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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been out of the electric guitar game for about 2 years. I lost most of my hearing a few years ago and I suffer from tinnitus so sold all my electric gear and have only been playing acoustics.
Well now I'm itching to get another electric for some home and party playing and to see if I can handle some low volumes.
I don't want to spend alot of money. I want a telecaster. I'm thinking between $1,000 to $1,200 or maybe a little more for the right guitar. So I'm mainly looking used. I've mainly owned expensive custom shop telecasters and don't know much about the lower end models so I'm asking for advice from those that do. I know some of the less expensive models get some great praise on the forums.
What I want is a traditional 50's style Telecaster. Blond finish, maple neck, 9.5 radius can have either 3 barrel saddle or 6 saddle set up. I think I might actually prefer 6 saddle. Doesn't look traditional but intonation wouldn't or shouldn't be a problem. Pickups don't matter quite as much as they can be changed out quite easily but no humbuckers. One of the biggest needs is a fat neck. Something closer to the Nocaster neck. Not slim like the American Standard. I plan on trying out a Roland Blues Cube artist to mate with it. As I want to keep my set up simple and fairly cheap I don't want to consider a tube amp. So any comments on that amp would be welcome although I'll eventually maybe start a thread for that.

The possible Teles that I've been looking at are:

Baja Telecaster - I've heard this has a fatter neck. This guitar seems to get good praise on the various guitar forums. Seems anyone selling one on kijiji asks too much in my opinion. Only about a $100 - $150 less than a new one. Theres a sunburst baja on kijiji right now that if I could get him another hundred down from the $800 he's askng I'd seriously consider it. Although I'd prefer a blond that sunburst is pretty nice looking to.

Telecaster American special - There is one for sale in my hometown but I think the neck is slimmer than I like.

Telecaster 8502 - This is a rare one but I did see a couple for sale on Kijiji lately. Its fashioned after a 52 telecaster except it has 9.5 radius fingerboard and 6 saddle set up. Seems to be the closest to the specs I'm looking for. I just don't know if the neck profile is fat enough for what I want.

Telecaster hiway 1 - I've heard these have big necks. Not many around but one is for sale on kijiji. Not the right finish color and think he's asking too much. Its a bit beat up.

Should any others be on the list.
 

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Can't go wrong with a Baja. It ticks all of your boxes and then some. Can't comment on the rest but one you may have overlooked is an older American Deluxe "Ash". Prior to around 2010 0r 2011 these came with a U shaped neck (IMO same profile as a 52 RI or Hotrod), noiseless pickups (the early ones were "Noiseless" then SCN and ended up as N3 on the last models). Here is a link to one for sale currently here in Edmonton (no affiliation, just for reference).

Fender American Deluxe Telecaster | Guitars | Edmonton | Kijiji

Not to be confused with other American Deluxe teles, these "Ash" teles don't have bound bodies, tapered neck heels, body relief on the back etc. They are basically a 52 RI with modern appointments such as a 8 hole guard, locking tuners, medium jumbo frets, 9 1/2" radius and noiseless pups but with a chunky neck.
 

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If there's an american special local to you, go try it out - that will let you know for sure one way or another if the neck profile works.
 

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Hwy 1 & Am. Special will have a modern C neck profile, which is on the slim-medium side.

The Baja has a wonderful neck, very reminiscent of a CS Esquire that I stupidly traded a few years ago. It's a chunky soft V that morphs into a fat C as you go up the neck. Beefy but not as massive as a NoCaster, possibly the same depth but feels a little smaller due to having less shoulder. CS pickups & a 4-way switch, I wouldn't let mine go for <$800 either.

You may also want to keep an eye out for a 50s Road Worn, IIRC those had fat necks.
 
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