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The Campy Forum

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Budget Tele ...Help :-)
  • Hi fellow passionate music lovers !
    I've been searching for a telecaster for awhile now. I don't have have a big budget ( especially after having started a family ) but I have a strong need to play and own a tele.
    Every time I listen to Jim's music, that need grows stronger and harder to control! haha
    Does anybody have any advice or opinion on a tele thats affordable and sounds good too?
    Thanks to all !
    Enzo
  • If you like a vintage vibe, I'd recommend the Fender Baja Tele. Might be able to get one used for $500?
  • Thanks dougg, that's exactly what i'm after. A vintage vibe, preferably with low wound pups.
  • I recently got my first tele. Started with a MIM (got in a trade) and then put about $300 in it. Total came out to about $800, and it's exactly the guitar I wanted for roughly the same price of a brand new MIM. A lot of people seem to really like the classic vibe squier, that's probably your best budget option. Regardless, I recommend used. Checkout craigstlist, pawn shops, even guitar stores!
  • If it is a great budget Tele you are after, you cannot go much wrong with the Squier Classic Vibe series. Everyone of them I have tried are fantastic instruments for the money you would spend on them. They feel, look and sound like a great Tele. Plus, after a time, you could then put your own stamp on them by upgrading pickups and hardware however you see fit.

    Baja Telecasters are wonderful instruments too. I play one myself. The extra tonal possibilities with the S-1 switch comes in handy. They are that much more expensive though.

    My ultimate advice is try as many different Teles and Tele knock-offs as you can and keep your mind wide open. Too often us guitar geeks get hung up on labels and brands. It all comes down to how the guitar feels for you.

    Happy shopping, enzo!
  • I really appreciate this thread - thank you all!

    I liked the Baja Tele too, it felt like a real instrument to me for the bucks. The frets needed shaving on the side of the neck because the wood hadn't completely settled- but that was minor...

    Happy shopping! - Jim


  • If you get a chance, try out the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic. One day, my local music shop and I were having a slow day and I went through every telecaster(ish) guitar they had. The G&L has a bit more brawn than a tele, but it suited me fine that day and has continued doing so...Have fun!
  • The Baja is nice and the Tribute ASAT Classic is a great suggestion, too. But honestly, if you're starting a family and the budget is tight, I'd get a Squier Classic Vibe. Surprisingly good guitar for the money. Used saves even more. There are a couple used on Reverb.com right now for around $300 plus $25 shipping. If you decided to upgrade at some point, you could probably get the $300 back at resale.
  • I have a Squier Classic Vibe custom, had it ever since they came out (2009, I think). Great guitar (I did swap out the bridge pickup for Fender Nocaster, in 2012, I think). Never even taken it to the shop for set-up or anything, never felt the need for that! Bajas are great too, of course.

  • Thank you all soooo much !
    I think I will start with trying out some Baja's at my local music store.
    Will keep you posted.
  • i'm a sucker for the American special tele's. Next to the pups they have everything.image
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  • My $0.02

    The Squire Vintage Vibes are really good instruments.

    The MIM teles (Fender calls them "Standard" models I believe, i.e. "Standard Telecaster")... (I have a Cabronita Thinline), are every bit as good as the MIA ones. And various MIM models can be found used at good prices.

    For awhile, before I stumbled across the Cabronita Thinline, I was going for a Squier CV 50's tele... I like the pickups in the 50s model.

    I also have a Squire Vintage Modified, which is nice, but not quite as nice as the Vintage Vibe models.
  • oh, just in case someone doesn't get the abbreviations:

    MIA = Made In America
    MIM = Made In Mexico ("Standards")
    The Squires are made in Korea or Indonesia, I believe, depending on the model.
  • I have to opportunity to get a good deal on a 2011 60th anniversary tele for 800$ Canadian funds ( I live in Montreal )
    Any thoughts on that guitar ?
  • The Anniversary Models (regardless of year) are all great. Can't comment on the price, especially in Canadian lol I checked Reverb.com, and prices are all over the place... from $765US-$1500US.

    Honestly, unless there's something you LOVE about THAT particular guitar, I wouldn't pay more for it than a new MIM (Classic Vibe) one, "Anniversary" or not. The CVs are great guitars. Even the pickups are quite good.
  • As far as a I recall, the 60th anniversary was basically modern version of the 52 reissue tele. I would take it... if I liked the MODERN BRIDGE... and if the neck straight and frets in good shape. Reissue pickups, blackguard look, modern radius, etc.

    But I personally must have the vintage style "ashtray" bridge. So I would not buy that. :) But hey, modern bridge never bothered Keef Riffhard.
  • Good point on the bridge style.... personally, I hate the "ashtray" and always want the modern/flat bridge... because, they way I play, especially if I'm playing live/rock-n-roll, the ashtray bridge edges beats my hand up.
  • I think I have to change the heading of this thread......I've decided to try to save up more money, be more patient, work extra hours and " bite the bullet".
    I will try to find a '52 reissue at a reasonable price. Thanks for all your help and please feel free to comment on your experiences or thoughts on the 52 reissue.
    Have a great day :-)
  • I really like the '52 reissue. It's a fantastic guitar. And you should be able to find a used one for $1000-1200. I've also played the '58 and liked it a lot, too. But my favorite of the bunch is the '64 reissue. Then again, I'm one of those weirdos who prefers Teles with rosewood necks. Still kicking myself for passing on a used '64 reissue in Lake Placid Blue a couple of years ago. It was a really good deal, too. Oh well...

    Best of luck to you! I think you're making the right decision. If you really want a 52 reissue, you probably won't be happy until you get one.
  • Thanks BlueCajun ! The '58 is harder to find. For some reason there are many more "52 reissues on the used market. Here, in Canada , they go for 1900$ CDN used .
    I should just drive to the US and buy one there.

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