 50s vs. 60s Telecasters....

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,224
I've played both and really like both. The 50's is an ash body with a thick maple neck. The 60's is an alder body with a thinner maple/rosewood neck. I believe the pickups are same in both models (neither are truly like a vintage style pickup with fiber bobbins, etc.).

Personally, on vintage radius/vintage fret Fenders I prefer something with a rosewood board. When your fingers come in contact with the board that much it is nice not to get the drag that you get from a finished maple board when doing bends and moving about the fretboard. Unfinished rosewood just feels smoother to me. That's totally a personal thing though, others may disagree.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,518
personal preference, both are excellent. I prefer the tone of an ash body on a tele, so a 50's would be my choice.
I also feel like I get more 'drag' on the rosewood boards.
 

strings777

Member
Messages
347
From the links you provided, I'd go with the 50's lacquer finished guitar. They both have the same neck shapes and radius from the specs I read (C shaped with a 7 1/4" radius). The 50's has an ash body with a maple fingerboard and the 60's has an alder body with a rosewood fingerboard (and has a thick polyester finish). The 50's lacquer finished tele says it comes with a tweed case...the 60's tele says it comes with a gig bag. I'd go with the 50's lacquer tele if I had the choice, because as the thinner lacquer finish ages and dries out, it will keep sounding better and be more resonant from my experience. The only thing that I would change on the guitar is the chrome plated saddles. Put a set of compensated brass saddles on and and you'll be all set.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
From the links you provided, I'd go with the 50's lacquer finished guitar. They both have the same neck shapes and radius from the specs I read (C shaped with a 7 1/4" radius). The 50's has an ash body with a maple fingerboard and the 60's has an alder body with a rosewood fingerboard (and has a thick polyester finish). The 50's lacquer finished tele says it comes with a tweed case...the 60's tele says it comes with a gig bag. I'd go with the 50's lacquer tele if I had the choice, because as the thinner lacquer finish ages and dries out, it will keep sounding better and be more resonant from my experience. The only thing that I would change on the guitar is the chrome plated saddles. Put a set of compensated brass saddles on and and you'll be all set.
The guys on the TDPRI forum are saying that the 50s lacquer version has been discontinued. Probably some still out there.
 

CoachD

Member
Messages
877
The guys on the TDPRI forum are saying that the 50s lacquer version has been discontinued. Probably some still out there.
That was fast?!?

I don't think I ever even saw one in the stores. I would imagine they would take sales away from the higher priced USA models though.

I've seen a few of the strats though. They looked and played great imo.
 

BarryE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
755
I have had both of these, still have the 60's one. Either way they are great guitars. If I could describe the difference it would be that the 60's was slightly cleaner and warmer sounding, the 50's seemed to slightly compress the notes. Also did not find the finish on the 60's to thick at all. For a songwriting tool I would go 60's as I feel it is a better rhythm sound, but this is not to knock the 50's one. Both are great guitars.
 

59Bassman

Plank Cranker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,162
They're both good. Normally an ash/maple tele is going to be a bit more "rude". An alder/rosewood is a bit smoother. I've had a couple of each type (although not the specific ones you're looking at). I now have an ash/maple that is pure twang. My alder/rosewood gets closer to jazz territory, and is a touch more "strat-like" to me.

However, be sure you can deal with vintage spec necks. I really can't stand 7 1/4" radius guitars. I've owned a small stack, and they all end up on eBay after a short while. I've found 9 1/2" radius Fender necks to be more comfortable. Here are a couple to consider:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-FSR-Standard-Ash-Telecaster-Electric-Guitar-106205255-i1858007.gc

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TeleCPBjBl/

I'm a big fan of the second one - the Baja. Vintage appointments, but a more modern neck. Also has a switching system that might make it a bit more versatile for you as a songwriting guitar.

Good luck, and spank the plank!
 

sliberty

Member
Messages
4,022
I owned a Classic 50's Tele for about 2 years. There was nothing I didn't like about the guitar, except for the finish. Don't get me wrong - I am not a Poly / Nitro snob. But Fender Poly finishes are so thick, that it was an issue for me. Now, they make the thin Nitro finished ones (one of your links showed that model), and I suspect that if I had that one at the time, I would still have it.

Side note - I ended up building a parts-o-caster to replace the Classic 50's. That set me back about $1100 all in, and the guitar is my creation, not only in that I built it, but also in that I selected all of the parts to my liking. Compared to an $899 pre-made guitar, I think it was a good investment, as I was able to get a soft V shaped neck, AVRI pickups, and have the guitar relic'd to my liking for just a little bit more money. But building guitars is not for everyone.
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,602
Both are really nice guitars, just choose which fretboard you prefer as that's the main difference
 

Teh RedWizard

Supporting Member
Messages
4,554
One thing I probably should mention is that I do plan to replace the neck p'up with a mini humbucker of some sort:boxer,and update the bridge with a modern 6-saddle!/
 

GOLDENSTRAT

Member
Messages
967
I'll throw out that i think that the roadworns sound better stock than the 50's or 60's classics. the frets are taller and the relic look may or may not appeal but the sound is way better to me, some compensated saddles and viola.
 






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