Fender CS vs Smaller Builders

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MGuts, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    I'm sure this topic has been covered extensively, but I ran a search and didn't find much. A dealer in my area is one of the biggest Fender Custom Shop dealers around, and the guys there are great. I would have no problem spending my money there, at all. If I go that route and get a Fender Custom shop model, am I really gonna be missing out on a lot of the smaller builders? I've played a few of the CS Strats there that are great. I don't really see it getting much better than that. Have any of you played a Strat bodied guitar that surpasses the Custom Shop models?
     
  2. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yes, many. Though I would include Fender CS in my search, I would be surprised if I wound up, with one based on my tele search last year.
     
  3. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    What other brands would you recommend? There's another dealer around here that I've never been to that sells Nash. Did you check those out at all?
     
  4. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

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    It isnt really about brands per se. Fenders are bolted together guitars. It is about builder reputation, and getting what you want. There are guys here like Danocaster, K-line, and some others that build excellent guitars with excellent reputations. Nash guitars have a good reputation, but many people do not feel that his relics look realistic enough. I dont think you can beat the work Danocaster is doing, I cant wait to get out of college and get a job so I can buy a danocaster as my reward! You need a builder that knows what the hell they are doing so that you get high quality finish work, and most importantly an awesome setup. It is definitely more than putting two cuts of wood together and soldering a pickup to it. But as long as the builder is using quality woods, and the verdict is that they know what they are doing, you cant go wrong.

    You need to determine what you want, and then you can decide what is the best way to go. The CS fenders are great, but they come in limited colors, and they get expensive pretty fast if you want ANY changes. With the boutique guys, some of the prices are more reasonable and you can get the options you want. But you might be able to find a used CS with those same options, so you just need to do your homework.
     
  5. shuie

    shuie Member

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    I have a $750 parts tele built by a forum member that absolutely smokes every other non-vintage tele I've owned or played. I sold off all of my custom shop guitars, masterbuilts, and my GVCG when I got this one. I think I just got lucky, but it is what it is, and it freaking kills. There are wonderful stratocasters and telecasters out there at every price point. Just play as many as you can and find a good one.
     
  6. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    I'm in college, too. I know the feeling lol. I don't know how comfortable I feel paying that much money for a guitar that I haven't played, though. I'm going to go this weekend and really play a bunch of their strats. If one really speaks to me, I guess I'll get it and maybe acquire a Danocaster or something like that down the road. I just wanted to see if there was something out there that is head and shoulders above what Fender is doing.
     
  7. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    That's the plan...Before I was basing everything off of what name was on the headstock and stuff like that, but I think I'm just gonna go play and get the one I like. Hopefully I'll get out for under a grand like you!
     
  8. jaevee14

    jaevee14 Member

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    Also take a look at what Ron Kirn is doing. I placed an order with him a week ago after reading his website, sending him an email, and seeing some of the fine guitars he's built in the Small Luthiers section.
     
  9. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    His website looks liek he does some good work. How long is the lead time on one of those?
     
  10. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Only problem getting one built or pieced together with allparts/Warmoth type, is you can't play it before. With a CS strat, you can try and try until you find a perfect fit. With strats, sometimes one out of 20 or 30 can be really sweet. Sure you do pay a lot more, but resale will also be much better than a parts guitar.
     
  11. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Actually I wound up with a Nash. I took almost a year to find the right guitar. I tried several Grosh, Melancon, Anderson, Suhr, G&L, Fender CS, and a few vintage Fender last time I was at Gruhn's in Nashville.

    My search included stores in St. Louis, Omaha/Council Bluffs, Lawrence, and KC where I live. For me, it was worth it. My Nash tele has supplanted my US strat as my go to guitar. Very happy.
     
  12. greeny

    greeny Member

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    On my year long search for a Tele style I ended up with a Suhr after trying lots of Fender CS amongst lots of other makes.

    However there is lots to be said from buying local from somewhere you trust, and if you play some in there and find something you really like then I would go for it and don't worry what else is about. At these levels it's more about finding something that really gels with you rather than any particular builder being better than another.
     
  13. jaevee14

    jaevee14 Member

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    He quoted me 4-8 weeks. I was surprised, that's really fast!
     
  14. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Jon, I shaped the body yesterday.... I'll snap a few shots and post 'em this weekend...

    Ron Kirn
     
  15. Michael T

    Michael T Member

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    Plenty....

    Tom Anderson, Suhr, Tyler, D'Pergo.....and that is just the start.
     
  16. jaevee14

    jaevee14 Member

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    Awesome, thanks Ron!
     
  17. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

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    sorry I forgot to mention you in my post Mr. Kirn, I have heard awesome things about your stuff as well!
     
  18. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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    I have played some CS strats that absolutely nail that vintage strat tone and sound as good as any axe coming from the best boutique strat builders. But you do have to play through some to find the one as I've also played some CS strats that were solid but not special.

    Suhr, DePergo, De Tmple and Tyler make great guitars. I can't see you going wrong with any of those builders and the cosistancy will probably be better than the CS models. (less chance of getting a dud)

    However some of these boutique guitars while sounding incredible imo provide a less vintagy perspective. Play em and see for your self.

    Anyway you slice it your spoilt for choice. IF you can't find "that" strat your're not looking hard enough.
     
  19. MGuts

    MGuts Supporting Member

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    I wound up getting a Custom Classic Strat today in 2 tone sunburst. The vintage modern pickups it came with (I believe that's what they were called) are a huge improvement over the SCN noiseless ones in my Deluxe Strat. I play through a really clean amp, and those pickups were too hot for what I like to hear. Thanks for all the replies and the help!
     
  20. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Here she is Jon, I'll get it sanded and a coat of sealer on it this week,

    Ron Kirn
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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