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I met an old friend, got a surprise

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Rollmeaway, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Yep, neck plate date is definitely '71, and from the natural patina of the finish I don't doubt it's a '71. The Clapton story is certainly wrong based on dates, unless he bought a couple more.

    Removing the neck does not hurt the guitar at all. It *has* to be done to adjust the truss rod. Necks are commonly removed to verify dates on vintage pieces where there are neck stamps. Verification on one like this is threefold plus - neck plate (which is easily switched - I have a "reverse plate switch" problem , a '62 Jazz bass with a '68 plate!), neck stamp, pot dates, and wiring, finish inside cavities and neck pocket, pickups, solder joints, and any pencil marks.

    This guitar should not have solder joints touched unless there are failed pots, pickup or jack. I suggest not doing much in the way of polishing (just clean it). It'd likely be a nice player, but the other option is selling it. A '71 like this with the case in that condition (once the year is verified), even with minor corrosion, may fetch a premium over Vintage Price Guide high "book" price. And that's not an insignificant amount!
     
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  2. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    41
    Jun 26, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Yep, I'm sure a buyer would want to see the neck and body routs. I know I would before laying down big bucks.

    I am a former vintage Harley rider and builder. This is the typical '49 Panhead found in a barn that we used to dream of.

    I don't know what my friend intends to do with it. I think he got his hopes raised by my interest and excitement over the guitar in the several hours I hung out there.

    I'm no expert on guitars or a luthier. I have been around guitars since a child. My father was a gigging guitarist since before my memory. He taught me what he knew about guitars and I learned a lot on my own. I know my friend, and I examined this guitar for several hours and researched it online with every free resource I could. I have never seen anything like it. I put no stock in my friend's Clapton connection. My friend had a stroke or something similar. He lost oxygen to his brain for a significant time and went into a coma. I think he's a little confused. He is adamant that an employee of the Fender company who worked at the factory in New Jersey gave him one of the guitars that EC ordered. Fender never had a factory on the east coast. I called Fender direct and they confirmed it. Personally, I think his friend worked at a dealership and might have mentioned that EC had a guitar like this one. The years and his stroke might have him believing a dream.

    I believe this guitar was either a factory workers guitar or a Fender dealers guitar. Either way, I have no problem, knowing Bobby as long as I do, that the guitar has never had enough playing time on it to put any discernible wear on the frets or fret board. He took possession of it back in '71 or '72. From first hand examination of it, I believe the neck, pick guard and control plate have never been removed. The guitar has only had one string change in its lifetime. That was about 20 years ago. What is strange is the case. It has a logo on it that Fender only used in one year, 1966!

    I so wish that I could re-string it and set it up. And see if there is any ID that would give me more insight to the guitar. I called Fender and they confirmed that 1971 was the last year considered transition to CBS. It might have parts on it that that date to before '71. They were still using stock that was bought and built in bulk prior to the date on the neck plate. I don't know, I'd just like to see him sell it to someone who will take care of it properly and play it. Would cleaning the frets when re-stringing it devalue it in any way?
     

  3. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I've had several like that one pass through the vintage broker I've worked with, and it simply looks like a stock '71 that's in excellent condition. There's no way to ID it as a worker or dealer guitar and there's nothing unusual about it. It's not rare - just in better condition than most.
     
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  4. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Helsinki, Finland
    My '69 has no stamp either.
     
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  5. vanguard

    vanguard Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2007
    Charleston, SC
    You'd be surprised how many folks F up neck mounting holes, over-tighten and warp the plate into the body, etc.

    lots of other weird things can happen too: factory shims come flying out, neck bolts catch in body and neck holes upon reinsertion (leading the layman to torque harder and potentially cause serious structural damage), cutting new threads into the neck holes rather than reverse threading first to find the original threads, etc.

    Really, it can cause a lot of harm.
     
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  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    What a sad opinion you have of everyone.

    This ain't rocket surgery... removing 4 screws is within the grasp of a lot more people than you give them credit for.
    Shims don't "come flying out" ... they are not possessed by voodoo.
    So your judgement of people you don't know is that they are all too stupid to take a screw out and put a screw back in without cross threading it?

    This is not hard to do.

    .
     
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  7. vanguard

    vanguard Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2007
    Charleston, SC
    We're not talking driving screws into the new mailbox post, or removing a battery door from a remote control, we're talking about disassembling and reassembling a precision musical instrument. My opinions of "people I don't know" are irrelevant. I know that the average guitar player may not know about over-tightening, cross-threading, neck screws binding in the body, etc. Why would this make them stupid? This is specialized knowledge gained from experience and/or training. I would not remove and replace a component of my car motor myself, even if it were just held on by screws. Why? Because I know it may not be as simple as it appears, and I've never been shown how by someone who knows what they're doing.

    I think your wild assumptions about my general outlook on humanity say a lot more about your own cynicism than anything I've said.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    How sad to think you can't do something without trying. As my uncle used to say "Can't never could do anything".
    I rebuilt car and motorcycle engines since I was a kid. I have built a number of guitars from lumber.
    Good thing I didn't believe anyone that said "you can't do that".
     

  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    All numbers need to be known...neck, neck plate, body dates if any, and the pot codes. This will establish the 'can be no older than' date. Outside of that, many times the exact year cannot be known. That serial number could place the guitar in two or three...or more years.
    The story that comes with it is of little use or value, imho. IF there was documentation to establish that Clapton did try this guitar along wi the Hyde Park Tele and chose not to take this one, I don't know what that would mean in the marketplace. To me, it is meaningless. To someone else???? Who knows??
     
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  10. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    41
    Jun 26, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Its been a while but my friend Bobby passed through Fayetteville on the way to Raleigh about two weeks ago.

    He stopped at my housed for a few hours to shoot the breeze. While he was here, he dropped off the guitar being discussed in this thread.

    He gave my carte blanche to clean it up and restring it. Also to disassemble it to more accurately date it and see exactly what he has.

    I though it had a smugglers rout body because vof the light weight, but nope. Its a three piece body. One large piece on the cutaway section (lower bout) through the other side of the bridge plate. Then a piece about 1 1/2", then one more piece to complete the upper bout.
    DSCN1590.JPG

    Here is the stamp on the neck heel:

    DSCN1558.JPG

    Here is are the stamps in the neck pocket. You can't see the photo that well but it's a faded "T. Chambers". Also there is the beginning of another name stamped but covered mostly by paint. It looks like "F. Pe???". There is a 4 letter stamp "REZA". Maybe some of you more experienced members could comment on these stamps:

    RSCN1592.JPG

    And last, under the control plate. CTS pots from the huge batch Fender apparently bought in '66. I read the date codes as Aug '66.

    DSCN1588.JPG

    RSCN1591.JPG
    I'd appreciate any opinions. More to come.
     
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  11. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Holic

    746
    Jul 28, 2012
    Here & Now
    So its a 1971 Tele.... sad that a nearly untouched vintage instrument has just joined the ranks of the myriad that have been disassembled/scrutinised for really little gain. IMO, spending some time referencing The Telecaster Book by A.R. Duchocssoir would have achieved the same results.
    Most folks would probably disagree but in my mind it has been 'devaliued' in that it just lost alot of its unique appeal.
    My .02.
     
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  12. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    41
    Jun 26, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    Here is the bottom of the bridge assembly and pickup. Nothing was written in the rout.
    DSCN1593.JPG

    Now, having such a detailed look at the guitar, and further history of it from Bobby about the previous owner, it seems like this guitar was gigged quite a bit. After cleaning the frets a little, they were worn down to their last level, crown and polish.

    Amazingly, the neck was nice and straight. I was able to round off the flat, worn frets without taking much off what was left of the height. They are nice and level and polished like little mirrors. But the guitar needs a refret very soon.

    I have to say that for being stored in a closet for about forty five years, the finish is very nice. I think being out of the light for all those years is why there is no fading evident in the paint from under the PG to the uncovers paint.

    When I pulled the PG of my son's '74 competition red Fender Mustang the color difference was striking. Beautiful red under the PG. Faded almost orange outside. But that Mustang has been out and played hard all its life.

    I don't know if you can see it, but here is a pic of the frets before I touched them.
    DSCN1524.JPG
    Not much left.

    Anyway, it went back together with all the original parts. I set it up. Very low action. I set the original steel barrel saddles so the intonation was a compromise. The next owner can put compensated saddles in if he wants.

    Sounds great, plays great. I'm not used to the fat chunky solid neck though.

    I'll play it for a while, enjoy it, and pass it back to Bobby. Hopefully he can find a good home for it.
     
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  13. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Holic

    746
    Jul 28, 2012
    Here & Now
    Good to hear its been played and has logged many hours of use... sounds like it plays and sounds as good as it looks now. I'm sure it will find a good home - I'd dig having it in my arsenal.
     
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  14. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    Great story & a beautiful Tele...thanks!!
     

  15. Rollmeaway

    Rollmeaway TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    41
    Jun 26, 2016
    Fayetteville, NC
    2HG, Please, don't take it so hard. Here is a portion of Gruhn instruments appraisal.


    "I have examined the attached photos of the instrument described below, but have not seen the instrument itself. Below is my estimate, based on these photos, of the instrument’s value; however, it is not possible to judge from photos alone the exact state of originality and need of repair, so my appraisal is only accurate insofar as the photos are representative of the actual condition of the instrument.

    We certify the instrument described below is, in our opinion, a Fender Telecaster Custom model electric guitar, made in the year 1971."

    "We fully expect that any vintage instrument will need normal setup work as well as cleaning and detailing."

    "We were unable to make an in-hand assessment of the pickups, potentiometers, selector switch, capacitors and wiring, but for the purposes of this appraisal we assume them to be correct (no interior photos provided to Gruhn Guitars). The instrument is currently housed in the original hard-shell case with black Tolex exterior covering and red plush interior lining."

    Current market value: $8,000 (eight thousand dollars)

    Joe Spann - Gruhn Guitars
    2120 8th Avenue S
    Nashville, TN 37204

    Now, if I was going to lay down anything near that number, I would want to see what has been shown here. I have a series of about forty photographs of the details that a world renowned vintage instrument dealer wants to see. So why would a private buyer not want to see the same?

    And as the appraisal goes on:

    "We fully expect that any vintage instrument will need normal setup work as well as cleaning and detailing."

    I see no problem here.

    Best Regards, Danny...
     
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  16. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Holic

    746
    Jul 28, 2012
    Here & Now
    I'm sure most folks not well versed in Pre and Post CBS Fender instruments would. My point was that for a vintage guitar that likely was never taken apart it would IMO have been nice to leave it as it was. I realise your friend is looking to sell so understandably he has to go via the 'standard' route. Based on the initial pics and its appointments tho it was pretty easy to suss out it was a 1971 model and all stock. The aforementioned Telecaster book is a great resource.
    Cheers~
     
    Rollmeaway likes this.

  17. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    Athens-GREECE
    You are pulling our leg aren't you?
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I have seen exactly two vintage Fender guitars that I knew without a doubt were totally original just by looking at them as a whole....one was a 1953 blackgaurd and one was a dead mint 1963 Strat. The Tele in this thread is a clean looking guitar. Presented with it, I would have wanted to see the details....and no transaction would have been made unless those details were revealed. IMHO and ime, there is no lessening of value if those details are made visible...neck dates, control cavity details, pickup details, etc.....as long as the person removing screws knows how to use screwdrivers without damaging screws.

    I am not questioning the originality of anything here in this guitar, but I have to observe that that is a wide span of time for those 1966 potentiometers to have sat in the bottom of the parts bin, isn’t it? I don’t recall having seen such a difference in component date codes and a build date...4-6 years.
    It is a really nice looking guitar for a ‘70’s Tele....even though I don’t like ‘two tone’ necks.
     

  19. Neon Soul

    Neon Soul TDPRI Member

    72
    May 4, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Well which is it?
     

  20. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    857
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    Looks beautiful! Your friend has a great vintage guitar there.

    And you did the right thing.
     

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