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

Thoughts on 50's Tele Refins

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by steveokla, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    Fot me a refin, different tuners, refret would not be that much of a deal provided that the guitars is prized accordingly. But I tend to stay away from wood modifications like over sanded body edges, extra holes in the headstock, a heavily planed fingerboard, (filled) deep pickup routings. I also do not like the look of freshly "restored" vintage instruments in general. It like the guitar to show its age and history unless it is really really ugly.
     

  2. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands

    Is the case in reasonable condition? I that case it seems a good deal to me if all other parts are original.
     

  3. mannymann

    mannymann TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    4
    Apr 14, 2017
    canada
    Antoon, yeah the case is not too bad. So you think it is a fair price with all the replaced parts and refin?
     

  4. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    Know just what you mean. If I were buying a piece as an 'investment', I'd be looking to make money, I suppose, but with an 'issues' piece, I'd only like to be able to recover more or less what I had in it if necessary.
    Apart from the usual rule of thumb-refin reduces value by roughly half-I don't know how much things like hardware mods further diminish value. I'll leave that to the experts here. Personally, I think my major concern would be the pickups--I'd like them to be original, and if they're not, that would give me pause. Others, who know a great deal more about it than I, might well disagree. I think stuff like that might well be largely a matter of personal preference. Beyond the pups (tuners, for instance, wiring, etc.) I don't know how profoundly changes further effect value. I'm anxious to hear from others on the forum on that score.

    That brings me to another point on the matter of refinishing that I raise for those who know about such things. Is it not the case that it's important what 'stuff' inside the body (markings, etc.) get covered up during the refin process? Specifically, isn't it so that a refin that masks identifying marks that make it more difficult to confirm dates and so forth would be especially troubling? I'm thinking of the prospect for scams and parts-casters I've read about from time-to-time. Thanks!
     

  5. mannymann

    mannymann TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    4
    Apr 14, 2017
    canada
    here is a pic.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. bobbydevito

    bobbydevito TDPRI Member

    Age:
    48
    18
    Apr 9, 2017
    Chicago IL
    I am in the same boat. my dream guitar these days (as a grown man) is an early 50s refin blackguard. since i am primarily a player, i don't mind so much if parts have been changed, if theres a refret and new tuners, as long as the neck finish is somewhat close to original and the neck and body are LEGIT.

    I'm probably gonna have to do it like Johnny Cash, "One Piece at a Time" - find a basket case, and buy original parts here and there.

    my last 50s Fender was my '58 three color sunburst strat, and I miss it quite a lot - but I traded it to Buddy Guy, because he fell in love with it and it very well may be the original '58 he recorded his classic albums with that was stolen from him in the 70s. So, it has a good home with someone who loves it.

    I look at it from a player's standpoint, not an investor or collector - so for me, as long as it plays and sounds good, and is authentic early 50s wood, I could live with most mods or parts changes....
     

  7. mannymann

    mannymann TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    4
    Apr 14, 2017
    canada
     

  8. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

    Oct 17, 2012
    Nelson City TX
    Not being facetious, but I'm almost 62 years old and I don't see resale value meaning very much to me anymore.
    I doubt I'll sell anything unless I'm incapacitated in some way.
    I'd buy a refinished guitar in a heartbeat if it sounded and felt good to me.

    On the other hand, at this point in my life, I wouldn't refinish a guitar and lower its appeal to a future owner.
    Does this make sense at all?
     
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  9. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    I have a '53 Refin, refretted Tele. All electronics are original - and that for me is the key. The pickups are powerful, microphonic, and just plain great. Never played or owned another Tele with that sound. Big, soft V neck and fairly light weight. A piece of history and a great player. I never worry about resale value - that will be my kids' problem.
     
    bobbydevito likes this.

  10. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    I have seen those original '50-'53 case sell for 3k+ so yes this seems like a good deal! Furthermore it all depends on whether you like this particular guitar as a player and a looker
     

  11. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    A+ for cool looking, no matter what else!
     

  12. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    That's precisely what I have in mind. I agree with the other poster regarding holes in the headstock, etc.
     

  13. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

    199
    Mar 24, 2003
    (Age: 54) Toronto
    Hey Steve,
    Since you mentioned that you really liked your 68 Tele - I just noticed that there's a 69 all original esquire in the classifieds that might do the job? (no affiliation, blah blah, etc. etc)
     

  14. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    Ive played 69's, and they were just as good as my 68; however, while you can find 68's with a lacquer board, I think by 69 they were all poly, and I just can't seem to get used to that feel. That said, thanks much for calling my attention tout all the same!
     
    fernieite likes this.

  15. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    London
    For me, it's a refin--if you can verify the other elements are correct. I don't think a good refinish hurts the sound or playability of a solidbody. With that said, I wouldn't give up an all-original '56 Strat for two refins. I'd just get the Strat refretted. But that's me.

    It comes down to are you buying it mainly to play and own permanently, or is there an investment issue?

    Above all, how does it sound and play? I bought mine because they were great instruments. I've played originals that weren't so hot or were simply played out, with unplayable necks, etc.

    I think on a solidbody there are three critical components: the neck, body, and pickups. I really don't think the original string-tree, knobs, switches, or even bridge/saddles are that huge a deal as far as sound and feel are concerned if you get a good repro. I honestly can't hear the difference between original and after-market strap buttons. Maybe others can.

    So you know where I'm coming from, I have a '52 and '66 Tele, and a '56 and '63 Strat. All were refinished, because that's the only way I could have afforded them, and that was years ago. I would be far ahead financially if they were all-original, but as I never intend to sell them, I'm better off financially having only sunk in the amount the refinished versions cost me.

    Mine...

     
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  16. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    Your logic is above reproach. You've pretty well stated everything that's gone on inside my head since I began considering the matter. So far as the '56 is concerned, there's no denying it's a killer player. Moreover, it's light as a feather--just under 7 pounds-which, given I'm a tallish, skinny guy, is a big deal. PUPs are as good as it gets. Likely, the only thing in the way of perfection-the frets. At one point, I contacted Phil Glaser about a re-fret. I haven't entirely ruled out going that way.

    On the other hand, I do really miss having a Tele, and it's going to be difficult for me to come up with one if I hang on to the Strat. Might be able to scrape together enough for a '68, if I could find the right one (primarily, finding another that happens to have a lacquer. board). I paid $5k for my '68 some years ago. Current asking prices for stock ones sees to be around $7K plus, though I suspect I could do better (maybe in the $6K range?) if I were patient.

    If I want to play a 50's Tele (who doesn't?), the only choice would be to sell of the Strat. I suspect a refin with the critical stuff in place (I concur, by the by, on what are the critical parts that actually matter) will const me something like $10-$12K, though I'm guessing on that. Then, of course, I'd need a Strat: I'd likely have about $12K for that, which, I believe, might get me a refin slab of some sort, '61 being my preference. It's quite a dilemma!
     
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  17. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Meister

    Age:
    70
    486
    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Steve, that's one of the most beautiful Stratocasters I have ever seen! Also nice tweed amp and Super Reverb. I grew up in Oklahoma in the '60s . . . High School in Lawton and college in Weatherford, moved to Norman for a couple of years. In those days I had a '63 Strat and Super Reverb until '69 when the SR smoked out on me and I traded them in for an old Gibson Dove and went acoustic for a period of time. Still kick myself, but I later got back on the horse and had dozens of Strats, Teles, tweed and blackface amps, etc. etc. (including a '54, '58 & '59 Strat and a '52 Tele).
    I sold the last '50s Strat in '85 when I thought prices couldn't get any higher and very soon came to realize my shortsightedness, when I couldn't afford '50s Fenders, guitars or amps.
    IMHO, you should keep that fine '56 Strat . . . maybe there's something else you can sell or trade to get the '68 Tele? As you can probably tell, I'm living vicariously through you cool cats with the cool guitars and amps. At 70, I still play the Blues and Rock and have some nice Fender Strats and amps, but newer ones that work well for me and sound good, but it still gives me a thrill to see the classics.
     

  18. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    Greetings, brother and fellow Okie! Every time I pick up the Strat, I do think about the void should I part with it. At 66, I look back as do you, mostly at stuff I let pass back in the day. When I was a kid playing all the time, nobody wanted Strats. Country guys played Tele's, but everyone else wanted Gibsons. My axe of choice, like many other players I knew, was an SG Standard--that and a Super Reverb, the ultimate player's workhouse, in my view.

    I am still working on the alternative plan--re-fret the Strat and scraping up funds for a '68. A '68's no '53, I concede, but the one I had and others I've played have been really nice players, with a comfortable (to my hand) neck profile.

    When we downsized houses, I really did a purge: I had to strip down to the stuff I felt like I couldn't live without. That meant getting rid of the amps I'd gathered in my 'blonde mania' phase--oxblood Bassman, Wheat Bassman, oxblood single '12 Bandmaster and a '61 Showman. Still love the look of the oxblood blondes. Marshall and Park went, some browns, etc. Kept two Vibroverbs, the '64 Super Rev in the pic, a little '65 Vibro Champ for the bedroom, an '65 Silvertone 1481 I got for sentimental reasons (also use for harp), and the '56 Pro. I had a really nice '60 Bassman I sold to raise cash for the Strat. Great amp, but, truth be told, I like the tweed Pro better-I think it's THE best for Tele's, and, frankly, I like it better for Strats. It's replaced the Bluebell with a D130F, partly to save the original cone, but mostly because of the immense headroom and volume it gave the Pro. Bottom line, nothing I really would like to part with. I'll have to do the '68 (if I go that way) the hard way--the horrible "P" word, patience.

    Slight Diversion, all: If I get the Strat re-fretted, my first impulse is Phil Glaser. Thoughts?
     
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  19. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2011
    Chicago
    I like both so I would play both and see which feels best.
     

  20. steveokla

    steveokla TDPRI Member

    85
    Apr 9, 2011
    oklahoma
    Just spent a few hours with the '56, blowing though paired Vibroverbs, Vibroverb plus Super Reverb, finishing off with the Pro. I just can't do it---I'll scrounge up cash for a '68, or find a used Nocaster if all else fails. So, looks like re-fret and keep. I'm thinking Phil Glaser--thoughts?

    I don't have much to sell to raise some Tele cash, but, if anyone's interested, I've got a really nice Martin HD28V in flawless condition. It's a really nice player. They're about $4K and change at Guitar Center and such places. Also have a real nice '70 Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, spotless, no dings, every inch original, BC108. Thanks to all who've contributed to this thread. Be certain I genuinely appreciate everyone sharing their expertise.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.

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