My local music store just marked down 3 different Fender Tele's (to $400, I don't know why they are marked down, probably because no one buys them, they've been in there for about 3 years) and the only difference I can see between these ones and the high-end ones (that are like $800+) is that these ones have 6 saddles (but I'm going to buy a vintage bridge and replace with a 3-saddle setup) and that they are made of alder, will I really hear that much of a difference? I'm playing out of a Fender Deluxe VM, and I'm not really a fender guy, I don't know much about jags, strats, or tele's, but I tested a tele on this amp when I was buying it, and it sounded sooo nice, but THAT tele was one of the high end $1000 ones, it was an oooold one, worn out and all, maybe from 70's, early 80's.

So what I'm asking: Are the cheap alder tele's the same as the other tele's? I know there will be a difference in sound, but will there be THAT much of a difference?
Last edited by naedauuf at Dec 5, 2009,
So what's the deal with those ones, why so cheap? I always thought alder was a cheaper wood, btw?
So other then the fact it's not made in America.. It sounds and plays the same..?
The pickups, hardware, finish, and labor that go into each are what determines the price difference. The body wood might actually the most similar part between them. Alder is used on all sorts of guitars, cheap and expensive. It's not a very expensive wood in itself, but it's a good tonewood and it's what most of the classic fenders were made from, so there's nothing inherently wrong with using it in an expensive guitar.

And no, they won't sound and play the same. The body shape is the same but they are very different guitars. If you've been playing for a while, you'll notice that right away if you play them side by side.
Not really. There's no such thing as a cheap type of wood since there's low quality and high quality versions of each wood.

The price depends on the model and where it's made.
So would you guys recommend one of the cheaper mexican tele's to go with my Fender Deluxe VM, then?
Mex guitars are just fine. Infact all the way through the 60-70's fender was using Mexican employees in american factories, check the butts of the necks of really old strats, a lot of them have mexican signatures. Fender has spent a massive amount of money on it Mexican production over the last few years, and they fly a quality control team out of California regularly to keep up standards, In my opinion fender is getting ready for a big shift to mexican production, they'll have one line of guitars made in America, then you'll have to buy customshop, just like they did with Jackson.

So yes, aside from the hardware and wood quality, a Mexican guitar has the potential to be just as good as anything made in America.
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