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What about an early 70's Telecaster? Value (1971)?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by punch, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. punch

    punch Tele-Meister

    Hi guys (and girls I suppose),

    I can buy a 1971 sunburst Telecaster, maple board, and MINT (even with original ashtray)! I know much of 50's and 60's ones, not so much of an expert of the 70's... Is 1971 still among the 'good' years? What is the value of such a guitar you think? Is this a good 'collectors'-item (value-wise)? Of course I also will be playing the **** out of her...:)
    Here's a pic:


    Hope you can help!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009

  2. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    All the old Fenders are good collectors. 50s-70s. Even the 80s are getting hotter (as the years roll on). I have a '70. I suppose it's worth $4-5K. About 10years ago a collector told me it was worth $2500. So, it appears they pick-up
    about $2000 every 10 years or so.

  3. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    Search ebay and see what similar guitars have sold for in the last few months and that will give you an idea on what its worth. It doesn't really matter what the price tag says, its what someone will pay for it that matters.

    I have a '73 and I see them sell on ebay for anywhere between US$2900 to US$3900 depending on the condition. The 2008 Vintage Guitar Price Guide has them listed in a similar range.

  4. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Anything 1972 or earlier are the most desirable.

  5. apossibleworld

    apossibleworld TDPRI Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Are you able to play it before you buy it? I've heard that the biggest issue with 70s teles is consistency. Some of them sound great but some of them just don't have the magic. There's a lot of variation in neck profile on some of these. Later in the 70s, Fender QC stopped paying attention to how much their wood was weighing (CBS forgot that it mattered!), so the guitars got really heavy. Oddly I've noticed several sunbursts that were lighter than other guitars, but maybe that's just a coincidence. If this guitar plays great, I wouldn't hesitate!

  6. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Close your eyes playing my '70 and it feels like a Les Paul. Gotta be 8 lbs. At least. But, it has all the magic you could ask for.

  7. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    Yep.....PJ speaks the truth. Sold my bone stock 71 tele a year ago for $4,500However, I've seen em anywhere from $2K to 6K in the past year or so...just depends on where you find em ( personal sale or dealer ) and how motivated the seller is to sell.

  8. TELECASTERbstrd

    TELECASTERbstrd Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 13, 2004
    Hill Country TEXAS
    The 71/72's are the last year/s of the normal body style before the CBS modern whatever and less contours. I think of them as the same as the late '60's models and they are ususally great. You never know about the CBS years, but some are GREAT!
    That one looks real nice and I would guess that 2.5-4k is fine depending on it's originality and how it plays, but that is just my personal opinion. Shoot, you can pay 2.5 on a new CS. But, I'd like to pick that up for 1.5!

  9. wangdangdoodle

    wangdangdoodle Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2008
    West Yorkshire, UK
    This thread was really useful, I might be buying an early 70's Tele sometime in the next few weeks!

  10. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    I recently traded (forgive me) a great playing '72 that had a re-fret for a Benedetto Bambino Deluxe which was advertised at $4400. I threw in a few hundred dollars too. So the value in that deal was about $4K. This was a light weight, sweet sounding Tele. Some from that era are not.
    Check it first.

  11. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    Search "vintage telecaster" on eBay - I saw a really nice one with a very reasonable "BIN or Make Offer." You might be able to score something nice
    in this p@#$-poor economy!

  12. Joefish

    Joefish Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 31, 2008
    First, I am not a guitar snob! Next, (imho), and just to add my two cents … it goes 50’s Tele’s, 60’s Tele’s … 1970 Tele w/4 bolt neck … and then the ...(what is it … ??? ..71 & 72) 3 bolt necks … after that, I have no knowledge/opinion … to use the Mussel Car analogy, the 350 in a 69 or 70 Camaro is preferable over the 350 smog motor that was in my Dad’s 72 Monte Carlo … and, my 69 Mach 1 and any 70 Mach 1 is preferable over a 71 Mach 1 (… BTW, my Windsor motor was never beat by a Cleveland)

    (… as a side note, in the early 80’s, my friend happened to find out when a certain shipment of MIM Strats were going to be put on the wall at the Hollywood Guitar Center … there was a huge wall full of them … my friend started at one side and I started at the other … now, I’m no authority, but, I am going to BRAG, … after playing probably 15 or twenty guitars, I found 2 or 3 that were killers … my friend found a few and ended up buying my favorite/#1 and like 2 or 3 others that he really liked … they were just well made musical instrument’s … I think the one I loved was Salmon …


  13. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

    May 8, 2008
    portland, or
    seems like you intend it to be a player!!! who care's about anything else, if it's got the mojo ??? (budget concerns, excepted, of course) if it speaks to you and the price is right, grab it !!! Good Luck !!!

  14. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    All "regular" teles always have had 4 bolt necks, only certain models like thinlines had 3 bolt necks...

  15. Joefish

    Joefish Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 31, 2008
    Thank you Sir!

    (is that also true with Strats … always 4 bolt … ) again thank you for the clarification … BTW, in your opinion where, do you break it up/draw the line?


  16. punch

    punch Tele-Meister

    Well, that sounds good alltogether... Like I said before, this guitar is MINT...she's not THAT expensive, I think I'll give it a try :)

  17. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    The only three-bolt Strats were in the early 70s - only for a few years. The, they went back to 4-bolt designs. Pretty sure Hendrix had a few of three-bolters.

  18. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 16, 2008
    Did you mean to say early 90s? I dont think they made MIM Strats in the early80s.

  19. Joefish

    Joefish Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 31, 2008
    ... thank you for the good catch!

    Folks, Please forgive me for posting inaccurate information… I am sorry! (I guess the 80’s/living in LA was harder on me than I realize)

    … ok … “Joe makes a fool of himself” Take 2 … ACTION … It was 83 or 84 ... Andy and I went to Guitar Center … there was a wall full of new Strats … we found a few great guitars ... I guess I was stunned at what a well made guitar they were … apparently they must have been MIJs ...


  20. mickeydean

    mickeydean Friend of Leo's

    May 29, 2008
    for what it's worth, the very best tele i ever owned was a '71.

    if i had realized how terrific it was by comparison to all that came after, i would have kept it lol.

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