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

My 72 Custom with odd neck

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Chris_R, May 11, 2015.

  1. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    That's interesting, but in a less exciting way. I'm just taking a break from trying to ease the pick guard off without having to completely remove the strings. I should have pictures soon.
     

  2. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    Some or all of the pots and caps were replaced many years ago, and I didn't ask for the old parts. It looks like one of them might be the original, but I'm having quite a hard time reading it. Looks like B**KO or something like that.
     

  3. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    inside pics. No dates, names, or serial numbers that I can see. I'm not sure if any of these pots are the ones that were on the guitar when I bought it. When I had it repaired a long time ago, they replaced some because they couldn't get original Fender parts, so I had to get volume & tone knobs that looked nothing like the original witch hats or whatever they're called. I've found 2 volume and 1 tone knob (reissues) to make it look more like it used to, but they don't quite fit properly, and I'm still short one tone knob. Anyway, do these photos help determine whether thsi is even a Fender body?
     

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  4. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

    Sep 26, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    That's a third-party (non-Fender) regular Tele body that was routed to accommodate a loaded Tele Custom pickguard.

    Btw, what's stamped on the underside of the humbucker?
     

  5. harold h

    harold h Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2004

    Wow, thats a bummer for sure.

    Shame that there were even scammers back in the 80's putting different
    parts together and calling them Fender.
     

  6. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    Thanks for figuring this out. That's disappointing in that I thought I was the owner of a Fender Telecaster Custom for all these years, and not just a guitar that looks like one. It looks, feels, and sounds great, and it was cheap, so I should probably just put it back together and be happy. It was never ever going to be for sale anyway!


    The number 83874 is stamped on the humbucker.
     

  7. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France

    Or maybe just somebody that wanted to make himself a custom, back in the 70's.


    What makes you sure it's a third-party? Not only the diagonal route I guess.
     

  8. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France
    :cry:

    Sniff, I liked the idea of a lost 4 bolt custom!
     

  9. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    If you want to you can still sell the old parts (neck w tuners, humbucker, bridge PU, pickguard, neck plate) for like 1k or even a bit more.
     

  10. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

    284
    Jul 22, 2014
    Virginia
    I'd still say that a partscaster of that vintage is a unique and interesting instrument in itself. I wouldn't be too ashamed; it's got its own history, both before you purchased it an after you've put all of yours into it.

    That neck would have to be post-CBS but pre-1971, right? The 3-bolt neck was introduced in 1971, and the four-bolt wasn't reintroduced UNTIL 1981 with the Anniversary Strat, correct? I found some dating info for Fenders produced in that general range of years, maybe this will help the OP?

     

  11. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Pot codes are typically 7 digits in the format XXXYYWW where XXX is the manufacturer (137= CTS, 134=Stackpole, etc), YY is the year and WW is the week within the year.

    Here are the controls of my '73...

    [​IMG]

    Clearly the body didn't originally come with those routes. And your bridge is a 6-saddle which Fender didn't produce until the mid 70's.

    Do you know what the bladed bridge pickup is? It's also not Fender.

    It's still an interesting guitar that you have a lot of history with.
     

  12. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Not quite. The 4-bolt remained in production throughout as the standard Tele never went to the 3-bolt version.
     

  13. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

    284
    Jul 22, 2014
    Virginia
    Well, you are absolutely correct. I never knew that, thank you.
     

  14. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France
    Absolutely.
     

  15. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

    Sep 26, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    The 3-bolt first appeared in 1971 on model year 1972 Thinlines and Customs. It was also used on the Deluxe. As was said, the regular Tele remained 4-bolt throughout the 70s.

    The stamp on this neck is the correct and the only format used during 1972, and would make the completed neck ready for assembly in either very late 72 or early 73.

    I've never given any credence to the date code info that you posted about 1969 to 1971 date codes, and attributed to Greg Gagliano. First, that code was actually first used in 1968, not 1969, and I've never seen any 1971 neck with that code. But it doesn't work for the vast majority of examples that I've seen over the decades, it simply doesn't work, or when it does, it doesn't make sense given the other dating clues with the instrument. Seems like people always used that to arrive at 1969, irrespective of other indicators or common sense.

    Additionally, with the 8-digit code that began use in 1973, online resources state that the seventh digit represents the year, but there's oodles of examples where that's impossible. In those cases, the eighth digit represents the year. Obviously they used different stamps and transposed the last two digits.

    Keep in mind, the neck stamps don't date the guitar, or even the neck. It just helps.

    As for prototypes and one-offs... It just didn't happen. Except for a few well-known instruments in private hands, I'm aware of no Fender prototype Tele from the 50s, 60s, or 70s ever entering the marketplace. There is no bigger red flag than a seller using that word or suggesting that anything goes with Fender. That's always making an excuse for a problematic guitar. There were no 4-bolt Custom v2s, Thinline v2s, or Deluxe. Another common example is the occassional Bigsby Tele being represented as factory original but with pass-through holes in the body. The seller will inevitably argue that Fender grabbed a body to fulfill an order. Nonsense. Whenever I've encountered that and convinced the seller to remove the bridge and show me that no conventional bridge had ever been mounted on the body, we always find that it had been, demonstrating that it's not an original guitar. And on and on...
     

  16. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    No, I've never had any intention of selling this guitar, or parts of it. I've had it for 34 years, and I love it, and over the years I've tried many other guitars, but always came back to this one. It's the guitar I used live and in the studio throughout the 80s, and finding out that it's not a legitimate Fender Telecaster doesn't change that. In fact, over the years I've taken it in to be worked on, had a pickup replaced, pots replaced, tone and volume knobs, and one of the tuning pegs wore out, so I had it replaced - all with non-Fender replacement parts. Eventually I'd like to replace those newer parts with proper Fender parts so it's closer to the guitar I originally bought, even if it isn't the real deal. Seriously, it's an excellent guitar, just too bad it's a fake.

    What's interesting to me is that nobody at any of the guitar shops I took it to ever mentioned to me that my guitar was suspect. You'd think people who do that sort of thing for a living would have noticed something like that.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

  17. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    That pickup is one I replaced the Fender pickup with at some point. I believe it's a Seymour Duncan, but I can't quite remember for sure.

    And yes, we have quite a history together, so I'm keeping it. The guy (or girl)
    who put it together built a fine instrument that's served me well.
     

  18. Chris_R

    Chris_R TDPRI Member

    23
    May 11, 2015
    Toronto
    That's exactly how I'm going to think of it. A one of a kind vintage mostly Fender Partsocaster. If I was famous and dead, it would be worth a fortune because it was my main guitar and it's the only one like it. Since I'm not, well it's not worth much. But then it didn't cost me much in the first place, so I'm not going to whine about being deceived 34 years ago when even if it was a Telecaster Custom, I wouldn't have realized what I had.

    The good thing is that I regretted being so hard on the guitar over the years once I realized what I (thought) I had. I'm seeing vintage '72 Customs selling for small fortunes, and thought, "I wish I'd kept mine in pristine condition". Not that I ever planned to sell it anyway, but still. But now I don't care that it's beaten and battered and scarred. It's got character.
     

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    Last edited: May 13, 2015

  19. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

    Sep 26, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    You'd think. But, sadly, it's not the case. And there's currently banter in another forum here about a video showing Dan Erlewine dismantling a famous guitar, but in the video he interprets the most basic Fender neck date stamp incorrectly, and there's no shortage of vague and inexplicably incorrect written Gruhn appraisals (I've seen so many of them now that I no longer pay any attention to them).
     

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