68 Telecaster with factory bigsby

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Greg420, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    Hello everyone, very happy to by part of your community:) I recently got my hands on this sweet tele but I'm not sure it's all orginal. Serial number says it from 68 or 67-70. It have maple neck with skun stripe, pots have been changed. Have lacquer cracking on body and on headstock face.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nOpD4K3r81TRel85VSQZ-kcoKwWjF8B9

    Any help will be mutch appreciated. Thank you :)

    PS.
    Sory don't know how to post photos yet.;)
     
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  2. landofahhs

    landofahhs TDPRI Member

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    Interesting find, Greg. I'm not one of the board authorities, just a very old '69 telecaster owner. I'm sure the folks here will be interested in your guitar body pictures also...especially the area where the neck is mounted. You can never have too many pictures, we soak them up. :)
     
  3. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Interesting. The bridge pickup seems to indicate the year 1989 and clearly says Duncan, which one can only assume is possibly a late 80's Seymour Duncan? Cloth wires and wire colors appear authentic for this period. I have never seen a '67 with the date penciled in the neck pocket. Pocket also seems to have been very lightly routed nearest the neck pickup route. This was clearly done after production. There is no legible neck stamp date or code (most '67's had a fairly simple date stamp rather large and usually dark blue or black ink.) The neck stamp date is the best way to date a tele or at least it's neck, but it might be helpful to know the neck plate number. I have a data base with over 140 1967 Tele's and could give you a pretty reliable guess as to whether the neck plate number was from '67 or thereabouts.
     
  4. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Also, I don't believe that a skunk strip would be correct for a '67, not sure about after mid-'67 and will defer to those with more knowledge than I.
     
  5. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    218880 decoder says its 68
     
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  6. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Yes, that sounds about right, probably early '68, but neck plates are the easiest identifier on a guitar to replace, so not the best way to date a guitar. Your guitar is Olympic White in case you didn't know or were wondering. Olympic White is often mistaken for Blonde due to the extreme yellowing that occurs over the years. Give away is that you can not see any wood grain through the finish as you would on Blonde finishes.
     
  7. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Fender didn't start putting Bigsby's on until Sept. '67, so if original, we know it was born after that point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  8. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    From Fender's site:

    In general, skunk-stripe necks were around for most of the 1950s but absent for most of the 1960s, until its return in 1969 when a 1950s-style, one-piece maple neck/fingerboard once again became available as an optional feature. From 1969 to 1971, however, rosewood-fingerboard instruments still had no skunk stripe.

    When Fender introduced the “bullet” truss rod system in 1971 on the Stratocaster, the truss rod adjustment mechanism moved from the body end of the neck to the headstock. This design entailed routing the truss rod channel into the back of the neck (as in the 1950s) regardless of fingerboard material, which meant that all “bullet” Stratocasters—maple- and rosewood-fingerboard models alike—were given skunk stripes. When other Fender models subsequently received bullet truss rod systems in the early 1970s, they too were given skunk stripes.
     
  9. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you :) this refers to stratocaster, but is this same with tele? What about that bridge pickup, do you think this is replacment? It has some numbers on other side. Also im thinking about that second string tree, but it might have been added later. String tree spacer between G and D made out of plastic. But E and B is metal. Also screws are diffrent.

    About finsh, I expected it's OW but wasnt 100% sure. It has some bearly visible grains.
     
  10. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    Also no routing for neck pickup. When did they stop doing this?
     
  11. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Yes, in the second paragraph it does mention that the Strat was the first to receive the Bullet Truss Rod system, but the information on the skunk strip is, I believe, more general and I'm sure applies to Tele's as well. The part that is a little confusing is where it says "When other Fender models subsequently received bullet truss rod systems in the early 1970s, they too were given skunk stripes." I don't believe the Bullet Truss Rod system was adopted to standard Tele's in the 70's, but most definitely was on the '72-'81 Customs, Thinlines, and Deluxes. My '71 is one of the '69 -'71 special orders with a one-piece maple neck, which does not have the Bullet Truss Rod, but does have a skunk strip. So, based on the information from Fender, if yours is a '68, I don't believe it has the correct neck, but it could be if it was a '69 -'71 special order like mine with a one-piece maple neck. '72 was the last year for a single string tree, but it is very common to see second string trees added before Fender started doing in late '72 - '73. Don't know for sure on the pickup, I was just speculating based on the pencil marks on it showing "1989" and "Duncan".
     
  12. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    Not 100% sure. My '67 has the diagonal route, my '71 does not.
     
  13. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    20180129_120642.jpg 20171203_154033.jpg
     
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  14. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Y'all - Welcome to the Fold and aside from that I would like to thank pcasarona for the wisdom. These guys are amazing I'm glad to be part of the welcome wagon:D
     
  15. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    The Fender B-5 Bigsby is vintage. I'd need to see a picture of the backside of the guitar to know if the guitar always had the Bigsby on it or if it was added later.
     
  16. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    no string holes so bigsby was factory build
     
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  17. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    Anyway from fender site serial dating:
    200,000s 1968
    200,000s to 300,000s 1969 to 1970

    So it's either be 68 or 69,70. That could be why it have a skun stripe neck.

    Also about routing, let me get this straight. Body with neck pickup routing was done erlier than no routing or opposite?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  18. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Holic

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    I think the diagonal route went away in 1969. I'm on vacation and don't have access to all my Tele books, but a quick scan on-line shows some '68's with the route and some '69's without, so that is my guess.
     
  19. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Tele-Meister

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  20. Greg420

    Greg420 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you that was helpful. So my guess is it is a 69 tele:

    -skunk stripe neck
    -prob. added string tree
    -no neck pickup routing
    -fifth neck hole

    That indicates 69 or later.

    Strange thing, body pencil stamp says 67, and neck stamps are also odd.

    Still not sure about that pickup but I notes that date stamp should be under brass cover so i will have to check it again later.

    Dating might be hard but do you think those parts (neck, body) are oryginal right? They defineaty looks like 50 years. And on second hand why to go with all that trouble to fake a bigsby version :) while hard tails are more valued.
     
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