1974 Fender Tele

slack

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Posts
3,229
Location
Los Angeles
Nope. My 1972 Tele was ordered as a natural (color code 521). I have seen several tele's on Reverb that are obviously not natural because all natural finish bodies are ash and the grain is much more distinctive. Pretty easy to spot the alder under the clear finish and that's what I usually see there.

The bridge on mine is also 3 trees, not like the newer ones, and steel, not brass like the older ones.

Late 60s and early 70s Natural finish wasn't just over ash, but also mahogany. Most people are familiar with the late 60s Natural finish mahogany Thinlines, but some early Thinline version 2 were also (I've had two of them, and both very light colored).

Also, your three bridge saddles are slotted stainless steel. Several other types of saddles were used on Teles between the variations of the early brass and the switch to those circa 1968.
 

slack

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Posts
3,229
Location
Los Angeles
That is interesting if Duchossoir is confident they were standard. The concept of custom colours did seem to change after ‘72. Maybe it was just a price point after that rather than a service. Now that makes sense.

I think we’re agreed on your last paragraph. What I meant (aimed at the world in general and should have been clear I meant after 72 and the old custom colours being discontinued) is blond, oly, black, walnut, Antigua, sunburst, natural and wine are it basically, and yeah, cherry/sienna burst fits in. I had pegged as very early 80s but it’s certainly on some s8 serials. Anything else would be a red flag for a refin, with the small possibility it might be some rarity. Of course you get some offbeat custom/distributor orders like 60s sparkles and potentially those other 70s transparent colours. I saw one auction claim the latter were an Arbiter UK special order.

However, looking again I note Fender were listing more custom colours again by 81, including many 60s colours, so that’d likely catch some s9 serials.

Irrespective of the (inconsistent) nomenclature in older or otherwise Fender brochures, catalogs, or other material, I think it's factual and sensible to consider it like this: The color options for the Telecaster from 1972 until the late 70s were Blond, Natural, Sunburst, Black, Olympic White, and Walnut. Those were the colors you could expect to find in stores, and on the used market today. True custom colors were things like Lake Placid Blue and Candy Apple Red and so on...

Pretty much just like GM cars in the 70s. A particular model might have a standard color, a bunch of options, but you could certainly custom order other colors and options.
 

Matthias

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Posts
4,001
Location
Third rock from the Sun
Irrespective of the (inconsistent) nomenclature in older or otherwise Fender brochures, catalogs, or other material, I think it's factual and sensible to consider it like this: The color options for the Telecaster from 1972 until the late 70s were Blond, Natural, Sunburst, Black, Olympic White, and Walnut. Those were the colors you could expect to find in stores, and on the used market today. True custom colors were things like Lake Placid Blue and Candy Apple Red and so on...

Pretty much just like GM cars in the 70s. A particular model might have a standard color, a bunch of options, but you could certainly custom order other colors and options.

Yep. Totally logical. The brochures certainly agree with that from about 76. It’s that gap between then and 1972 that Fender listed an extra $20 for what as you say appear to have been everywhere… Which means that $20 might have been marketing, especially as the standard colours on some models were custom on others, so it didn’t relate to effort. Unless dealers ordered so many “custom” colours it was all irrelevant. Either way, it’s hard to think the factory wasn’t just pumping out all those natural and black guitars as standard, making the “custom” part moot.

I’ve not seen even reliable pics of any other factory customs from the 73-80 era but there must have been some. Surely?
 

Stratocast

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Posts
453
Age
66
Location
Papillion ne
Can you guys give me your thoughts about this guitar. These are the only pictures I have right now, but am trying to get more, especially the pots and under the guard.

Everything looks alright for it being a naturally finished 74 Tele. But one thing Im wondering about isthe bridge saddles. Were they changed to single string saddles sometime in 74 or 75?

Ive seen these bridges on the older Tele Custom’s but not much on Tele’s.

Anyway, any info is appreciated.


View attachment 903416 View attachment 903417 View attachment 903418 View attachment 903419
I had a friend years ago that had one exactly like that one. Back in 1975. But I was a Gibson man back then. Wish I would have tried to get that from him. Back then. I didn’ t fall in love with fenders until. 1991. Then I bought 2 strats. But I have gotten a few teles since then nothing like that one though.
 

Stratocast

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Posts
453
Age
66
Location
Papillion ne
Man.... as others have said, that thing sure is clean for being 47 years old! Case is clean too so... that sort of works. Nothing I see jumps out at me either, but I'm no expert. I know someone who has a 65 Fender Mustang that they bought new, and they still have it. They tried to learn how to play it but never got over the finger pain, so they put it in the case and slid it under the bed... where it has been ever since. While the nitro has darkened, the guitar is 100% mint new condition, including the case, with all the candy too... so... it's not impossible that this guitar could've had a similar fate. Yes... I've tried to get that Mustang off of em but they won't part with it... LOL!! :confused:
I bought a 65 mustang once. But destroyed it trying to paint it myself. I was a kid and tried to spray paint it. When I took it back to the string clinic where I bought it from sometime in the 70 ‘s to get some work done on it the guy I bought the guitar from. Said to me. “What did you do to that guitar ? You ruined it ! “. I don t recall what I did to the guitar after that. He was right though. It was a fiesta red but I didn’t like it so I spray painted it magenta. Lol
 

Telekarster

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Posts
5,684
Location
Earth
I bought a 65 mustang once. But destroyed it trying to paint it myself. I was a kid and tried to spray paint it. When I took it back to the string clinic where I bought it from sometime in the 70 ‘s to get some work done on it the guy I bought the guitar from. Said to me. “What did you do to that guitar ? You ruined it ! “. I don t recall what I did to the guitar after that. He was right though. It was a fiesta red but I didn’t like it so I spray painted it magenta. Lol

Yeah man... back in them days the things were never thought of as future collectors items etc. like today. Who knew??? A young man asked me once "Why are so many vintage guitars refinished or not the correct paint?" I said "Man, they were repainted back in the day.... because we could" LOL!!! I personally didn't butcher any, but I helped some dudes butcher theirs. One was a mint condition 59 Fender Bass... he wanted it canary yellow so.... out comes the cheap spray cans! LOL! That was in 1984-5. It is what it is ;) You were not alone LOL!
 

Stratocast

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Posts
453
Age
66
Location
Papillion ne
Yeah man... back in them days the things were never thought of as future collectors items etc. like today. Who knew??? A young man asked me once "Why are so many vintage guitars refinished or not the correct paint?" I said "Man, they were repainted back in the day.... because we could" LOL!!! I personally didn't butcher any, but I helped some dudes butcher theirs. One was a mint condition 59 Fender Bass... he wanted it canary yellow so.... out comes the cheap spray cans! LOL! That was in 1984-5. It is what it is ;) You were not alone LOL!
Yeah man... back in them days the things were never thought of as future collectors items etc. like today. Who knew??? A young man asked me once "Why are so many vintage guitars refinished or not the correct paint?" I said "Man, they were repainted back in the day.... because we could" LOL!!! I personally didn't butcher any, but I helped some dudes butcher theirs. One was a mint condition 59 Fender Bass... he wanted it canary yellow so.... out comes the cheap spray cans! LOL! That was in 1984-5. It is what it is ;) You were not alone LOL!
wow.. Here I've been kicking myself all these years thinkinking I was a prize chump.. good to see I wasn't the only one who did that stuff.. still sad though... Yeah.. you're right who knew.?.. I should have been buying up pre CBS.. Fenders instead I bought used Gibsons... I had a 68 or 69 Les Paul.. I got used in 1974.. for like 200.00..and my '61 SG in trade with the tremolo bar.. I miss those 2 guitars as well... but I long since got rid of that guitar... at least I did not try to paint that one.. it was a gold burst with the sparkle Man I remember back in late '74.. a brand new ...1975 'vette was ..6900.00 list price,though... I keep thinking of how I missed out on buying that as well.. and gas was like 40 cents agallon... Geez....
 




Top