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You've got a $1k budget to build a Tele. How are you spending the money?

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  • You've got a $1k budget to build a Tele. How are you spending the money?

    If you come in under budget, you loose the unspent money. Other than that, I want to hear your ideas.
    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

  • #2
    Can we buy tools ?

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    • #3
      Good Question… i want to say yes, but im going to say no. Parts/Hardware only, with the exception of finishing materials (ie. lacquer, oil, etc)
      If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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      • #4
        Does it include taxes and shipping costs?
        When I die I want to go quietly in my sleep like my grandpa did. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car.

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        • #5
          I have come in at around 400 - 450 on guitars I've built . It's possible that same stuff costs 1,000 now . If not , I would be looking at some bridges I would have passed over because of price . There are some really good looking bridges out there , but they cost and no expectation they sound better . Haven't had enough pickups to be searching for rare exotic ones . Fender and Seymour Duncan seem to work just fine . I might go for some exotic wood . I buy wood from a dealer who supplies cabinet makers and his prices are better than the ones who supply luthiers .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by nosaj View Post
            Does it include taxes and shipping costs?
            Another great question. It does include taxes and shipping. But wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t?
            If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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            • #7
              hmm that budget really limits the "vintage parts" choices...
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              seriously though I like the 1 piece ash body choices, Duncan PUs and real Fender bridge etc here
              https://www.byoguitar.com/Guitars/BY...-CS-T-KIT.aspx
              Attached Files
              Last edited by tedmich; 05-18-2022, 02:46 AM.

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              • #8
                Well this is actually a question of prioritization, no?

                (1) neck

                It's gotta play well and "feel" right.

                (2) pickups

                It has to sound good and "feel" right.

                (3) bridge

                You've got to be able to adjust and intonate the instrument. And rattley or cheap parts that wear out or break too soon are unacceptable.

                (4) tuners

                The best you can afford after prioritizing the top three. Clunky or cheap tuners are just too awful. If it can be avoided you should.

                (5) body

                The body can make a big difference in resonance, but not so much that it should be prioritized over the top four. The neck, bridge mass and pickups will have the greatest influence.

                (6) cosmetics

                We love things that bling in a way that inspires us. A five layer tortoise shell pickguard never hurt anyone But this absolutely IS the last priority (for me). If a guitar plays, sounds and feels right I almost couldn't care less what it looks like. But if it looks good... Well, that's just icing on the cake, right?

                JM2C
                "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                • #9
                  This is odd to me. I've never approached a build in this fashion. For me, it's what do I want, and how can I get it in the most affordable way without compromise? It's also difficult to speculate on any kind of budget without knowing any particulars. What pickup configuration do you like? What bridge style? Maple/ebony/other fretboard, swamp ash/alder/other body material, etc., etc. There are all variants of Telecasters out there. In other words my thought process goes opposite of this. It would be: I want a maple fretboard, alder body, routed for single coils but with a stacked humbucker in the bridge position, a "such and such style bridge", etc. Then I'd shop parts for the best prices without sacrificing quality and start assembling. I'll also say that I've never spent a grand on a build and have always gotten the axe I wanted.
                  "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Dude View Post
                    This is odd to me. I've never approached a build in this fashion. For me, it's what do I want, and how can I get it in the most affordable way without compromise? It's also difficult to speculate on any kind of budget without knowing any particulars. What pickup configuration do you like? What bridge style? Maple/ebony/other fretboard, swamp ash/alder/other body material, etc., etc. There are all variants of Telecasters out there. In other words my thought process goes opposite of this. It would be: I want a maple fretboard, alder body, routed for single coils but with a stacked humbucker in the bridge position, a "such and such style bridge", etc. Then I'd shop parts for the best prices without sacrificing quality and start assembling.
                    +1
                    And this is how I've done it. My (old now) Warmoth frankenstrat is pretty much the only guitar I play now. I built it to the formula you outlined some twenty five years ago and it just floated to the top for my go to guitar. I'll still stand by my "prioritization" criteria, and even the order of priorities. But it comes down to what you REALLY want in a guitar.
                    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                    • #11
                      I've also got a Warmouth frankenstrat that I built in the late 80's. It's still one of my favorite axes. It's painted Chevy Geo Blue, satin finished natural maple neck and fretboard (I prefer the feel of wood rather than paint on the neck), Floyd Rose trem/bridge, I can't remember the brand of pickups (the company is now defunct, but I really liked them), and Schaller tuners.
                      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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                      • #12
                        First Tele i built a few years back. Think i have 7 now and 6 i built. I can't remember all the specs, ash body (northern, it is a tank), maple neck with inserts, handwound Buddah pickups, full size pots, quality switch, bakelite 5 screw pickguard, compensated bridge etc. In the end I had roughly $650 into it but i think that was including a tweed case, straplocks and a $75 Well Hung strap.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Dude View Post
                          I've also got a Warmouth frankenstrat ... It's painted Chevy Geo Blue, satin finished natural maple neck and fretboard (I prefer the feel of wood rather than paint on the neck),..
                          Well I mentioned that cosmetics weren't a priority for me, so I finished mine with tung oil. The whole thing body and neck. I put six coats on that were allowed to soak in for twenty or thirty minutes and then just buffed it off with a cloth. Now, some twenty seven years later, the back of the neck has been polished to a fairly high sheen but still doesn't grab a sweaty hand for some reason. So still good there. The body is somewhat beat up due to lack of a truly hard finish but still looks like satin finish alder. With a tung oil finish you can buff out light scratches and just rub more tung oil on it but I've never done that. The color of the oil impregnated wood has darkened and yellowed some with age and I think it's just nifty. I'd do another like it for sure.
                          "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                          "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                          "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                          • #14
                            Does it have to be a Tele? Can I build something I'd actually want to play?

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                            • #15
                              Heck I'd cheat like crazy & start out with a Mexi or Squier that feels good to play, set it up proper-like, then see what about sticking upgrade parts on. Definitely satinizing the neck, no sticky lacquer for me thanx! One thing I always want to try is reversing the control panel like one of my Tele heroes Bill Kirchen.

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                              This isn't the future I signed up for.

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