Tell Me About Fender's Desert Sand Finish.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Butch Snyder, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Trenton, OH
    I found a used 2006 50s Baja Tele at GC and snagged it. Apparently, the original owner didn't like the S1 as some also don't. He removed it and changed out the control assembly. The rest of the guitar is original. I replaced the old control assembly with a new 4-way switch, pots, and Orange Drop 0.047uF cap. He also hd a black bakelite pickguard. I replaced that with a single-ply white (eggshell) 5-hole pickguard.

    I thought I had seen the Desert Sand finish before. I thought it was metallic. This body's isn't. It's like a darker cream. It's not Vintage White. I have attached a pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,186
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    I think it’s a really nice colour. My desert sand 50’s Baja is like a pale custard cream and not quite as yellow as the picture of yours, but close. It’s not metallic.

    Got hints of blonde and butterscotch but beats them both IMHO.
     
    Route67 likes this.
  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,454
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    I do like that color. I guess it's what Fender is calling Desert Sand when used on the Bajas. DS has varied a lot on other Fenders in recent years. My '57 Musicmaster was more tan. That was pretty much the true color, as the Musicmasters and Duo-Sonics didn't get a clear coat back then, so there was no yellowing that altered the color. In '59 Desert Sand was a light brown.

    In my fantasy world I own a Baja 50s in each of the colors. I do accept donations, folks, and IIRC the colors you can sent me are...

    Desert Sand
    Blonde Lighter than a butterscotch blonde. The most common color.
    Sunburst 2-color
    Black
    White Blonde FSR for the European market.
    Vegas Gold FSR for Guitar Center/Musician's Friend?
     
  4. BobbyMac

    BobbyMac Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    139
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Desert Sand is an original color from the early days of Fender. I remember the Musicmaster and the DuoSonic were finished in Desert Sand for a year or two, with gold anodized pickguards or maybe red tortoise. I'm thinking late 50's. I've seen some early Stratocasters in Desert Sand as well, though I don't remember ever seeing Desert Sand as a catalogued optional Custom Color back in the day.

    I have a Baja 50's body in Desert Sand attached to an AllParts maple neck wired Esquire style.

    DSCN4365.JPG
     
  5. DaveGo

    DaveGo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Location:
    Austin
    I have a Custom Shop 59’ Esquire in Desert Sand and I love the color. Were I to have a boutique t-style made I’d spec out a slightly transparent DS nitro finish. To me it is the perfect blend of butterscotch and blonde.
     
    Fercho and Route67 like this.
  6. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    191
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2019
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Congrats on your new axe, I think it has a great color.
     
  7. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Trenton, OH
    Thanks for your replies guys. Pretty much what I was looking for.
     
  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    47,985
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    I did a couple of Tommy Rosamond ash bodies in a trans Desert Sand lacquer and I was super happy with the result. I did a clear top coat but so far this stuff hasn't yellowed.

    And of course I have 7 of the Ensenada Desert Sand Bajas from the 2006-2008 era in opaque poly.

    I don't think the color sold well. I played over 100 of the Bajas looking for really nice ones at a better price. People snatched up the Blonde ones but passed over the Desert Sand ones that played/balanced/sounded nice and so Guitar Center was willing to cut them loose at a fair discount. I never planned to get all Desert Sand; I was just willing to travel my own path and this is what I ended up with.
     
  9. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Trenton, OH
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I remember playing one (Desert Sand) when they first came out in 2006. I thought it was an amazing guitar; especially for the price. I liked the Desert Sand finish myself. It was different. I seem to remember it being a little metallic. I guess I was remembering differently. Mine is not metallic and none of the pics I have seen look metallic in the least. Again, thanks for all the replies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  10. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    809
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    NE US
    Here's are shots of my 1956 studio deluxe lap steel in desert sand.

    In bright sunlight:
    56_studio_deluxe-2.jpg

    Indoors with overhead light:
    56_studio_deluxe-1.jpg
     
  11. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Location:
    Waxahachie, TX.
    BobbyMac's Tele looks like desert sand. My recently traded off Tele was Blizzsrd Pearl - looked very similar in person.
     
  12. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,454
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    Out of curiosity, does the finish have a clear coat at all? The Musicmasters and Duo-Sonics of the same era didn't have a clear coat.
     
    scelestus likes this.
  13. BobbyMac

    BobbyMac Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    139
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    I don't know if my Desert Sand body has a clear coat but it is very glossy, not at all a matte or dull finish.
     
  14. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    9,118
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    Desert Sand is one of my favorite colors. Always reminds me of a cup of cafe-au-lait.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  15. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    809
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    NE US
    No it doesn't have any sign of a clear coat, looks like it was hung and completely sprayed . And of course the decal outline is very visible too.


    56_studio_deluxe-3.jpg
     
  16. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    9,737
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Goes great with an anodized gold pick guard.
     
    Butch Snyder likes this.
  17. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Trenton, OH
    Hmmmm.....
     
  18. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Trenton, OH
    So, is Desert Sand a finish Fender used in the 50's? I thought it was new from 2006 when the 50's Baja first came out.
     
  19. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    2,672
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    London
    I love my Desert Sand 50s Baja. I wasn't initially completely sure about it, but I certainly liked it more than the Butterscotch Blonde. In true Fender style, Desert Sand was originally a car colour. That fact alone made me like it more.
     
    Butch Snyder likes this.
  20. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,872
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I love the Desert Sand color, too. But I don't like it because its's an opaque color and applied to grain beautiful Ash. I'd still take it if Alder was used.

    I assume that Fender has fixed the flaking problem they had with the first versions of the Baja, from 2006-2010.
     
    Butch Snyder likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.