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hb

Opinions please

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I would like to have some opinions if one wanted a guitar that sounded like (or kinda like) a telecaster, but didn't want to spend that much money, what would you buy.

Thanks in advance,

hb

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You'd probably want to look at the Fender Squire Line. They have a variety of Tele's & Strat's that are around $150 US. And the ones I've played at the stores are actually pretty decent for a starter guitar. Anything else, say a knock off of a Tele by an unknown manufacturer, may not be as good, or at least you may not have a place to return it to if it needed any work.

Just my opinion, that & 49 cents will get you a small cup of coffee at a convenient store.

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The trick with finding tele clones is that they can't use the name telecaster so it is hard to do a search. I know Peavy makes a pretty good tele, but I can't find where to look. Austin makes a reasonable tele clone too. You might be able to find them on the net.

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Forgive my limited knowledge in electrics as I have never owned one and am trying to gain some knowledge in this before buying. Can a guitar with a "combination humbucker" resemble a tele in it's sound?

thanks,

hb

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Yes. The Squire51s can be very twangy, but the build quality is all over the place so someone who has no knowledge of guitars is taking a big chance getting one. if that is the direction you are thinking of going in then you must go to a store that has half a dozen or so and try them all. We can tell you which flaws to look for.

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Even Telecasters have a few different genotypes that all sound different in that they have different pick ups that produce different types of signal. Much more crucial to sound though for and electric guitar is the amplifier which I would focus the cash on. If you let me know what kind of telecaster, whether it is the Broadcaster type or the super seded humbucker types could probably find a way of knocking one up, or improving a copy.

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Well, I thought it was getting easier to understand......just look for a guitar that has similar pick-ups in the similar location as a tele and it should sound in the neighborhood of a tele. But the way I'm reading the forum, this is incorrect. I am now under the assumption that guitars can have very different pick-ups in very different locations and they could possibly sound an awful lot alike. Would this be correct?

hb

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I would like to have some opinions if one wanted a guitar that sounded like (or kinda like) a telecaster, but didn't want to spend that much money, what would you buy.

Thanks in advance,

hb

You may want to consider the squier line by Fender...I beleive there is a new model called "51"...saw it at musicians friend for 99.00 Guitar player gave it an amazing review. I own an original Squier Strat that I put EMG pickups in, a floyd rose tremolo and gigged extensively in the 80's with it as a sceond GTR to my Les Paul. It rocks! now I outfitted it with a GR33 Guitar Synth and stabilized the bar...I miss the dive bombs although this one rocking "swiss army knife" Synth playing axe!

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Well, I thought it was getting easier to understand......just look for a guitar that has similar pick-ups in the similar location as a tele and it should sound in the neighborhood of a tele. But the way I'm reading the forum, this is incorrect. I am now under the assumption that guitars can have very different pick-ups in very different locations and they could possibly sound an awful lot alike. Would this be correct?

hb

Well, yeah. The Fender line will sound most like a Fender Tele. There are lots of Options. If You get Musicians Friend or American Musical Supply Catalog...go on the web great way to educate what's out there for what price. You have single coil pu's from Fenedr tend to be a little noisy; 5 way selectors switch that gets that great Fender Strat or Clean sound. I think you can spend $100 to $1600 and find some of that Fender Tone you are looking for.

The Tele will have it's own PU configuration, (Placement) single in the neck, humbucker in the bridge. OR Two Singles which I believe is most common. Or One single coil. They are normally nickel or chrome finish...that is the "Fender Tele Sound" normally blond body with maple neck. Black pickguard smaller headstock. Tele pick ups are not interchangeable with Strats! Hence tonal difference..wood counts too! Finish, Placement also.

It is somewhat little known fact that guys like Ace Frehley of Kiss, Jimmy Page of Zeppelin would solo in the studio on recordings on Tele's because they cut through the mix, and sit in the mix pretty. These guys are Les Paul guys too! Check out Jeff Beck's work on the tele or Keif's alternate tuning on the greasy, grimy awesome work he does with the Stones. "Stairway to Heaven" Solo is a first shot on the spot romp on a Tele.

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Well, I thought it was getting easier to understand......just look for a guitar that has similar pick-ups in the similar location as a tele and it should sound in the neighborhood of a tele. But the way I'm reading the forum, this is incorrect. I am now under the assumption that guitars can have very different pick-ups in very different locations and they could possibly sound an awful lot alike. Would this be correct?

hb

Yes, this is correct. Basically as far as electric guitars and their sound characteristics go you could stick the pick ups from a tele on a railway sleeper and ideosyncracies that define its sound will change very little. Find out the type of amplifier and pick ups (and any other signal modifying tools eg: boxes, pedals etc.) and you will have much more success than if you just buy the same type of guitar.

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Any thought as to how an Ibanez ARC100 would sound? Or an Ibanez ARC300?

hb

Not sure what Ibanez ARC 100 & 300 are? I am guessing and could be wrong? That they are Gibson ES335 type Hollow or Semi Hollowbody guitars. I had an Iceman when I was a kid that I "Frankensteined" "Customized" and ruined...I really miss that guitar. Today it would be pristine and vintage! What a bad decision...Unless you know what you are doing I do not suggest that!

Usually the lower number will have lesser feature's or appointments...like binding, lesser pickups, a little more plain. The 300 may have more bells and whistles. If it is the guitar I am thinking it is they are hot! Guitar Player reviewed them and gave them high reviews. Ibanez is an excellent guitar Manufactuerer. Sometimes linked to shredders such as Satriani & Vai...well if those guys play 'em they are quality axes.

If you like Eric Johnson (G3 Live), Early Alex Lifeson (Rush) Early Eric Clapton (Cream) some of the blues players, Larry Carlton (Check out Lukather and Larry Live in Japan...Tone Gods at their best! Luke plays a signature model music man...immediately recognizable! Larry plays the smoother more mellow Gibson ES335...it still can snarl, bite and grab) you will hear shades of the semi-hollow tones there that may be inherrent in the ARC 100 & 300. These guitars I believe are in the $350 to $499 range. They are hot. They lean towards fatter, rounder jazzier tones, warmth is usually associated with air. You can still overdrive these guitars and get some nice rock tones out of them. I believe Johnson, Clapton (Maybe old Fender amps) and Carlton play these semi's through vintage Marshall Cabs, Johnson I believe a 1958 4 x 12 cab paired run in stereo...check out "Live in Austin" DVD or CD he runs his vintage Strat through his most visible and famous tone rig! Amazing! The beauty of his umistakeble violin like tone, also the physicality in which Mr. Johnson attacks his guitar...an amazing set, don't be discouraged you can do what he does in time!

AR100 300, Semi-Hollow:The drawback at certain loud volumes live you may get feedback. Some folks desire that. I don't. One other point on these guitars if you are just starting out; the bridge floats on some of these models meaning when you change strings be careful too make sure it stays in the proper place or you will run into intonation issues. They may have the tune o matic bridge which means it is fixed and you wouldn't have to worry I know the ES has a fixed bridge. Thanks for reading! Hope it helps.

The number one question when purchasing a guitar is: "What type of music do I wish to play? Budget of Course? New or Used?

Any salesperson worth anything should ask you what are you trying to do? Help YOU Find something that fits You not their commission check!

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Here are some more I found on Ebay. Remember your paying more for better quality hardwear, like tuners and pick ups so cheapest can also mean cheapest quality.

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?query=telecaster+copies&MfcISAPICommand=GetResult&ht=1&ebaytag1=ebayreg&srchdesc=n&maxRecordsReturned=300&maxRecordsPerPage=50&SortProperty=MetaEndSort

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HB - I was in the same boat as you, wanting a Tele but not wanting to spend the $$$ for a "true" Telecaster. I found a nicely made Squier Tele at Guitar Center for $169 and snapped it up. As Allthumbs said, build quality for Squiers can be all over the board, so it's best if you can actually sit down and play the guitar before plunking your money down, to make sure you're getting a good one.

The Squier '51 that Allthumbs mentioned is a good choice also. I just got mine and haven't played it much yet, but you can get a pretty Tele-ish sound out of it (along with several other sounds, due to the pickup configuration and switching arrangement), and it was only $99. I bought mine through mail order and it has some minor issues that can easily be fixed through a good setup, but others have apparently gotten some real lemons. Again, as above - it would be best if you could find a local store that has them in stock so you could examine it thoroughly and play it before buying.

Neither of the above are "high-end" guitars - but they play plenty well enough and the price is right. As Das Alt Peruke said, the guitar along won't make you sound like <insert artist of your choice here> - it's a combination of the instrument, the amp, your playing ability/style, and any effects they might use. I don't sound like Eddie Van Halen or Eric Clapton on my strat, I don't sound like Brad Paisley on my Tele, and I don't sound like.....uhhhhhh, whoever.....on my '51. :)

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Bottom Line any guitar Tele or Arc or Whatever will get it's sound from your hands! You can try to emulate any style/sound with the right equipment. Lukather on his website states: "That no matter how hard you try you can't sound like me because you do not have my hands, feel, touch, rig" "Thanks I guess it's flattering" Just woodshed!

What Style of Music do you play? What Budget? Onece you dive in and purchase your Squier 51, Tele, Hondo Les Paul, Whatever? You would be a moron not to figure in a good technician setting it up anyway! Lot's of stores throw that in, in a purchase...WELL WORTH the $$$ no matter what.

I got a first generation Squier Strat and they tell me it is the 1975 Strat tightened up and made not in America, so maybe I got lucky.

"All over the place Squier 51's can probably be set-up nicely with the right tech! And Provide Years of Enjoyment! When you do that, talk to the tech and provide a fresh set of strings...You cannot go wrong!"

I happen to Live 8 minutes from Chuck Levin's/Washington Music Center and their tech is Rob, (He set up a 1987 Jackson Dinky, Midnight Purple Lightning Strike Mural that I have with Seymour Duncan Kneck: JB Jr, Middle: Cool Rails and the Bridge: Duncan Invader. We discussed every facet of every facet...we took that guitar from Hot to WHITE HOT, plus it is pristine and made in the original plant in California not Texas...Some great value there, he wants to buy it, it is not for sale...Make sure you keep all original parts if you do something like that even on low end stuff) we consult on every angle I am thinking about doing to any guitar...We have created the luxuries I want on my guitars. You would do well to do that on any purchase even low end to make your playing experince enjoyable...You will play longer and better!

Enough already...DIVE IN! Tell us how it turns out!

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I kinda know what you're talking about in a vague form, but please describe to me in detail what all is incorporated in "setting up" a guitar. Would one "set up" a guitar different for one buyer than another?

thanks,

hb

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Most setups consist of adjusting the truss rod for maximum playability. Intonation if needed and checking the nut and hardware for flaws. It costs from 30 to 50 bucks. If you got a squire51 or any inexpensive guitar that needed the edges of the fret wires filed, not uncommon, then it would cost more. There are instructions in the guitar tech forum for how to do all this yourself. You can see that if there are problems with a cheap guitar that you can't fix yourself, you can run into extra costs which negate the bargain price.

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I kinda know what you're talking about in a vague form, but please describe to me in detail what all is incorporated in "setting up" a guitar. Would one "set up" a guitar different for one buyer than another?

thanks,

hb

Great question...Set Up means the distance the strings are from the fretboard (String Height) easier to play or harder to play) then you may be in tune to yourself but when you go to play with others there would need to be the ability to tune together to concert pitch which is 440hz or standard "A" tuning. Most Rock players play in 430hz which is commonly called "E flat" Half step lower than 440 "E"

Set Up or Intonation is dealing with string length. If you change strings, from the original brand on the guitar you should always check the intonation. When you buy the guitar find out what brand is on there, most times you can stay with that brand and skip a setup if it feels all right! When you change string gauges .09 High E or .010 High E (Heavier...Harder to bend, stays in tune more, gain more tone) can affect whether you are "Intonated" correctly to play in tune with other guitarists (Heavier Strings Affect Pressure on the Neck)...Look at it as a "Standard" it is extremely important.

The "Set Up" deals with your personal preference's on how the guitar plays or feels. It is best left to a professional with experience or good friend who knows what they are doing might do it for free. In my neck of the woods it's about $60-$100; well worth it! The Floyd Rose Tremolo (Wang Bar) makes it costly.

Bottom line; Necessary to play in tune with other musicians, sets a standard, should be done about every six months depending on how much you play, what conditions your guitar experience's, (Weather is huge) cold goes sharp, heat goes flat. usually it is wood and wood reacts to weather changes...always when you travel to play with someone else, open your case in the room at least a half hour/20 mins. minimum before you go to tune! "Acclimate" the guitar to the room/venue. Never leave your guitar in EXTREME Heat or Cold Especially Heat! IT Can absolutely RUIN your Guitar!

Sorry to be redundant; in reveiw, Height of strings to fretboard, length of strings from "Nut" to bridge, gauge of strings all affect setup...think of it as your comfort level of playing and how your guitar/hands feel after you are done. Easy to play like Butter or difficult to play...it can be adjusted to your likes and needs. They usually don't have to adjust the "Truss Rod" like someone in the forum mentioned; if so maybe you bought the wrong guitar..."Truss Rod" deals with Bow or Arch of the Neck, String Tension and Buzz. I play pretty well, thousands more shred better than me, if you are starting out don't mess with the Truss Rod it can snap your neck. Sharp Frets meaning fret ends that aren't filed smootly...typical of budget guitars, you can live that.

Set Up has to do with your style, playing in tune with others and ease of playing. Don't worry about it. If you have some knick knack challenge's playing the guitar--HARD really Hard to fret notes, extreme pain while playing, chances are a pro can work out some of those kinks on the guitar for a little bit of money...rattles, buzzes won't stay in tune...sometimes it is a minor adjustment in the "Set Up" think of it as adjusting the seats/mirror in your car after someone else has driven it. If you don't drive, IMAGINE Shaquille O'Neal (He's 7'4") driving your car--He would have to adjust the mirror's differently than you right? I'm 6'0 and I would want Mr. O'Neal to adjust the mirrors etc. so he could see properly? So he doesn't wreck right?

I have a 1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom which is for me; My main Guitar. It plays like butter it is so smooth, easy to fret, gets better with age. When I bought my Squire I had it outfitted with EMG pickups, (orig. Fender pickups had a nasty buzz...we do a lot of recording and the EMG'S offer great noise free tone for recording or live) a Floyd Rose Tremolo and Chuck Levin's did not want to take the $400 parts/adjustments I prescribed on as a job. I paid cash and said: "I am serious...for my $390 Squire." They did it and it is one truly smooth playing great sounding Strats ever.

Your style will develop, your taste etc. so in the beginning you may ask them to work out any buzzes, keep the action fairly low and easier for me to play the thing. An accomplished tech has heard that a 1,000 times! I tell them: Just about to buzz then raise it a hair. When you purchase the guitar ask them, they will help you, if they don't maybe you should purchase elsewhere? Buying Used--different game! When I teach I offer going to the store with the less experienced to assist them, maybe you know someone you can do that with! Good Luck, I know I was wordy, hopefully I helped...I don't know you although if want to talk via phone I would be happy to speak with you let me know...if your'e under 18 get permission form Mom and Dad. I am a Dad with three kids, my prints are on file with the FBI because I teach! NO Worry, I just like to help!

When I take a younger player to the store I get to run through amps etc. Nothing cooler than Standing in front of Marshall/Boogie stacks with a Les Paul and cranking it out...I live vicariously through the player and I don't invest the cash; although, I get to hear what I want to buy when I buy...the key again is: "What Style of Music Are You Looking to Play?" (By the way I am a Boogie fanatic)

Thanks for asking, thanks for reading, Hope I helped? Feel free to keep communicating!

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I'd have to respectfully disagree with you about the need for truss rod adjustments. Lower end guitars are rarely set up at the factory. The action tends to be set high at the factory and the strings tend to be cheap. They are often changed to a higher or lower gauge by the player in short order. Our resident guitar tech, Ultimate Garage Band, has a guitar store and one of the first things he does is adjust the truss rod.

Many times we have had members complaining of string buzz after changing to lighter strings. UGBs answer was usually adjust the truss rod which fixed the problem almost every time. I know my Washburn Folk had to have the relief changed right out of the box to maximize it for finger style.

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I'd have to respectfully disagree with you about the need for truss rod adjustments. Lower end guitars are rarely set up at the factory. The action tends to be set high at the factory and the strings tend to be cheap. They are often changed to a higher or lower gauge by the player in short order. Our resident guitar tech, Ultimate Garage Band, has a guitar store and one of the first things he does is adjust the truss rod.

Many times we have had members complaining of string buzz after changing to lighter strings. UGBs answer was usually adjust the truss rod which fixed the problem almost every time. I know my Washburn Folk had to have the relief changed right out of the box to maximize it for finger style.

Cool! Having never really bought low end...I guess what I am saying is unqualified folks shouldn't mess with it you know? Nice point....

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I was actually very surprised today - I read UGB's threads on truss rod adjustment and intonation setup and set about doing a setup on my Squier 51. Using his method, I discovered that the action was set perfect and the truss rod needed no adjustment whatsoever. The intonation was way off, but that was simple enough to get in the ballpark - nothing more than a screwdriver, a tuner and 15 or so minutes of my time.

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I was actually very surprised today - I read UGB's threads on truss rod adjustment and intonation setup and set about doing a setup on my Squier 51. Using his method, I discovered that the action was set perfect and the truss rod needed no adjustment whatsoever. The intonation was way off, but that was simple enough to get in the ballpark - nothing more than a screwdriver, a tuner and 15 or so minutes of my time.

Very Cool...I was also surprised. These Forums sometimes become; silly, whatever you want to call it? One-Upsmanship? Depending on where you are in your guitar quest...I believe in the beginning the truss rod is deep doo-doo for beginners...Heck I've been playing for over 20 years and I leave it to the Pros. (The Pros I use; have a passion for guitar and never mislead for dollars...TRUST ay?) If you have no idea or knack for it you can do more damage than good.

I Beleive in; K.I.S.S. Keep it simple "silly" Since I have not experienced a "51" they intrigue me though? You in my opinion did exactly what all the techs I know would have done...screwdriver, tuner, good ear and some patience to get it right! Awesome...Rock On!

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I was actually very surprised today - I read UGB's threads on truss rod adjustment and intonation setup and set about doing a setup on my Squier 51. Using his method, I discovered that the action was set perfect and the truss rod needed no adjustment whatsoever. The intonation was way off, but that was simple enough to get in the ballpark - nothing more than a screwdriver, a tuner and 15 or so minutes of my time.

How is your "51"? What do you play it through? Describe how you feel about it? $99...Hard to wrong...Does it stay in Tune? Have any Tele quality to it?

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