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

Tele "partscaster" with potential '53 body and 70's neck

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by dbsheajr, Jan 11, 2018 at 9:12 AM.

  1. dbsheajr

    dbsheajr TDPRI Member

    Looking for input, especially from those of you that are familiar with vintage Fender instruments.

    I put my 2002 Gibson Les Paul Studio up for sale or trade. I was really looking for cash, but I would consider the right Tele. I received quite a few offers, but one it particular was intriguing:

    "I have a Telecaster with a 1953 body, paint stripped and refinished with simple clear varnish, faint but readable T Gomez 1953 [Fender assembler Tadeo Gomez in 1950s era] pencil signature under the neck. Incorrect but nicely worn in maple fretboard neck, possibly 1970s era. The neck plate is also from a later year. Apparently, someone took off the original 1953 neck at some point and replaced it with the later maple neck. It probably needs some tweaking; I haven't played it in 10+ years. Trade?"

    After following up, he provided this additional information:

    "It was stripped bare when I got it from a guy who intended to restore it and I applied a simple varnish that could be easily removed for a correct repainting some day. I don’t really know anything about its history; the guy I got it from maybe 15-20 years ago just needed the money. It has the proper 1950s 5 screw single ply pick guard. The front plate looks shiny as if it’s a repro part. Ditto the neck plate on back, but other parts seem old. The neck is definitely one that was swapped onto it when some bozo swiped off the original one, but it shows nice aging, not an artificially “reliced” treatment (which I hate). I only play acoustic for the last few decades, but have never had a Gibson electric before and thought it might be fun to try one."

    A friend of mine (who is more knowledgeable about things like this) and I met the gentleman recently. He allowed us to take the guitar apart and take pictures of it, which are included in this post. We were able to determine that:

    - The 3-way switch and potentiometers have definitely been changed
    - The bridge appears to have been replaced, as the S/N is not located there and the saddles are not brass (contrary to how it was done in 1953)
    - The pickups appear to be original, or at least vintage as the bridge pickup is wound with twine and the neck pickup has no height adjustment
    - The pickguard appears to be single-ply bakelite, has period correct five holes and no screw holes for adjusting the height of the neck pickup

    There are a few issues with the body. I understand that the bodies were cut by hand in those days, but there are three things in particular that appear to be somewhat sloppy:

    - The holes in the rear of the body where the strings go through are not drilled with even spacing (should be noticeable in the picture)
    - The mounting of the pickguard appears to be crooked to the bridge and the “horn” of the single cut. That being said, there is only one set of holes (in the body) to mount the pickguard, so it would appear that this is the original placement of the pickguard.
    - There is a small section that is not rounded well in the area of the single cut (this does not appear well in the photos)

    I understand that it is unlikely that anyone will be able to authenticate this with certainty, but what is the TDPRI community's opinion on:

    - Whether the body is likely or not likely to be an authentic 1953 Fender Body, signed by Tadeo Gomez?
    - Whether the neck is likely or not likely to be a 1970’s era authentic Fender neck?
    - Is this a good trade for a 2002 Gibson Les Paul Studio (flame top, gold hardware, excellent shape, approx. cash value $700 US)?

    Also, the person with the guitar is of retirement age and lives in a somewhat affluent neighborhood. I can be kind of naïve sometime, but I don’t really think he is trying to pull one over on me. If anything, I would think that if the guitar isn’t legit, that someone got one over on him and the current seller is genuine in his beliefs.

    I can provide more pics if needed.

    Thanks for your input and have a blessed day!

    tele_front_1.jpg tadeo_4.JPG neck_stamp_r_bush_1.JPG neck_stamp_serial_number_1.JPG body_rear_1.JPG pickguard_1.JPG string_holes_1.JPG switch_and_pots_1.JPG
    MDent77, Smiff, BorderRadio and 2 others like this.

  2. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2017
    Dunno how legit it is but I hope so.

    Seems like a steal to me! I’d be all over it.
    HappyHwy1owner and dbsheajr like this.

  3. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2011
    Stirling, Scotland.
    For a Les Paul Studio? Take the deal and worry about it afterwards, wouldn't hang about either, neck is I think from 1974.

  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    This is a really cool topic and I thank you for posting it here. Very intriguing.

    The first question I'd have for experts is: does that Tadeo signature look legit?
    dbsheajr likes this.

  5. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI
    I would email George Gruhn the picture of the Tadeo signature and see what he thinks.

    Edited to add: the 70's neck, if legit, is worth more than a Les Paul Studio anyways.... The rest is gravy.... My "Red Alert" radar goes up when a deal seems "too good to be true". A real '53 body if authenticated could easily sell for $4000-$5000 if not more

  6. dbsheajr

    dbsheajr TDPRI Member

    Hi AJ. Thanks for the reply. I am new to the forum. Is George Gruhn a member here? Can I DM him through TDPRI or do you have an email address for him?

  7. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

    Jul 10, 2005
    Madison WI

    George Gruhn is one the world's foremost experts on vintage guitars.
    dbsheajr likes this.

  8. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    I sold a '62 and a '65 Strat p-up for $400 each. If those are original p-ups in there your looking at least that value and probably much , much more. If thats a '74 neck thats probably big $ too. Maybe someone will address the wayward back holes.

  9. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Looks real to me. Spent 20 years working in guitar shops in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Saw several old Teles with the slightly-off ferrules. That cutaway was most likely over-sanded during the stripping process as there are some scratches in the body that look like rough sandpaper was used.

    I'd grab it if it was up to me! :cool:
    El Tele Lobo and AJ Love like this.

  10. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead TDPRI Member

    Jan 25, 2017
    Greenville, SC
    I am not an expert, but a quick Google search will give you quite a few Tadeo signatures to compare with. To my untrained eye, I can see a pretty good match. Especially in the consistency of the "T" "a" and the "53".

    t guitar floyd and dbsheajr like this.

  11. dbsheajr

    dbsheajr TDPRI Member

    Hi NJ, thanks for replying. I have seen that pic and it would appear to be a match. One one hand, it would be pretty easy to fake. On the other hand, if the seller's story is true (and I don't have any reason to doubt it), then obtaining an image of Tadeo's signature/stamp 20 years ago would have been somewhat harder (i.e. the previous seller attempting to fraud the current owner).

    I guess I'd feel comfortable with the situation if the imperfections I'm seeing would appear to be normal, which based on the current replies, appear to be the case.


  12. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2017
    You done the trade yet? Haha.
    dbsheajr likes this.

  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    The neck alone ,it looks like a 1972-1974 one, is worth more than your LP.

  14. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Also want to add . . . looks like an old, rare 1-piece ash body.
    GuitarsFromMars, AJ Love and dbsheajr like this.

  15. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    That trade is a gamble i'd take.
    dbsheajr, El Tele Lobo and AJ Love like this.

  16. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    I’d jump in my car and go make the trade right now. Looks like a fun Tele regardless of the body & hardware provenance, and a can’t lose deal with that neck.

  17. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Holic

    Nov 21, 2016
    Rhode Island
    I’d risk a studio for that. Especially if everything worked when I plugged it in. At minimum be fun taking it apart, cleaning everything and setting it up. Sounds like a better move quick dealeo to me.

  18. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Aug 23, 2017
    Do the deal already. Even if it's not a legit '53, ANY Tele is better than a Studio right?

  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Body looks like it could be legit, but if so it's been sanded into new shapes.
    The cutaway on the low E side of the neck is oddly deepened, not really what would happen with simple attempt to sand off the original finish.
    The shortening of the horn on the high E side of the cutaway would also seem to be some pretty extreme sanding, and combines to lower the presumed value.
    The ferrules are on the worse end of Fender misalignment from the era.

    Fender shaped bodies have been made for enough years that older examples are vintage, and some may even have been finished, stripped, and refinished.

    Tadeo may indeed have signed it though, and many seem to value that little scrawl pretty highly. I guess I'd make the trade.

    No good pics of the pickups, but the pic of the controls shows some pretty shiny new looking pole pieces.
    All my vintage Fender pickups (maybe 20) have dark tarnished poles, some with corrosion as well as discoloration. The fiber flatwork also generally looks old in various ways, more than the little I can see here, and is often warped up at the ends, commonly with the E poles sunk in rather than protruding.
    Consider what the body has been through, does it look like the bridge pickup has that much wear?
    An original bridge pup would be a bonus though if the body is original.
    At least from a collector value standpoint.

    It's funny, I bought a '50s Esquire body with a '73 Tele neck and all other parts changed, a lot like this one, for $700. Several finishes covered it though, and only after chemical stripping was it clear what it was. No Tadeo though.

    I wonder how much a Tadeo or TG adds to the value?
    Must be a chunk of money in that scrawl, cool to have it.

  20. dbsheajr

    dbsheajr TDPRI Member

    The thread limited the number of pictures I could upload to 10. Here are all the pics I have of the pickups.

    bridge_1.JPG bridge_2.JPG bridge_pickup_1.JPG bridge_pickup_profile_1.JPG neck_pickup_1.JPG neck_pickup_2.JPG neck_pickup_3.JPG
    Smiff likes this.

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