Sunday, November 29, 2009

Building a Telecaster from Scratch

I am crazy for Telecasters!

I have decided to go all out and build one from scratch. It is a crazy thing to do, since I almost lost the tip of my second finger on my left hand when I was routing and drilling my partscaster a few years ago. Last year, I went in to overdrive and got the guitar finished in a rough form. This summer I got a neck and bridge from, transferred over parts from my other Telecaster and had a great sounding guitar. I twangs just the way a good Tele should! The neck is huge - way thicker than I am used to. However, it cost only $40 and is playable. I choose a light brown finish because I was too impatient to wait to order a 1950's era butterscotch color. I don't mind this color at all. It's different and brings out the grain in the wood, which I think is ash.
I did quite a lot research on the Telecaster Discussion Page, which has a section devoted to do-it-yourself players. I was inspired.

I have looked at guitars in the stores with a new eye, and can't justify ever spending a lot of money for one. Yes, I am cheap these days. There was a challenge issued by the Telecaster Page to build a functioning guitar for $100, which is what I plan to do for the first one. Once I broke down the actual construction, I realized that I have most of the tools to pull it off. So off I will go this winter. This guitar body will be easy to cut, but the neck will be hard. I am looking forward to the challenge.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Squier Classic Vibe Telecasters

I love Telecasters. I know have two of them - my trusty Standard - made in Mexico - and my just completed Tele-parts caster, of which I had to do all of the routing and assembly. It was a fun project that has inspired me to try and make one from scratch later next year.

Recently, I found myself in a music store, waiting for my daughter's flute to be repaired. This store had at least one of each popular model of Telecaster - the 52 reissue at around $1,500; a "new" road worn at around $900; a Highway one at around $600; a Standard at around $350 and the new Squier Classic Vibe at around $300. Since I had time to kill, I tried all of these guitars out through a Peavey Classic 30. Which was best? The lowly Squier. Why? It played beautifully, sounded like a Tele should - lots of twang, and had virtually no flaws anywhere on the body or neck. For the price, I do not think you can find a better deal. The Classic Vibe features a PINE body, which goes way back to the early days of the Telecaster. I found there was no difference in sound from the Squier and the 52 reissue - at least to my ears. Someone else may be to differ, but that is my opinion. The Roadworn and Highway One were certainly fine guitars, but for $300 the choice is obivious to me. I want one!

I will add that the two Classic Vibe STRATOCASTERS there were also great guitars. The 62 copy in Candy Apple Red and rosewood nect was flawless.