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Help Identifying a '52 Reissue before I get work done on it!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by mingus2112, May 2, 2018.

  1. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    24
    Apr 30, 2018
    NJ
    Hi all,

    I've posted in other threads (including a welcome thread) about my recent acquisition of a '52 Reissue from the 1990s. I'm about to have some work done it and want to make sure all of the parts are authentic before I do so. It was sold to me by the second owner who (and I believe him) claims he did no work on the guitar and didn't believe the original owner did either. Neck date is 1996, but the body date is a little obscured, but it LOOKS like it might even say 1991. I emailed fender and, although prompt and helpful, they said they don't have a record of the bridge serial number, but that they did not have records before 1993. If that's the case, my reading of the body date as 1991 could be correct. He suggested that, based on my pictures, he had no reason to believe any of the pieces were not genuine, but that the neck may have been replaced at some point (given the '96 neck and '91 body). I cracked it open and the pot that I can see (that's not soldered over) reads "019064."

    There is an issue with the bridge being misaligned, which is what I want to get taken care of. I did my homework and, with threads here and elsewhere, i've seen others with a misaligned bridge. So I'm not taking that as an indication of a fake product. The guitar plays perfect, so it's not a functional issue. I just cannot UNsee it now that i've seen it. Now that i've taken off the control plate, I noticed that it may be a little misaligned too. Interesting!

    Since I'm happy with the price I paid (sweet deal) and it plays nice, I just want to know the neck or body aren't aftermarket parts trying to be passed off as the real deal. It plays nice now, but i'd hate for some sob par piece to be a weak point 5 years down the road. Attached are some photos. Any experts out there to reassure me??

    -James
    Capture7.png IMG_20180430_205634.jpg IMG_20180430_205658.jpg IMG_20180430_233415.jpg IMG_20180430_233429.jpg IMG_20180430_233437.jpg IMG_20180430_233508.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    2blue2 likes this.

  2. stardawg77

    stardawg77 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    37
    Nov 7, 2016
    US
    Looks legit...I have the same year RI. My advice would be if it plays good, leave it alone.
     
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  3. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    I don't see the bridge misalignment. Have any other pics that show it?
     

  4. Aztex

    Aztex Tele-Meister

    210
    Mar 31, 2018
    Vaudeville
    Look at the bridge pup route; it's exposed at the low E edge.....

    Yea that's weird to me....

    Az Tex
     

  5. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    That's typical for a '52 AVRI. Mine has it too.
     

  6. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    24
    Apr 30, 2018
    NJ
    Yeah, once you see it, you can't unsee it! If everything else seems legit on it, I'm going to get it realigned. After the response from Fender saying they have no reason to believe otherwise, I should be at ease, but we all like second and third opinions! I've got 30+ guitars, but this is quickly becoming my favorite. If i'm going to play it most, it's worth it putting a little cash (and supporting my local luthier!) into it and making it perfect.

    -James
     

  7. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    887
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    It's normal.
     
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  8. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    24
    Apr 30, 2018
    NJ
    Yeah - The crooked bridge, although not as common as the exposed cavity (butt crack, tele cleavage, etc), is not unusual either. The gap between the pickguard and the bridge at the low E is twice as much as the high E. It's more than i'd like!

    Still, with new callaham saddles AND paying my luthier to realign that (and while he's at it, give it his special sauce setup - i did one already, but he's better) and i'm still under a grand for a sweet axe!
     
    Crobbins likes this.

  9. rocking rooster

    rocking rooster Tele-Meister

    373
    Oct 13, 2011
    Somerset UK
    Err, that is the infamous 52 RI butt-crack. They all do that sir ! Do the strings line up with the bridge pup pole pieces ? Do either of the E strings fall off the edge of the board ? That would be how to judge if the bridge is misaligned.
     
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  10. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    24
    Apr 30, 2018
    NJ
    Lines up as it should! Nothing falls off!
     
    asnarski likes this.

  11. rocking rooster

    rocking rooster Tele-Meister

    373
    Oct 13, 2011
    Somerset UK
    In which case, leave well alone and just play the *$&?# out of it
     

  12. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    If everything lines up properly now, everything will line up less properly by moving the bridge to cover the exposed route. The bridge pickup poles should still line up well enough, but the string alignment with the neck will get wacky with one E or the other being too close to the edge. Maybe the neck can be loosened and moved a bit to compensate for that, but you'll need a conversation with the tech to validate that before he/she starts plugging and drilling holes under the bridge.

    If I were me, I'd leave it alone and just stop looking at it. The visible route has a been an occasional feature since about 1950.
     

  13. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    Does the back of the headstock have a 50 year anniversary decal?
    I believe that the factory didn't do their best work documenting these guitars. Mine is a '96, and they said they can't find my serial number either... but like yours, seems completely legit...AND it's my go to performance guitar -
    But I'm pretty sure ALL 1996 guitars came with a commemorative sticker/decal on the rear of headstock
     

  14. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Your guitar and your choice BUT I can't see plugging and re-drilling holes over such small deal. In my work I occasionally have customers that get super nit-picky over things that aren't meant to be, and can never be, absolutely perfect. More often than not, in trying to satisfy them, things just get worse. They don't get that wood is wood, cabinets are never square, and even the appliances aren't square. Usually they're engineers with bad OCD, which I can understand. I'm OCD a bit as well, but have learned when to say "when" and move on.

    BTW it could be that if you loosen the bridge, pickguard and control plate screws, you may be able to nudge one one way a bit, and the other the other way etc, and make it all better. May be just enough play between them all to make it work, because it's not that far off.
     

  15. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    virginia
    as has been said- leave it and don't try and fix something like this
     
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  16. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    750
    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    Time for a custom made pick guard and control plate to mask the gaps.
     

  17. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

    Aug 13, 2007
    ME
    I have a 52 AVRI with the butt crack too. I would agree with those saying don't have the body redrilled and bridge plate remounted. You might loosen the mounting screws and be able to square up the front of the bridge to be a bit more parallel with the back edge of the pickguard and even file that back edge of the pickguard to be more parallel if that bothers you THAT MUCH, but I definitely would not redrill the body and just accept the "butt crack" as a quirky(and authentic) "FEATURE".
     

  18. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2011
    Perth Australia
    It looks very much like my 1988 Tele which I have modded quite a lot, but nothing that can't be unmodded.
    If you like the standard, factory specs, then leave it as is and playyyyyyyyyyy!
     

  19. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    Oh - forgot to mention, it has great pickups already :). My .02
     
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  20. Crobbins

    Crobbins Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    Butt crack.:D
     
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