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Why is "Vintage" defined as pre-1974 in this forum???

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by E5RSY, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. TDPRI

    TDPRI Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Admin Post
    I did some more searching... and if I can be believed back then, I chose 1973 as the cutoff date because the changes to the Tele body after 1973 were more dramatic. Especially the end of the "notch" at the neck pocket.

    I found some old threads of folks discussing it at the time.

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    noah330, bo and tonyj like this.

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    I hadn't put the model name to the guitar when you posted this, but I had a "TV yellow" SC-1 some years back and it was a pretty great guitar.
    At the time I thought it should have some value, and it wasn't exactly what I wanted in a guitar, so I tried to get money out of it for other gear.
    Sadly it brought pretty small money in maybe 2003 or so.

    Now they seem to bring a price though, mine was exactly the same as this one. I do still have the matching bass.
    BorderRadio likes this.

  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    That's the color I had. Geeze that's a big jump from the 40 bucks my folks spent when they found it at a yard sale years before. We had to move unexpectedly 7 or 8 years ago from a multilevel apartment and it was a nightmare. One of many mishaps was the snapping of the neck of my SC-1. I was crushed about it. I parted some stuff out, but gave up on what was left. I still don't like to talk about that part, but it is what it is...
    telemnemonics likes this.

  4. maloburro

    maloburro Tele-Holic

    Feb 3, 2012
    I think it's fine. This vintage forum has always been pretty cool about people posting post74 fenders.

    The thing I always think of is my 75 Tele Deluxe. Aside from the fact that the reissues are called 72 deluxe and the originals have "73" stamped on the heel, it was a newly established model at the time of the cutoff.

  5. The car that was in the movie Christine was a 1958 Plymouth Fury....not a Cadillac.. :)

  6. Jasonspaceman0

    Jasonspaceman0 TDPRI Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I've had a load of early CBS stuff from '66 to late 70s. I think 74 is about right for tele's. It's a good line in the sand. After L series the transitions / early CBS stuff gets different - but not always worse. Even the early 70s CBS teles can be great - the poly finishes were still quite thin, bodies still quite light and pickups could still be good (but watch out for ice-pick harsh bridge pickups and lifeless neck pickups). About 74 and after quality really hits the skids and really nice ones become rarer - although there are some nice ones and the deluxes / customs / thinline IIs from this period can be killer guitars. The WR humbuckers on these are amazing pickups....

  7. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 3, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    Ditto. I bought my first Tele in 1976, a Telecaster Deluxe. Like your Strat, is was a real piece of crap. Now, people are getting 3 grand for those awful guitars. Buy a new guitar and a tube amp for the cost of one mid-70s Fender ****ebox.

  8. NJ Deadhead

    NJ Deadhead Tele-Meister

    Jan 25, 2017
    Greenville, SC
    Here's a theory, non-guitar related: Vintage is typically defined as something 25 years old+...this forum was created in 1999. So, 1974 would be the first year to qualify as vintage when this place was setup.

  9. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Late 73/early 74 is my cutoff for Fender guitars that I'll consider being desirable. Back in the day I couldn't afford pre-CBS guitars but there were plenty of great playing and sounding examples right up to that point.

    When the bodies got heavier and the polepieces got flat I got less interested.

    The 25 years thing (or all brands thing) is fine if that's what you feel but if I wasn't interested in something in the 90s chances are I'm not interested in it now - and the stuff I did like then isn't vintage anything in my mind.

    IMHO vintage changes more by brand than by year.

  10. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Meister

    Mar 27, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    IMHO, if you live long enough you see "used" become "vintage". Vintage is a term that can be qualitative, but is usually quantitative in terms of age. I don't buy into the quality side of the argument as much as some of the other posters on this thread because I've just seen too many truly great guitars from the 70's and specifically post '74, and even if I hadn't, I'm not sure that quality is the ultimate measure of what is "vintage."

    Anyone who has followed the vintage guitar market lately will have noticed that the stuff from the 70's (even post '74) is now bringing the same money for some examples or very close to the same as mid-late 60's guitars. Certainly, if they were truly as bad as some folks imply here, they would not be selling for more than most CS guitars. You may disagree, but that is what the market bears, so apparently there are enough folks out there who feel that there is still intrinsic value in these instruments possibly not found in some newer guitars. Someone earlier in this post mentioned cars and it's a good parallel and possible example of how ultimate quality does not always dictate what is or isn't "vintage". If you know cars, you probably would not argue the fact that a Ford model T was not a great car (an understatement of monumental proportions), but how many would argue that it is not a vintage car due to it's less than stellar mechanical specification?

    The '74 thing is a mystery to me. Someone told me once that it had to do with the "notch" in the upper neck pocket wall disappearing after '73, but I've seen several '73's that had no notch (possibly late '73's) and that seems like a pretty petty distinction to me. In fact, the poster who told me that said that the lost notch "completely ruined" the shape of the tele body. I replied "Really? I have several Tele's with the notch and several without, and until you mentioned it, I never even noticed!"

    Just my opinion, not asking anyone else to adopt it. To each his own.
    SheldonP likes this.

  11. RDennie1

    RDennie1 TDPRI Member

    May 6, 2012
    Cobourg, ON

  12. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    If you have been collecting for awhile, many environmental regulations began to influence how guitars were made. By 74, the glue formulations & finishes were changed for environmental reasons. I remember how bad the air was during the 70's so these changes were good but not so much for the guitars made during that era. For me this is a big reason why 1974 is major break. As the 70's progressed, the quality tanked further. By 82, the CNC machine was adopted by Fuji Gen and changed guitar manufacturing forever. More consistency, but less exceptional instruments.

    Any guitar built before February 9, 1964 is inherently more valuable. The Beatles changed the game and instrument makers had a difficult time keeping up with orders. It's not that guitars made from late 64-70 stink, but the large manufacturers didn't have the QC departments and inspection to make sure every guitar was worth a damn. Then in late 60's, the first CITES regulations started and the manufacturers had to rethink their processes and wood sourcing. Some instrument really have some problems. For instance it would be the rare to have a Martin made from 69-76 or so that has its original pickguard. The glue formulations wouldn't hold the pickguard and it would lift causing the top to crack(hard to check that crack, but they usually have one under the pickguard). In regards to Fender, their production totals were so vast that some guitars aren't that well put together. 76-80 is truly a crap shoot when looking for their guitars. By 82, even Fender had to acknowledge that their older guitars were the instruments that were more desirable, so they started their own reissues.

    Obviously the administrator of the site put some good thought into it. I get why collectors say 1965, but in my experience Fender made better instruments 66-68 than they did in 61-63. The Beatles & CBS switchover actually caused some better instruments to be built at Fender as their production line was built to create instruments at a faster pace than most manufacturers of their time. I know one collector who claimed the Strats built from April 65 until the Fullerton factory overhaul in 67 were the best Strats he ever played. I walked into his shop circa 1988 and he had a wall full of them that he got by trading one 1959 Les Paul Standard. He was one of the first to actually make them into a collectible item. When I first started buying guitars in the late 70's a 66 Strat was seen as vastly inferior to a 64. No one even wanted the Telecasters- you could buy a 68 Tele in 88 for $500. I remember almost scoring a mint 56 Telecaster for $1,200 in 1982. I bought a 59 for $400 acouple of months later. Then collectors began to see other forces besides CBS buying Fender. The wood regulations are one part and the environmental regulations that changed finish & glue formulations are also another part.

  13. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    Or that


  14. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    So I was in Guitar Center yesterday and they had Vintage tags on used guitars from the late 80s and early 90s. I'm way older than those and my value, no doubt, has dropped. Go figure.
    SheldonP, rob2 and pcasarona like this.

  15. Tedzo

    Tedzo TDPRI Member

    Jul 1, 2016
    Northern California
    Bought my first tele in 1976 for $250.....but the neck had a date penciled in of 12-53. Oh well, I guess I'll keep it anyway.

    Neck Date.jpg
    Anode100, Major Gruber and pcasarona like this.

  16. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    I've never sat well with the 74 cutoff. I have a 1976 Telecaster, bone stock, with translucent blonde finish and quite light. My brother has a 53 Telecaster and a 59 Esquire. We both highly prefer the 76 over the other two vintage ones and that the neck wood and cut of the 76 is the most perfect cut and quality we've seen. The guitar actually chimes when played even unplugged. I played it direct into the amp for a soul gig and the bass player said it sounded as if the guitar had its own built in accompanying horns! The 76 is a front runner candidate for my "cold dead hands" guitar!

    I have a 66 Precision bass and my other brother a 59 P-Bass. We recorded a lot at one point and ditched both of those for an 81 Jazz Bass he picked up in the late 80s for $200 when we wanted Fender. It was much easier to dial in and instantly better on the tape.

    I don't have a horse in the game, I love vintage as much as anyone here but, frankly, I call them as I see them. I wish I could let everyone A/B my tele to pre 1974 and see what they think.

    I have come across a lot more dogs from the 70s there is no denying. But it's not entirely a lost decade--a 76 tele I think was pretty close in terms of handmade to one from 20 years earlier.

    I would peg the cut off at the end of the Fullerton factory,but reasonable minds can certainly differ.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  17. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    I'm guessing at the time it was set it simply was 25 or 30 years from some date that had meaning to some one. Much of what is called vintage these days, is IMHO simply old.

    I was never happy with the "vintage" label anyway, another example of a word w/ a specific meaning that has been corrupted by general (mis) usage. Vintage is a wine term that simply means "the product of a year" and as certain years were found to have produced a better wine it became short hand for exceptional; in theory you could say Classic Vibes are "vintage" as it was/is widely seen as a good product, for which there is demand... same as a '59 Burst. Obviously they are not the same thing so a better term is classic, which to me is a product that has stood the test of time and is seen as a benchmark or icon. This of course is ever changing, and what I consider classic, is much different than some one else. Best not to worry about it and buy what you like.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    pcasarona likes this.

  18. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I am REALLY old fashioned. It does not have to be butterscotch blackguard as I like a 62 Lake Placid blue 9 plus the sound of the pickups). IMHO L-series were great too, but after Leo and the CMI takeover they were crap. The new millennium has seen a renaissance in Fender Telecasters in particular as manufacturers seem to wish to replicate good old sounds , hardware etc. ( for sales obviously). I look forward to this as I think these guitars will be as revered as anything pre 1965 .;)
    Oldwood likes this.

  19. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Meister

    Mar 27, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    I feel exactly the same way about my '78 Custom and it's not just my opinion. Everyone at my local shop (one of the top 100 music stores in the nation) thinks that it is a very special guitar. I don't care if it is worth as much or even considered as a "vintage" instrument because it will never be for sale while I'm alive.
    knavel likes this.

  20. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    I feel exactly the same way about my '78 Custom and it's not just my opinion.

    If only I could check it out. :(

    Apologies for going OT, but very often when I don't get distracted by conventional wisdom I can be rewarded. This week I discovered the Fender acoustic series from a year or two ago PM-1, etc. Martin/Gibson woods but 100% made in China.

    Not one single discussion on a guitar forum about these that I could find, only press releases. High end models are already being discontinued and deeply discounted. (What can be expected to result from that kind of PR but that the public still will view Fender acoustics as firewood?)

    I picked up a mahogany body Fender PM-1 dreadnought with Adirondack spruce "limited edition" from Stupid Deal of the Day a couple of days ago for half off. I played the rosewood body version, the top of the line, in a store and it sounded dangerously close to very expensive Martins and Gibsons I have and have had. That Adirondack spruce is what gives a Martin Marquis its price differential over a standard 18, 28, etc with Sitka spruce tops. $600. Crazy.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
    pcasarona likes this.

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