I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).

Telecaster shootout: Which one should I sell?

James Trussart Steelcaster
34
69%
1975 Fender Telecaster
15
31%
 
Total votes: 49

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I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Kinx » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:09 pm

This thread could also be titled "First World Problems" :whistle:

Here is the A/B test of the Trussart and the Tele

I recently went on a bit of a shopping spree and bought some guitars, selling most of them within a short time. The good thing is that I rarely lose money on them if I don't count the time invested. However, one of them somewhat speaks to me: a refinished, beat-up 1975 Telecaster with a maple fretboard.
Image
Image
It is mostly original, apart from a newer 50s style WD Music pickguard (which I will replace with a three-ply one), questionable refretting (I need to have the frets dressed above the 14th fret as the person who refretted it actually made the fretboard too round there, think reverse compound radius), and a GORGEOUS Coca-Cola sparkle refinish. It's on the heavier side (around 4 kg), and I had to have my tech take a look at the truss rod as the relief was weird when I got it (it's fine now). It steel needs some work, but man, it has character.

I am seriously considering it as a replacement for my main Telecaster, which is an '05 James Trussart Steelcaster.
Image
Image
The Trussart has always been a dream guitar of mine, ever since I was 14. All it took was seeing a picture of Tom Morello playing one (a very similar-looking model to mine). Watching Fretted Americana demos of these only cemented my opinion of them as "the coolest thing ever." When I had the chance to buy this one for a very reasonable price, I jumped on it and never looked back. It came with a 4-way switch that had been wired incorrectly from the factory (maybe that's why it was priced as it was), so I replaced it with a traditional three-way and never looked back. It proved itself as a reliable and perfectly working guitar both live and in the studio: I took it to do some session work last summer, and EVERYBODY marveled at it, it sat in the mix so well - my usual No. 1 go-to session guitar for gritty sounds, my '72 JM, ended up being too prominent in the mix compared to the Steelcaster. It is also super light as it is hollow, under 3 kg.

However, in my eyes, the '75 Tele somewhat beats the Trussart in the character department: it has a much more prominent twang, more pronounced treble, while the Trussart sounds fatter but less like a proper twangy Telecaster. It somewhat lacks the fierce attack of the '75. Another thing is the *image problem*: The beat-up, sparkly '75 Tele somewhat feels more at home to me than the Trussart, which gives more of a "rich country dude with a truck" vibe. My friends even call it "The Johnny Depp guitar" as he was seen playing these more than any other guitarist. It also has a rosewood fingerboard, which isn't necessarily an issue, but I definitely prefer maple. Another thing is that it has a 7.25 fretboard radius. I could refret the Tele with a flatter radius to my liking; I wouldn't touch the fretwork on the Trussart as the frets are still original and very fresh. The Trussart is pretty rare (I haven't seen any other for sale in Europe since I bought mine), but I went through like five different '70s Telecasters in the span of a year (the current one being the coolest of the bunch).

To sum up the pros of each guitar:

**Trussart:**
- Works great both live and in the studio
- My bucket list guitar
- Very rare
- Light
- Somewhat unique sound

**'75 Telecaster:**
- Ultimate cool factor
- Classic Tele twang
- Maple neck
- Possibility to refret it to my liking, making it the perfect combination of neck size and fretboard radius.

I really wish I could keep both, but I can't hoard more guitars (I am well past my limit), and there are some incoming taxes I need to pay, so selling one of these would definitely help. I could probably sell the Trussart quickly and definitely for more money than the '75 Tele; a couple of guys have been coaxing me to sell it to them ever since I got it, and they are still interested.

Which one do you like better?
Which one should I sell?
Last edited by Kinx on Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by JSett » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:15 pm

My vote goes for the 75. For the reasons of it looks great and is more 'collectible'. The fretwork is an easy fix and I like the refin.
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:27 pm

I prefer the 75, but I can very much see what you like about the Trussart, and they are quite different in a good way.

Do you have any spare organs you can sell?

:edit: voted for the wrong option :fp:

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Kinx » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:33 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:27 pm
I prefer the 75, but I can very much see what you like about the Trussart, and they are quite different in a good way.

Do you have any spare organs you can sell?
haha nope, but I have some spare Stratocasters on sale RN :))

I think it would be much easier if I could just take them both to a gig and decide how I like them in a live setting, but we are currently taking some time off for writing our next record. I took both to the rehearsal yesterday and both worked fine in a band situation (the Fender being a bit thinner, but that's audible in the AB test), my bandmates preffer the 75 because it's vintage and "it's not a Johnny Depp guitar".
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Kinx » Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:34 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:27 pm


:edit: voted for the wrong option :fp:
try revoting, I enabled it in the poll just now.
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:03 am

That's tough. As someone who loves Teles, I'd be considering selling something else. If I *had* to pick one of these two to keep and sell, I'd keep the '75. The Trussart is cool, but that '75 is more my style for sure.
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by zhivago » Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:27 am

I'm going to go against the grain here and say I'd sell the '75...from what you are saying the '75 is more about the cool factor, whereas you have something that sounds great and plays great..and is lighter...not to mention harder to find another.
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by JVG » Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:37 am

Unless you need the money straight away, I suggest waiting 2-3 months until you are out of the honeymoon period for the 75.

At that point, try to forget about rareness, looks or cool factor.

If no one ever saw you play guitar again, which is the one you would feel like playing more often?

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Jonesie » Fri Feb 23, 2024 6:18 am

zhivago wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:27 am
I'm going to go against the grain here and say I'd sell the '75...from what you are saying the '75 is more about the cool factor, whereas you have something that sounds great and plays great..and is lighter...not to mention harder to find another.
Yep. This.

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by F15hface » Fri Feb 23, 2024 7:13 am

I’d keep the steel caster. That sounds like it’s your guitar, not just a guitar you happen to own. The 75 is cool but evidently very replacable, and what you’ve said makes it seem like the telecaster sound wouldn’t fit your musical needs.

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by OffYourFace » Fri Feb 23, 2024 11:41 am

Sell both and get a better tele.

Trussart guitars make me think of people like Johnny Depp or some boomer in leather pants.

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Chippertheripper » Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:41 pm

The trussart definitely has something extra sonically, but that may not always be welcome or necessary…so, I’d probably keep the 75, personally. I feel like the bandwidth where that extra is so small, it’s never gonna be “necessary” where one can never really go wrong with a “normal” telecaster.
Plus, sparkles rule, so I’m already inclined to let it stay.
I’d probably move towards a single ply, black pg personally though.

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sat Feb 24, 2024 9:37 am

Chippertheripper wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:41 pm
The trussart definitely has something extra sonically, but that may not always be welcome or necessary…so, I’d probably keep the 75, personally. I feel like the bandwidth where that extra is so small, it’s never gonna be “necessary” where one can never really go wrong with a “normal” telecaster.
Plus, sparkles rule, so I’m already inclined to let it stay.
I’d probably move towards a single ply, black pg personally though.
What I'm wondering is if some EQ (pedal, etc.) could get you the sound of the Trussart...
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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Chippertheripper » Sat Feb 24, 2024 10:31 am

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 9:37 am
Chippertheripper wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:41 pm
The trussart definitely has something extra sonically, but that may not always be welcome or necessary…so, I’d probably keep the 75, personally. I feel like the bandwidth where that extra is so small, it’s never gonna be “necessary” where one can never really go wrong with a “normal” telecaster.
Plus, sparkles rule, so I’m already inclined to let it stay.
I’d probably move towards a single ply, black pg personally though.
What I'm wondering is if some EQ (pedal, etc.) could get you the sound of the Trussart...
Probably. A boost in one of those super treble frequencies.
I don’t know, contextually, where I would “need” that, which is why I still stand with keeping the 75.

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Re: I need to sell one of my Telecasters, help me decide!

Post by Kinx » Tue Mar 12, 2024 6:44 am

I decided to channel my indecision between these two guitars creatively by making a better video about them!

Here's a shootout video between the '75 Telecaster and the Steelcaster I recorded a song with both (each guitar playing for one bar in the song) and then played some chords individually to highlight the differences in sound, sustain, ADSR of the tone, etc.

This is my first attempt at making a video with more than one cut, and I'm not entirely satisfied with the technical aspects of the final output. I spent a ton of time on it, and it turned out as it did, but at least I managed to get it out. 😄 I was going to publish it on my gear review channel, but my channel co-author, who does all the video editing, was against it. He was concerned that my video, due to its low production standard, might hurt the channel's reputation. 😄 Whatever, I'm just genuinely curious if other people hear it the same way as I do.

Oh, and I also got a chance to try out my latest dumpster find: a Sheffield-branded tabletop electronic drum kit. (Spoiler: it broke during the recording, but I managed to salvage it)
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