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So what's the deal with Nocasters?

Snail

Member
Messages
663
I've been bitten by the Tele bug... Actually have been since almost a year ago... And I've been thinking about Nocasters recently.

What makes them special, compared to other Teles? Why would they sound / play different or better than any other Tele -- say an American standard or American deluxe?

Thanks for the insight...!
 
Messages
23,951
1) The pickups are the best T pickups Fender offers;

2) The neck is really nicely fretted and is far larger in diameter to anything else Fender ordinarily does;

3) The Custom Shop is rightly very proud of this model and they seem to understand it is a flagship of sorts - different routing than production av teles, the fitting and matching of compatible parts is obviously given extreme priority;

4) The basic design is so much better than the American Series or Standard or Deluxe - better design generally leads to a better guitar; and

5) The choices of finishes just makes you feel good all over, so you play better and thus the guitar sounds better. The magic of nitro.

In addition to a No-Caster I have a couple of AV 52 FSRs with No-Caster pickups stock. I think the blend circuit is better than the usual AV52 wiring scheme, but clearly it ain't just the pickups.

Pick just one element? The enormous neck.

If you build a partscaster and you do not use the largest diameter USACG neck you can possibly stand to play, you are leaving yourself short. Buy the No-caster or finish and assemble (build out) your own USACG copy.



 
Last edited:

Snail

Member
Messages
663
Thanks, that's incredibly informative.

I'm glad you mentioned the '52 AVRI, as I was going to ask about that and how it stacks up to the Nocaster. Basically, the Nocaster has a bigger neck and better pickups than the AVRI? Is the AVRI also a custom shop offering?

EDIT: Whoah, sweet pics! Love the look of those!
 
Messages
23,951
Thanks, that's incredibly informative.

I'm glad you mentioned the '52 AVRI, as I was going to ask about that and how it stacks up to the Nocaster. Basically, the Nocaster has a bigger neck and better pickups than the AVRI? Is the AVRI also a custom shop offering?

EDIT: Whoah, sweet pics! Love the look of those!
Thanks kindly.

No, the AV52 ( and AV62 ) are production guitars and aren't sweated over nearly as much. The original vintage pickups are not bad; I would like the neck to be larger but it isn't a bad guitar. One step above but discontinued at least for 2009 are the "Thin Skin" premium production models. They're on sale now at Musicmachine in Kennewick, Washington State for around $ 1,100-1,200 and this is the best value for money I know of in a new guitar right this instant. (No affiliation).
 

bunny

Member
Messages
442
I've had a Nocaster for a few years, defenitely my Number One! Had many other high-end guitars, CS strats and teles too, parted with them all easily. Choosing my Number Two ended with... another Nocaster:)))
You may want to make good shielding, throw an oil-paper cap in it, I personaly prefer a bone nut, but basicaly it is great from the start.
BTW, I think Relics sound better:))
 

RobertKeeley

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
265
I have a lot of fun with a Nocaster, mine's light, it's fun working with the fat neck, sounds great and makes you play in different ways if you're used to other guitars. +1 for the Nocaster!
 

wingwalker

Fuzzy Guitars
Messages
6,785
I've been bitten by the Tele bug... Actually have been since almost a year ago... And I've been thinking about Nocasters recently.
What makes them special, compared to other Teles? Why would they sound / play different or better than any other Tele -- say an American standard or American deluxe?
Thanks for the insight...!
Part of what you're asking has to do simply wiht one model (the Nocaster) being a CS guitar that will be made with better wood, better attention to detail and overall be a higher quality guitar than the other(s) (the American Standard or Deluxe).

Now the other part has to do more what what style of Tele you want...Tele's have been around over 50 years and have had a few changes over the years...one of the biggest IMO is the bridge...the Nocaster will use the vintage stamped metal "box" bridge with 3 brass saddles vs the AS/AD style which have the much thicker flat plate style bridge wiht 6 steel saddles...this is a HUGE impact on tone to me.

Another one is the neck...mostly the size, Tele's with thinner necks can still sound like a Tele but the bigger necks have a little extra something slim necks don't have.

Moving on we get to the pickups...the stock Nocaster pickups are, IMO the best stock Fender Tele pickups going right now.

The AV52 is a good guitar and right now can be had at a geat deal but IMHO the Nocaster is a big step up.

Best advise I can give you is to go to a shop that carries LOTS of Fender and play as many Tele's as you can and decide what works best for you in terms of features...bridges, pickups, necks, etc then find the best made Tele in that style you can afford or start hitting the used scene!

Good luck!
 

Bhodie

Member
Messages
605
Well.. the lone dissenting voice :)

I never bonded with mine and traded it for an ES 335. Pretty much everything said above is right on the money.. nice finish, better woods, the neck is big enough that you need to play one before you decide if you like it.. it is that big.. like cut a Louisville slugger in half big.

The neck pickup is very sweet --> rocking depending on setting.. one of the best, but to me, the blend circuit is muddy and does not do much, and the bridge pickup is kind of a "chicken pluckin" parody..

In all, I found a strat that had a neck pick up as sweet, the body felt better and more comfortable, and was way more flexible in terms of tone. They are a lot of dough for a one trick pony, unless that is the trick you are looking for!
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
47,994
This is good to know. I bought a 52 AVRI and the neck is too wimpy for me. Maybe I'll look around and find a nocaster neck to bolt on instead. :YinYang
 

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,665
My Nocaster is the one guitar I will never part with, the fat neck feels perfect in your hand and the light swamp ash body resonates as you play. The pickups are very nice and especially the bridge one will give just about any sound you need. The Nocaster is the most basic guitar I own and yet one of my most expressive.
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,555
I just bought a used thinskin '55 tele. It's an excellent guitar. The neck isn't as big as a Nocaster but it does have a thinner finish than the AV52ri and it does have custom shop pickups reputed to be the Nocaster pickups. Dave's, Wildwood, and Music Machine are the only stores with this model. Music Machine is blowing out some thinskin models but not the '52.
Daves and Wildwood have quite a few in stock at the normal price of around $1600.
 

Snail

Member
Messages
663
Very interesting -- thanks, everyone. I am stoked to try one of these babies out... There is one available locally, a used Relic Nocaster, for $1700. Sounds like a good price to me -- worth checking out at least.
 

shane8

Member
Messages
31,457
the coolest fender i ever spanked was a nocaster relic but imo they r way too expensive and all (or most) production fenders should be this good

make ur own outa parts
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
I had a Warmoth tele, two piece swamp ash/ one piece maple neck, and it wasn't close.

Had my nocaster relic since '02, and it's about the most versatile, best sounding guitars around. I'm not really a tele guy, but that guitar has balls with clarity award. They're unstoppable and pretty consistent, but I had a NOS that wasn't quite up to par.
 
Messages
23,951
I had a Warmoth tele, two piece swamp ash/ one piece maple neck, and it wasn't close.
My one Warmoth Tele body once built out also was bleah. I've had success after success after success with USACG bodies, both with Warmoth Vintage and Vintage Modern necks and especially with USACG necks.

I'm not gonna offer an opinion as to whether one, some or all of my assemblies are better than a typical used No-Caster; I'll just suggest the CS guys have inspired me and having an immediate goal is a strong thing.


*****

I really do love the stock blend setup on the No-caster. I'd like to substitute a smaller value capacitor or resistor/cap combo on a couple of my own first -they all end up being 4 way switched to get that SERIES sound.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
That's cool, Boris. It's wood and it all varies. I'm sure there are some great Warmoths or USAs too. For some reason I did not like the tone the USACG necks I had even after pro setup.
 




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