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Need some help with 1972 Telecaster

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Tarheels1, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Tarheels1

    Tarheels1 TDPRI Member

    Jun 13, 2017
    North Carolina
    I just bought a 1972 Fender Telecaster that I'm hoping is all original. However, I don't have much knowledge on Vintage guitars and was hoping to get some help with some questions.

    1) Looks like 1966 vintage Pots, both 1 Meg Ohm. Would this be original to a 72 telecaster?
    2) The Inspector/Hang Blue Tag. Its odd from others I have seen as theres no writing per say, but stamps. What is the 55412 Red number at the top mean. Could this be dated to being original to the telecaster?
    3) Looks like the strap still has the tag on it. Would this be proper for a 70's telecaster.
    4) Is this the style case that would have been included with 72 telecasters?

    Only have these pictures for now. It should arrive tomorrow and I'll check the pickups and get some better pics. I have a three day inspection period on it so hoping to get a good feel about originality. This guitar is cool to me since the neck date (Jan 72) is my birth month and year.

    Have not figured out the pictures yet.

    Here's the link to the pictures that can be pasted in.
    Slim Chance likes this.

  2. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Have you "dated" that serial number against the FMIC information?

    That 374230 serial number looks correct for a late 1972 production, but MAY be called a '73 model because the Fender production-year began in Sept when they issued the new catalogs and price lists:

    • 1972 = 345,000-thru-379,999

    FWIW, your '72 looks almost identical to my '68 when I bought it new in 1968. All the tags look familiar, but that was 46+ years ago!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
    CWP0126 likes this.

  3. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Tele-Meister

    Apr 2, 2016
    Sweet looking Tele! Where are you buying this from? I only ask because from your post it sounds like it is an internet purchase.

    I am no expert at all compared to others here, but there are a couple of things that I would look out for:

    I don't see any dowel marks on the back of the guitar. I'm not 100% positive, but I thought '72s still had dowel marks. They may be there and I just can't see them through the trans finish.

    Does the neck pocket have the notch? '72s should have a smaller notch, but it is also about the time Fender started phasing it out.

    The tags look like they may be legit, although I've never seen the blue one before. The different names on the blue tag look like quality control stamps vs the builder stamps on the body and neck, makes sense!

    As Old Tele Man said the serial number checks out for '72. Neck stamp looks good for '72. '66 pots were used well into the early 1970s. I think you have a winner there my friend! If it's all original is hard to tell, but I sure would fall for it. When you get it home please tear it apart and post all of the pics you can!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

  4. Tarheels1

    Tarheels1 TDPRI Member

    Jun 13, 2017
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the info guys. Bought this from Guitar center in IL online. Supposedly from talking to the guy they had a vintage show in the area a few weeks ago. The Hollywood guy flew in from the show and bought it for the store. So I have three days from when it arrives to return if I want.

    The hang tags is the confusing part for me. Agree the stamps are probably quality control stamps. The red number at the top must be some model date code but have not seen one like it from searching around to see if that can be decided to prove original to the guitar.

    It arrives tonight so I'll take it apart and get a proper photo shoot if it and post the pics to see if that can be more help.

  5. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2003
    Santa Clara
    I can't add anything related to its authenticity, but I can say that is one beautiful guitar!

    Happy NGD!

  6. kapepper

    kapepper TDPRI Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Looks great! Congrats,

  7. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 29, 2005
    Most everything is already said. The serial number looks maybe late 72 into 73 but numbers were all over the place in that era. It seems to have the transition notch (72) but two string trees & the gasket below the neck plate which would drift towards 73.
    Seriously nice guitar with no obvious issues - enjoy.
    By the way my 73 model had that blue tag on it - never kept any of the case candy but still have the guitar.

  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Date-wise it's certainly possible. They bought pots by the thousands and tossed them into bins, pulling at random. Dating by pots is very unreliable. In your case the neck date is very important and is correct; the body markings are typical of early -70's; the wiring looks untouched (although it's hard to be 100% sure in a picture); and the tuners are the correct typember and irrelevant for any other use. The neck plate is a late '72/early '73; they can easily be switched, so the important things are the neck (including tuners), body and electronics. You don't show the pickups, which are really important - but based on the wiring I'm guessing you're probably OK.

    But there's a lesson here - never buy a vintage guitar online that you haven't already vetted unless it's purchased from a known vintage dealer. It's very easy to get burned. And other than the Hollywood Vintage Room, Guitar Center is NOT the best place to find an authentic one. Most of the individual stores do not have expert buyers on staff.

    Major vintage dealers and brokers like Gruhn, Mandolin Brothers, Elderly, Drew Berlin's Vintage Guitars and other long-time vintage sellers are safe, but many guitar stores aren't - or their items need to be checked by experts who can look at pics and verify authenticity. They usually aren't trying to be fraudulent, but many just don't have the knowledge.

    Most vintage dealers that specialize in these things also supply certificates of authenticity at no charge, which can be used in the future should you ever sell it.

  9. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Meister

    Apr 25, 2009
    That looks 100%...mine starts 370.It has the black neckplate gasket,the half notch and (just barely visible)the pin router holes.Four piece body...two big labs then two small ones from the top of the control plate to edge.It also has those lovely big "blue veins" in the grain that I can see on yours...congrats, looks stunning!

  10. Tarheels1

    Tarheels1 TDPRI Member

    Jun 13, 2017
    North Carolina
    Got it in tonight. It's amazing. 100% original or not, I love it. Finish is amazing condition, neck is nice and it plays great. I added more pics 0f the breakdown to the album. Hoping it is original but happy either way.

    I agree with silverface. I took a risk on this one with limited knowledge of vinatage fenders and buying before fully vetting.

    The red numbers in the upper left of the hang tag is still bugging me. Must be some type of code?
    CWP0126 likes this.

  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Great looking guitar, congrats on the purchase. Although I am saying alot below, it is nitpicking - nothing of great concern, just things that make me take notice.

    One thing that throws me is the NECK DATE vs NECK PLATE. The neck is JAN '72, while the plate is very late '72. That is quite a spread... normally those would line up a little closer. For reference only, my tele is a '72... neck SEPT '72, serial 360xxx... nicely in line with each other.
    • Case is correct... looks exactly like mine only in better shape.
    • That strap could have been period correct... but it's also the same strap I got with my brand new Strat in '83... so I'm not positive.
    • The neck pocket appears to have a small upper notch which is what I would expect but I can't see it clearly in the picture. I also don't know enough about the history and changes in the notch to comment further.
    • String trees, logo, tuners, all look good to me.
    There is something that strikes me odd in these photos though. This may not be of any concern, but I find it odd.
    • Wiring looks right, but that solder is not original... big question is why?
    • The finish, pickguard, neck and tuners look like they have barely aged. Yet the jack, strap pins, control plate and pots look like I would expect.... aging, patina, discoloring, etc...
    • The book and blue tag look like they just came off the press. The yellow tag looks like it is from '72. Those items did not age together. Was the yellow tag with the strap?

    Overall this is a fine looking guitar... I don't think it is 100% original, but I think any change done was done with period correct, non original parts. EG: It is common to put in 250K pots... that may have been done, then period correct 1M pots were put back in before selling. Strap locks may have gone on the guitar... then replaced with period correct strap pins before selling... little things like that.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Enjoy the guitar!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

  12. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    My '70 is #300XXX, so your serial number is certainly close for a '72. From what I see in the photos, the example looks to be dead-stock and probably one of the best examples of an early '70s Tele I've seen. I didn't see anything unusual with the soldering, but as suggested, there might have been a changeout of pots. Don't sell it! That one would be tough to replace.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

  13. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    Yes - on the 1 meg pots. Those were original. Double string tree suggests later '72 or '73. I had a '72 and switched out the pot for 250 Ks. Much better tone - for me.

  14. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Beautiful guitar congrats! I've got a 73 tele custom and the case is just like yours so are the tuners and headstock-looks good to me but I'm no expert

  15. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    I have a 71 and it has the 66 pots too, 1 meg. They had a supply of 66 pots they kept using for years it seems.
    Quick look at your pics, and it all looks just like mine, except for the second string tree which they added in 72 or so.

  16. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Yes - it's well-known that a metric ton of '66 pots were purchased and they were still using that batch up through the 70s, so that doesn't raise any red flags.

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