'70s Teles

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by VAPhotog, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. TxTeleMan

    TxTeleMan Tele-Afflicted

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    ^ I'm pretty much in agreement with rob5755 on this one.

    In 1975, I bought a brand-new Telecaster Custom for somewhere around $500- sunburst, maple neck. It was one of the 3-bolt neck models. I liked the sound of the Seth Lover humbucker quite a bit, but I didn't really like the guitar all that much. You could pull the neck out of alignment very easily.

    I traded it in after a few years and ended up with an brand-new Strat that I really loved, especially after I put a Duncan vintage pup in the bridge position.

    In 1983 I moved to a blonde 1966 Tele with a rosewood fretboard. I replaced the pups with Duncans and that was an absolutely wonderful and sweet guitar.

    So... IMHO, a brand-new American Tele is a better ax that most mid 1970's models, especially the ones with the 3-bolt neck. If you're going to spend $4000 then buy two brand-new Teles- an American Deluxe and an American Vintage 52, and then buy a Fender Deluxe Reverb RI with the money left over! (and then treat your lady to a nice dinner with the money you still have left)

    The only reason I would buy a 70's Tele would be if I actually held it in my hands and it was a great ax, worth 2x the price of a new one. Either that or buy it as an investment, as maybe in 2020 it'll be worth $15,000. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    This is where we need Ol' Fuzzy, to defend the '70s as his favorite decade of Tele's.

    I have a '78, honey blonde. It's a little heavy, but I love it.

    $4,500 seems way steep, though. I would think that you could get a '74 for around $2,500 or less.
     
  3. serialsteve

    serialsteve Tele-Holic

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    AMC Pacers are now even considered "cool" in some circles.

    I have a '78 Tele Custom and it's one of my all-time favorite guitars. It just feels "right" to me.
     
  4. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Friend of Leo's

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    LOVE my '73 Deluxe. Very light, solid, resonant, stays dead in tune throughout long sets and those Seth Lovers are incredible!

    Had a '77 tele w/ a rosewood board which I never could get on with. Heavy, didn't stay in tune so well, thin tone etc. Ended up trading the '77 for a CS strat and then traded the strat for the '73 Deluxe = WIN for me!

    Here's a shot or two of the Deluxe (this one's a player, NOT a collector, but I like it that way)

    [​IMG]
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  5. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've already given my 2 cents up above, but thought I would upload a couple pictures of my '73. It is a great guitar.

    [​IMG]

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  6. rob5755

    rob5755 Tele-Holic

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    I realize that every era of Fender production is going to have good and bad associated with it, but from what I'm reading, is there a consensus that the vaunted "Pre-CBS" moniker isn't what it was quite made out to be? Or were the CBS-era instruments of inferior quality, due to ramping up production to meet their corporate sales targets? Or is it the case that, due to the inherent organic excellence of Leo's Telecaster design, a standard Tele, Custom Tele or Tele Deluxe from 1972-75 (a now 35 year old guitar) just improves with age anyway? I remember bringing my 3 bolter to Gil Southworth in Bethesda MD back around 1982 for a setup and he couldn't get the neck to align properly. It was way too easy to pull out of alignment and he told me it was a function of the micro-tilt 3 bolt neck.
     
  7. rob5755

    rob5755 Tele-Holic

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    And has FMIC actually improved on these '70s designs? Does the current ‘72 Telecaster® Custom, advertised as having a "3-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro-Tilt™ Adjustment" still suffer from the deficiencies of the original designs? So confused...why didn't they just go with 4 bolts?:confused:
     
  8. TxTeleMan

    TxTeleMan Tele-Afflicted

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    No doubt there are some very good 1970's Telecasters out there, as this thread has several of them already.

    The situation is that the "pre-CBS" Telecasters that are so desireable are hard to find and way too expensive for most players. This puts the late '60s and 70s Fenders as the next era that still qualifies as "vintage" and hence the high prices seen for these '70s model, IMHO a price disproportionate to their actual value vis-a-vi the brand new American ones. I would much rather have a brand new American Tele than a mid-70s one, unless that mid-70s model had something about it to warrant a price 2x or 3x of a new one... or I just wanted to buy it hoping to turn it later for a profit.

    The 3-bolt micro-tilt necks did and do have alignment issues. This does not mean that they won't play in tune. It does mean that if you bump into something you may knock your neck out of alignment. How often do you need to adjust the tilt on a neck anyway? I've never had to do that.

    Other than the 3-bolt necks having fragility issues, there's nothing inherentyl "wrong" with these guitars. The folks at CBS brought out a lot of innovation and new thinking, and came up with some interesting models. The Deluxe with the two SL humbuckers, four knobs and Strat-like peghead may have sounded and played great, but it didn't sound or look like a [n]Tele[/b] and that was its problem. Same with the Custom. The Seth Lovers sound great. But the things have Les Paul-like switching and controls, and that huge pickguard, and it just doesn't look or sound like a Tele.

    If you can get past that, they are great sounding guitars, and they look "different" enough to be cool in today's terms. The aging of the wood also helps in the sound category.

    I just can't see paying 2 or 3 times the price of a new one. $4500 for a 75 Custom is way too steep in my mind. Like I said, for $4500 I would buy an American Deluxe, an American 52 RI, a Deluxe Reverb RI, and still have money leftover.

    It's all in what you want. A player? A collection? Coolness? Value?
     
  9. bazooka47

    bazooka47 Tele-Meister

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    I bought a '74 'banana puddin' color Tele about 1.5 years ago. It is in great shape and was all orig. but for the neck pickup and the p/guard.

    I paid $2500.00, which seemed to be the going price at the time. I bought it to play while my 'Broadcaster' replica was being built, as I considered my '56 too valuable to play out (at least that is how I justified the purchase to myself).

    At any rate, I have grown quite fond of the '74 and I still have it. I have replaced the pickups and wiring harness (orig. intact in case) with GVCG/ Lollar Alnico IIIs and 250k pots with 4-way switching. This '74 is chime, rock and twang, all-in-one! 7.8 lbs, with a nice medium "C" neck profile.

    The only other change I may make down the road will be larger frets. The orig. frets, while in great shape, are TY-NEE!
     
  10. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    OK, mine's not a pretty see-through finish, but if I recall, that was $25 extra that I didn't have when I was 17, so I went a little budget at $190. But, I never thought about selling it. So, at 38 years-old, it's a keeper.

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  11. Shoved BassVIII

    Shoved BassVIII Tele-Holic

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    Blame Wayne's World for that.

    My most missed guitar is a 78 hardtail strat I once owned....it was converted to 4 bolt, and was just money. There were definately some gems built in that era
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  12. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a 73-74 Tele Custom, black and maple, all original that I bought used in 1976 for $300. It was the first decent electric I'd ever owned. Mine is a little on the heavy side at just under 9lbs - not that that really bothers me - but it plays like a dream and I love the wide range neck humbucker. The poly on the body is a little thick but this guitar has great sustain and stays in tune for literally months at a time, so I have nothing bad to say about 3-bolt necks or F tuners.

    I have seen quite a few at local GCs at outrageous prices and many have really been beaten up and/or have replaced bridges, pots, tuners, etc. I don't mind worn guitars but I wouldn't want an abused one.

    Mine is in pretty good condition but I don't think it's worth $4500. There again it's not for sale as I'm too attached to it after all these years.:rolleyes:
     
  13. sixstring6

    sixstring6 TDPRI Member

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    OK, I love the pics. Here's mine. 1974 Tele. I bought it in Seattle around 1984. Never goes out of tune. Love the birds eye maple neck with rosewood fretboard.
    December 2008 005.jpg
     
  14. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    1973, well-used, well-loved.
     
  15. OutlawSteph1975

    OutlawSteph1975 Friend of Leo's

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    Good point. Things are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them at any given time. Kids bought Beatles merchandise in 1963 with their allowance money, and now grown adults pay hundreds of dollars for that same stuff.

    I dig my '76 (far left); it's wonderfully playable and offers unique tones that just have not been reproduced by any reissues or modern models, and if I keep another 20 years and it's worth five figures, I'll just laugh all the way to the bank :p:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dave Hopping

    Dave Hopping Friend of Leo's

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    Here's new pix of my '75-the last one minus the PG.I'm of two minds about this guitar....I used it hard for a long time back in the '80s and never had any issues with it.Stayed in tune,pickups sounded good,stable neck,reliable wiring.BUT it's one of the ones with the misshapen upper bout(what a QC howler THAT was!),it's heavy @ 9 pounds,the finish on the neck is thick and sticky. I'll never sell it,because it was part of so many big moments in my life,but it hasn't been my go-to Tele for a long time.
     

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  17. MandyMarie

    MandyMarie Friend of Leo's

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    I love vintage guitars...I really, really do. But...and this is just my opinion here so I don't want anyone getting angry at me - I would never...ever...pay $4,500 for a 70's Tele. Especially without playing it. My main guitar for a bit was a '72 Tele (you guys probably remember me posting about it - I loved that guitar! And, if I still had it, I would still love it!) but I paid about $700 in the late 90's. It was an okay guitar, and a good friend to me, but was it worth $4,500? No waaaaaay. It sincerely and honestly wasn't built any better than the new stuff...honestly, it probably wasn't built as well!

    I did love that guitar...but what I'm specifically saying (in my own opinion, of course) is that if you find something that really grabs you by the collar - that's the one for you. But I personally wouldn't pay $4,500 for a 70's Tele without being grabbed by the collar. And anytime you're buying something without playing it, it isn't something that's grabbing you by the collar ;o)

    ...they all feel different, find the one that FEELS good to you - don't even consider the year! (and I own a '51! I should be the one telling you that vintage is always better...but I just don't believe that's true) - just find something that begs you to pick it up, something that FEELS good to you...if that's a '74 Tele for $10,000 that's awesome - as long as it feels good to you and you can't put it down, you made the right decision! :D
     
  18. Hafner

    Hafner RIP

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    1970 till 1973 are not far away from Transition Telecasters, but later ... I think the weight is the great minus of late seventies Telecasters. But remember: our old buddy Ole Fuzzy always pointed out, that he was a huge fan of the seventies Telecasters !
     
  19. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    I'd never pay $4500 for a tele, or any other guitar I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe Micawber, but then it wouldn't be a guitar but a "collectible" (ie, museum piece).

    Even more so. Even if it's your holy grail, why risk finding out it's made of tin?

    Always love to see your smile! :D
     
  20. V-Man 809

    V-Man 809 Tele-Holic

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    This is the only 70's tele i have:
     

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