Holy mother of U neck telecasters!!!

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654
Yeah my birthday is coming up which means the barely supressable urge to buy guitars has risen to its frothy top! I played a lot of mediocre guitars at my local shops yesterday until I picked up, on a whim, a 52' vintage hot rod tele. Maybe it was only thing on the wall with fresh strings but it played so well. Phrases that were a struggle on other guitars seemed to just flow out of this one and I usually don't even like maple fretboards. I've always found strat necks to be difficult and stiff to play but this one played like a PRS strung with 9's! The tag said that the neck was a "U" shape and the fretboard was a 9.5 radius. I've never played a neck like that before so I am guessing that I might have stumbled upon something that fits in my hands well. I am off to San Francisco today with the wife and I'll see if I can find another 52' and see if my impressions are the same as before. However, this is the thing, I'm pouring over the Fender website looking at different guitars trying to find any other guitars that have a 9.5 U neck but there are about a hundred different solid bodied guitars made by Fender and it doesn't include discontinued models. Can anyone think of another Fender with the same neck. The only thing I didn't like was the neck pickup which is a humbucker. I don't want a humbucker in the neck position and I am hesitant to buy a guitar for nearly two grand and then turn around and tear it apart. What other Fenders, I prefer strats and teles, have a U shaped neck with the 9.5 radius?
 

jackbart1960

Member
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1,167
What about a straight up 52' RI. I don't know about radius though. It's probably 7.5".
Played a 52' Hot Rod not to long ago and had just about the same feeling. Just didin't have 2k. LOL. Peace. J.J.B.
 
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654
What about a straight up 52' RI. I don't know about radius though. It's probably 7.5".
Played a 52' Hot Rod not to long ago and had just about the same feeling. Just didin't have 2k. LOL. Peace. J.J.B.
Good idea but I did play the 52' RI that was hanging next to the Hot Rod hoping that that would work as well but it didn't. You're right they are close except for the radius. Perhaps I stumbled across a "good one" and that accounts for the difference. Can a fretboard radius really make that much of a difference???
 

Curly

Member
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1,400
The only thing I didn't like was the neck pickup which is a humbucker. I don't want a humbucker in the neck position and I am hesitant to buy a guitar for nearly two grand and then turn around and tear it apart. What other Fenders, I prefer strats and teles, have a U shaped neck with the 9.5 radius?
did you play the HR through an amp?
'cause a mini humbucker is fairly different from a standard humbucker ... more bite, less mud

and I agree, the 9.5" radius is a big deal as far as playability/ comfort/ personal preference
 

goodandswarty

Member
Messages
224
you can pick up a used Nocaster for around 1800 bucks... plays like a dream and has that sweet U neck that you want. i just played one the other day... definitely on my short list of guitars.
 
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654
did you play the HR through an amp?
'cause a mini humbucker is fairly different from a standard humbucker ... more bite, less mud

and I agree, the 9.5" radius is a big deal as far as playability/ comfort/ personal preference
There was a Soldano that was warmed up that I played it through. When I think of Fender neck pickups I think of Rivera Paradise or Little Wing. That clean, maybe just a little dirt, articulate crystalline single coil sound. That's what I want. I really didn't think about how the humbucker sounded beyond the fact that it sounded like a humbucker. The first thought I had was, "I already have a humbucker on my PRS!" :roll
 

GregoryL

Member
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1,889
A couple of options...

New...
52 Hot Rod - as you mentioned
American Standard tele - doesn't have as thick a neck, but does have the 9.5 radius. Shop around to find a good one - some are too heavy for my taste.

Used...
Thinskin 52 RI - check out Dave's Guitars or Wildwood. 9.5 radius and 6105 frets and sounds like exactly what you're looking for. Very good deal when used.
Custom Shop Custom Classic - nice chunky neck with modern frets and 9.5 radius.
Nocaster - some were made with the 9.5 radius (also check Dave's or Wildwood).

Cheers
 

jackbart1960

Member
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1,167
I didn't even think of this till now but a 55' Thin Skin might be the deal. There's one in Allston Mass at Mr Music that's a freak'n monster for fairly short dough 13-1400.
No connection but I've played it and was floored. But again no F'n money. I've gotten to the point that I'm going not going to sell/trade any of the herd unless it's such a crazy deal or it plays better than what I've got and that hasn't happened in a while. Peace. J.J.B.
Oh another thought is a GE Smith if you can find one.
 
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stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
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Ohhhh, ahhhhh! Thank you, that might be just the ticket. 9.5??? It doesn't say on the website?

Never mind I just checked the custom shop website and it is :wave9.5:wave! Thanks a lot guy my wife is gonna be pissed!!!:roll:roll:roll
Whoa! A regular production Nocaster does NOT have a 9.5 inch radius, they are 7 1/4, with vintage frets (also an important part of the equation.) The ones that do and have bigger frets are from various limited or special editions, like the first one linked here, or the red one on the Fender site, and the Wildwood/Dave's etc special run store versions. They tend to be more expensive.

The Hot Rods I've played have been generally pretty good. I'd take another look at that one, it's hard to find the playability that you bond with like that. I could learn to love the neck mini hum, or it's not that big a deal to get a new pickguard and pickup, it will still cost less than most of the alternatives. But I haven't seen in person the thinskins mentioned here, they might well be perfect.
 

heavysoul

Member
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928
You can try to find another 52' but sometimes the one you fell for is THE ONE to get because they're all so different.
 

michael30

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,869
Try to find a used MIM Fender James Burton tele. They have U-shaped necks with a 9,5 radius. Shouldn't cost too much.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,224
you can pick up a used Nocaster for around 1800 bucks... plays like a dream and has that sweet U neck that you want. i just played one the other day... definitely on my short list of guitars.
Wildwood has Nocasters with 9.5 radius necks. There are also a lot of them floating around. I think the 2009s all came with 9.5 radius necks. Mine is from 2006, but feels much flatter than 7.25.
 




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