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Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974) If you've got a 1973 or earlier Telecaster this forum is for you to discuss your vintage Telecaster.


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Old July 8th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Opinions on 70s teles please

So my dream tele is a late 60's (66-68) blonde / white plate / maple neck.

But unless I sell a few beloved guitars I'm looking at a 70s model.

Thoughts please on the reduction in quality post CBS and into the 70's?

I have a '76 custom which sounds fantastic (very very rich creamy sound, even on the bridge pup), but is tricky to setup, and goes out of setup more quickly than my modern teles, I'd quite like to avoid this sort of thing, but difficult to tell unless you've had one for a while. I also don't like the thick poly finish - I also had a 78 mustang with a super thick ploy finish that chipped really easily one a hole had started - opinions on the post nitro early 70s ply finishes please?

I'll probably be buying on ebay too - I'm pretty experienced at that tho, don't mind the risk of getting a true dog, they can always be moved on at little loss...

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Old July 8th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A new 52 RI is a better guitar than any 70's model. IMHO...
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Old July 8th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For the same money, you could get a Custom Shop re-creation of whatever 60's model (or 50's model) you want.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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or the same money, you could get a Custom Shop re-creation of whatever 60's model (or 50's model) you want.

....well I got a CS that is pretty much how I like it, I play it loads but it just feels knid of too new... I do like and old played in neck..... the older ones do have more soul
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Old July 8th, 2013, 11:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think nothing replaces old wood, and at least the tellies from the 70's are old wood. Quality is lower, it's true, poly finish isn't as sweet, it's true, but you can find some incredibly sounding instruments. Sometimes it's worth modifying the electronics, changing wires, changing pickups. My first vintage telly was a 72 refined in natural nitro with rewound pickup at bridge and Dimarzio twang king at neck. One of the best sounding telecaster ever. I didn't like much the neck (I have small hands, so my feeling to the neck is a priority), so I sold it to a friend professional musician that still talks of it to me each time we meet as his favorite telecaster. I had a good 75 and now I kept another 72 with a neck I like a lot and that sounds great too (with great modern copies of vintage pickups, crafted in Paris). You can find food for vintage starving in the 70's, with really enjoyables instruments. And starting from there, when you take some bites of the oldest woods, you know exactly why it's even so much better!! Yum.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Fender's quality control was at rock bottom in the 70's and the thick poly finish wasn't their finest moment either.

They made a lot of bad guitars and they also made some great ones. Saying a brand new guitar is better than any 70's model just isn't true - like saying that any 50s guitar is better than any modern guitar - there some crap guitars that slipped through the net at every stage in Fender's history as well as some amazing ones.

Regarding '70s ones vs 60's or earlier, you'll probably have to kiss a higher number of frogs before you find your prince(ss).

I'd put my mid '70s Tele custom up against any other Fender from any era - even with its 3 bolt tilt neck (which standard Teles of that era never got).
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Old July 8th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"...for the money..." is another good reason to buy an original vintage guitar. It's always nice to have original instruments and they would typically resell for the same value too. A new guitar is like a new car when you drive it off the lot, only the original buyer is paying retail for it. I know that guitars are tools for the working musician, but they are not 'only' tools. When I spend good money on good tools, good guitars can be a considerable investment, and I treat them as such.
A lot of the must-have guitar purchases feed an immediate GAS pain, but if I played out and required something specific it's too easy to build exactly what I want to worry about Vintage of Custom Shop, at a small fraction of the cost as well.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonspaceman0 View Post
or the same money, you could get a Custom Shop re-creation of whatever 60's model (or 50's model) you want.

....well I got a CS that is pretty much how I like it, I play it loads but it just feels knid of too new... I do like and old played in neck..... the older ones do have more soul
Just get one like this.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 12:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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yo

Quote:
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Just get one like this.
Very nice light blonde what year is it 54 - 56?
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Old July 8th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Kind of a combo of early and mid 50's specs.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've never played a 70s tele I liked. I don't want to dog on an entire decade's worth of guitars, but that's been my experience. Furthermore, if its the feel of worn wood you're after, I don't think you'll find it on a 70s tele. They had an extremely thick, sticky finish that didn't wear like a 50s guitar.

Jus tmy opinions
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Old July 8th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well I'm biased, I got my 73 almost new back in high school. Recently I brought it to Rob DiStefano for some attention. The neck pickup was toast, he re wound it and he also removed the original bridge pick up which I found to be kind of ice picky and he installed one of his Cavilier Lions. He removed the entire wiring harness to preserve in case I sell etc and installed new pots, replacing the 1 Meg tone pot with a 250K and a 4 way. Huge tonal improvement as far as I'm concerned. The pickups have some balls for sure.

The guitar itself has a great feel, the neck back is very smooth, the neck is a chunky D, I like big necks and this one doesn't disappoint. The neck pocket is tight as hell. Yes it's poly but I could care less. I'm not much up on vintage guitars, I had a 59 Strat back in the day and from what I can remember all 3 of my newer Strats (2 Am Stds and a 62 Hot Rod are much better). Never had a pre CBS Tele so I can't comment on them.

I also have a CS Nocaster, 52 RI, 52 Hot Rod, Kirn Barn Buster and an AM STD. My 73 holds it's own against all of them especially with the new electronics. I recently A B'd it with my Nocaster, all I can say is both are awesome, I would be very hard pressed to choose one over the other. I'm sure that there where dogs from each era including the 70s but mine isn't one. If it was I would have sold it off and gotten something else.

I took a bunch of pictures the other night, many didn't come out well, poor lighting, will try again, some are ok.

Here's a few pictures of the neck of my Nocaster with the 73's neck, the Nocaster is the lower one:



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Old July 21st, 2013, 06:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a very nice 74 blonde w/RW board. Played and sounded great!
But I sold to fund a maple capped `68, and I haven`t regretted it for one second. The `68 is that much better imo. So save up some extra, and get a late 60s maple cap. You won`t regret it :)
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 03:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Rubbish. There are some great Teles made in the 70's, especially from the very early 1970's. Making a blanket statement like that is ridiculous.

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A new 52 RI is a better guitar than any 70's model. IMHO...
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 07:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a 71 that is better than dan1952's 52ri.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 07:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Some people like the polyester finish on the neck and body. I don't.
Anyway, the OP asked for "opinions." (BTW, I've owned, aside from the ones that have come through my shop in 19 years, over 200 American Teles myself, including a '54 Esquire, a '58 toploader, several '67's with Bigsbys, a '68 maple cap, a '69 maple cap, and more '70's than I can list here...)
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Get a reissue. I've had many real early 60s Teles and also a 67, 72, and 84. The bodies are very heavy and just don't have the feel. The was Fender's worst period. They were overwhelmed with orders and the CBS bean counters were trying to cut costs everywhere...less skilled workers, inferior wood, and stupid "innovations" like the tilt neck aimed at lowering warranty costs.

I have a 2005 Eric Johnson strat and it is, arguably, as good as any 57 ever made. My friends 1997 '57 reissue Strat (v-serial) is here and it is a doozy. Needed more setup work and tweaking than the EJ, but killer.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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It's like any guitar from any year, play it and if you like it buy it.
As mentioned Fender has made great guitars in every year and some not so great.
If you try and buy a guitar based on forum opinions you are more likely to have your head explode and buy nothing.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 02:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dan1952 View Post
Some people like the polyester finish on the neck and body. I don't.
Anyway, the OP asked for "opinions." (BTW, I've owned, aside from the ones that have come through my shop in 19 years, over 200 American Teles myself, including a '54 Esquire, a '58 toploader, several '67's with Bigsbys, a '68 maple cap, a '69 maple cap, and more '70's than I can list here...)
I should have added a Internet doesn't show me snickering when I type these things
What I should have said is that I have a '71 which is outstanding I don't think you can generalize about 10 years worth of guitars. You'll find good and bad ones, and people's tastes vary. So if you like them, and find a good one at a reasonable price I'd get one if I were you :)
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Old July 30th, 2013, 01:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete W View Post
It's like any guitar from any year, play it and if you like it buy it.
As mentioned Fender has made great guitars in every year and some not so great.
If you try and buy a guitar based on forum opinions you are more likely to have your head explode and buy nothing.
This.

I have a '71 that is awesome. Yes, heavy, Fullerplast, poly finish neck, but it has mojo. Knew it when I picked it up in '80. Sometimes they just came together right.

As similar as they may be, regardless of model or year, I simply must lay hands on a Tele to decide if it's one I want to own.
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