A Great source of Knowledge on Telecasters

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Section 1 - Basics
1.1  Introduction
1.2  What's a Telecaster?
1.3  What do Telecasters sound like?
      1.3.1  What are some good Telecaster recordings?
      1.3.2  Are Telecasters only good for Country music?
      1.3.3  Is it possible to play jazz on a Telecaster?
1.4  My guitar is made by brand X.  Is it a Telecaster?
1.5  What are Broadcasters and Nocasters?
1.6  What are Esquires?

Section 2 - Woods
2.1  What woods are usually used in Telecasters?
     2.1.1  How much should a Telecaster weigh?
     2.1.2  What is Swamp Ash?   Is it better?
     2.1.3  Was Pine ever used as a Telecaster body wood?
2.2  What woods are used in Telecaster necks?
     2.2.1  What's better - maple or rosewood?
     2.2.2  What's a quartersawn neck?

Section 3 - Electronics
3.1  What pickup should I buy?
     3.1.1  My guitar has Fender Lace Sensors.  Is this bad?
     3.1.2  My guitar has EMG pickups.  Is this bad?
     3.1.3  Should I take the cover off of my neck pickup?
3.1  How were vintage Telecasters wired?
3.2  What value pots are used in Telecasters?
3.3  What is a 4-way switch mod?  How is it used?
3.4  Will adding a strat neck and middle pickup make my Telecaster sound like a
     Stratocaster?
3.5  What's the YoGeorge mod?
3.6  What's a treble bypass cap?  Should I have one?
3.7  What's the sweet spot?
3.8  What value tone pot and cap do I need to do Roy Buchanan's tone-pot wah
     trick?
3.10 What's a TBX control?

Section 4 - Hardware
4.1  What's a 3-saddle bridge?  Why do people want them?
     4.1.1  What are compensated saddles?
     4.1.2  Where can I get compensated saddles?
4.2  Should my bridge have brass saddles or steel saddles?
4.3  Can I put a vintage-style bridge on an American Standard Telecaster?
4.4  What's a top-loading bridge?  Is it bad?
4.5  What's a neck insert kit?  Do I need one?
4.6  What's the big deal about Nitro?  Why is poly bad?

Section 5 - Brand/Model specific info
5.1  Fender Guitars
     5.1.1  52RI
            5.1.1.1  What's the difference between the 0202 and 1303 52 RI
                     models?
            5.1.1.2  Why does the neck pickup on my 52 RI sound dead?
            5.1.1.3  What does the "modern" modification to my 52 RI do?
            5.1.1.4  Is the 52 RI finished in Nitro or Poly?
     5.1.2  Relics
            5.1.2.1  Are the Relics any good, or are they just hype?
            5.1.2.2  What is a Post-Vinne Relic?
     5.1.3  MIM 50's RI
            5.1.3.1  What are the differences between the MIM 50's RI and the
                     MIJ/CIJ 50's RI?
            5.1.3.2  What are the differences between the MIM 50's RI and the
                     MIA 52 RI?
     5.1.4  Current MIJ telecasters
        5.1.4.1  I've heard that Fender is still making guitars in Japan
                     that are not sold in the US.  Is that true?
            5.1.4.2  Are the current MIJ telecasters any good?
            5.1.4.3  Is it possible to buy a current MIJ telecaster in the US?
     5.1.5  Are there any online resources for Fender guitars?
5.2  Fernandes Guitars
     5.2.1  What are the differences between the Fernandes models?
            5.2.1.1  Are they any good?
            5.2.1.2  Are they still being made?
5.3  Hamer Guitars
     5.3.1  What is this Hamer T-51 that the Cult members are always ranting
            about?
            5.3.1.1  How do I find a good one?
            5.3.1.2  I've heard that some of these are heavy.  Is this true?
     5.3.2  Are there any online resources for Hamer guitars?
5.4  G&L Guitars
     5.4.1  What are the differences between G&L models?
     5.4.2  Are there any online resources for G&L guitars?
     5.4.3  Does anyone make replacement pickups for the ASAT/ASAT Specials?
5.5  Bacchus Guitars
     5.5.1  What are these "Bacchus" guitars that people are talking about?
            5.5.1.1  Are they any good?
            5.5.1.2  Where can I get one?
5.6  Melancon guitars
        5.6.1  What are Melancon guitars?
        5.6.2  Are there online resources for Melancon guitars?
5.7  Grosh guitars
        5.7.1  What are Grosh guitars?
        5.7.2  Are there any online resources for Grosh guitars?
5.8  Anderson guitars
        5.8.1  What are Anderson guitars?
        5.8.2 Are there any online resources for Anderson guitars?
5.9  Lentz guitars
        5.9.1  What are Lentz guitars?
        5.9.2  Are there any online resources for Lentz guitars?
5.10  Glaser Guitars
        5.10.1  What are Glaser guitars?
        5.10.2  Are there any online resources for Glaser guitars?
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Section 1 - Basics
1.1  Introduction
    The purpose of this TeleFaq is to cover frequently asked questions about
the Fender Telecaster and its various incarnations and derivatives.  As with
many things, much about Telecasters is subjective and up to the player.  This is
not intended to be the ultimate authority, but rather to help the reader form
his own conclusions about the Telecaster.  Every attempt has been made to
present as many sides as possible in these topics so the reader can make more
informed decisions.

    Note that this would not have been possible without the input of hundreds
of people who have posted over the years on various internet guitar groups.  It
would be impossible to name all of them, but they all have my gratitude for
helping me learn more about that slab called a Tele.

1.2  What's a Telecaster?
    This question is probably the most subjective of them all.  For some
people, the only real Telecasters say both "Fender" and "Telecaster" on the
headstock.  For others, a Telecaster contains some, most, or all of the
following:  a single cutaway solid ash, alder, poplar, basswood, or mahogany
body, two single coil pickups, one volume and one tone control, one three way
pickup selector switch, a 21 or 22 fret maple neck with maple or rosewood
fretboard, 6 on a side tuners, an ashtray bridge with 3 saddles, strings that
go through the body.  Note that there are exceptions to any rule.  There are
Telecasters with semi-hollow bodies, humbucking pickups, a middle pickup, 4 and
5 way switches, a middle volume control, mahogany necks, ebony fretboards,
different bridge configurations including top-loading designs. 

    Basically, there are no absolutes in Telecasters, except those who play
them.  Tele players tend to be better looking, get more babes, drive nicer cars,
get faster promotions, sound better, get better paying gigs, and play better
than those poor guitar players who don't play Telecasters, especially
Stratocaster and Les Paul players.

1.3  What do Telecasters sound like?
    The word most often used to describe the sound of a Telecaster is twang
or TWANG!  The telecaster normally has a bright bridge pickup, a bassy neck
pickup, and a hollow-sounding middle pickup position.

      1.3.1  What are some good Telecaster recordings?
    For a broad spectrum of Tele-centric recordings, it is recommended that
the reader check http://www.wingatedesign.com/tele101/  for Ben OConnor's Tele
101 page - a very comprehensive listing of "landmark" tele recommended
listening.

      1.3.2  Who are some people who have used Telecasters?
    A by no means comprehensive list of people commonly associated with the
Telecaster would include: Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton, Albert Collins, Muddy
Waters, James Burton, Steve Cropper, Jimmy Bryant, Keith Richards, Bruce
Springsteen, Ed Bickert, Mike Stern, Arlen Roth, Ray Flacke, Bill Kirchen,
Waylon Jennings, Don Rich, Buck Owens, Reggie Young, Bill Hullet, and Jim
Campilongo.

      1.3.2  Are Telecasters only good for Country music?
    While the sound of the Telecaster is responsible for many of the hits in
country music over the last 5 decades, the Telecaster is by no means limited to
Country music.  Many Rock, jazz, blues, and R&B players have taken up the
Telecaster in their respective genres with great results.  The simplicity and
solidity of the design makes the Telecaster a very versatile instrument that
can easily fit in with most styles of music.

      1.3.3  Is it possible to play jazz on a Telecaster?
    Absolutely!  Mike Stern, Ed Bickert, and Ted Greene have all played
Telecasters of various types in the jazz genre.  Common wisdom holds that
larger- gauge strings and a neck humbucker will aid in getting a jazz tone, but
many players report getting great jazz tones with a stock neck pickup and medium
or light gauge strings!

1.4  My guitar is made by brand X.  Is it a Telecaster?
    This is occasionally a hot topic.  As stated above, there are some that
believe that the only true Telecasters are made by the Fender Musical
Instruments Corporation.  However, the opposing viewpoint states that any guitar
that remains true to Leo Fenders original vision is a Telecaster, regardless if
it is manufactured by Fender, G&L, Fernandes, Hamer, ESP, Bacchus, or any other
manufacturer.

1.5  What are Broadcasters and Nocasters?
    When Leo Fender originally marketed the guitar we now know as the
Telecaster, it was called the "Broadcaster".  Very few of these were sold before
the Gretch company  contacted Fender and claimed that the name was too close to
a drum kit they manufactured called the "Broadkaster".  Leo decided to no longer
use the name.  However, being pragmatic, Fender continued to use the old decals
that had been manufactured for the Broadcaster, but an employee had to cut off
the "Broadcaster"  before applying the decal.  These guitars are called the
"Nocaster" because they have no name.  There were few of these produced before
the model was renamed the Telecaster.

1.6  What are Esquires?
    The Esquire was the original model in the Fender line.  It was a Telecaster
with only the bridge pickup.  The only difference was the missing pickup and
the wiring.  The slot for the neck pickup was routed as normal, but covered
by a solid pickguard.  Once the Broadcaster was released, the Esquire became the
"student" model for the line.  It was assumed that a beginning musician would buy
an Esquire and play it until they became more proficient, at which point he or
she would either add the second pickup, or upgrade to a Telecaster.

Section 2 - Woods
2.1  What woods are usually used in Telecaster bodies?
    Telecasters have been made out of just about any wood you can imagine. 
Fender itself has used Ash, Alder, Mahogany, Poplar, Rosewood, Basswood, Pine,
Plywood and even Aluminum.  Other manufacturers have used Koa, Zebrawood, figured
maple tops, walnut, korina, and spruce.  The most commonly used of these are Ash,
Alder, and Basswood.

     2.1.1  How much should a Telecaster weigh?
    This is a subject of much debate and is largely a matter of personal
preference.  Many say that the ideal Telecaster weighs as little as possible, 6
lbs or so.  These people claim that a lighter guitar is airy and more resonant
than a heavier guitar.  Others prefer a medium weight, in the 7 to 8 lb range. 
These people believe that either weight isn't as big a factor as the first group
believes, or that a light guitar does not sound as good onstage as a heavier
guitar.  Fender made many guitars in the 70's (when a heavy guitar was thought to
sustain more than a light guitar) that can weigh as much as 11 lbs.

     2.1.2  What is Swamp Ash?   Is it better?
    Swamp ash gets its name because it normally grows in wet conditions.  When
the water level is just right, the first 4 to 8 feet of the trunk of the ash tree
becomes less dense than the rest of the tree.  This part of  the log is known as
"Swamp ash".  Whether it's better for Telecasters is another subject of debate. 
Many believe that Swamp ash produces a more focused, "spankier" tone.  It
certainly commands a premium over other woods when used as a body wood.

     2.1.3  Was Pine ever used as a Telecaster body wood?
    Pine was used in some of the first prototypes of the Esquire.  These are
extremely rare.  Fender did a limited edition of Custom Shop Esquires in pine
a couple of years ago that are generally raved about.  They are also rare and
quite expensive.

2.2  What woods are used in Telecaster necks?
    The vast majority of Telecasters have bolt-on maple necks with maple or
rosewood fretboards.  However, Telecasters have been made with set necks, with
necks made of mahogany, rosewood, and other materials.  Fretboards for
Telecasters have also been made of ebony, pau ferro, even Mother of Pearl!

     2.2.1  What's better - maple or rosewood?
    Personal preference rules here as well.  While most would agree that the
"classic" Telecaster has a maple fretboard, rosewood has its fans as well.
Maple typically has a brighter tone, rosewood a warmer tone.  The best advice
would be to try both if available, and pick the one that feels and sounds best
to you.

     2.2.2  What's a quartersawn neck?
    The original design of the Esquire and Broadcaster had a neck made of
quartersawn maple with no truss rod.  Leo thought that a quartersawn neck would
be more than strong enough to support the strings with no warpage.  Marketing
pressure apparently made Fender rethink that decision.  Quartersawn is a
technique of sawing a log into 4 quarters and cutting the lumber radially from
the center of these quarters.  This is opposed to flatsawn, where a single log
is cut into a series of slices lengthwise.  Flatsawing has the advantage of
yielding many more board feet of useable lumber per log than quartersawing. 
Those who have played quartersawn necks claim they are simply without equal.

Section 3 - Electronics
3.1  What pickup should I buy?
    Asking this question is similar to asking for help choosing a spouse. 
Helpful people will volunteer answers, but the bottom line is everyone hears
differently.  And since there is so much variability in guitars, what sounds
great in my guitar may not cut it in yours.  However, there are many
manufacturers of pickups (and we're lucky enough to have a few of them as
participants) and it's hard to find a really bad one out there.  There are
plenty of people who swear by Duncan, Barden, Harmonic Design, Rio Grande,
Wolfetone, Fralin, G&L, Lawrence, and Fender.  You can ask for help if you
have an idea of what you want more of, but it is all up to you in the end.

     3.1.1  My guitar has Fender Lace Sensors.  Is this bad?
    Fender Lace Sensor pickups come up now and again.  The people who like
them really like them, but many find them lacking.  They are noiseless, but
some claim they lack the warmth of traditional style Telecaster pickups. 
That being said, for you they might be just the ticket.  There are certainly
great players that have used Lace Sensors for some time.

     3.1.2  My guitar has EMG pickups.  Is this bad?
    People who don't like EMG pickups normally site many of the same reasons
they don't like Lace Sensors.  However, this is again personal preference.
You may find an application or tone that EMG's are perfect for.  Just because
they're not the most popular pickup doesn't mean they don't sound good. 
Waylon Jenning's famous leather-covered '53 has EMG pickups.

     3.1.3  Should I take the cover off of my neck pickup?
    It's generally accepted that the chrome cover on the stock Telecaster
neck pickup makes the pickup more muddy and less brilliant.  Removing the
cover will definitely brighten the sound of the pickup.  The warning is that
removing the cover can be difficult, especially if the pickup is wax potted.
Just ripping the cover off will likely damage the fragile windings of the
pickup, rendering it useless.  Also, it's possible to break the exposed
windings just by picking a little too deep.  There are several pickup makers
out there that make a replacement tele neck pickup with no cover.  As these
are designed to be used without the chrome cover, the windings are protected.

3.2  How were vintage Telecasters wired?
    Seymour Duncan has a pretty good list of Telecaster wiring schematics at:
http://www.seymourduncan.com/website/support/schematics.shtml

3.3  What value pots are used in Telecasters?
    Modern telecasters commonly use 250K pots.  During the 70's, Fender used
1Meg pots to obtain a brighter sound.  Some say that the 1Meg pots make the
guitar sound harsh.

3.4  What is a 4-way switch mod?  How is it used?
    The 4-way switch mod uses a 4 position switch instead of the standard 3
position switch.  Normally, the middle position on a modern Telecaster gives
the neck and middle pickup in parallel.  The 4-way mod adds a position that
gives the neck and middle pickup in series.  This tone is reported to be more
gutsy than the standard middle position.

3.5  Will adding a strat neck and middle pickup make my Telecaster sound like a
     Stratocaster?
    No.  Adding a strat middle pickup will bring some of the tones closer to
that of a Stratocaster, but it won't make it sound exactly like a Stratocaster.
The difference in bridge designs, neck and bridge pickups, and possibly even
body shape make it impossible to get a Telecaster to sound exactly like a
Stratocaster.

3.6  What's the YoGeorge mod?
    The YoGeorge mod is a crafty little trick that YoGeorge did to his Hamer
T-51.  Thinking the neck pickup a little too bassy, and the bridge pickup a
little too trebly, he put a resistor between the two pickups.  The value of
the resistor was 150K.  It blends a little of the bridge pickup in when
the neck pickup is selected, and a bit of the neck pickup when the bridge
pickup is selected.  This adds a little zing to the neck pickup, and a little
more bass to the bridge pickup.

3.7  What's a treble bypass cap?  Should I have one?
    A treble bypass cap is added between the legs of the volume pot.  This
keeps the treble intact as you roll down the volume.  Whether you need one or
not is up to personal preference.  Some like them, some don't.

3.8  What's the sweet spot?
    The sweet spot is a position on the tone control of the Telecaster that
takes the harsh edge of the tone of the bridge pickup, but leaves the brassy
tone intact.  It's normally between 1/4 and 1/3 turn on the tone control.  Some
players set the setscrew on the tone knob so that it is pointing at them when
the tone pot is in the sweet spot. 

3.9  What value tone pot and cap do I need to do Roy Buchanan's tone-pot wah
     trick?
    Looking for help from anyone out here!

3.10 What's a TBX control?
    A TBX control is made by Fender and is supposed to act as a tone control
in the bottom half of the knob's range, and as a booster in the upper half.

Section 4 - Hardware
4.1  What's a 3-saddle bridge?  Why do people want them?
    The original Telecaster had a bridge with 3 brass saddles adjustable for
intonation and ferrules that allowed the strings to load from the back of the
guitar.  This bridge went through various incarnations until it evolved into
the current American Standard bridge design, which has 6 steel saddles, one
for each string.  The newer bridge allows for more accurate intonation than
the original design.  However, there is a definite tonal difference between
the two designs.  A 3-saddle bridge has one saddle for every pair of strings.
When one string is plucked, the other on the same saddle is normally driven
slightly, causing overtones.  Some claim that these overtones are a trademark
of the classic tele tone.

     4.1.1  What are compensated saddles?
    A common problem with 3-saddle bridges is the lack of accurate intonation
adjustment.  Each string needs to be a slightly different length than the
others.  On a stock 3 saddle bridge, you have to set intonation in the middle
of the two string lengths, trying to get each string as close as possible. 
Many years ago, someone got frustrated with this problem and bent the
adjustment screws slightly.  This allowed the player to get perfect intonation
on his Telecaster.  Since then, several companies have come out with
"compensated" saddles.  These saddles have their adjustment holes bored at the
angle required to intonate properly.

     4.1.2  Where can I get compensated saddles?
    There are several suppliers of the compensated saddles, including
Vintique, Mannmade, Stewart-MacDonald and Music One.

4.2  Should my bridge have brass saddles or steel saddles?
    The early bridges (on the Broadcaster, Nocaster and Telecaster) had
three brass saddles on the bridges.  Tele purists claim that the brass saddles
are absolutely essential to getting a classic Tele tone.  However, Fender
switched to steel saddles later in the development of the Telecaster.  There
are those who claim that steel saddles are essential to the "Bakersfield" tone.
It's another personal choice thing.  Saddles are a relatively cheap and easy
modification to a vintage style bridge.  It pays to experiment to see what you
prefer.

4.3  Can I put a vintage-style bridge on an American Standard Telecaster?
    The current American Standard Telecaster has a different mounting
configuration than a vintage Telecaster - the old style bridge will not fit
without significant modifications.  However, Vintique and Mannmade make bridges
that are a direct fit on American Standard models but have the vintage
configuration and construction.

4.4  What's a top-loading bridge?  Is it bad?
    In 1959, Fender converted the Telecaster to a top-loading bridge design.
This design has holes in the back of the bridge that the strings feed through.
With this design, the strings do not feed through the body and the bottom of
the bridge plate.  There are conflicting opinions about this bridge style.
Some claim that this configuration is incapable of producing classic
Telecaster tones.  There are those that use Telecasters of this configuration
and don't notice a problem.  At any rate, Fender went back to a string-through
body design within a short period of time.  Currently, some imported
Telecasters use this configuration.  It is possible to fit a vintage-style
through-body bridge to these guitars.  However, this is not a recommended
modification for a true vintage guitar.

4.5  What's a neck insert kit?  Do I need one?
    A neck-insert kit is an alternative method of attaching the neck of
a bolt-on guitar to the body.  The modification involves boring and threading
larger holes in the neck, into which machine-screw inserts are installed.  The
neck is then affixed using machine screws instead of wood screws.  For people
who will be removing the neck frequently, this modification will certainly
reduce the risk of stripping out the screw holes.  Also, proponents of this
system claim increased resonance and sustain from the modification.  There
are shops (such as Vintique) that will perform this modification, or the
hardware is available from several sources.  Once again, this (or any)
modification may reduce the value of your guitar. 

4.6  What's the big deal about Nitro?  Why is poly bad?
    Original Telecasters were finished in nitrocellulose lacquer.  Modern
guitars are usually finished with a polyurethane due to environmental laws. 
Some players claim to hear a tonal difference in the finishing.  It is true
that the finishes wear differently.  Nitro will wear and check with playing. 
Poly is more durable and will not wear like nitro.  It's again a personal
preference issue.  Nitro normally has an extra cost associated with it, as
instrument companies use it as another "feature".

Section 5 - Brand/Model specific info
5.1  Fender Guitars
     5.1.1  52RI
            5.1.1.1  What's the difference between the 0202 and 1303 52 RI
                     models?
    There are differences in the neck dimensions between the older 1303
and the recent 0202 RI.

            5.1.1.2  Why does the neck pickup on my 52 RI sound dead?
    This is true to the original wiring.  Originally, the Fender
Telecaster was wired with a three way switch.  The switch positions were:
Bridge, Neck, Neck with "bassy sound".  The "bassy sound" is a capacitor that
Fender thought players would use to mimic a bass player.  Most players prefer
the modern wiring style that has bridge, both, neck.

            5.1.1.3  What does the "modern" modification to my 52 RI do?
    The "modern" mod is a wiring package that should have come with your
52RI (and probably didn't if you bought it from Guitar Center).  This will
allow you to change from the "vintage" style wiring to "modern".  See the
above description for details.

            5.1.1.4  Is the 52 RI finished in Nitro or Poly?
    According to Fender, the current 52 RI is finished in Nitro.

     5.1.2  Relics
            5.1.2.1  Are the Relics any good, or are they just hype?
    Relics are something you either "get" or you don't.  Those who like
them seem to love them.  Those who don't like them seem very dead-set against
them.  What is true is that the Relics are a pre-worn guitar designed to look,
feel, and play like a "vintage" Fender Telecaster (or Nocaster). 

            5.1.2.2  What is a Post-Vinne Relic?
    The original Relic guitars were manufactured by the Fender Custom Shop,
but the instruments were aged by Vinnie Cuenetto.  These Relics differed from
the original models in several ways, most notably the 9 1/2" (as opposed to
7 1/4") fretboard radius.  All Relics are now made entirely at the Fender
Custom Shop.

     5.1.3  MIM 50's RI
            5.1.3.1  What are the differences between the MIM 50's RI and the
                     MIJ/CIJ 50's RI?
    The MIJ/CIJ guitars were normally made of basswood.  The current MIM 50's
are made of ash.  There are differences in the neck dimensions as well.  Some
people prefer the feel of the MIJ necks, some prefer the MIM.

            5.1.3.2  What are the differences between the MIM 50's RI and the
                     MIA 52 RI?
    The guitars have different neck shapes.  Also, the 52RI is a nitro finished
instrument, the 50's is poly.  There are other hardware differences, with the
52RI using higher quality hardware.

     5.1.4  Current MIJ telecasters
          5.1.4.1  I've heard that Fender is still making guitars in Japan
                     that are not sold in the US.  Is that true?
    The only MIJ Fenders still being imported by Fender are the reissues of the
pink paisely and blue floral guitars.  However, Fender Japan has a wide range of
instruments made for the domestic Japanese market that are not available in the
US.  Many of these use top quality parts and are comparable to the guitars made
in America.

            5.1.4.2  Are the current MIJ telecasters any good?
    The current MIJ telecasters have a strong following.  There are those who
go to great lengths to bring them into the country.

            5.1.4.3  Is it possible to buy a current MIJ telecaster in the US?
    Other than the paisley and floral telecasters, Fender is not importing any
MIJ telecasters for the American market.  The two methods of obtaining them are
either to travel to Japan to purchase one, or to have a Japanese dealer sell one
to you.  Ishibashi Music (http://www.ishibashi.co.jp) is a dealer for MIJ Fenders
that has a good deal of experience shipping those instruments from Japan.  The
guitars will have to clear customs (which may entail an additional fee).  However,
when the yen has been weak against the dollar, it is possible to purchase a very
high quality instrument and have it imported for much less than one would pay for
a similar American guitar.

     5.1.5  Are there any online resources for Fender guitars?
    The official Fender website is at http://www.fender.com.  The oldest
Telecaster page is the Telecaster Discussion Page Reissue (http://www.tdpri.com).
There are also two pages with more broad Fender Focus.  The first (and the one
with Fender's involvement) is at http://www.fenderforum.com.  The final Fender
page is at http://www.thefenderforum.com.

5.2  Fernandes Guitars
     5.2.1  What are the differences between the Fernandes models?
    The Fernandes models were made in several configurations.  All had
vintage (7 1/4") radius fretboards, vintage-style tuners, and modern
wiring.  Earlier models had direct Fender-copy headstocks.  Later headstocks
are more angular.  The TE-1 is the equivalent of a Fender 50's model.  The
body was made of Basswood.  The TE-1N is a TE-1 with an ash body.  The TE-2
is the equivalent of a '62 Custom model.  Basswood body with double binding.
The TE-3 is the equivalent of the '69 Thinline.  These models had a semi
hollow ash body.  Almost all of the models came with a 3 steel saddle
vintage style bridge, but some came with 6-saddle bridges.

            5.2.1.1  Are they any good?
    Other than differences in body wood, the guitars are very well made
copies of Fender designs.  They can normally be found much cheaper than a
comparable Fender.  Many feel that the pickups are weak and lack character.
However, there are those who feel the pickups are just fine.

            5.2.1.2  Are they still being made?
    No.  Fernandes ceased production of their Fender clones sometime in
1997 or 1998.  A short time before this, the production had been transferred
from Japan to Taiwan.  Players of these guitars claim that there was a decline
in quality that coincided with the production switch.

5.3  Hamer Guitars
     5.3.1  What is this Hamer T-51 that the Cult members are always ranting
            about?
    The Hamer T-51 was Hamer's take on the Fender Telecaster.  There are
some differences between it and a stock Telecaster.  The guitar has been out of
production since 1997.  The bridge was made by Wilkinson, and is considered by
some to be the guitar's weak point.  A vintage style bridge will fit without
modification, but the stock bridge will leave a slight indentation that the
vintage bridge will not cover.  The pickups were Seymour Duncans - a '54 in the
neck and a Broadcaster in the bridge.  The bodies were swamp ash from '93 to
'95, and alder for '96 and '97.  The body edge is more rounded than a Fender
Telecaster, which some claim makes them more comfortable.  The neck was 22
medium-jumbo frets.  The back of the neck had a "skunk stripe".  The guitars
were available with maple or rosewood fretboards.  The necks were slightly
wider than stock Fenders, with a nut width of 1 11/16".  The fretboard radius
was much flatter than a vintage style Fender, at 14 1/2".  The tuners were
locking Sperzels.  They are no longer standard production, but Hamer will
make them on a custom order ($$$$$) basis.

            5.3.1.1  How do I find a good one?
    There have been very few reports of bad guitars of this model.  The
only potential problem lies in the necks.  All of the necks were hand-shaped,
so they vary from one guitar to another.  The best way to find one is to keep
watching online auction and classified sites - they come up for sale every
month or so.  Also, large Hamer dealers like BCR Music get them in now and
again.

            5.3.1.2  I've heard that some of these are heavy.  Is this true?
    While it is true that some of the Hamer T-51s are heavier than some
people's "ideal" Telecaster weights, Hamer supposedly chose all of the body
wood for resonance.  Even the heavy guitars are very resonant and sound great.

     5.3.2  Are there any online resources for Hamer guitars?
    The Hamer Fan Club is at http://www.hikarate.com/hamer/index.html

    The Hamer website is at http://www.hamerguitars.com/

5.4  G&L Guitars
     5.4.1  What are the differences between G&L models?
    G&L has made several models that are similar to Telecasters.  The
closest to the original Fender Telecaster is the ASAT Classic.  It has two
single coil pickups, a through body vintage-type bridge and standard Telecaster
control layout.  The ASAT and ASAT Special have top-loading bridges and two
"MFD" single coil pickups that look similar to P-90s.  The ASAT Deluxe has
two humbuckers and a top-loading bridge.  The Bluesboy has a vintage-type
bridge and bridge pickup but a neck humbucker.  The ASAT Z-3 has three of
the G&L Z-coil pickups and a top loading bridge.  Most models are available
in alder or ash with maple or rosewood necks.  Most models are also available
as semi-hollowbodies.

     5.4.2  Are there any online resources for G&L guitars?
    The G&L guitars website is at http://www.glguitars.com and the G&L
discussion page is at http://www.guitarsbyleo.com

     5.4.3  Does anyone make replacement pickups for the ASAT/ASAT Specials?
    At the moment, only Rio Grande makes a replacement for the ASAT MFD
pickups.  They come in two flavors, the Tallboy and the Muy Grande.  The
Rio Grande website is at http://www.riograndepickups.com

5.5  Bacchus Guitars
     5.5.1  What are these "Bacchus" guitars that people are talking about?
    The Bacchus guitars are a discovery of our Japanese correspondent, Tom
Quinn.  They are only available in Japan, but are described as truly great
reproductions of classic Fender guitars.

            5.5.1.1  Are they any good?
    Those who have played the current Bacchus offerings claim they are as
good as the guitars they are copying.

            5.5.1.2  Where can I get one?
    Unfortunately, short of going to Japan and bringing one back, there seems
to be no easy way to get one.  They are not distributed in the United States.

5.6  Melancon guitars
        5.6.1  What are Melancon guitars?
    Melancon guitars are highly-regarded instruments made by Gerard Melancon.
They are available in a telecaster style with a wide range of options.

        5.6.2  Are there online resources for Melancon guitars?
    The Melancon Forum is at http://www.melanconforum.com/

    The Melancon website is at http://www.melanconguitars.com/melancon/

5.7  Grosh guitars
        5.7.1  What are Grosh guitars?
    Don Grosh makes instruments based on Fender styles from the '50's and
60's, with some differences to the body shapes.  They are very well regarded
and are available with many different features.

        5.7.2  Are there any online resources for Grosh guitars?
    The Grosh website is at http://www.groshguitars.com/

5.8  Anderson guitars
        5.8.1  What are Anderson guitars?
    Anderson guitars are high quality instruments based on classic 50's
and 60's designs.  There are a wide variety of options available on Anderson
guitars.  They are well regarded by many.

        5.8.2 Are there any online resources for Anderson guitars?
    The website for Anderson Guitars is http://www.andersonguitars.com

5.9  Lentz guitars
        5.9.1  What are Lentz guitars?
    Lentz guitars are built by Scott Lentz.  Lentz is primarily known for
his instruments based on classic Fender designs.  His instruments are very
well regarded.

        5.9.2  Are there any online resources for Lentz guitars?
    Currently, there is no website for Lentz guitars.  However, Scott
Lentz is a regular at The Fender Forum: http://www.thefenderforum.com

5.10  Glaser Guitars
        5.10.1  What are Glaser guitars?
    Glaser instruments are built by Joe Glaser, a highly respected
Nashville luthier and repair technician.  Being in Nashville has given
Mr. Glaser the opportunity to work on LOTS of telecasters.  His guitars
are well regarded.

        5.10.2  Are there any online resources for Glaser guitars?
    Currently, Glaser has no website.




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