Telecaster question

stimpson

Member
Messages
1,878
i bought a Squier jazzmaster a couple years ago. it was a student guitar, so it has barely been used. these things sold for $300 new and i paid $200 for it. i have three jazzmasters so i decided that this one was expendable. i like the idea of getting a telecaster so i went shopping

i went to one guitar store and they said $75 for a trade-in. while i was trying out guitars, they upped it to $90. gimme a break. i tried a dozen guitars and they were all crap. cheap wood with flimsy necks. the neck on my jazzmaster is sturdy, like a baseball bat. so... no trade and i walked out. the sales guy offered me $125 cash. i said sorry i'm keeping it

i went to another store the same day and they offered me $175 for a trade-in right off the bat. again, i tried a dozen guitars and they were all crap, so i decided to keep the jazzy

my question is... is there a decent telecaster (Squier, Fender, or G&L) out there for less than $500 that isn't made out of balsa wood ? or should i just save up for a Gretsch Falcon ?
 

Ugly Bunny

Member
Messages
2,450
Bump. This is the main reason I haven't bought one. I like it real thick and juicy - most of the newer ones I've played all feel too lightweight and sort of flimsy.

The best neck I ever played was on an old Squier II P-Bass. Man, that whole instrument had such a great rocky tone and solid feel.
 
Messages
18,321
ASAT with MFD pickups, wins every time

TI_ASP_134R24R20-1200.jpg
 

Dadzmad

Member
Messages
105
If you want some heft for less than 5 bills - one of these may work for you. Last month I got this 2007 MIM FSR Ash with TexMex PUs for 4 bills off Reverb:

KingpinTele_zpsbnxd3upk.jpg


It's not real pretty as in grain match up but it has a nice heft and sounds good
the only things I changed was strings trees and added a black scratch plate

These are not that scarce
 

stimpson

Member
Messages
1,878
Bump. This is the main reason I haven't bought one. I like it real thick and juicy - most of the newer ones I've played all feel too lightweight and sort of flimsy.

The best neck I ever played was on an old Squier II P-Bass. Man, that whole instrument had such a great rocky tone and solid feel.
i have a Squier II stratocaster neck (1989/1990 ?) in my garage. its definitely solid
 

Jet Age Eric

Senior Member
Messages
7,690
The Tele '50s Classic Vibe is awesome. The G&L ASAT Spec w/trem is my ideal guitar--approximates the piano-like lows and general depth of a JM with the presence of a Tele. (I've got an ASAT Spec w/trem and a JM with an ASAT MFD in the neck.) -E
 

garret

Member
Messages
1,059
Plenty of Tele's out there for under $500 new or used.

I picked up my MIM Tele a few months ago for $320 used. Love it!

The G&L's are really nice as well.

 

skunizzi

Member
Messages
1,103
I would say go for a Classic vibe or G&L ASAT both are worth the money and offer great value.



 
M

Member 1963

Well, the classic vibes are almost exactly what is right for you cept one thing...you mentioned flimsy necks and they are as thin as it gets, especially the 60's model, the "custom". I can't recommend the MIM classic series enough. They 50's and 60's models are both absolutly great vintage style teles. The pickups aren't great but you can swap those out at your leisure. But i've had more expensive and supposedly higher grade teles but these IMO with some good pups are about as good as it gets. I haveb the 50's, had a 60's that i wish i never sold and i'm looking to replace it with another 60's. You can easily find them for $500 or less used. But if you want new i;m afraid the classic vibes are your only option for true tele design that sounds like a tele should sound. But you' have to be ok with the thin neck. I still believe necks size aside, the MIM classic series are the best bang/buck in a vintage style tele by far. Oh, and they have fatter necks, especially the 50's which it's call quite chunky. Stay away fro G&L unless the only teleness you care about is the body shape. great guitars but they don't sound like a tele.
 

Oneofthe

Member
Messages
254
I'm not a Tele expert but as an American Special Tele owner which has a super thin neck and someone who has tried quite a few Teles, I would say the neck that sounds most like what you are looking for is the MIM Telecaster Classic 50's but, but, but the problem is they retail $800 new. I'm not certain at what price a used one would sell, maybe it would come to about $500 -- Maybe.

I've never tried a Baja Tele but I hear the neck is like a baseball bat as they say. But again those retail around $700 to $800, you can try to find that used. The regular MIMs used to retail $500 but now they retail $600 but I'm sure you can find that used for lower. I remember those have more girth than the American Special and Standard but I'm not certain if it is enough for you.

I'm speculating but unlike Gibson which comes out with a new run every year, Fender doesn't come out with a new run so often and whatever the trend in that period of time was that is what you will find. I remember thinner necks were a big thing in the past with only recently people find thicker necks easier to play for things like Chords.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
 

stimpson

Member
Messages
1,878
Well, the classic vibes are almost exactly what is right for you cept one thing...you mentioned flimsy necks and they are as thin as it gets, especially the 60's model, the "custom". I can't recommend the MIM classic series enough. They 50's and 60's models are both absolutly great vintage style teles. The pickups aren't great but you can swap those out at your leisure. But i've had more expensive and supposedly higher grade teles but these IMO with some good pups are about as good as it gets. I haveb the 50's, had a 60's that i wish i never sold and i'm looking to replace it with another 60's. You can easily find them for $500 or less used. But if you want new i;m afraid the classic vibes are your only option for true tele design that sounds like a tele should sound. But you' have to be ok with the thin neck. I still believe necks size aside, the MIM classic series are the best bang/buck in a vintage style tele by far. Oh, and they have fatter necks, especially the 50's which it's call quite chunky. Stay away fro G&L unless the only teleness you care about is the body shape. great guitars but they don't sound like a tele.
i tried a couple Classic Vibes and i didn't really like them

i am going to keep my eye out for a MIM tele or a G&L ASAT, thanks everyone !
 

stimpson

Member
Messages
1,878
--- update --- i found a local seller and bought a MIM standard telecaster this past Saturday

barely played, not a scratch on it. serial beginning with MZ8 so i'm guessing this is a 2008 or 2009 make
 
Last edited:
Messages
23,991
update --- i found a local seller and got a mexican telecaster this past Saturday

barely played, not a scratch on it. serial beginning with MZ so i'm guessing this is a 2008 or 2009 make

Great starting point. Keep it around and play the heck out of it. At some point you may wanna look at the Classic 50s or 60s or the Classic Player 50s Baja models. Sounds like every one of the various CVs was gonna have a neck too thin for you. The American Special is around .84 inches, roughly what you have now bought.

Maybe part of this "flimsy" sense you were getting was, that JM body is essentially a bass body and even something as bulky as a Tele body will seem smaller/lesser; and this makes the whole guitar seem less substantial. I play more guitars in the Tele size/weight range and when I built a project based on a JM body shape, I ended up cutting the body down 12% because it just seemed too massive to me.
 

stimpson

Member
Messages
1,878
most of the new telecasters that i tried out had really light bodies. the necks seemed to be made of some kind of flimsy ultra-light composite wood. so light that i was afraid they would break in my hand. maybe this is the norm in 2016/2017 ?

the one i bought is from 2008/2009, has a heavy body, and i am pretty sure it has a maple neck. barely used and i got a great deal on it
 

big mike

Fire Josh McDaniels!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,879
Baja Tele or 50s MIM Classic used in that range +/-

Even teh standard MIM used are good guitars. 400 used or less?

Forget trade in. Sell the jazzy. save a little dough, and wait for the right deal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C-4




Trending Topics

Top Bottom