Want to buy a Tele.....

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Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby bluzlvr » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:23 pm

Want to buy a Tele, don't have a lot of money, been looking at the standards (Mexican Teles). Any advice out there pro or con?
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby ricochet » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:49 pm

I've got a Mexi Tele, bought for my boy in 2001. Nice guitar! I had to glue a stripped pickguard screw back in with white glue right out of the box, and soon had to reattach the jack screw ring with blue Loctite, but these are common sorts of repairs on new guitars these days. Never a lick of trouble since, and it sounds great!
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby zhyla » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:55 am

No complaints about my MIM tele. I replaced the pickups w/ a MIA set (they're cheap on ebay). Get a used one, they're way too slippery new.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby leftyguitarman » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:52 am

zhyla wrote:Get a used one, they're way too slippery new.


I feel the exact opposite. I suppose you're talking about the necks? If so, the necks on the new ones suck IMO. The finish they put on them is uncomfortable to play, looks terrible, and my hands stick everywhere. I love the worn out MIM necks. They are way smoother and my hand can move freely on them.

Bluzlvr, if you like it, get it. Personally, I like Teles (don't own one) but I have never played a MIM Tele that I liked. They all feel really cheap to me.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby TheDude » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:44 am

I just got a Squier Classic Vibe Tele not so long ago, that I'm loving a lot. Straight out of the box, beautifully set up. Just tuned up and she was ready to go. Lovely twangy 50s sound. Pickups stay clean (note separation) even with the gain wound up.

If it HAD to be a Fender, I suppose the best bang-for-the-buck Tele today would be the Classic Player 50s Tele. It's MIM but has a 12-inch fretboard radius and custom shop everything. Plus it's not that much more expensive than a MIM standard. Used to own a MIM standard Strat, which apart from the awesome neck somehow always felt like a platform for upgrading rather than a ready-to-play instrument.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby Troubleman » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:18 pm

NaftaCasters can be decent, but you (imo) have to go through a few to find one that is... (fretwork, straight neck, decent neck-pocket, RESONANT AND ACOUSTICALLY LOUD)...
First of all (and opinions vary), get a string-through (versus top-loading) body model - please? Much better sound.
Once you find the right Tele, if you're gonna be gigging with it, I'd suggest maybe swapping out the pickups right away, and vol/tone/switch and tuners eventually. Decide how you want it to sound (bright and twangy, gnarly and mean, etc), and find the appropriate pickups as a start - you'll be happy

pEAcE,

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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby ricochet » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:50 pm

ARGH! That about changing pickups right off is a pet peeve of mine. I suggest NEVER doing that until you identify a specific characteristic of the original pickups you'd like to be different. Knowing what that is, you can pick out appropriate pickups to suit your taste. Recommendations from others on boards are iffy at best. FWIW, I wouldn't change the stock ones in the MIM Tele here for anything. They sound just like a Tele's supposed to.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby goldbrick » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:42 pm

Changing pickups bothers me too. most folks dont spend enuff time adjusting string gauge , amp settings etc.

Unless you are looking for something totally out of character for that guitar ( humbucker for example ) try other things first--MIM guitars are finejust made by Mexicans in Mexico instead of Mexican Americans , here in the USA
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby Troubleman » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:20 pm

goldbrick wrote:Changing pickups bothers me too. most folks dont spend enuff time adjusting string gauge , amp settings etc.

Unless you are looking for something totally out of character for that guitar ( humbucker for example ) try other things first--MIM guitars are finejust made by Mexicans in Mexico instead of Mexican Americans , here in the USA


For me it's a matter of them feeding back too much at stage volume - med/high volume, not LOUD - nasty squealing feedback too.
For me, onstage with that? No way.
That's why I added the proviso - IF you're gonna being gigging the guitar...
The pots and switch-gear in Nafta-casters are okay out of the box, but again - if gigged heavily they'll need replacing, especially the switch.

I always view electric guitars from that perspective - is it stage-worthy and will it hold up..


pEAcE,

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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby zhyla » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:00 pm

I don't ordinarily change pickups on my guitars. In this case I played a lot of MIA teles and found the MIM to play just as well and sounded fine, but didn't quite have the same sound as the American version (which I preferred). I figured the most likely difference was the pickups. It did the trick for me. The mexican teles do NOT sound bad in any way and not really that different.

The neck thing, I should have been more specific... too slippery on the fretboard itself. It took some getting used to having only played rosewood fretboards. Finished maple was a big change for me and took some getting used to.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby goldbrick » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:18 pm

I use some 000 steel wool to take some of that poly off the fretboard
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby titaniumslide » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:02 pm

If you do the steel wool treatment, either remove the neck or mask off the pickups to keep the steel wool shavings off of the magnets. You will also find out if you have any fret sprout on the neck.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby bluzlvr » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:59 pm

Thanks for all the advice everybody. I already own a '65 Gibson 335 with P90's that sounds absolutly gorgeous and want something kinda contrasty if you know what I mean.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby Direwolf59 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:46 pm

I bought a '76 Tele Deluxe in California for $200. This was in '86 I believe. Absolute steal. I had wanted a standard Tele but couldn't pass this up. I've heard these called the "Fender man's Les Paul". It doesn't really sound like a LP, but it does sound great. Looks just like the one Buddy Guy is playing now. The neck is the best Fender neck I've ever played. I'd still like to get a regular Tele and will if the right deal comes along.
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Re: Want to buy a Tele.....

Postby Sheb Whitebred » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:01 am

Bluzlvr,

Are you sure you want to buy a Tele? Really sure? Here's why I ask:

I badly wanted a Telecaster several years ago. I had never played one, but stupidly thought it would have the tone I was looking for. There was no place in my town that even had one to try out. Ended up buying a USA built Tele standard from the late '80s on ebay. Beautiful guitar. But, frankly, I couldn't stand the thing. For one, it was heavy as a boat anchor. It was also really uncomfortable to hold. The whole thing just felt stiff as a board to me. And the sound, ugh. Like having icepicks fired into my eardrums. The only good sound I could get out of it was when it was completely distorted. I ended up selling it and never regretted it.

Now, years later, I've found the sound that I thought the Tele would give me... in a Danelectro 56 U2 Pro. Okay, I know it's a cheap Korean reissue, but the bridge pickup nails that country-blues-funk sound without the shrill screech of a Tele. Both pickups or just neck pickup give the most lascivious blues sound, especially with overdrive. It really is wet-your-pants-it's-that-good tone. All from a couple of cheapo lipstick tube single coils and a Masonite body. Plus, the 25" scale is a lot easier to play. String bends are much easier, and it still has plenty of snap. Oh, and it has a pretty flat fretboard, which is great for slide.

Unless you've played a Tele and really have your heart set on one, see if you can try out a Dano somewhere.
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