Fender Telecaster: help me pick one

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by echo unit, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. echo unit

    echo unit Member

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    I want to purchase a Fender Telecaster. Price is of no concern as I know that the cost of an instrument often has nothing to do with the quality. I am not interested in Custom Shop stuff but anything else is good.

    Here are my requiremetns

    1. Not from the custon shop
    2. Must have the Vintage Tele Ashtray bridge
    3. Must have 21 frets
    5. Must have an Ash body
    6. Must have a fingerboard radius 9.5 or greater
    7. Must play and feel great in the hands
    8. Must show good quality craftmanship

    Out of all the guitars they currently make, which one best fits this description regardless of where it is made or price. Quality of the neck and body and comfort and easy of playability are paramount but I will be changing all the hardware and electronics to Callaham and Harmonic design pickups. Except for the machine head tuners. Those I will leave.

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions. There must be an obvious winner
     
  2. steve10358

    steve10358 Supporting Member

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    Play and feel is up to you trying it out. I am a huge fan of modding american standard strats and tele's. They make a nice product.
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Just get a custom order. (ton of those around that could hook you up)
    I love my Tele which was made by John Mayes so I highly recommend him.
    Besides that you can order each and everyone of those parts and put them together or have them put together for you.
     
  4. glasman

    glasman Guest

    Your specs are almost a 52 reissue, the neck radius is where they depart. 52's are 7.25".



    Gary
     
  5. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Member

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    I'd first recommend a trip to the Telemodders site. You'll get a really good sense of what you can do with one. I've got a couple of friends over there that know everybody in the tele world and have also gone through a lot of trial and error.

    Second, I've been impressed by the '52 RI tele - it's nice out of the box and has all the things I like in a tele - then you won't have to replace everything if you don't want to.

    I will say this though - I love Van Zandts for my tele and recommend them highly. Great bite, warmth and a true vintage vibe.

    Last - if you can't find an RI, the American Deluxe was a very good platform for me to do some basic mods and tweaks.

    Jet
     
  6. karmadave

    karmadave Member

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    Check out a Muddy Waters Tele. It pretty much has all the features you are looking for and the price is good too since they buildem' in Mexico. The workmanship, on mime was outstanding, and it was simply a great playing guitar. I regret having sold it...

    -KD
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Just curious, why don't you want a CS guitar, if price is no object? A late 90s Nocaster with the 9.5 radius is probably the best Telecaster Fender has made since 1965. And you can find them used for round $1500-2000 I'm guessing.
     
  8. jayhawk

    jayhawk Member

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    I've been seriously considering a Fender Highway 1 Texas Tele. The stores in and around SF don't carry them so unfortunately I haven't been able to try one out.

    They supposedly have a thicker neck, which I need, and they meet all your listed requirements. They sell new for $839 from the various online dealers. Here's a good pic:

    http://www.12fret.com/new/fenderHiWayTexTelePage.html
     
  9. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Member

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    The G&L ASAT Classic's are great guitars. You can get them witha 12" raduis neck (standard is 7.5"), but they have 22 frets. The sound and quality is as good or better than anything I have owned.
     
  10. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    i own a '52 reissue and people remark all the time about how nice it is, some are surprised when i tell them it's not custom shop, you got to play a bunch of them to find the magic ones(this goes for all production guitars, at least it's a fun process) mine weighs a little less than 7 Lbs.
     
  11. 60HzShuffle

    60HzShuffle Member

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    My vote is for the MIM Nashville Tele, especially the one in honey blonde. I have way more expensive guitars but I always want to pick this one up and play it!
     
  12. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    All the other specs make sense to me but I don't get this one(?).
    22 frets just means the fretboard has a slight overhang and gives you that one extra fret (obviously) that can be useful.
    Limiting your choice based on this spec? Why?
     
  13. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Sounds like you've described a Warmoth partsocaster. If I was you, I'd get a American Ash Tele, but it has no bridge cover and 22 frets. The American Vintage 52 has 21 frets and a bridge cover but 7.25" radius neck. Buy an aftermarket bridge for the Am Ash Tele and don't fret above the 21st fret.
     
  14. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    I have a MIM Muddy. It fits the requirements you listed. It is an excellent playing and feeling guitar. I'm not sure if the tuners are so great that you might want to replace them, however.

    It does have excellent pickups already but if you want to replace them you can sell the OEM pickups. Every now and then I see posts for people trying to find a set of pickups from a Muddy Waters. They are that good.
     
  15. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    It really does sound like the Muddy Waters or Hwy 1 Texas Tele is your deal. As for comfort & quality -- the former will depend on your idiosyncracies, the latter will depend on either running the racks or just plain getting lucky.

    I would have suggested going the Warmoth route; you'll have more control over the neck & body, without so much chance entering into it. For example, if you love the MW, but don't like red ... you're SOL. Since you're going to replace everything else, the nack & body are all that's important, anyway. And, while it won't be a Fender Telecaster, the parts will at least be licensed by Fender.
     
  16. Brudr

    Brudr Member

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    Yep, Muddy Waters or Highway 1 (although most don't have ash bodies). The Muddy has better sounding, Custom Shop (USA) pickups and the H1 has Mexican pups. Hardware is Mexican on both.
     
  17. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    Call John Suhr. I want the Fender 62 custom american reissue. double bound body, three color sb, rosewood board. I don't like the old wiring.
     
  18. EataPeach

    EataPeach Member

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    I recently bought an American Ash Tele,the 8502 model..It has the best of the Vintage and Modern features.
    You should give that some research
     
  19. evanjackson

    evanjackson Supporting Member

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    I'd go the partscaster route...you can buy the parts separately and put it together yourself (they don't get any easier than a tele) or you can get a good basic base model (I really like the Japanese Fernandes Tele copies) and replace the parts you don't like. My favorite guitar is a Fernandes tele that I replaced the pickups, electronics, bridge and tuners on. It probably cost as much as an american standard with all the parts and time but I learned alot and now it's just the way I want it.
    But if cash wasn't a factor at all, I'd probably buy a Fender American Vintage '52 RI (though I think it has a different neck radius).
     
  20. SOcular

    SOcular Member

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    Grew up in South Georgia, live in Atlanta now, but
    Try the G&L, as suggested above. I love my Classic Custom, and the neck is perfect. The pickups are a little different (or a lot, depending on who you talk to) than the regular Tele, though.
     

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