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Just wondering what cheap tele is best for modding?Thinking squire but which is best model as a base to build on?
 

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Depending on your definition of cheap, Mexican teles make an excellent platform for modifications. I'm thinking $300-500.00 for used in nice condition.
 

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What sorts of mods are you thinking of? I suspect that would influence what you view as a suitable candidate.
 

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What sorts of mods are you thinking of? I suspect that would influence what you view as a suitable candidate.
Yes, this. Also, are you thinking about mods that are easily reversible (like new pickups) or something more drastic? If you are thinking about just keeping the wood original and replacing all of the hardware and electronics, you might want to have a second thought if resale value is a consideration at all. Nobody is going to want to pay $700-800 for a Squier no matter how nice the changes are. Mods are kind of a sunk cost that you will likely never make back, so they are good if you've decided your guitar is a keeper (or if they are easily reversible... you can keep the better pickups, for example). You might find that just spending the money on something that is already what you want it to be is a better investment. I speak from experience of having modded a couple of guitars and doing some parts builds, but now wishing the money went elsewhere.

Also, keep in mind that the guitar you start with may limit your availability of parts. Most guitars from the Far East will require metric hardware. While supply of metric parts may be plentiful, sourcing quality metric parts can be more difficult. And if you want to upgrade your electronics to American pots & switches, you will probably need a new control plate as well.

I know others will argue this point, but stay away from off-brand Teles, like what you will get from Rondo. Their specs will differ just enough to make swapping parts much more difficult.
 

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There's also the matter of what the planned-for mods will actually cost, versus what purchase of a new production instrument with the same features would cost.
 

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You cant go wrong with the Classic Vibe series. Best bang for the buck out there. I had a P90 in mine and really was a great little Tele, not expensive.
 

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You cant go wrong with the Classic Vibe series. Best bang for the buck out there. I had a P90 in mine and really was a great little Tele, not expensive.
I don't know about teles but my classicvibe strat was a good choice to mod, so I vote that also
I've owned, or frequently played a CV 50s Tele, CVC 60s Tele, 50s Strat, and 50s P Bass. I place them all above the MIM Standard line.

Honestly, find the cheapest used CV Tele out there. They use vintage spec parts, so you can actually buy bridges and pickguards and whatnot and have them fit.

The affinity and standard use a wonky garbage bridge that has a bolt pattern all of its own.
 

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+1 on the Classic Vibe teles -- as others have noted, their specs let you swap out parts w/o fitment issues. I like the CV bridges better than the stamped Fender ones, but do swap in compensated saddles, and then replace the cheezy switch with a 4-way CRL (easy drop-in on the control plate) -- the stock pickups are RWRP so you get a great series sound!
 

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the only thing I don't like about the Classic Vibe stuff is people ask dumb used prices, more often than I see dumb used prices on the MIM stuff
 

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I like the feel of the MIM tele's better than the Squire stuff. A little heavier, more solid feeling, more beef to the necks, and they sometimes go for great prices.
 
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