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Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:51 pm
by andrew Ivimey
I'm hanging back on the last of the Strat experiments ... soon.

I spent the morning in the local guitar shop (without coffee) trying Teles.

Way back in the days when I aspired to rock stardom I used to look at Teles and think a variation of '... you've got to be kidding...' In the last ten years I have owned a couple of Squier Teles and am enjoying borrowing a 'custom vibe classic' (thin but lovely neck - feels a bit like a toy; I thought this when I tried a classic vibe Strat, in a shop, too) .

All three...well there's something about them that makes me want to really bash out the chords. They were lively, fun and errr my kind of guitar, perhaps.

I have also played a Mex Tele a couple of years ago and should have bought it for the well made bargain it was - in a local Cash Converters, but didn't.

I was up in the dreary town of Harrogate a couple of weeks ago (great Blues Cafe there though Betty's intimidated me with all those well dressed ladies of a certain age with their coiffure, gold and expensive clothes - phew..) There is however a little guitar shop run be a friendly chap with whom I tried a couple of G&L Teles - very well made, accurate but felt 'too big'. - not sure what to make of them really. (Made in Indonesia)

Today, though, first up was Standard Mex Tele - well made and sounded... pretty much like I think Squiers sound.
Second was Baja Tele (Mex) with four position switch. It was heaven but had had a lot of setting up done to it, so not 'straight out of the box'.
Third American standard (over a thousand quid) - gorgeous.

By this time I had overcome my appalling embarrassment at having actually to play a guitar in front of other people. The sweat had dried on my brow and ceased to flow elsewhere. I was coming up on a roll!

A custom shop American Tele with TexMex pups - Ooooo I could hear the difference; more percussive attack to the notes. But I didn't like it.

So I am kinda finding out what I sort of found out about Strats. The American standard (with fat 50 equivalents) sounded much more of an instrument though the Baja had a greater tonal range with the extra position switch. As the Baja had been set up and the US Tele straight out of the box, the Baja had the edge, for me. The Mex Standard Tele really sounded like a slightly better Squier and played a little better.

And I want to bash the expensive better made Teles too!

Just a few thoughts if anyone is interested.

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:30 pm
by The Stratmangler
I'd love to have an American Standard Telecaster, in natural, with a one piece Maple neck.
There's something about black pickguards on Teles that floats my boat.
The belly cut is something I like (I don't think my figure will return to the "racing snake" status of my youth), and the sound, feel and playability of the instrument come across as "being home".

The fixed bridge is good too in terms of staying in tune whilst bending strings - non of the tremoloed Strat detuning thing going on, and the midrange punch of a Tele is great.


Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:49 pm
by andrew Ivimey
Yes the body is a little 'aimed at at the mature' player. It couldn't possibly suit me, ahem... The one I played this morning was a black body - didn't really notice. The Baja though was a gorgeous ice blue with a sort of depth to it; is this possible!

The tonal range of a 'Tele' is extraordinary and I suspect I didn't explore the whole range. I can see why its great to use 0.9 (super slinky) strings too - adds to the klankiness. But I do want a Tele to sound like one and am a bit suspicious even of Andy Summers' humbucker. He wrote a brilliant book about his professional musical years though - brilliant!

I might have to have one!
I know I want to.

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:19 pm
by Nick
Not just for country

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:39 pm
by andrew Ivimey
Cool daddyoh.

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:54 pm
by Irene Idler
Well, if you go with a Strat, that just means more Teles for me. And what I really want, what I really really want -- sorry, was channeling the Spice Girls for a moment there -- is a Tele Custom. But not just *any* Tele Custom.

Nearly 30 years ago I was in a guitar shop in Boston, and I saw a Tele with a double-coil humbucker in the neck position, and I thought, "GIMME!" But I was so broke my shoes were held together with duct tape. Still, I had to play it. And it was SWEET. I was *told* it was a Tele Custom, and it was priced at a shocking $175, which might as well have been $175,000 for all I could come up with it. But all these years later I still remember how great it felt and how much I loved the sound of it.

Recently I started researching Tele Customs, thinking maybe I could at least afford a used reissue... and realized that what I played was not, strictly speaking, a Tele Custom. It was a Tele, it was 70s vintage, but someone had routed out space and added the humbucker in the neck position. They hadn't changed the controls, those looked like a regular Tele. And holy wow, it sounded fantastic.

So basically, I'm going to have to make my own dream guitar. Either that or I can ask my guitar tech friend in Baltimore to do it. But the shipping would be ridiculous, so probably I'll just do it myself. Someday. When I need something higher quality and less sparkly than my Danelectro.

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:08 pm
by Nick

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:58 am
by Irene Idler
Close! But that one has the double-coil in the bridge position, which is an interesting choice. I think the difference is probably very noticeable -- with the double-coil at the neck and the single-coil at the bridge, you've got a nice warm tone from the neck and a VERY bright tone from the bridge, which is a pretty distinctive combo that I absolutely love.

The reverse would probably sound completely different and just as distinctive. I'm going to have to see if I can find one to play and find out now, because I bet it sounds pretty cool.

I imagine it's something like the difference between a mahogany/spruce acoustic and a rosewood/cedar acoustic. I have one of each, and I've always preferred the warmth of the Washburn with the rosemary and cedar, even though the Larrivée is technically a better guitar.

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:58 pm
by Nick

Re: Fender Telecasters

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:08 pm
by Irene Idler
Oh, now, that IS a stunner. And such a bargain as they're going for a mere £2k! I'll just run right out and pick one up with my pin money. Oh, and a pony too, while I'm at it. :wink: