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Author Topic: Telecaster Model  (Read 13521 times)
thirdlake123
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« Reply #60 on: February 22, 2011, 11:10:21 PM »

A parts guitar can often cost as much as a new American Tele and the resale value can be lower than a MIM. I paid more for a '63 start build than I did for a pristine '54 special edition American strat.  I build them because they can be better than your other options if set up properly. I also get exactly what I want. You have a broad choice of neck radius and shape and wood options. I also prefer a thin nitrocellulose finish that is hard to find in a new guitar. I would not consider aging a Fender body, but there are endless options with a licensed body. I like the idea of being able to select pickups that are often only available in very high end guitars. The difference between a Fender Custom Shop pickup and a stock pickup is amazing. You can also sometimes find some bargain used parts if you are patient. I have had good experiences with the Stratosphere and MJT aged body stores on eBay and with Allparts necks. The shipping costs add up fast, so it is best to get as many parts from one place as possible.

There are a lot of electronic schematics available on the web. You just have to watch out for differences in wire colours and with mixing different brands. Building yourself is also a good way to learn setups because you have to cut the nut and adjust the truss rod and bridge. Add to this the cost of specialty tools such as nut files, fret levelling and crowning tools, straight edges and precise measuring tools. A good book on guitar repair and setup is also recommended.

Go for it.
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2011, 11:43:21 PM »

I've been looking at Tele's lately too, and I'm trying to decide between an American Standard, 52 reissue, or a MIM Nashville.

My other option is to put it together myself with a warmoth body and neck, and get the rest of the hardware to build it how I want it.  Has anyone built a tele from parts? was it more expensive to do it this way rather than buying a stock one, and making small mods?

A Larrivee Tele style might be another option as heard they are coming or at least hoping blush
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« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2011, 07:46:39 AM »

My other option is to put it together myself with a warmoth body and neck, and get the rest of the hardware to build it how I want it.  Has anyone built a tele from parts? was it more expensive to do it this way rather than buying a stock one, and making small mods?
The cost of my (mostly) Warmoth Tele was about $900.00 in parts and shipping.  This included having the body finished in butterscotch blonde by Warmoth.  I was going to try and finish it myself and had originally ordered the body unfinished.  Then I started researching what it would take in terms of materials, equipment, skills, etc. to do a finish like that and I discovered it would cost almost as much as buying it finished.  So I quickly decided I wasn't going to take the risk of screwing it up and phoned Warmoth to have them do the finish.  I caught it just in time as they were going to ship my order the next day!  The finish costed an extra $185.00.  If I was to do another one, I would do it in a natural finish which I wouldn't have a problem doing a good job at.

Like thirdlake123 stated, the cost of building one is not much cheaper than buying a new one outright.  However, I found it extemely satisfying to build my own guitar and have control over all the parts that went into it.  And I agree that doing one, even from a kit, is very educational and you learn a lot about set ups, etc.  Highly recommended.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2011, 02:57:06 PM »

A parts guitar can often cost as much as a new American Tele and the resale value can be lower than a MIM.

I build them because they can be better than your other options if set up properly. I also get exactly what I want. You have a broad choice of neck radius and shape and wood options. I also prefer a thin nitrocellulose finish that is hard to find in a new guitar. I would not consider aging a Fender body, but there are endless options with a licensed body. I like the idea of being able to select pickups that are often only available in very high end guitars. The difference between a Fender Custom Shop pickup and a stock pickup is amazing. You can also sometimes find some bargain used parts if you are patient. I have had good experiences with the Stratosphere and MJT aged body stores on eBay and with Allparts necks. The shipping costs add up fast, so it is best to get as many parts from one place as possible.

There are a lot of electronic schematics available on the web. You just have to watch out for differences in wire colours and with mixing different brands. Building yourself is also a good way to learn setups because you have to cut the nut and adjust the truss rod and bridge. Add to this the cost of specialty tools such as nut files, fret levelling and crowning tools, straight edges and precise measuring tools. A good book on guitar repair and setup is also recommended.

Go for it.

Lots of good advice here. Before you invest in a Warmoth build, make sure there are some good reasons to invest the dollars in it...can you get essentially the same thing from Fender? Then you're better off buying the Fender. I started building because I play lefty, and Fender just didn't offer anything beyond the generic Strat and Tele.

A Warmoth (or other) custom build does add up when you figure in the cost of hardware and pickups, etc., plus tools, a soldering iron and lots of patience. On your first build, plan on having to redo a couple things; you may want to buy three nut blanks instead of just one, and you may experience some wiring frustration, especially if you decide to do anything like coil tapping (which I did on my very first build!).

But in the end, you'll have a guitar that you envisioned, built, and set up. You'll know it inside and out, and you'll be a better player because of it...I think you'll have better ears and a better sense of what feels good to you because of building your own. I agree, if you want something different, go for it. just plan on keeping it; as was mentioned, it won't have any resale value. But you can always mod it more later (pickups, neck, etc.) without having to worry about resale value.

Some of my Strat builds have been through all kinds of mods, from pickup changes to hardware changes (gold to chrome, etc.); necks switched from one body to another (I still do this on a regular basis; change a neck or pickgaurd - presto! new guitar!). Here's a couple pics of just one body and some of it's various "9 lives":

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thirdlake123
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« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2011, 09:27:27 PM »

I have been thinking of this a bit more and my advice to the first time builder is to buy a cheap used MIM tele and start modifying by replacing the pickups.  You should be able to do this for around $450. The MIM bodies are pretty much the same as the Americans. You may also consider replacing all the electronics as well if you know how to solder. Good components are fairly cheap. This is the time to experiment with setting up the action and intonation, which is pretty basic with a tele.

If you like what you have, then stop, but you will likely be considering replacing or improving the neck. MIM necks suffer from no fret levelling and a cheap plastic nut. Both are easily resolved. A MIM neck is a safe place to practice fret levelling, crowning and polishing. You can also replace the tuners and bridge.

By this time you will be out around $800 to $1000, depending on the quality of parts you select, and you will have a really good guitar and a nice conversation piece.  If you want to sell it, you will have to part it out on eBay to get most of the value back. My Partscasters will be buried with me before it comes to that.
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« Reply #65 on: February 24, 2011, 05:22:54 AM »

Some of my Strat builds have been through all kinds of mods, from pickup changes to hardware changes (gold to chrome, etc.); necks switched from one body to another (I still do this on a regular basis; change a neck or pickgaurd - presto! new guitar!). Here's a couple pics of just one body and some of it's various "9 lives":
Mickeymac,  nice guitar
I just love the finish on your strat.  Also, I admire your photos as they show the wood grain so well without reflections.  Any tips on how to take photos like that?  Do you use a flash, bounce flash, or do you use a tripod and photo lites, etc.

Kurt
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Mikeymac
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« Reply #66 on: February 24, 2011, 05:56:59 AM »

Mickeymac,  nice guitar
I just love the finish on your strat.  Also, I admire your photos as they show the wood grain so well without reflections.  Any tips on how to take photos like that?  Do you use a flash, bounce flash, or do you use a tripod and photo lites, etc.

Kurt

I'm really not very good at this stuff. I'm using an Olympus SP-510UZ model digital camera (7.1 megapixel); no tripod, no other bounce flash or anything. I just take lots of pictures and dump a bunch and do some basic editing of the rest.
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
thirdlake123
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« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2011, 08:08:44 PM »

A triple humbucker strat! Hmm, just when I think I'm done, I get pulled back in. Guitar Acquisition Syndrome is incurable.
 bigrin
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thirdlake123
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« Reply #68 on: February 25, 2011, 01:02:23 PM »

Hi Telecaster fans,

As a newby to the forum, I have been enjoying the discussion on parts guitars and have been thinking of starting a new thread on the topic. I don't want to hijack the present discussion, so I would first like your input and suggestions on the idea. Personally, I would like to hear different views on what a guitar assembler can do to improve tone that the factories don't do or have stopped doing ($$$). That, and the joy of the build, is why we invest so much time and money in our project guitars. There is so much we could learn about the pros and cons of using different woods, finishes, electrical components, bridges, nuts, tuners...

We have accomplished a lot through trial and error and I would like to hear about, and see, both the successes and failures, the tribute guitars and the "far out" ideas. The more experienced builders can also help solve some problems others may be having. We hear so much about how some modification will make a significant difference. Do they really or are these conclusions based on a lack of objectivity?

Sorry for the diversion - you can get back to "all things Telecaster" very soon. Cheers!

 
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thebigfeel
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« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2011, 09:13:54 PM »

all This talk about teles makes me want to show off my latest project.
Heres a few before and after shots of it.




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