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The Tele dilemma

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I want a Tele. I love the Tele sound. I can almost get the tone from my SG and Casino, but not quite. And as much as I love the sound, I've never in my life played a Tele that feels epic. Every Guitard Center Tele has ancient strings on it and a crap set up. I try to look past that because it's a big box guitar store, but honestly, when I sit down next to the pimple kid who knows 3 Nirvana songs -- in their entirety -- while his buddy dials in every tone that that Line 6 can produce... knob by knob... well, I just can't get into the twang vibe. So it's a tone thing that I want to be a feel thing too.

 

Of course, I love the reissues. But I refuse to pay $2k for a Tele that I could build for $800 from Warmoth and Stewmac parts. And yes, butterscotch springsteen is loverly. But... that's a lot of money to pay for solid black lettering on the headstock. Particularly since I don't gig. I don't need and I don't want bling. I want tone; shrill, ear-piercing tone.

 

So, there it is. I could parts together a monster Tele for $800 if I don't screw it up. Or, I could buy a Mexi for $400 and slowly upgrade it, part by part, until I invest another $800 and have a $400 tele and a ~$500 on a good day parts Tele. But I'm lazy...

 

And it gets worse. These sparkles make me horny. I can't do a metal flake like that for $800. Maybe I can, I don't know. I assume I can't. And if I screw it up in the smallest way, I'll stare at the flaw forever instead of love the tone. I don't care if it was made in Mexico, it's glittery.

 

Should I buy a Mexi Tele for $800 with a big pimpin sparkle finish, go low-dollar and buy a Mexi standard in Olympic, or should I parts my own vintage build for $800? Or, I could get into a Squeer and build up for that matter, but I don't know that I want to pay actual dollars for a Squeer.

 

What would you do? Spend my money, forum. Spend it.

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Warmoth does metal flake...it's $60 more than your standard Butterscotch Blonde. They have about half a dozen colors in flake.

 

-Ryan

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since you asked....

 

1.Buy a Mexican tele.

2.Be amazed that it sounds exactly like a USA one,

3.Don't spend anything on it cos its just fine and dandy outta the box, and

4.Enjoy spending the balance of your $$$ on other cool stuff you want.

 

(IMO) [biggrin]

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since you asked....

 

1.Buy a Mexican tele.

2.Be amazed that it sounds exactly like a USA one,

3.Don't spend anything on it cos its just fine and dandy outta the box, and

4.Enjoy spending the balance of your $$$ on other cool stuff you want.

 

(IMO) [biggrin]

 

I 100% agree with this. I bought a Blonde Baja Tele a few years ago and since then I have tried some of the American ones. I personally could not find much difference in quality, finish or tone. You can always get an American Special in Blonde too for a lesser price, but you get a different headstock decal/ logo.

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Mexican Tele vs. American Tele or Mexican Strat vs. American Strat = a huge difference in tone/comfort and playability to me. Both are built like tanks, but I can see, hear and feel the difference. And I do own both in the Stratocaster variety.

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A Telecaster is a thing of imperfect, sometimes infuriating, but enormously satisfying beauty. It will help make you a better guitar player it is so darn hard to get around on sometimes. When I think of a guitar, I think of my one remaining Tele, it is going in the box with me at the end. Like all guitars, spend as much money as you can. Rarely does a person playing the guitar long enough to know the difference regret spending good money on a great guitar. Often one regrets spending a little money on a meh guitar. That schparkle makes me schtiff too, but I don't need one, you do. Get one. Soon. Good a one as you can. No guitar player should be without one.

 

rct

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Hello!

 

FSR (Mexican) Fender Teles are almost as good as US-made ones. If not the same.

 

Check them out.

 

Cheers... Bence

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man I feel your pain with the box stores, ugh..

 

anyways...

 

a tele IMO is just one axe you GOTTA have n the tool box. I went thru about 4 of them till I realized this.

 

 

about the purchase,, I'd say follow your budget.

 

if you can swing the American made, you wont be sorry, by way of comparison, I picked up an Amer. Stnd Strat a few months ago, My band mate has a 2012 Mex Strat, the American one is noticeably better IMHO, -- as already mentioned earlier in Blueblooded's post. But, the MiM ones don't suck however. if it's all you can swing, than I'd say do it.

 

if you wanted to solve the problem for really low dollars, and aren't into headstock-itus get to Ebay and look for auctions for the Squire classic vibe tele, for the money, tremendous deals. Same buddy with the mexi strat picked on up with a case for under 275.

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Do yourself a favor and at least check out the Classic Vibe Tele's. I know it says Squire on the headstock and it's Made In China but they are very nice.

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I say, don't be in a hurry.

 

There are so many Tele's in the world your chances of finding a good one, or one you want to buy for whatever money is one of the easiest things to achieve in this life.

 

Looking for a guitar that you know is out there is one of the best situations you can be in.

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Keep an eye out on eBay and/or The Stratosphere. You might find a nice sparkly Tele body and you can proceed from there.

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I'll just offer one suggestion - used American Tele. If you get a recent model you'll probably come in what a new Mexican one costs, but you'll have the top to bottom quality of a USA one.

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Get a FSR tele with the ash body in butterscotch, you can find these used for less than $400 all the time. Take off the neck sell it on eBay, get a neck from Warmoth (59 roundback is the best neck profile they make imho), get a tele decal slap it on then throw in some Fender custom shop Nocasters and you will have an excellent players tele for probably less than $800.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I want a Tele. I love the Tele sound. I can almost get the tone from my SG and Casino, but not quite. And as much as I love the sound, I've never in my life played a Tele that feels epic. Every Guitard Center Tele has ancient strings on it and a crap set up. I try to look past that because it's a big box guitar store, but honestly, when I sit down next to the pimple kid who knows 3 Nirvana songs -- in their entirety -- while his buddy dials in every tone that that Line 6 can produce... knob by knob... well, I just can't get into the twang vibe. So it's a tone thing that I want to be a feel thing too.

 

Of course, I love the reissues. But I refuse to pay $2k for a Tele that I could build for $800 from Warmoth and Stewmac parts. And yes, butterscotch springsteen is loverly. But... that's a lot of money to pay for solid black lettering on the headstock. Particularly since I don't gig. I don't need and I don't want bling. I want tone; shrill, ear-piercing tone.

 

So, there it is. I could parts together a monster Tele for $800 if I don't screw it up. Or, I could buy a Mexi for $400 and slowly upgrade it, part by part, until I invest another $800 and have a $400 tele and a ~$500 on a good day parts Tele. But I'm lazy...

 

And it gets worse. These sparkles make me horny. I can't do a metal flake like that for $800. Maybe I can, I don't know. I assume I can't. And if I screw it up in the smallest way, I'll stare at the flaw forever instead of love the tone. I don't care if it was made in Mexico, it's glittery.

 

Should I buy a Mexi Tele for $800 with a big pimpin sparkle finish, go low-dollar and buy a Mexi standard in Olympic, or should I parts my own vintage build for $800? Or, I could get into a Squeer and build up for that matter, but I don't know that I want to pay actual dollars for a Squeer.

 

What would you do? Spend my money, forum. Spend it.

 

 

Assemble a Warmoth. If you screw up take it to a good tech.

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/115089-the-ups-truck-arrived-updated/page__p__1558362__fromsearch__1#entry1558362

I'm gonna sell all my Fender Telecasters now that I own this!

 

Buy one of Lurch's Telecasters. Problem solved!

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A few yeare ago I decided one day I just had to have a Tele. I had never played one, had [rolleyes] always been a Gibson player mostly LP and some semi and hollow body, with the exception of a year or so that I played a Strat through effector pedal that made it sound pretty much like a LP (but digitally not, really).

 

So first I look on the web to see if local Guitar Center or Sam Ash have any in stock. GC had a bunch and while I was searching their site they emailed me a coupon "Get $100 off when you spend $300" anything in the store. I go over there and they must have had 20 Teles. I played a bunch of MIM ones and found one that seemed to stay in tune well, the neck was straight, and the tone sounded like a Tele should to me. The price tag was $399. So I asked them to get one of the American made $1500 ones down off the wall and played it. I couldn't tell much difference in the way it played or sounded. Now granted I am not knowledgeable about Fenders in gereral and I am sure there were subtle differences but I couldn't justify paying $900 more.

 

I told the clerk to start the paperwork, and find me gig bag for it and I went over to accessory aisle to get a strap and set of strap locks for it. When I came back he told me it had been mis-marked and was not $399. It was $299. So I plunked down my internet coupon for $100 off and basically got my tele for $200.

 

It is not sparkly, it is natural blond Ash with a glossy finish, maple neck and board, standard single coils. And it is twangy like a Tele should be and I have been complelely happy with it. If I crank it up with some distortion on it, it kind of squawks so I don't use it for that. But for a clean bright country tune or the occasional surf cover with lots of reverb it is perfect.

 

Maybe I was just lucky, but I don't think you need to spend a lot to get a playable Tele, and for my money the Mexican made is just fine. [rolleyes]

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Just found that Fender thinned out the herd in a way I don't understand. Next to no models on a budget featuring six adjustable saddles are left. [thumbdn]

 

My recommendation is going for a Tele with six separately adjustable saddles. Everything else is poorly compromised.

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....twangy like a Tele should be..... I don't think you need to spend a lot to get a playable Tele......

Yep. Yes.

 

My recommendation is going for a Tele with six separately adjustable saddles.

Good call. I got a Fender 6-saddle bridge but also kept the original.

 

No dilemma here - go out, try, buy!!!

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Yep. Yes.

 

 

Good call. I got a Fender 6-saddle bridge but also kept the original.

 

No dilemma here - go out, try, buy!!!

[thumbup] Thank you for mentioning. A nice drop-in replacement will do the trick, too. [biggrin]

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See if you can find a used early 2000's Mexican. Back then they were still cutting the bodies and necks in Corona then the ones designated as MIM were shipped to the Mexican factory for finishing and final assembly. They didn't get CNC machines in Mexico until the mid-2000s.

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