• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


HELP ME DECIDE: First Tele- Custom Shop Fender or Assemble from Parts?

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,623
Hey Guys,

I've been playing for 29 years and have never owned a tele. I've taken an interest in them and have played dozens at my local stores and have decided I'd like to get an Esquire for starters.

Below is the photo that really got my blood pumping for an Esquire. These are the 2008 Custom Shop top bound Fender Esquires. 100 made in 14 different 50's colors. They are roughly $3K each. I could hold out and try to find a used one or one on clearance somewhere...

If I buy the "real deal" that's a lot of coin, but I will have a legit guitar that if I had to sell in the future, would have better resale than a parts guitar...

But there are so much savings in a parts guitar built from the RIGHT parts (quality bodies & necks made and finished by reputable builders). I could assemble one for 1/2 the price of the custom shop Esquire...and end up with virtually the same thing.

PLEASE HELP ME DECIDE!! :huh Thanks in advance.
 

Southerntwang

Member
Messages
104
I highly endorse the Fender Custom Shop Tele's. Even at $3K they are amazing guitars. The Custom Shop really takes pains with their products. They truly feel like a handmade instrument.
 

tone?

Member
Messages
4,541
No no no no no, DONT put together a parts guitar to save money!! Sorry bout me being passionate about this but I made a HUGE mistake in doing this. Only do it for the pure thrill in doing so. Because it will NOT save you money.

Even with the custom shop option i would choose nowadays to buy something that is store bought of the rack. Why?? Cause even with high end instruments as Suhr, Fender custom shop, Anderson etc....guitars still differ in tone from instrument to instrument. So even those these guitars are still great there may be only ONE that really speaks to you personally. and to me that is what counts more than anything.

When at my favorite guitar store in Greece I was trying out a bunch of Suhrs, of course they were all top notch but outta a bunch only one or two were for 'me'. Why should i spend all that money to get something that isnt totally what i want to hear??
the off the rack guitar is the ONLY way to get that close i think.

I will still try the parts guitar route but not for tone. no way. just as a hobby to spend my time. NOT expecting to make something great. Made around 6 and none of them spoke to me at all. Hmmmmmmm.......
 

bennintexas

Member
Messages
278
dont play guitars because of resale value. i dont buy instruments based on what they cost me, i pay for instruments based on what i think its worth to me. i think there is a difference there.

do either, but dont base it on cost.
 

Lo Blues

Member
Messages
2,911
Buy a Fender if you have the money. If you decide to build, do it right. Take your time. Do plenty of research.

Your absolutely right about resale value. If you ever want to sell a partscaster you won't get your money back in full like you will a Fender.

But also building/assembling your own guitar can be fun and can yield some fantastic results. Especially if your willing to spend $1500 bucks. For $1500 a "custom shop" quality Tele is most definitely possible.
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,203
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! You'll get a better deal with a partscaster.;) I've finished 6 and am working on two more. None have been a disappointment.

I swear, there are some here who would have you believe their hearing is better than a dogs. Sheesh!*&%^&

Choose quality components and you'll have a nice guitar.

I'm not saying a CS guitar isn't worth the cost, I'm sure it is. I'm just saying a partscaster is a very viable instrument. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be so many people putting them together.



Good luck in your search.

EDIT: A partscaster won't bring as much at resale but I'm another one who buys what I want, not what the next guy does and I tend to keep guitars 5 years on average which allows inflation to catch up, diminishing losses.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,908
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! You'll get a better deal with a partscaster.;) I've finished 6 and am working on two more. None have been a disappointment.

I swear, there are some here who would have you believe their hearing is better than a dogs. Sheesh!*&%^&

Choose quality components and you'll have a nice guitar.

I'm not saying a CS guitar isn't worth the cost, I'm sure it is. I'm just saying a partscaster is a very viable instrument. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be so many people putting them together.



Good luck in your search.

EDIT: A partscaster won't bring as much at resale but I'm another one who buys what I want, not what the next guy does and I tend to keep guitars 5 years on average which allows inflation to catch up, diminishing losses.
Greg's being modest - he's VERY GOOD at putting together parts Teles, and he knows what he likes re: components, pickups, bridges, etc., so he gets excellent results.

You too can get excellent results if you know what you want (GRIN). If it's not strictly the case that you know what you want, you're perhaps safer to 'run the racks' and find one that you like - sort of a "The Devil you Know" attitude of mine. (GRIN) Also, if you like experimenting with pickups, saddles, etc, building a parts Tele is a gas.

If you simply want a Tele, one that you like, the quicker path is to buy one that you KNOW you like, 'cuz you've already played it in it's finished form. If you're adventurous and skilled mechanically, build one - it's fun! Lots of folks build one-of-a-kind type Teles - different woods and pickup combos that sound EXCELLENT and play great, that aren't already offered by Manufacturers. If resale value is important to you, buy a brand name and don't mod it.

Good Luck, Dana O.
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
Those Esquires look nice but I'd probably hate the specs (I prefer 7.25", vintage frets, non-relic'd). If I had 3000 to put into a guitar Id get a Nocaster and have it refinished.Get a Fender Esquire pickguard, throw in a Fred Stuart PUP and call it a day.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,623
Those Esquires look nice but I'd probably hate the specs (I prefer 7.25", vintage frets, non-relic'd). If I had 3000 to put into a guitar Id get a Nocaster and have it refinished.Get a Fender Esquire pickguard, throw in a Fred Stuart PUP and call it a day.
That is certainly an idea! Depending how much I'd have to put into it. I actually thought about getting a tele, having it refinished, binding added, etc. That would be a bit of a hassle, but not unreasonable.

I actually did contact a builder on this forum (whose teles look simply amazing), but unfortunately, he does not take orders- he just builds and sells.:(

So, I've gotta really keep doing my homework on who could provide me quality parts or assemble me a look-a-like Esquire (like one of the ones pictured above). Thanks for the feedback guys, please keep it coming!!
 

Csapo

Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,249
Oh - and go with the fiesta red double bound :)
Fiesta Red Double Bound Tele w/maple neck is my next assembly. Ordering from USA Custom on Monday.

I've purchased way too many Teles and decided that it is time to put together something that is to my specs and not stock. Fender Custom Shop are terrific but I'm out of big $$$ to continue to purchase them

I'm just finishing up my first partscaster and should hopefully have the final parts by the end of this coming week. Very excited about it.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,623
Thanks guys. Actually, I have assembled two strats from both Warmoth & Musikraft bodies/necks. I have no problem doing so and I have mastered the soldering iron when I built my first 18 watt amp kit- so I'm not intimidated or shy at all when it comes to assembly.

My main concerns were:

1) Realizing that IF I ever had to sell in the future, I'd have a better opportunity to recoup my investment with a Fender Custom Shop over a parts guitar- on the flip side, the Fender would be literally double the initial cost.

2) Identifying the right source for parts. For my Esquire, neither source in point number 1 will work- Warmoth doesn't do Seafoam or Daphne (I love those colors) and Musikraft doesn't do binding. Others have recommended USACG and if I want a relic vibe, someone else told me about RockandRollrelics.net- I don't have any experience with either, so I've got to feel comfortable buying parts from them. Their websites look great, though.

3) I think the consensus here, thus far, is to go with assembling rather than buying a Fender for big bucks. I think I'm pretty much in agreement. I know some people say don't buy a parts guitar to save money- I might regret it. If the cost differential weren't so significant, I'd be more inclined to agree.
 

Redfish

Member
Messages
407
When CS guitars were $1600 (only a few years ago) they were a great value. I've owned many CS Strats and Teles. One was great and one was a dog but the majority were just average. The only Strat I currently own is a Warmoth that I put together myself. I was able to get the exact neck specs I wanted (even 1/4 sawn ), color, weight, finish, bridge, pickups etc. I've got $980 in it including the case and Don Mare pickups and it smokes the CS Strats I've owned with the exception of the one that I stupidly let get away. For the three grand Fender currently wants you could build three killer guitars if you know what you're doing. If you can solder and do a complete setup yourself there is no reason not to build it yourself. If resale is your major concern the parts sell on the Bay for close to what you pay for them and I've never made money selling a CS guitar either. Oh yeah, it's a lot of fun too.

 
Last edited:

cottoneyedjoe

Member
Messages
2,340
Damn.

Thanks a lot.

Now I have GAS for a gold top Esquire. Or mint. Or Red. Or.....

These little beings did not exist in my little world until you just showed me. Now I am gonna HAVE to get one. Great.
 

gkoelling

Member
Messages
17,203
Thanks guys. Actually, I have assembled two strats from both Warmoth & Musikraft bodies/necks. I have no problem doing so and I have mastered the soldering iron when I built my first 18 watt amp kit- so I'm not intimidated or shy at all when it comes to assembly.

My main concerns were:

1) Realizing that IF I ever had to sell in the future, I'd have a better opportunity to recoup my investment with a Fender Custom Shop over a parts guitar- on the flip side, the Fender would be literally double the initial cost.

2) Identifying the right source for parts. For my Esquire, neither source in point number 1 will work- Warmoth doesn't do Seafoam or Daphne (I love those colors) and Musikraft doesn't do binding. Others have recommended USACG and if I want a relic vibe, someone else told me about RockandRollrelics.net- I don't have any experience with either, so I've got to feel comfortable buying parts from them. Their websites look great, though.

3) I think the consensus here, thus far, is to go with assembling rather than buying a Fender for big bucks. I think I'm pretty much in agreement. I know some people say don't buy a parts guitar to save money- I might regret it. If the cost differential weren't so significant, I'd be more inclined to agree.
I've used www.guitarmill.com for three bodies so far and have not been disappointed. They offer relic work, use nitro and their prices are very reasonable.

Here's an example of a double bound body from Guitar Mill.


Have fun with the build.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,623
When CS guitars were $1600 (only a few years ago) they were a great value. I've owned many CS Strats and Teles. Some were great and some were dogs. The only Strat I currently own is a Warmoth that I put together myself. I was able to get the exact neck specs I wanted (even 1/4 sawn ), color, weight, finish, bridge, pickups etc. I've got $980 in it including the case and Don Mare pickups and it smokes the CS Strats I've owned with the exception of one that I stupidly let get away. For the three grand Fender currently wants you could build three killer guitars if you know what you're doing. If you can solder and do a complete setup yourself there is no reason not to build it yourself. If resale is your major concern the parts sell on the Bay for close to what you pay for them and I've never made money selling a CS guitar either. Oh yeah, it's a lot of fun too.
Wow, thanks for this insightful information.

I've used www.guitarmill.com for three bodies so far and have not been disappointed. They offer relic work, use nitro and their prices are very reasonable.

Here's an example of a double bound body from Guitar Mill.


Have fun with the build.
Thanks Greg. I'll check out guitarmill, based on your recommendation. That bound body looks fantastic!
 

Stringz

Member
Messages
630
Trying to match parts on your own to build your dream guitar will NOT save you any money simply because of the sheer number of parts you will be swapping in and out to get your ideal sound. Don't mistake me, you CAN build a great sounding guitar from parts, but will it match the sound you have in your head? Probably not. Some tinkering with many different parts combinations will be required to find that sound. There's nothing wrong with building your own guitar if you have the skills, but don't think it will be cheap.
 

VintageKnob

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,130
I like the build idea, I just can't get myself to pay the CS prices for materials that are a fraction of what I'm getting.

Also, if you've got a CS guitar and it's not exactly right, you'd be afraid to mix and match parts, worrying about the resale. With your own build, you work with it until it's just right and then you don't want to sell it! Ever!

I bought a used Suhr Pro1 - got a great deal on it, the neck was perfect, dumped my last two strats and then decided I wanted 3 single coils so I contact JS and had them build me a guard and I've since switched to his V54's and now it's perfect, my set up the way I like it. It's no collector but it rocks.

I'm too picky to own collector guitars, I like them done my way.

- DStefani
 




Trending Topics

Top