Group: Super Admins
Joined: Dec. 1999
||Posted: Jan. 22 2008, 17:32
I suppose it depends on exactly what he meant when he said it wouldn't play in tune...sometimes he's a bit vague about technical matters these days. Still, you're right - it's nothing that can't be fixed, whatever the problem is.
There are some quite clever compensated saddles made to fit the 3 saddle Telecaster bridges, actually. I'm in the process of building a tele clone at the moment which I've got a Wilkinson compensated bridge for - seems nicely made, it'll be interesting to find out how it sounds.
That said, the guitar is a fair age now. Sure, that should make it desirable, but I like to make a distinction between vintage and knackered! I remember Tom Newman commenting in The Making of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells about how he thought that Telecaster was a horrid guitar at the time Mike made Tubular Bells, and it might not have improved with age. That said, though, he did have a guitar tech bring it back to playable condition for him to record Tubular Bells 2003 with it, so it can't be in all that bad a state.
I think the biggest issue with guitars like the Squiers is the quality control. There are people who build great sounding Fender-style guitars out of wood picked straight off lumber piles, so I don't doubt that some very decent wood gets made into some of the guitars that leaves the factories making Squier guitars - there just isn't necessarily anyone there keeping a particularly careful eye on what bits get used. It could be that out of ten, two are dreadful, seven are ok and one is great (or it could not be...I'm guessing here).
I believe that the hardware on them has improved in recent years, as have the electronics - it would certainly be a welcome change! Assuming that's the case, there's every chance that the Telecaster which Mike bought was a very decent guitar. There's even a possibility it was something a bit better than that, that it was one of the very few guitars leaving the factory which for some reason is far better than all the rest...
It could of course also be that it was rubbish and that Mike simply hasn't got a clue about what makes a good guitar any more, but I'd like to hope that's not the case . I assume that he tried it and liked it...or maybe he was just feeling lucky (it could be argued that if he really liked it, he'd not have sold it...but then he sold the red/pink Strat too, and I'd suggest that he probably didn't do that because it was rubbish).
Considering that he's a millionaire and that the guitar probably cost about £200...well hey, why not buy it? Buy three just for good luck!
Now, I'm not trying to argue that Squiers are the best guitars in the world or anything like that, just that there might be more to this than meets the eye and that Mike may have tried a lot of guitars and liked the Squier the most. Why he's choosing to sell so many guitars, including the most recently acquired ones, is more of a mystery...