My NGDs 2018

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Snarpaasi, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    During the past year my guitar trading activity has hit the peak so far so I decided to post an NGD thread. Warning, this is going to be a long one!

    Over 10 years I’ve been a HH superstrat TOM bridge matte finish minimal heel guy but apparently I’m flexible with the specs if a good offer pops up. One thing led to another and at one point I found myself with four telecasters. It all started when I found great bargains on a mint Petrucci BFR 7 and a Baja Telecaster which altered my taste what comes to guitars.

    All in all I bought 4 and sold 3 guitars. NGDs 2018 are:

    EBMM BFR JP7
    Fender Baja Telecaster
    Fender Highway One Telecaster
    Harley Benton TE-40

    Mediocre pics and my fabulous sofa below.

    EBMM BFR JP7 ‘08

    This is the first edition BFR which was THE wet dream in high school and I thought I would never get one. Ten years later I spotted one being ridiculously cheap and the same day I picked it up.

    Even if you hadn’t played a seven-string before, I assure this is really easy to get used to. The neck is thin (as in all JP models) which works really well with the extra string. Compared to a Sterling JP70, the dimensions might be similar but otherwise they have nothing in common. The acoustic tone is very full-bodied yet clear, and has more low-end compared to my other guitars. However, it doesn't have the same punch which I like in my fixed bridge guitars. With an amplifier, the piezo and all the blending variations are awesome and fun to play with. Just one switch and you’re at the Change of Seasons territory.

    Other seven-strings I’ve had before had the issue to get the lowest string clear and articulate. Usually the low B is either loose and hard to control, or stiff which sounds just dull. With EBMM, the lowest string has the same clarity, even output and great feel regardless of the 25,5” scale.

    I’ve had a Crunch Lab before and found it too saturated, hot, and it didn’t hold up with fast picking patterns. This time it’s not any different but individual power chords are massive. Liquifire seems to be a good, modern neck pickup.

    All in all, it is a high quality instrument. The only flaw I could find was partially poor fret end work, not specifically sharp edges but not nice and rounded either. I ended up selling this because of the painted gloss neck which I’m not a fan of. Also, I didn’t want to replace the pickups to this beast. After having it for 6 months, I found a WTB ad on local forum and got it a great new home.

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    Fender Baja Telecaster

    One and a half years ago I found one going for really cheap and I started googling what is this Baja line. I noticed people hyped these on many forums. What could be so great with a traditional-looking MIM Tele? I didn’t find out because the guitar was sold by the time I was doing my research. One year later, in summer 2018 I found another one with the same cheap price so I called immediately and finally got one. I heard there were 20 contacts that day.

    So, where’s the magic? It is designed by Fender Custom Shop, does have custom shop pickups and S1 switching that opens up tonal possibilities. However, I think it’s the chunky soft V neck that people praise the most. Medium jumbo frets with 9,5” radius brings the modern aspect to a traditional instrument. It rings well acoustically but is a tad too bright for my taste. I think I could identify the typical hard ash description “loud, resonant, tight bass, scooped mids and pronounced treble”. Comparing to my Highway One Tele with an alder body, I find the alder more balanced.

    Eventually I got tired of the brightness, sharp pickguard edge, fat neck and tuning instability on B-string so I sold it. Nevertheless, it’s a great tele for 300-550€ price range used.

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    Fender Highway One Telecaster

    Like mentioned, I also got a Highway One Tele, MIA. The Baja got me thinking I could have a decent classic Telecaster with singlecoils, vintage bridge etc.. However <12” fretboard radius and gloss finishes kept me holding back. One day I found out that HW1 Tele has 12” radius, alder body and nitro satin finish. I got a great deal of one and been playing it the most lately.

    Flatter fretboard, modern C shape neck and maple fretboard makes it really easy to play yet it has classic tele looks. I’m really bad at saying anything about single coils but they have the klang, twang, chime, whatever :D That’s why I bought a Dimarzio Chopper to the bridge position to give thicker punch for distorted tones.

    The only issue to mention is the steel saddles’ height adjustment screws. As the saddles sit at the right level, the screws stick out of for a great amount scratching my palm. I call this simply crappy design by Fender. I bought compensated brass saddles which fixed the issue.

    Before I was only interested in flashy flamed top super strats but apparently I’ve become an adult since I find Teles really nice looking. Not only it looks good but it’s a great guitar!

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    Harley Benton TE-40

    Not long after the HW1, I noticed a WTS thread of a Harley Benton, the in-house brand of Thomann. I remember reading some really bad reviews of them 10-15 years ago but newer reviews seemed to be much more positive. If a guitar costs 100 euros, it wouldn't hurt much even if its next stop was at our fireplace.

    It has a contoured arch basswood body, figured ash veneer with white binding around the body, black headstock and golden hardware. Tuners feel solid and stiff. This model has older Wilkinson ceramic pickups which are high output but sound great for metal. Looking at it, it’s a Tele variation but actually it’s more of a Les Paul, referring to 24,75” scale, neck angle, angled headstock, TOM bridge and HH pickups of course.

    I was pretty amazed once I got it. The guitar plays acoustically very loud and balanced which I like. This is the loudest and lightest I currently have which is weird considering the price. I would say it is close to 3kg so maybe it’s some kind of unicorn. Many have complained all the HBs weigh a lot, meaning at least 4kg. The neck is pretty slim, something between PRS wide-thin and Ibanez necks. It’s got 14” radius and ~41mm nut. I thought at least the fretwork would be bad but no, nicely levelled frets without sharp edges. All these measures combined it feels really comfortable and especially easy to play.

    Any cons? It had a shaky plastic nut so I brought it to a tech who made a bone nut. It played well with the plastic one as well and tbh I haven't noticed any difference so far. He suggested to replace the pots and the switch at some point. The white body binding has small blemishes under the gloss at quite a few areas but that hasn’t bothered me. Regardless of the acoustic loudness, the neck doesn’t vibrate as much as I’d like to feel it living. I tried some neck swapping and noticed the neck pocket is slightly deeper and wider than standard Fender, so aftermarket necks won’t fit like a glove. Having tried the Baja neck here for a moment, I didn’t notice the gaps would cause that much issues though.

    If you can tinker your guitars, I can recommend to try Harley Benton and make a great workhorse for cheap.

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    Before:

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    After:

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    All in all: After having owned high end guitars from Carvin, Ibanez, Mayones, EBMM, PRS and Skervesen, a devolution towards telecasters seem to have begun. A new tele neck arrives in few weeks.......

    Thanks for checking out this thread!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Great story!

    I too have been 'growing up' and really liking Tele's myself. It's been difficult for me not to break down and grab a Fender Performer Tele MiA. But you know, no funds and no time to play an additional guitar when my stable is already feeling neglected.

    Did you get a Dimarzio Chopper in black/gold, or black/black? Black/gold would look great in that Tele. How do you like the Chopper; how does it sound relative to your typical 'humbucker'?
     
  3. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    Well it's always good to have a GAS on something? ;)

    It's just a standard black/black version which I haven't tried yet. Will do at the same as I install a new neck to HW1. Not that it would need a new neck, but to try it out before ordering rest of the parts for a new partscaster build. 25" conversion neck with tilted headstock, pau ferro fretboard, SS frets.. Yammy!
     
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  4. 1b4n3z

    1b4n3z SS.org Regular

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    Looking nice! I'm not a tele person at all, but I appreciate the plan forward (backwards?)

    Come by some day and let us torture the neighbors with terrible Finnhits through Les Pauls and Telecasters. I only got Rectifiers for amps so it might get pretty interesting
     
  5. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    Sure! First I need to practice more double stop bend licks...
     
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    welcome to the eternal struggle of gearwhoring
     
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  7. Snarpaasi

    Snarpaasi SS.org Regular

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    Devin has done good job, the gearwhore intro started immediately playing in my head :lalala:
     
  8. SurelyTheEnd

    SurelyTheEnd Surely The End.

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    Happy NGD! I have two CV Squier Telecasters and I love them, They're my go-to when playing at home.
     
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  9. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Enjoyed the thread. Thanks for posting. Nice guitars.
     
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  10. icipher

    icipher SS.org Regular

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    awesome collection!
     
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