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NGD Budget tele for the Aussies

Guitar Stu

Hi All. This post and review is for any Aussies looking for a Budget Telecaster.

A little back story.
I had previously purchased an SX vintage series thinline Tele copy secondhand as I had never had a tele style guitar. I upgraded pickups to fender custom shop nocasters and while it sounded good I never gelled with the thick neck and the neck dive was to much. The thing was that otherwise I really enjoyed the Tele style and played it heaps so I was in the market to replace it with a standard type tele. Low on cash I was still after a budget tele with plans to mod it. I was waiting on something secondhand or a Squire affinity.
A local store had a Tokai and a J&D Luthiers that were reasonably priced and I really liked the J&D Luthiers as it was an Alder body and I really liked the neck. I Left it for a while until I had some cash and while looking on the Australian distributers website for The J&D they had a Casino brand tele that looked Identical to the J&D including same headstock shape. Only difference the Price. The J&D $400. The Casino $250.

I called into the shop the other day and they had the Casino in store and although the J&D was gone it was the same guitar with a different name on it and $150 cheaper. I loved the neck and it was exactly what I wanted in terms of asthetics in Sunburst with binding. Great looking Guitar.
Bought it, took it home, changed the pickups to the Nocasters and ready to rock. Used it on a gig three days later. I used to have my strings low but always had trouble with bends so I have them a bit higher now. I had to raise them a litte but the neck was pretty straight with no buzzing before raising. Satin almost raw finish on the neck as I like it. I thought it might be a laminate on top for a guitar at this price but it's not.
I'm will most likely get some compensated saddles but the intonation once adjusted wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. First time with these type of saddles. It still has a very slight neck dive but nothing like the SX thinline or DC Junior or SG I had. It weighs in at 3.7 kg (8.15 Pounds).
The sound with the Nocasters in the SX thinline was a bit Strat like especially in the neck. The sound in this Casino is a lot brighter sounding with the Nocasters. Definately a Tele sound. Very nice sounding acousticly.

I have been very happy with this purchase and I think it is a perfect base for Modding and upgrading. Great neck and great body. Will most likely get some new tuners but I recut the nut lower as stings were high at the nut and using some graphite in the nut slot its been holding in tune with no problems. Also upgrade controls as well.

Heres some pictures.

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I've played a casino branded Music man style bass before. It actually surprised me at how good it sounded and played. I'm sure there are some gems available...


I know this is a month old.. You still got the Casino?

I've spotted one with some Seymour Duncan pickups for pretty cheap.
I want a cheap Tele and it seems like it'll fit the bill.

Can't find much info on them online though.
More info on em under the J&D name.

In fact the first J&D Telecaster on Google is the one I spotted, same colour anyway, wood + white guard.
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Guitar Stu

Yep I still got mine. Been using it at band practice since I got it. Changed the pots for CTS ones and put in a kill switch in. The only issue I am having is to do with the intonation I think as higher up the neck can sound a bit off sometimes. Not much though and this would be to do with the saddles. I am looking at getting the Wilkinshaw compensated saddles.

I'm also thinking of changing the pickups. I have the fender custom shop Nocasters. They sound fine but and are perfect for a more traditional tele sound but Ive figured I want more punch especially for the bridge pickup. I was the same with my strat bridge pickups. I had a set of Texas specials in the strat. Love the middle and neck but hated the bridge pickup. Put a seymour duncan quarter pound pickup in the bridge and transformed it into an animal. I am going to try out a SD Quarter Pound tele in the bridge in this thing.

I think its great value for money.


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