74/75 Telecaster Deluxe Need Help!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by lespaulist, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. lespaulist

    lespaulist TDPRI Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking for the wisdom of TDPRI to help shed some details on a Tele Deluxe I just acquired. The guitar was sold as a 1975 Telecaster Deluxe, 100% original with no issues, repairs, etc. The biggest thing perplexing me right now is the neck. The neck is actually much thinner than I anticipated and the serial number appears to be: 0801-4223. The neck code is 01 would I believe means it would have a rosewood fingerboard and the year value doesn’t make sense. Does anyone have any insight into the neck? I also found a randomly drilled hole underneath the backplate.

    Also, is there any way to date the body of the guitar? The stamp is unreadable and there are no other markings. I have the numbers for the various guitar parts below and also a few pics. There are a ton of pictures of the guitar here. Thank you!

    Neck Serial Number: 0801-4223
    Pickup Serial Number: Bost Stamped 191074 (74)
    Pots Codes: Both Tone: 1377346, Volume: 1377403 other unreadable
    Plate Serial: 528888 (73 or 74)
     

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  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    According to guitarhq.com, your neck date code (not strictly speaking a serial number) decodes as:
    08 = Tele Deluxe
    01 = rosewood fingerboard — yet they also say 00 is rosewood so maybe 01 should mean maple
    42 = week 42, ie mid October
    2 = year 2 = 1972
    3 = day = Wednesday
     
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  3. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Congratulations on the new guitar. It's beautiful.

    I have a 75 Tele Deluxe that I've had for a little while. I'm by no means an expert, I had a 73 back in the day and I have been watching them on Reverb for a long long time. I think mine is original.

    In my experience deluxe necks are a lot different than what people tend to look for in necks. I think small C is a pretty accurate description. I was surprised when I got my 75 also, but everything made sense and felt familiar. For me it was like an old friend that I had forgotten about. I haven't measured it, but the neck also doesn't seem to change a ton from the first to 12th fret. If you're used to LPs that could be a little weird feeling.

    The neck seems light to me. It's hard to tell, but the back of the pickups look a bit too clean to me and they don't seem to have the Fender emboss. Did fender make WRHB without their logo? Also the bridge volume pot looks different that the others to me.

    It looks like you got one where the high E string isn't falling off the board. Which is great. It's the first thing I look for when evaluating them. How heavy is yours?

    Sorry, I can't take mine apart right now. But here are some pics from the old reverb ad.

    6.jpg 5.jpg 4.jpg 3.jpg 2.jpg 1.jpg
     
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  4. lespaulist

    lespaulist TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Yes the 01 in the neck serial number is throwing me off.

    The guitar weighs 7.7lbs and feels very light. The fender logo is engraved on the front of the pickups. I agree it looks like one of the pots had been replaced. I’m also not sure why there are additional holes drilled behind the neck plate.

    Do you think the pickups may not be original?

    Thanks again for your insights!
     
  5. timbraun

    timbraun TDPRI Member

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    I don't have internal pictures of my Deluxe on hand, and I keep forgetting what year it is. My notes say it's a 74.

    My big contribution to the thread is the opinion that the neck is on the thin side. I love the profile. It is similar to the Fender modern C on the American Special series. Of course neck preferences vary with your hands.

    Anyway, my Deluxe is no longer stock. It came to me with Schaller tuners. 70s Fender tuners are not the best part of these guitars.

    The saddles on mine were very corroded, so I put some Tusq saddles on. Simple and reversible. Improved stability, setup and intonation.

    The pots on these things are 1 MOhm. Tone changes a lot in the top area, between 7 and 10. I found it too annoying after I started actually using my volume knobs. So I swapped the volume pots for 500 KOhm units. I like it. Reversible, though I've now messed with the factory solder.

    Somebody had a normal humbucker in the neck position before I got this thing, so didn't lose much when I touched the solder.

    Summary: Great guitar! I hope your's is just as great!

    Those tuning machines don't look original to me... They look improved. The pickups look original to me.

    20190808_112701_HDR.jpg 20190808_104233_HDR.jpg 20190808_104141_HDR.jpg 20190808_104207_HDR.jpg
     
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  6. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I think the OP tuners are are original or at least vintage correct. They look like mine.

    ehotsuwzpwma62pun91k.jpg

    Though I've noticed a lot of 75ish versions have a darker bushing ring not sure why.

    g357dke8thnz8qk7dplx.jpg

    The tuners aren't my favorite part of the guitar, but they work fine for me.
     
  7. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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  8. lespaulist

    lespaulist TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback! I always thought that Schallers were used during the first year of Tele Deluxe production and in the second year, Fender made a deal to brand the Schallers as their own. I could certainly be wrong about that.

    It seems like everything appears to be original worth the exception of one of the pots. What does that do to the value of the guitar? I’m not looking to sell it but I also want to make sure I did not get ripped off. Thanks!
     
  9. lespaulist

    lespaulist TDPRI Member

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    Also forgot to say that there are some fine looking teles in this forum. I attached a picture of the headstock on my guitar for comparison purposes.
     

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  10. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    I was going to say that the solder joints onto the back of the bridge PU volume pot did not seem original to me... Then I read your post.
    But I am no specialist.
     
  11. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    In your first post you say the guitar was sold as 100% original. Whatever it does to its value and even if you are not planning to sell it right now obviously, I would do something, starting by contacting the seller. If you like the guitar and want to keep it, I am sure you could find some agreement.
     
  12. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I’ve seen asking prices between $2600 and $3600 for guitars similar to yours. If you got it on the low end or lower of that range it’s probably a fair market price.

    On the high end wouldn’t be crazy crazy but would definitely be premium pricing.
     
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  13. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't think replacing a pot would make a big diff., but it should be divulged of the guitar is advertised as 100% ORIGINAL. Some buyer might try to get a big discount on the price because of that.Those buyers are more concerned with flipping it than keeping it..I wouldn't negotiate price over a replaced pot.
     
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  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Everything on your guitar looks legit. Tuners are ridgey-didge - all Deluxes had them.

    I can tell just from the shade of the pickup baseplate and the colour of the screws - they're original. If you want to be sure, just unscrew a pole, test it for magnetism. You won't hurt anything, they screw into the plastic bobbin only - put it back the way you took it out, they're oriented South-up on the neck side, North-up on the bridge side. So yes - the screws coming in from the top are different pole to the ones coming in from the bottom to maintain polarity.

    They were often devoid of any marking. Never pay too much attention to Fender ink stamps, nice if they make sense but humans being humans often they don't.

    I've just been working on my friend's Custom Partscaster I built him ten years back with original WRHB. Personally a replaced pot is no biggie. They do wear, they do go bad. If you really want get a replacement of the right type/date, they're around. Due to the batch built nature of these dates can vary. Not unusual to find pots several years older than the rest or plastic shaft spline pots with grub screw knobs.

    IMG_20190803_161352.jpg

    The necks on these moved around - with the intro of The Strat in 1980 the neck profiles varied even more.

    Should be around a OV or PV 52 Reissue, a little slimmer than a MIM 50s slugger or 50s Gibby, the slightly fuller than a modern 9.5" standard. They can be narrow across the nut, similar to a 60s slim taper Gibson. Around .85" deep at the first fret.

    Yours appears to be mocha although I think there was a brown in these- refin? Lovely either way.

    I have a friend with a sunburst 76 that is also sub 8lb. These are great guitars. The pickups are in the nice in-between of hummer to single coil. Bright and twangy with raunch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  15. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Don't worry about the one the tele deluxe never had a rosewood neck option. And the last 4 digits aren't a date code.

    Not much, a changed pot is better than a broken one.
     
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  16. timbraun

    timbraun TDPRI Member

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    After 40 years differences in plating and weathering will make different amounts of colour chances in the metal rings. I've seen significant differences in bushing rings on one set.

    Definitely. You can't really compare the value of a bad old potentiometer and a well done replacement.

    I'm coming from the perspective that this is not a museum piece. You want to respect the instrument and deliver it unmolested to the future, balanced with the fact it was built to make music. So make music with it and keep it in repair to make music.
     
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  17. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Holic

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    Like everyone has said, that's a nice Deluxe. I have a '73 in blonde and a '75 in sunburst and neither has a neck stamped number, just the "TEL-DELX. with year stamp. I went online and found another with both stamps like yours and it happened to be the same color as yours. walnut. Wonder if all walnut Deluxes have both stamps?'

    Also of the humbucker equipped Telecasters ("72/'73 to '81) the Deluxe (and Thinline) never came with anything but a maple neck, only the Custom could be ordered with a rosewood board neck.

    Your pots are the correct date but you say ones been replaced. I think the volume and tone pots are different on a Deluxe (both 1 meg). I think if you take the knobs off you will find a set with metal shafts and a set with plastic shafts. Here's a shot of my '75.

    75_TELE_DLX.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  18. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Holic

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    Lovely deluxe,looks 100% legit,part of the "deluxe" marketing was the die-cast schallers,neck may also feel thinner because its a flatter radius which along with the bigger frets was another part of Fender frantic attempts back then to lure more Gibson players...
     
  19. Sleph

    Sleph Friend of Leo's

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    Great looking guitar lespaulist - and some great info!
     
  20. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    Your dates are on the neck plate, via the 8 digit neck code (not sure how exact) and the pickup serials. Looks pretty legit to me. The model changed a little over the years such as how the pickguard matches the curve of the body.

    Congrats! I’m considering getting a well-used, refinned ‘73 off a friend at the moment. It’s not cheap but those cunife pickups are getting super expensive!
     
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