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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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50's vs. 60's Tele body shape

Basic question here. Is there any difference between the shape & contours of the 50's & 60's tele's. Do Esquires have the exact same shape as the Tele's?

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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No difference that I know. (Maybe the very early 50's ones had a different radius?)

Esquire and Tele bodies are the same, the Esquire even has a routing for a neck pickup.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think to be a real authentic reissue, Fender would have to use the different
uppoer-bout shape that they used in the late 60s & early 70s, which I don't believe they're using on the reissues. My '70 does have a different shape than is used on the reissues.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think to be a real authentic reissue, Fender would have to use the different
uppoer-bout shape that they used in the late 60s & early 70s, which I don't believe they're using on the reissues. My '70 does have a different shape than is used on the reissues.
The different upper-bout shape didn't occur until the early 70's, so it would be wrong for a 60's reissue to have this.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was really wondering about the actual 50's & 60's Tele's not reissues. Sounds like there is no difference.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was really wondering about the actual 50's & 60's Tele's not reissues. Sounds like there is no difference.
No difference to my knowledge, but I've been wrong before.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think the edge radius is different between the early 50's and later Teles. A quick to spot difference between early 50's Teles and later ones is the neck pocket. The pocket was cut straight and parallel on the treble side.

But if you think about it, necks aren't straight and parallel on the sides. They get wider from the nut to the 21st fret. The result is that a bit of the edge or "lip" of the neck pocket is left exposed below the neck. Fender corrected this around '55 so you won't see it on 60's Teles.

The irony is that the goof is only on the treble side of the neck. So it must have been a screwup in the template.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the edge radius is different between the early 50's and later Teles. A quick to spot difference between early 50's Teles and later ones is the neck pocket. The pocket was cut straight and parallel on the treble side.
It's true that the early 50's Teles had a couple of distinctive characteristics, but still the general body shape was the same, as opposed to the 70's bodies with their different upper-bout shape.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, the question was:

"Is there any difference between the shape & contours of the 50's & 60's tele's."
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, the question was:

"Is there any difference between the shape & contours of the 50's & 60's tele's."
If you read my posts, you'll find that I've answered that question to the best of my ability and then some ...
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Old October 4th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Telemarkman,

I hope I'm not at all dismissing your posts or your answers. Sorry if you got that impression!

In answering SixShooter's original question I was saying that there's at least one more difference in body shape between 50's and 60's Teles than had been mentioned so far. The neck pocket thing is subtle, but it is a difference in body shape. And we're all here to discuss the subtle differences (vive la subtle difference!).
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Old October 4th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Telemarkman...mine's a '70 and has it. I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think the 70s reissues have that feature. I had though (and I'll have to look it up) that the late '60s also had that shape. But, I could be wrong.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Telemarkman...the photos I have of a '69 also have the '70s upper-bout shape. Not sure about the '68s.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 08:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The notch where the upper bout meets the neck pocket went away in 1972. It was gone until 1982. A 69 body should have a strong notch. During 72 there are some strong old-style shapes and notches, some in-between with "incorrect" shape but a little notch filed/carved out, and then no notch. 73 bodies have no hint of the notch.

As for 60s bodies, the diagonal channel rout went away during 1968. That's not a shape or contour change, but an important change.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Telemarkman...the photos I have of a '69 also have the '70s upper-bout shape. Not sure about the '68s.
I'm sorry that I can't post pictures (no digital camera or scanner), but on p.54 in the Duchossoir "bible" there are some good pics of the difference between the upper-bout and neck pocket of a 50's/60's body and a 70's body.

The upper-bout of the 70's one has a flatter curve and the neck pocket lacks the 'notch' of the 50's/60's body. Everything I've read indicates that this change took place in the early 70's - probably during 1972 as slack wrote. So a '72 Reissue would be correct with either of the body shapes, I guess.

Or are we talking about different things?
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Old October 5th, 2008, 05:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Excerpt from the Duchossoir book (including p.54) here!
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Old October 5th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have the "Bible" so I'll give it a look, but here's a '69 that has the same modified notch the '70 has.

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Old October 5th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The first Broadcasters had no wire route...That appeared in 51 (some just had circles cut in!here) and went away in the late 60s. The "notch" changed over the years and you need the "bible" to really see the years and the changes. Also the "Telecaster picture archives" HERE helps alot.
A difference that I have never seen mentioned here is the fact of the "no flat at the jack". The jack flat didn't start to appear until @ the end of 53. And that was VERY slight. That's my contribution to this thread!...no jack flat on the early 50s' teles!!

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Old October 5th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I came across this photo on-line. Not sure who the author is, but according to this photo, there were two different notch designs - the biggest in 1974. Interesting.

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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I came across this photo on-line. Not sure who the author is, but according to this photo, there were two different notch designs - the biggest in 1974. Interesting.


There is obviously a confusion of ideas. The general idea is that the 68, 69 and 71 has a notch (like all 50's, 60's and early 70's bodies), while the 74 has no notch (starting during 72 and continuing until 83). The 74 also has a flatter curve on the upper-bout, even if this isn't very obvious in this picture. But Duchossoir's book shows this very clear.
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