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Who makes a better Tele than the T-51?


Travis

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So, ever since I picked up my T-51 a couple of weeks ago I am continually amazed at how good this guitar is. And this is coming from someone who HATES single coils. I have to ask, who makes a better Tele than the T-51?

Now, I know that Tom Anderson, Grosh, Nash, etc., make great Teles. But who makes a BETTER one than the Hamer T-51? I realize this question is pretty subjective. But I've got to know. Because if there's something out there that is better than the T-51 I picked up, I need to know. And I need one.

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T-51s are amazing guitars. My T-51F was the bomb, and I really miss it.

Having said that, all guitars are different, and you can find gems in almost every brand/model.

As good as my Hamer T-51F was, I actually got a Fender Nashville Tele (MIM), that I found more playable, and with better tone. Go fugure. And I now have a Fender Highway One Texas Tele, the model with Jumbo frets, that has a lousy looking finish on the body (looking close), but is an amazing player, sustains like crazy, and sounds wonderful.

So, it is difficult, but if you try enough guitars...you might improve upon what you have.

BTW, I am growing less and less impressed by cork sniffer guitars. For less that US$700, especially used a little, you will find many tremendous guitars these days, even many non-USA made ones.

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Guest pirateflynn

I vote for either Anderson or Grosh. I didn't like my T51...... it was heavy and harsh sounding. I owned a Suhr Tele that I didn't bond with and people usually rave about the Suhr's.

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I spent eons looking for the perfect (for me) Tele-type. The search ended with the T-51. I have some different flavors and variants in other brands and stuff, but for the traditional straight-ahead Tele, the T-51 is the perfect fit for me.

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By the way, does anyone know what the stock DUncan pickups are in the T-51?

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Duncan Broadcaster, at least in the bridge.

When I was growing up, I was in the Gibson camp, not Fender, at least when it came to basses. When I started playing again, I started to play, or try to play, guitar. I picked up a Studio, and then based on Nightwolf's guidance, a Newport. I understood those guitars.

I got hooked on Hamers. I picked up a Daytona. Though it didn't do a heck of a lot for me, I understood it.

The one guitar I couldn't figure out was a Tele. It was plain piece of wood with a couple of pickups on it. If one was in the Fender camp, why would one want one, when a strat was more versatile, with 3 p/u.

My guitar teacher knew I was into Hamers and had a T-51 he was going to unload - maple board, butterscotch blond - and offered it to me. Wanting to figure out why anyone would want to play one, I bought it. It was an ok guitar. Maybe better than ok.

Cruising on eBay, I picked up a T-51F. Also an ok guitar. I didn't like the natural body, but it sounded good. Maybe there was something to these teles. But I didn't like the looks of the maple neck.

More cruising on eBay. Found a blond T-51 with a rosewood neck. It needed a major cleaning up, but once cleaned up it had the look (not The Look ™. I considered it my "beater" guitar.

The more I played it, the more I liked it. The Studio, Newport, and an after acquired korina Vector all sat in there cases. Maybe there's something to these teles.

My only objection to the T-51 was it is too heavy for my aging frame.

Upon the counsel of Gwayne, I picked up a G&L bluesboy, with a rosewood neck. HB in the neck, a G&L mfd p/u in the bridge, and chambered body - under 7 lbs.

It has become my No. 1. The Seth in the neck is superior to the Duncan in the T-51. The Broadcaster in the T-51 is superior to the mfd in the G&L. I tried putting a Broadcaster in the G&L, but it really didn't work.

Overall, I still like the sound of the T-51 better, but the weight factor has made the G&L my first choice.

Which I guess is a long way of saying consider a G&L (but it ain't as good as the T-51!)

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WSS%20ATS%20CP%20RW%20RWANG%20HW%20SIDE%20MAX.jpg

If they'll do that without a middle pickup, we NEED to talk.

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Though I haven't played as many Tele styles as the rest of you, I did check out the Vintage Hot Rod and liked it a lot.

I never thought I'd like Teles until I borrowed my friend's '62 earlier this year. I've looked all over now to find one as good as his (to no avail).

So, I think that maybe a Tele is the best Tele, depending, maybe. His certainly has the magic, but I don't have vintage Tele money.

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A "Better" tele is really subjective. I've owned a bunch of them from just about ever manufacturer you could think of (Fender, Hamer T51, Suhr, Anderson, Robin, Melancon, Nash, G&L, Rose....etc..)

But for me it has come back full circle to Fenders being the best tele.

Everything else is really a copy or spinoff of the design.

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But for me it has come back full circle to Fenders being the best tele.

Everything else is really a copy or spinoff of the design.

Exactly. If you can, spend the money on something vintage.

THAT's where it's at!

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Vinetto is the best I've played. I was seeking a tele a couple years ago, I went to Maken' Music and tried a Suhr ($2200?), Fender Master built ($6000) and then the Vinetto ($2500). I went home with the Vinetto and it didn't take but 2 minutes after I plugged it in to know. BTW, the guitar comes with Lollar pu's and a Glendale bridge assembly.

Hamer's are nice guitars but when it comes to single coil guitars other people do a better job at it then Hamer. I do really love my Monoco and most of their newer designs.

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But for me it has come back full circle to Fenders being the best tele.

Everything else is really a copy or spinoff of the design.

Exactly. If you can, spend the money on something vintage.

THAT's where it's at!

I played a real 1958 tele in a studio two years ago. It was in 100% original condition. Can't say that it blew me away. It was really good, but my T51 is an evil creature too. For me it's not worth paying what a vintage Tele costs. My T51 does the job just right and sounds like it sold it's soul to the devil, just as it's supposed to.

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I owned a 1962 Esquire that was hands-down, the best "Tele" I've ever played. I picked it out of 5 nearly identical guitars, dating from '59-'63. It stood head and shoulders above the other four.

I ended up selling it to put towards a downpayment on my home, a decision I still don't regret...except I could probably get 5-6x the price for it today. Of course, I could get close to the same multiple return on my house, so not a bad deal.

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I owned a 1962 Esquire that was hands-down, the best "Tele" I've ever played. I picked it out of 5 nearly identical guitars, dating from '59-'63. It stood head and shoulders above the other four.

I ended up selling it to put towards a downpayment on my home, a decision I still don't regret...except I could probably get 5-6x the price for it today. Of course, I could get close to the same multiple return on my house, so not a bad deal.

That guitar was awesome...

fcm62esquire.jpg

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If there was a "best" Tele, everyone else would have quit making them!

I've got a buddy who owns a nearly mint '52 Tele. It's a great piece of his retirement savings, but as a player it's a turd. He plays an early-80's Japanese Fender Tele Custom with an added middle pickup and 5-way switch.

I have 3 Teles...an early-80's Japanese Fender Pink Paisley reissue that's had its fingerboard recontoured, been refretted with Dunlop 6105 wire, and pickups replaced with Duncans...a custom built by a late friend of mine - Warmoth flame maple over swamp ash bound body with a Warmoth ebony over flame maple neck, three pickups, Glaser B-bender...and another custom built mahogany body with rosewood over maple neck and a mini-humbucker in the neck position.

Is one of them "best?" Nope. They're all different. The bender tele is the most versatile as two of the pickups are tapped humbuckers. The paisley has the "normal" tele sound. The mahogany is the most comfortable because it's got a strat-style arm cut on the body and the mahogany gives it a sound all its own.

If you want the tele sound, get a normal tele...they can be had in all flavors at all prices...just go find one you like and one that likes you.

Remember...Leo wasn't a cork-sniffer.

All this said and done, someday I will buy a T-51 just to have one.

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But for me it has come back full circle to Fenders being the best tele.

Everything else is really a copy or spinoff of the design.

Exactly. If you can, spend the money on something vintage.

THAT's where it's at!

I played a real 1958 tele in a studio two years ago. It was in 100% original condition. Can't say that it blew me away. It was really good, but my T51 is an evil creature too. For me it's not worth paying what a vintage Tele costs. My T51 does the job just right and sounds like it sold it's soul to the devil, just as it's supposed to.

That's why you have to find a beat-to-shit one. They're cheaper and they ARE worth it.

There are good ones and bad ones, just like anything else. Conversely, I have yet to play a T-51 that I thought was worth damn.

58esquire02.jpg

DSCN6777.JPG

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I owned a 1962 Esquire that was hands-down, the best "Tele" I've ever played. I picked it out of 5 nearly identical guitars, dating from '59-'63. It stood head and shoulders above the other four.

I ended up selling it to put towards a downpayment on my home, a decision I still don't regret...except I could probably get 5-6x the price for it today. Of course, I could get close to the same multiple return on my house, so not a bad deal.

That guitar was awesome...

fcm62esquire.jpg

That looks great! If the Fender MIM reissue Esquire had a RW board, I'd have already bought one.

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That looks great! If the Fender MIM reissue Esquire had a RW board, I'd have already bought one.

Just do what I did to my AVRI 62-get a new pickguard and switch the wiring around a little...

100_3737.jpg

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That looks great! If the Fender MIM reissue Esquire had a RW board, I'd have already bought one.

Just do what I did to my AVRI 62-get a new pickguard and switch the wiring around a little...

100_3737.jpg

Who's TM?

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