This might help: https://truevintageguitar.com/blogs/tvg-blog/how-to-date-vintage-fender-guitarsDon't know if I've spotted something that no-one else has but...
the serial number on the neckplate is '32728'.
On the Fender website that serial no. brings up an Am Vin '52 Tele...
Am I missing something?
Hi everyone! I recently acquired a 1959 Tele that is all original except for one neck screw and one pot. I have the original pot. The big mystery for me is the body finish. The neck is stamped “— 59”. The month digit is too faint to read. That plus the serial puts it at an early 59. Still has a maple neck and is a top loader. I mostly know about vintage Gibsons, so this is new territory for me. In the few days I’ve been researching this, it looks like 59 Teles only came in blonde, sunburst Tele Customs, or custom colors. The finish is too natural to be a faded blond, I think. Also, if it’s a refin, it was done early in the life of the guitar, because it has a beautiful aged butterscotch thing going on.
I asked the seller about it’s history, and without revealing too much, I found out the OG owner worked with/for Fender and this is a custom DuPont color. Maybe he was old school and wanted an early 50’s looking natural finish? Anyway, when I opened it up, the neck pocket and tan lines under the pickguard seem to have light primer on them. The seller is reputable and wouldn’t lie, I’ve just never seen a '59 with this kind of finish from the factory.
All in all, I love this guitar! I’ve never been a huge Tele fan, but that’s because I never played a pre-CBS before. I’d appreciate if anyone can shed some light. The seller is trying to get more info from the OG owner's wife, but it’s been difficult.
First: That body is not the original colour - that is apparent under the pickguard. Those two holes in the neck route are for a paint stick to be attached. Fender never did this in the fifties - that's a product of the sixties. Also the body should have a hole by the neck route - not in it. Their should be a hole for the body to be laid on a table and sprayed then turned over and sprayed again in the horn, under the bridge plate, and in the bottom of the control cavity. These are so that once the top is sprayed with ample finish and dried the backside can be sprayed and once dry can be laid on a shelf with finishing nails supporting it. This is how all the guitars were painted regardless of the model.
Well I know for a FACT that you sir are wrong! If you don't believe me (and you don't) read A.R. Duccasoir's book - The Fender Telecaster. He too said the very same thing that I just said. And so did many a Fender guitar owner that has actually seen these and had their hands on them. I own a '56 Strat, a '57 P-Bass, and I used to own a '51 NoCaster - NONE of them had any sort of holes in the neck route and I have yet to see a single one of the many that I have held in my hands or seen in person, video, or otherwise with paint holes in the neck on any fifties guitar from the factory unmolested! They ALL have nail holes in the from being mounted on a DRYING SHELF. Read "Fender The Sound Heard 'Round The World" or "American Guitars" by Tom Wheeler. ALL these books prove what you're saying is wrong. Unless you're the guy that sold this guitar I don't know why you'd even come into this thread and refute anything that I have said.Two clarifications here...
There should not be two additional holes in the neck pocket for a paint stick on any original finish 1950s, or 1960s Tele. Or most of the 70s. That didn't happen until the very late 70s. During 1969 a fifth hole appeared in the neck pocket for the paint stick.
I would not expect any nail holes on the top of a 1959 body. I would expect to find them inside the neck pocket near the channel to the neck pup rout, inside the bridge pup rout, and in side wall of the control rout.
Well I know for a FACT that you sir are wrong! If you don't believe me (and you don't) read A.R. Duccasoir's book - The Fender Telecaster. He too said the very same thing that I just said. And so did many a Fender guitar owner that has actually seen these and had their hands on them. I own a '56 Strat, a '57 P-Bass, and I used to own a '51 NoCaster - NONE of them had any sort of holes in the neck route and I have yet to see a single one of the many that I have held in my hands or seen in person, video, or otherwise with paint holes in the neck on any fifties guitar from the factory unmolested! They ALL have nail holes in the from being mounted on a DRYING SHELF. Read "Fender The Sound Heard 'Round The World" or "American Guitars" by Tom Wheeler. ALL these books prove what you're saying is wrong. Unless you're the guy that sold this guitar I don't know why you'd even come into this thread and refute anything that I have said.
You're kidding - right? Did you even bother to READ this past the A.R. Duccosoir name? So I misspelled it - big whoop! Now you're just being petty. And I don't know what errors you're referring to and apparently you're right and I'm wrong no matter what I say. I have the guitars that these people made in the day that this was supposedly made and if that doesn't say anything then I don't know what to tell you. I guess you have to live with yourself and believe or disbelieve whatever you want. I'm not going to change your mind. These guitars and their known tooling marks are what most rely on to determine the authenticity of an instrument. I know that there were a few misquoted people in the Telecaster book which is why I bought the most recent one with all the mistakes corrected. I already know from factory representatives and employees that were alive when these guitars were made as well as the instruments they made. If these don't tell the story then I don't know what else to tell you or say. I'm done here. I'll let the facts speak for themselves and whoever doesn't know the better will be the only ones fooled.Note that I was editing my post when you quoted me. I did so to be more accurate and informative.
If you're going to cite Duchossoir, you might spell his name correctly. Some 15+ years ago, I was discovering and pointing out errors in his book. You can find that info in this very forum. He acknowledged that there were errors in the book, as one might expect would be revealed subsequently, in the age of the internet.
I'm not sure what you're disputing. What does a 56 Strat, a 57 P-Bass, and a 51 Nocaster have to do with a change that I noted occurred after all those years? I have had lots of 50s bodies with the nail holes in the top, and early 60s with them in the routs.
So, I'm wrong about what? Nothing in your response to me applies to what I posted.
I had an original 59. It was a lightweight, and had a GREAT sounding Bridge pup, that read quite low- somewhere in the 5.2 K ohm region. Be that as it may, it was a very ballsy sounding pup. The neck was nothing special. Mine was a pretty opaque blonde, with a smallish, round neck. I would've kept it if the neck was a bit bigger, and the neckpup more like the one on my old 66.I think you are right – my guess is (until shown documentation) it's been refinished anywhere from 1960 to 1980. I bought the guitar knowing this, so the price was about right for its age and condition. Also, I was shocked at how amazing it plays and sounds. I've owned a few Teles, but nothing like this. I think I'm a convert.
just noticed my entire message didn’t post… congrats on the guitar!! If you’re enjoying how it sounds / plays, I’d speak with the seller. Hopefully they are willing to give you a better deal if they haven’t already given that he did not in fact sell you an original finish 59’ as you were told. Of course I can’t say how much $ you should ask for as a partial refund as I do not know what you paid for it in the first place (maybe you’re already there).
I think everyone here at one point or another bought something that turned out to be something else as research starts piling in post-purchase haha, often times sellers expect you to come back to them later on once you discover the undisclosed issues.
I have an early '57 that was factory refinished very early in the 60s and it has two sets of nail holes, exactly confirming Slack's info on the hole locations.