Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Early '70s Thinline Telecaster oddity

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by metalhead525, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. metalhead525

    metalhead525 TDPRI Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    Omaha, Nebraska
    1.jpg 2.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 8.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg Hello all. Recently inherited this old Thinline Telecaster. Let me just say, I have been playing for near 30 years now. Mainly a high end Ibanez player (JEMs and the like). This has been in the family since '74. My Dad purchased used in '74 for $250 at a music store here in town to use at a local high school when he was the music director. My stepfather purchased it from him in the early '80s and has sat pretty much untouched since then. Dating it has been a bit of a mystery. The neck plate is from '70. The neck stamp is dated APR 1972. Has a black guard. 2 string guides, with 1 being original and the second seems correct for a later Tele. Electronics check out with the switch and pots being correct at least. The bass side of the neck pocket is not notched either. Original case looks correct minus the Fender logo. Really not sure what to make of it or what date to put on it for insurance purposes. I was told to contact Gruhn Guitars in Nashville for an appraisal. Any thoughts?
  2. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Holic

    Mar 2, 2016
    My thoughts are that you can sell your Ibanezes. Nice guitar!
  3. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 6, 2007
    One tiny question. Best info I can easily find is that the Mk 1 to Mk 2 transition happened "in 1971."

    Tried searching in tdpri to get exact date, came up short. So '70 Thinlines are Mk 1s, and are part of 1971 production?

    And you've got a '72 neck -- but which doesn't say "Thinline" like a Mk2 neck does (see '72 Thinline reissue). Is this a replaced neck?

    Nice looking guitar, by the way.
  4. metalhead525

    metalhead525 TDPRI Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    Omaha, Nebraska
    My Dad thought that possibly the neck may have been replaced under a warranty situation. He bought it used from a Fender dealer here that is no longer in business. Still the non-notched neck pocket and black guard are odd. And the extra string tree looks original with the plastic piece under it.
    Never gonna happen. This tele stays too.
  5. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 9, 2010
    No much help here- but it would make sense if the neck was replaced- beautiful condition on that guitar and
  6. metalhead525

    metalhead525 TDPRI Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I guess the notched neck pocket is correct for a '70. There was a guide that showed the notch on the top but found another with pics of the different years and how it was changed. Notched backside shown on mine. Also pics of the string guides which I think are correct for a '72 neck. IMG_1254.JPG IMG_1255.JPG
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  8. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 21, 2016
    Rhode Island
    Man no way I'd let that baby go. Pure and magnificent sweetness.

    Fender in the 70's pulled a lot of parts out of the bins. With those electronics, certainly the parts could have hung around a couple years.

    That solder all looks virgin, man what a nice guitar. I'd say start wearing it out today. Not really worth enough in my view to do otherwise. If it was a 72 Thinline with Lovers maybe.

    Play it and love it and build your musical world around it!
    metalhead525 likes this.
  9. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

    I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts:

    IIRC, you should not be seeing version 1 thin line Tele's by 1972. The neck, however, does look pretty good. Maybe the extra string tree. I would say it's a real '72 neck. The neck pickup doesn't look like an original Fender from the late sixties/early seventies. The guard shouldn't be black, so I call that a replacement. The body may be a real 68-71 body. Is that mahogany? I would call it a partscaster essentially. Maybe your dad's story of the neck replacement is correct. I also think the neck pickup may have been changed.
  10. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    Feb 9, 2014
    NE US
    Looks like an original partscaster, in the good way.

    Certainly a Thinline body before the humbuckers in '72. Is the body ash or mahogany? Almost looks like mahogany grain but they looked more reddish and yours looks natural like ash.

    The pickguard looks real good but I think the curve at the front lower bout looks a little off. Is the edge beveled or straight?

    The neck. A '72 Thinline neck would have the word "Thinline" on the headstock and it would have a bullet truss rod and a 3 bolt tilt neck attachment to the body. That is a '72 standard Telecater neck, but that's exactly what the original neck would be except some were 2 piece with a separate fingerboard.

    The pots date to '66 which is common on early '70's Fenders, they bought a bunch in '66.

    If you can. please take a shot of the back of the guitar. There should be 2 1/8 inch dowels I think in the center, one below the neck plate and the other an inch or so from the bottom. They might be elsewhere but there should be 2 plugged holes in the back. They were used for pin routers. Thanks.

    Thinlines with single coil pickups are very nice and valuable guitars. Even with the replaced neck it's worth a lot. Enjoy it but keep it in the same shape it's in if you can. Hope it plays as well as it looks.
  11. metalhead525

    metalhead525 TDPRI Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Thanks for the info. Trying to gather as much as I can for an insurance appraisal. This will be handed down to my son someday. It is a mahogany body. Much darker than ash. The pickguard is straight edged, not beveled, and is fully shielded. They are very difficult to see but there are 2 small round spots in the places you mentioned. Shocking to me, but I plugged it in and everything works and sounds great. Truss needed no adjustment. Neck still had proper relief. I put a set of 10's on it but I think it needs 9's if the scale is 25 1/2. Not good for Metallica but plays Brown Sugar by the Stones really well.
    Mr Ridesglide and RodeoTex like this.
  12. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    Feb 9, 2014
    NE US
    Thanks for checking for the dowels, just another way to verify a real Fender body from that era. And the pickguard may very well be original although Fender was into multi-ply ones by then.

    So glad to hear it's a family heirloom now, it really should be.
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