“I’m shocked. I never had any clue.” Those are the words of a Santa Clara, California man upon learning the value of a old guitar passed down from his Grandma. Of course, it wasn’t just any guitar, but a 1953 Fender Telecaster, black guard, along with an original hard shell case, ashtray bridge cover, and a Fender Deluxe amplifier. Grandma was no rocker like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but she did teach guitar for 50 years. She saved the original purchase receipt, too, and this little guitar/amp combo cost her $225 back in the day. Current value, according to Antiques Roadshow? $30,000.
On the air since 1997 (and 1979 in the U.K.), Antiques Roadshow has seen its fair share of big money appraisals—the record going to some rhino horn teacups, valued at $1.5 million. While not worth nearly as much, there have been many Telecasters on the show. Here’s a list, with links to the videos.
1951 left-handed Tele made by Tadeo Gomez
Story: Owner’s father purchased it new and played it until he was 95 years old.
Appraised value: $30,000 to $35,000
Response upon learning value: “Wow.”
Watch the video:
1957 Telecaster with case
Story: Owner’s father was a professional musician and Fender dealer, who sold Fender guitars and amps out of his house.
Appraised value: $25,000 (2013)
Response upon learning value: “Really?”
Watch the video:
1960 and 1964 Telecasters
Story: Owner bought ’60 Tele in 1963 for $50 from a man down on his luck; 1964 Tele purchased new.
Appraised Value: $30,000 – $35,000 (2013)
Response upon hearing value: “Wow. I didn’t pay too much for them then, I guess.”
Watch the video:
STORY: Owner’s father played in a a cowboy band in the ’50s. Purchased the guitar in 1954 for $300. Played it for several years, then put it in the basement for half a century.
Appraised Value: $35,000 (2014)
Response after hearing value: “Oh, my gosh. Okay. My husband will be very happy. Wow. We had no idea it was worth that much”
Watch the video:
Cheers to you if you own a Telecaster worthy of Antique’s Roadshow. Just don’t celebrate with a drink in a rhino horn teacup!
“I happen to think that the great spirit God made us all, put us all here for a reason. And all of us have something to do, and I think we have — there’s a word I used to hear a lot called “Your Brother’s Keeper.” So I believe that I am my brother’s keeper. So, I think that there’s a place for playing the guitar. There’s a place for singing the blues.” – BB King
September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015
If it ain’t dead
Maybe in the here after
Instead of tears
I’ll learn all about laughter
But meanwhile I’m stuck out here
It just ain’t fair, but I know
I said I know
Oh yes, I know
There must be a better world somewhere
There’s just gotta be
Gotta be a better world somewhere
Richie Sambora put a crystal-covered Fender Telecaster up for auction on Friday, May 1. It was part of the Barnstable Brown Gala, a traditional party held before the Kentucky Derby. Sambora played the gala, along with Alice Cooper guitarist, Orianthi. The well-heeled crowd loved the show, and the Tele—it sold for $27,000. All proceeds went to diabetes research.
The guitar started as a Jet Black Limited Edition Fender Tele Cabronita with Gretsch-style filtron pickups. Sambora then consulted with customizer Robert Kantor to create a design to honor the Kentucky Derby. That design was hand painted on the Tele, then covered with thousands of crystals, placed one at a time—a tedious process that took a week.
Sambora owns several guitars by Kantor, which start from $3000 – $30,000.
“The beauty of this guitar symbolizes hope, and trust me, it comes alive when I hold it,” Sambora said. Last year, Sambora auctioned another Kantor design for $32,000.
For more information, head to Kantor Guitars.
If you’d like compare Sambora’s skills on a Telecaster to Orianthi’s, check out this video:
Hang around TDPRI.com long enough, and you’ll discover it’s filled with many great players—some of them, world class (and even world famous.) But we also have some great builders of T-style guitars, and amplifiers. If you’ve ever browsed the Shock Brother’s DIY AMPS forum and thought, “I wish I could make that,” then maybe it’s time for your first amplifier build. If so, the new Mod 102+ from Mod Kits DIY might be just the ticket.
The Mod 102+ has a classic American circuit design with a British style Class A output section. Powered by an EL84 and an ECC803 (a long plate 12AX7 known for its complex mid range tones), this amp is completely analogue. It features a three position progressive toggle switch for off/standby/power, and push-pull functionality for each control: pull out the bass control knob for “mid boost,” pull out the treble control knob for “bright,” pull out the volume control knob for “turbo.”
The amp sounds clean and warm from 1 to 5; from 5 to 10 you’re in overdrive territory, so if blues or classic rock is your thing, you’ll be happy with what you hear.
According to Mod Kits DIY, you don’t have to have any technical skills or assembly experience—”the instructions will explain everything and we are always happy to help through e-mail if there are still questions. The novice who approaches the project with patience and follows the instructions carefully will be in good shape.” Plan on spending 8-plus hours on the project, but make it a two-day weekend thing and you might enjoy it even more. All parts are included; you just need to supply a soldering iron, solder, screwdrivers, etc.
The Mod 102+ costs $265.
For more information, including assembly instructions, head here:
Do you have experience with Mod Kits DIY products? Give us the scoop.