i want a tele, but......

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DrSax, Nov 24, 2005.


  1. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    been studying teles alot lately, here is what I'm finding:

    I LOVE the tone of the Nocasters I've played. Amazing! But I HATE the vintage radius. It's comfy down low, but anything past the fifth fret and the expression on my face looks like i'm suddenly very constipated. I DO like the vintage saddles. So, basically, I like everything about the Nocaster except the radius. What can I do about that? I need a 9.5 at least. Do I need to go to Suhr? Do I just get an aftermarket neck and slap it on the Nocaster (will that destroy the mojo tone??!)

    None of the other Fenders do the trick for one reason or another (nice radius, but not vintage saddle, etc.)

    Or am i just not worthy of playing a tele cuz i don't like the vintage radius???:rolleyes:
     
  2. Derelict

    Derelict Member

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    well,
    you could just play a few mexicans and pick oud a good one (yes, there are good mexican teles out there) and then buy some fender nocaster pickups. total cost: approx $450.
     
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    You need to look around a bit more. Suhrs, Grosh, et. al. will surely fill the bill, but there are plenty of Fender 'one-offs' with vintage appointments and the more modern (larger) frets and radius. Look at the inventories at Wildwood, Make n Music, Music Gallery, Fat Sounds, etc. They all have plenty as you describe. If you're really particular, you can contract the Fender Custom Shop to build one to spec. The price isn't as much as you may think, but there is a 6-8 month wait (I should know..I'm still waiting for my CS Hardtail Strat).
     
  4. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Member

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    I have an older nocaster from the cunetto era that has the 9.5 radius and fat bridge pickup. It's my favorite guitar that I've played so far. I've had it for over a year now which is pretty damn good for me.
     
  5. johan

    johan Member

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    agree with mjpisat. have an old cunetto too.

    check with stu @ fat sound. he usually special order them with flatter radius and jumbo frets...
     
  6. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    this delima is one reason I liked the mark knopfler-------57 body, 62 neck with rosewood board but bigger medium jumbo frets. I decided on a NOS 60 strat instead.
    It seems like with as many fenders as they make we could sure find one we like doesn't it. Keep looking. Don't pay 4000 from a boutique unless you really want to. My brother just got one of those ash body teles. He loves it. There are some really cool new models like 57 & 62 with modern upgrades. Look around today at wildwood, guitar rez, rumble seat ect. Find one of the new ones like I'm talking about-----there is a red 57 bound body thay may have the neck you want. I've seen some white see through finish like on the ash ones out there.
     
  7. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    Try Wildwood. You can get there by going to the les paul forum scrolling down from one of the forums and clicking on. They are called FSR 57. It is not exactly what your after, but cool nevertheless.
     
  8. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Any good luthier can make that neck any radius you want.
    Just involves a refret and refinish of the fingerboard.
    Many vintage Fenders sadly have had their necks flattened.
    So pick the one that sounds the best and spend an extra $300.

    Personally, I'd just get used to the stock radius.

    Hogy
     
  9. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know much, but I know that part of the magic for me when I play a tele is the "fight". A good tele fights back. This might be a radius thing...I don't know...but in my experience, a good tele makes you earn your chops the hard way.
     
  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's the solution to your problem and yes, I'm not advising you do anything I haven't already done to my own Tele.

    Buy the Nocaster. Ship it to Phil Jacoby to plane the neck to a 10-12" compound radius and refret it with the frets of your choice (I chose medium jumbos and love 'em on my Tele).

    Take my word for it - you'll love what Phil returns to you (the expression on my own face says it all - comfy slippers optional ;) ).

    www.philtone.com

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    I had the same dilemma, I chose to build from scratch. I've built two teles, one rosewood board with a USA custom neck with 10" radius and the other is an allparts maple neck with 9.5" radius. They play great, and sound great, all for much less $$$ than going with a custom shop or boutique instrument. The necks alone cost less than a replane with a refret. Here they are with my strats that I also built with the same concept in mind.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    I Own 18 Telecasters. The 9.5 Radius Neck is truly the only way to go. If you play a 7.5 radius neck the strings will need to be set very high so they wont fret out on bends. I also Prefer the Bigger frets. 6150 or even 6100 it will give the Guitar a Bigger, Clearer sound. I usually Prefer Ash wood for Tele's. The Ash seems to have the Twang Factor that a Tele needs. Alder is a bit to Dark for that.
    There are a few builders out there still Building Quality Teles with 9.5 radius necks and Jumbo Frets. GVCG, Nash, Scott Lentz as well as a few others.
    or Save your Pennies and keep searching for an older Cunetto Relic Nocaster.
     
  13. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    I'm thinking this may be what I'm looking for. I like the idea of getting it refretted with the size frets i want too. thanks for the help dudes.
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Member

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    [​IMG]
    12" radius, Brazilian board. Just a thought!

    Mike
     
  15. Alister

    Alister Supporting Member

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    +1.
    I suspect this isn't really what you want to hear, and I'm not disputing the other suggestions, but it really is the central issue, for me, when it comes to Teles.
    I play a vareity of other solid and semis, with a variety of neck/radii. I'm not a 'purist' in any way when it comes to, say, Strats, Gibsons, or anything else. But Teles, to me, are 7.5, a little bit resistent, a little noisy and chipped up. my 2 cents.
    (Now, I didn't say you couldn't pop a humbucket in the neck pos.!)
     
  16. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    You could also have a neck made to fit by Warmoth or USA Custom. I totally loved my USA custom neck, perfect for ME!
     
  17. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I bet that's a nice guitar!!!

    FWIW, I'm used to playing PRS's. I recently bought an American Standard Tele. It's real nice, didn't break the bank. Of course It needed a few tweaks, but with about $750 I've got "MY TELE". I don't really care what the radius is. I think all most guitars need is a good set up (within parameters of your other guitars) and you'll get used to it. What hogy said!!! It's what I did.
     
  18. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Yeah it is. Here's Warmoth I had done that cost me about $1100, then another $250 or so to have Bill Chapin custom wind pickups for it -- the Duncans I had in there didn't cut it...
    [​IMG]

    I got 4 years' worth of good times out of this one....

    Mike
     
  19. drolling

    drolling Member

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    DrSax, I'm putting in another vote for a re-fret.

    When I took my old tele ('82 52RI) in, I decided to go up to medium jumbos, but the re-radiusing of the neck was an added bonus that I didn't expect.

    I kow that it's possible to install new frets without removing the old finish, but that's not the way my luthier does it. As he explained it to me, he planes the neck "follow the strings the way they lie on the fingerboard", so what I ended up with, is some kind of compound radius - still rounded down near the nut where I play my 'cowboy chords', but fairly flat by the 12th fret. Great for big bends that used to fret out, but still comfy for strummin. The best of both worlds, really.

    But I don't think I'd do it to a brand new guitar, so I'm suggesting you start a search for a used tele - a well-played 52RI, perhaps, already in need of new frets.

    These are great teles in every respect- swamp ash, brass saddles and stock pickups that really don't need upgrading. If you get one used, chances are that the wiring has already been brought up to 'modern spec'- the 1st thing that most players do with these guitars.

    One more thing. After refretting, my guy refinished w/a thin layer of nitro. A much nicer feel than the thick, shiny stuff that Fender uses.
     

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