Squier 70's Tele Customs any good?

msalama

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Anyone here happen to own, or has played, one? Asking because as a former owner of an original '73, I've again developed a huge itch for 70's Telly Customs, yet am not willing to spend any serious money this time around. So thank you for any insights and opinions you care to share guys :)

 
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LuthierVandross

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From my experience, the Classic Vibes are pretty solid. The first few years they did were great, I’ve heard good things this time around as well. I’ve had a few of the older ones.
 

msalama

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Thanks, good to know. For me, it's actually been a bit of a match between the Harley Benton TE-52 (which is not a 70's Custom clone though) and the aforementioned Squier, because I've heard lots of good things about the HB as well. Decisions, decisions...
 

Roger66

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Yeah, it's probably great! Remember fenders were made from the cheapest materials they could find. There's not much to them. Any upgrade might just affect the tone negatively, lol. It's kinda hard to f*** up a Tele! I guess they could make worse necks and worse tuners. The electronics are very simple and fine the way they are. The pickups were cheap, but fine. All this cheapness adds up to a killer tone! So I cant imagine Squier using worse parts. They might be 'worse' by making the parts better! I"d say Go for it! But make sure the neck is straight. You can replace everything else! The pots, tuners and switch might be of less quality. They might have tried too hard with the pickups, but as a unit, it is probably a great guitar. Gibsons are different because they require good woodworking skills. Fender bodies are just planks with bolt on necks. Dont get me wrong, they are probably my favorite guitars. Simple. Cheap and great sounding. I bought a squire strat at a garage sale for $26. It was a bit beat up and had skateboard stickers all over it, but after I picked it up, I knew it was special. The trem. stayed in tune better than any American strat I ever had!! So I put 3 seymours on it, 3 switches- on/off/out of phase, and 3 vol. controls. I used the original 250k pots. Just the way I like it. It has a big 70's headstock. That might help date it. I don't know the year. I have never heard anyone complain about a Squier. That is My opinion.
 

msalama

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Thanks, I'll probably go with the Squier, because as a 70's kid, I do have a soft spot for these abominations - and yes, this compared even with a bunch of "good" original 60's Fenders I've owned in the past. Thanks again Roger.

PS / EDIT: Just to clarify & sorry for the OTish rambling, but this '69 mint Strat I also owned back in the day was actually a total POS - which, again, goes to show that things vintage aren't necessarily things of quality. It was all original and literally unplayed; and no wonder either, since the bugger was just a piece of dead wood with the crappiest neck I've ever seen anywhere. Sold it for a tidy sum later to a collector though, so all's well that ends well I'd guess :D Whereas that all original albeit worn '73 Tele Custom I also had back then - oh my, what a splendid piece of r'n'r hardware! Wish I still had it, but no, and hence the Custom fever now...
 
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ARandall

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2 things to speak about.

Price doesn't reflect anything about what a guitar's inherent materials are like for making a great tone. Whilst original Fenders might have been made from wood that was able to be harvested cheaply, the fact that it coincidentally made for a great sounding instrument neither means that anything else that happens to be cheap will do the same, nor that you cannot get an inexpensive guitar to sound good.
The fit and finish of basic instruments is the main thing here. Unlike the original Fenders that maybe did get a better QC, Squier is a pricepoint instrument even amongst the Fender basic 'workman-like guitar' philosophy. So there could be a range of setup related things to take care of for it to be able to match what you remember even from a 70's era guitar.
Also if the guitar model has some of the iconic 70's pickups, then the Squier versions of these will not in any way resemble the tone of these. They are just in no way constructed the same way.
 

Roger66

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2 things to speak about.

Price doesn't reflect anything about what a guitar's inherent materials are like for making a great tone. Whilst original Fenders might have been made from wood that was able to be harvested cheaply, the fact that it coincidentally made for a great sounding instrument neither means that anything else that happens to be cheap will do the same, nor that you cannot get an inexpensive guitar to sound good.
The fit and finish of basic instruments is the main thing here. Unlike the original Fenders that maybe did get a better QC, Squier is a pricepoint instrument even amongst the Fender basic 'workman-like guitar' philosophy. So there could be a range of setup related things to take care of for it to be able to match what you remember even from a 70's era guitar.
Also if the guitar model has some of the iconic 70's pickups, then the Squier versions of these will not in any way resemble the tone of these. They are just in no way constructed the same way.
Thanks for the lesson. I did tell him that the hardware could be cheaper, and I wasn't dissing telecasters. Isn't it a 'Happy Accident' that they all came together into a great guitar? With relatively cheap parts usually bought from the lowest bidder? I have a 54, #5291 and it is wonderful. Even inexpensive parts back then were pretty good. The cloth wiring was a bit sketchy.
2 things to speak about.

Price doesn't reflect anything about what a guitar's inherent materials are like for making a great tone. Whilst original Fenders might have been made from wood that was able to be harvested cheaply, the fact that it coincidentally made for a great sounding instrument neither means that anything else that happens to be cheap will do the same, nor that you cannot get an inexpensive guitar to sound good.
The fit and finish of basic instruments is the main thing here. Unlike the original Fenders that maybe did get a better QC, Squier is a pricepoint instrument even amongst the Fender basic 'workman-like guitar' philosophy. So there could be a range of setup related things to take care of for it to be able to match what you remember even from a 70's era guitar.
Also if the guitar model has some of the iconic 70's pickups, then the Squier versions of these will not in any way resemble the tone of these. They are just in no way constructed the same way.
 

ARandall

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I think the main sticking point people butt up against is that more expensive wood has to equal better tone. So therefore they think 'oh this was made with cheap stuff, so it must be an inferior product that luckily just made a great result'.

I do have to say this time and time again, but there are NO aspects of wood selection (from lumber suppliers) that are in any way related to how they might vibrate, nor how they might mate with other bits in a musical instrument scenario.
Neither are metals graded in that way either.

Plus 'good tone' as we have come to know it is only in reference to how instruments and amps made in the 50's sounded. It is not an objective measure in any way. If you ask sound engineers or recording engineers about our grail tones they typically sneer at it, as it is the furthest from 'pure' sound possible. Every aspect of the chain from strings to pickup to electronics to amp and speaker distort the tone.
 

Roger66

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What is "Completely Different" about the telecaster's construction over the years and between brands other than setup? Oh yeah! You are a nitpicker. Have you ever played a bad telecaster? All I said was things have changed sometimes for the worse. I was not promising a 70's sound at all. I told him I changed the pickups in my Squier strat and the rest of it was all good. My 54 had worn out pots, switches and tuners. Even the wiring sucked. I replaced it all but kept the old parts. But I'm not gonna sell it anyway. All I was telling him that it's hard to fuck up a tele. And the Squire was probably a good guitar. And the old fenders WEREN'T price point guitars??? They sold for around $100 or so I think. Much less than a Gibson back then. You know, I try to help people on this site and get help on things I freely admit I dont know. Even most of my advice comes with the disclaimer that I dont know it all, but it's my opinion. Or 'that's all I got. Most people give my advice a like, not that I am counting likes. I'd rather not. I dont have a huge EGO that needs stroking like you do, and Everyone has different experiences. Which I freely share and ask to be corrected if wrong, But YOU dont have to be a DICK about it. Well, I'm sick of you prima donnas. You know who you are. I try to be helpful and I get THIS! Well you dont have to worry about me anymore. This is my last post. Everyone who enjoyed my posts have people like YOU to thank. I bet you are divorced and are no fun at parties. Lol. Geez!
Yeah Teles have completely different construction techniques. Yeah right. As a woodworker all my life, They are the SAME. except for the metal parts, which I clearly pointed out. And the aging and drying of the wood, older weaker magnets, aging caps, etc. is not due to 'completely different construction techniques' And most people here know that setting up a guitar is very important. Who relies on factory setups anyway? Badly set up teles are good guitars. If you set them up properly. You are assuming that people cant set up their own guitars and badly set up guitars are bad. Obviously I think guitarists are smarter than You imply that they are. Whatever, Dude. And Later Guys! I hope I didn't steer anyone wrong. I was only trying to give my best advice or guesses I'm sorry I don't everything like this ♤ guy does.
 

Roger66

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What is "Completely Different" about the telecaster's construction over the years and between brands other than setup? Oh yeah! You are a nitpicker. Have you ever played a bad telecaster? All I said was things have changed sometimes for the worse. I was not promising a 70's sound at all. I told him I changed the pickups in my Squier strat and the rest of it was all good. My 54 had worn out pots, switches and tuners. Even the wiring sucked. I replaced it all but kept the old parts. But I'm not gonna sell it anyway. All I was telling him that it's hard to fuck up a tele. And the Squire was probably a good guitar. And the old fenders WEREN'T price point guitars??? They sold for around $100 or so I think. Much less than a Gibson back then. You know, I try to help people on this site and get help on things I freely admit I dont know. Even most of my advice comes with the disclaimer that I dont know it all, but it's my opinion. Or 'that's all I got. Most people give my advice a like, not that I am counting likes. I'd rather not. I dont have a huge EGO that needs stroking like you do, and Everyone has different experiences. Which I freely share and ask to be corrected if wrong, But YOU dont have to be a DICK about it. Well, I'm sick of you prima donnas. You know who you are. I try to be helpful and I get THIS! Well you dont have to worry about me anymore. This is my last post. Everyone who enjoyed my posts have people like YOU to thank. I bet you are divorced and are no fun at parties. Lol. Geez!
Yeah Teles have completely different construction techniques. Yeah right. As a woodworker all my life, They are the SAME. except for the metal parts, which I clearly pointed out. And the aging and drying of the wood, older weaker magnets, aging caps, etc. is not due to 'completely different construction techniques' And most people here know that setting up a guitar is very important. Who relies on factory setups anyway? Badly set up teles are good guitars. If you set them up properly. You are assuming that people cant set up their own guitars and badly set up guitars are bad. Obviously I think guitarists are smarter than You imply that they are. Whatever, Dude. And Later Guys! I hope I didn't steer anyone wrong. I was only trying to give my best advice or guesses I'm sorry I don't everything like this ♤ guy does.
I posted that before ARandpaul started covering his ass with shit that made more sense. When he said 'Completely different' construction. As a woodworker who can make one and would if it was a challenge at all, I called BS on that. They may be fitted with different parts over the years, but the construction techniques are essentially the same. Even with the ease of CNC routing, they are still using the same style bit at the same RPM and feed rate, but it's still a router. If anything, the routers used on Squires are more accurate now. Different parts, same techniques, except for PCB's in the later ones. That was after the 70's, anyway. My Squire of nearly the same year the gentleman was asking was good or not. Has no PCB's and is constructed the same way the old ones were. And my Squire is just as good or better than my comparable Fender. I'm glad he corrected himself, but he is still a tool in my book and I am done here. Goodbye!
 
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strayedstrater

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Umm, ARandall was talking about the pickups being a completely different construction than the '70s versions.

Particularly the Wide Range Humbuckers. Modern ones are just regular Gibson format 'buckers under larger covers. Not at all like the originals. (Fender has recently started making more accurate reissue WRHB pickups, but they're very expensive and not installed in Squiers.)
 

msalama

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Thank you for the opinions guys. I'm foreseeing no problems with the woods used, but am well aware that the HW, pups, setup and fit & finish may all need attending to and/or replacing, so I think I'll just purchase the guitar and then mod / improve as needed. Thanks again everyone.
 

rich85

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Umm anyway

I bought one of these and loved it. Had to sell it as I have a really bad neck and it was too heavy. The neck pickup sounds amazing. It isn’t like a vintage wide range but it’s a great sounding alnico humbucker.

I swapped out the bridge single coil for a Dimarzio Single coil size humbucker. Super distortion maybe. It just suited the guitar more and made it 50% Tele 50% Les Paul tone.

I gig every weekend with 50’s Classic Vibe Strats.They are awesome guitars. Value for money is insane.
 

the_lawyer

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My Squier classic vibe Jazzmaster is also quite heavy. I wouldn’t expect too much for that money. Squiers are definitely good beaters.....
 

geddy

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Can't comment on the custom version but the 50s CV tele is a great guitar particularly for price and if you can pick up used. I preferred it over the lower priced Fenders for sure when A/B ING. I have 2 an RH and LH which is a bit later. The earlier one has a nicer neck but that's likely not universal and I've swapped the necks anyway.
 

msalama

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Thanks all, but being the blasphemous geezer that I am, I actually decided to go with Harley Benton's Red Blast Tele this time. Heresy, I know!!!

...but I've heard so many good things about it that I just had to, and it was almost 50% cheaper than the CV too. So what next, a drumhead court martial followed by an immediate execution at first light??? :Ohno:

Thanks all again!
 

rich85

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Thanks all, but being the blasphemous geezer that I am, I actually decided to go with Harley Benton's Red Blast Tele this time. Heresy, I know!!!

...but I've heard so many good things about it that I just had to, and it was almost 50% cheaper than the CV too. So what next, a drumhead court martial followed by an immediate execution at first light??? :Ohno:

Thanks all again!
Harley Bentons are just insane for the price. For the price of a USA Performer Fender you could build an arsenal of guitars.
 

msalama

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Harley Bentons are just insane for the price.
They are just that, and then some. I bought a HB Cabronita Red Blast Tele and now that I have the bugger properly set up, it plays (and stays in tune) just as well as _any_ Fender I've ever owned, vintage or modern. Incredible value for money IMHO!
 

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