Budget- ~$500 USD

Pickups- Telecasters have 2 single coils, I'd like to keep it that way.

Music genre- She would be used for alternative/post-rock, and ambience. Solos will happen.

New or Used- I'll accept used if I can test it first.

Location- North eastern NC. I have 2 music shops in my area, one filled with Godins and Schecters and the other filled with Fenders and Ibanezes. Ibanezi?

Current Gear- The tele would replace a Washburn X-30. I go through an RP-155, micro pog, and proco rat. No amp.
I love the telecaster. But I don't want to spend upwards of $1,000/2,000 for a good tele. Are the squiers/lower end telecasters worth it, even if a bit of (reasonable) work is needed? Here are the main examples:


The guitar I primarily use is a Washburn X-30. She's starting to sound kind of flat, so I need that single-coil kick. Also, I hardly ever use the bridge hum. I don't want to buy a guitar that would be a downgrade.

I have the ability to test squiers/lower end teles. I just want to know opinions and experiences about practicality, lasting, future work, etc.

Thanks for your help c:
Last edited by Will Lane at Sep 4, 2014,
Honestly, with that budget, I would check your local classifieds for something like a used MIM tele. Much better than a Squier for the most part and should be right in your budget.
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For $500, you could pick up a new Fender Standard Telecaster, although you'd have to worry about tax.

If you're looking at Squiers in particular, you'll be looking for a Classic Vibe Telecaster, which'll run you about $400. There are a couple of specific models, the 50s (Maple Fretboard, Butterscotch or Vintage Blonde), the Custom (Rosewood Fretboard, Three tone sunburst) and a Thinline (Semi-hollow) that is... passable. Links: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/squier-classic-vibe-telecasters?isSuggestion=true

For a little less, you could look at the Vintage Modified Series. But those all have some type of pickup variations, mostly humbuckers. Here's a link: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/squier-vintage-modified-telcasters?N=500001&isSuggestion=true

Any other series besides those two and you start running into considerably reduced build quality, except for the Artist series which are pretty meh anyway.

Also, I'm not particularly advocating buying from Musician's Friend; I personally don't. But they have a nice easy website to show stuff.
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Last edited by kangaxxter at Sep 4, 2014,
Here's my take on Squier guitars:

- Affinity and Standard series - they have a pretty consistent quality control compared to other brands' cheaper lines. Still, wouldn't buy one blindly; always try them first.
The Standard guitars have slightly better hardware than the Affinity guitars, but nothing special either.
Neck/fretboard specs can vary depending on the production year, so again, you should try the guitar before buying to see if you like how the neck feels.
Both series are usually well-built, look great, and the overall quality is very nice for the price, especially when buying used. Of course, there are "lemons" popping up every once in a while, so I stress once more: try before buying one.
Also, if you feel like modding/upgrading the guitar, these are excellent platforms for that, since they're cheap and good.

- Vintage Modified series - while I have no complains about their build quality, I sometimes question the hardware or specs choices on some particular models. They often don't feel and/or sound right to me.
However, I quite liked the Vintage Modified Telecasters Custom and Custom II. The only problem is, the Custom has 2x humbuckers and the Custom II has 2x P-90s pickups, and like you I prefer 2x single-coils on Telecasters, so I wouldn't buy one (solely because of personal taste regarding the pickup configuration).

- Classic Vibe series - my personal favourite Squier series, since I have yet to find a bad one. They're always excellent, in every aspect -- feeling, playability, sound, looks...
I strongly recommend the Classic Vibe '50s Telecaster. Great value for money.
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MIM standard is your likely ticket, but I have played some classic vibe tele's that were REALLY REALLY awesome for the price. If you can deal with the name on the head stock, it may be worth your cash.
I have a '99 Squier Affinity Tele that I bought new and have been very happy with it. Used it for gigging around NYC. I'm a big fan of Squier guitars, and the Classic Vibe Teles get a ton of love.

But if I were you, I would really consider a used MIM Fender from Guitar Center. They have a 30-day return policy, I think. Those G&L's look real nice too and also get lots of rave reviews from owners.

Last edited by peskypesky at Sep 4, 2014,
Add the G&L ASAT Tributes to the list of excellent options in the same price range.


Godin's product line doesn't include any Teleclone SS guitars- the closest they get is one with a bridge HB. However, they do offer models sporting twin P90s in their Core and Richmond lines. And another Richmond- the Belmont- is a hardtail with a SD 59 in the bridge and nice SD lipstick singlecoilsin the middle & neck positions for a huge amount of tonal variety. You might want to look at those in your local stores.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 4, 2014,
I have a Squier Affinity Tele that holds up real well against more expensive guitars.

But I would buy a classic vibe in a heart beat, and use whatever is left in the budget to upgrade whichever parts you feel need upgrading.
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Personally, I have a thing for the Made in Mexico (MIM) Fender Standard Series. I like the ceramic pickups, and the feel of the necks better than on my 2 American Standard Teles. I will buy a Standard Strat next week, as a matter of fact, as I already have 2 Teles. A bit more modern looking and feeling compared to the Classic Vibe.

But the Classic Vibe is definitely a good option. Quality wise, they're impeccable for a low end guitar. Sure, the pots and switches may not last forever, but they're built very well. Vintage-looking, but with a bit more modern specifications that make them easier to play for contemporary players. Can't really fault them at all, so I think it will be an excellent choice for you.

Good luck with your purchase!
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So from the Classic Vibe series, should I consider purchasing the solid body or semi-hollow (50's/Custom or Thinline)? I want sustain and tone from it, but I'm worried about feedback or cruddy resonation.

I do still need to try some out. Doing that today hopefully.

With some research (mostly from shoddy demoers, so...) the thinlines seem to sound worse than the solidbodies.
Last edited by Will Lane at Sep 6, 2014,
Quote by Will Lane
So from the Classic Vibe series, should I consider purchasing the solid body or semi-hollow (50's/Custom or Thinline)? I want sustain and tone from it, but I'm worried about feedback or cruddy resonation.

I do still need to try some out. Doing that today hopefully.

I've had the CV '50s Tele since 2008, a few months after it came out, and it has been very solid. It's stock except for the PUs although the original Alnico IIIs were pretty good. Very good Bang for the $$$.