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76 Tele? Return to stock or leave it?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Kewk, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Kewk

    Kewk Tele-Meister

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    I have a 1976 Tele. It has early 80's EMC pickups and Pots from a strat. I'd like to have it closer to it's original factory configuration but I'm not sure if it's worth the time and money since a 1976 is not really a high value guitar.

    I'm definitely going to change out the pots as the split post strat pots are terrible on a Tele. Is it worth seeking out pots from around 1976 or should I just use new ones? The pickup sound fine to me, and don't need to be replace but I'm wondering if the guitar might be worth more if I found a set from '76.

    What would you do with it?
     
  2. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    If it pleases you, it's worth it.

    I assume you've already estimated the cost of items needed to take it back to'76 specs, and you'll be doing the work yourself?

    I have a somewhat similar age Tele (1979) that had been modded over the years, but I returned to
    original configuration. It's not a high value guitar and may never be, but at least it's the way it left the factory
    thirty seven years ago, and that's probably not a bad thing.
     
  3. Grabsplatter

    Grabsplatter Tele-Holic

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    When I started playing, you couldn't give away 70s Fenders. They fetch good money now.
     
  4. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

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    You've got to ask yourself why you want to return it to stock- what are you more concerned with? Having a guitar you like to play or resale value? Are you going to play the thing or sell it? If the pickups in it sound good, why waste the money buying a vintage set? Unless your endgame is to sell, then I would guess "correct" stock pickups would be more desirable to someone in the market for a 1976 telecaster.
     
    Stingfan73 and Blue Bill like this.
  5. Kewk

    Kewk Tele-Meister

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    I should clarify: If I was never going to sell it I'd just swap out the pots with news ones. I'm curious about resale. If I spent a few hundred on vintage pots and pickups, is it going to increase the value at least a few hundred? I'd prefer it to be in stock config, but to me it's not worth spending the money if I'll never get it back.

    Is a 76 in original config worth a few hundred dollars more than one with new pots and older EMC pickups?
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The purchase price of both original pickups would probably be greater than the increase in value, considering that original year parts aren't the same as original to the guitar parts. Easily $600 or more for neck and bridge pup, plus your time shopping.
    Pots might not be as bad but again not original to the guitar and even less meaningful in terms of originality and value; '70s pots vs '70s pickups.
    I do like early '70s Tele bridge pups for sound and being "original Fender", but as the '70s moved on there were a lot of underwound shrill sounding bridge pups mixed in with better sounding examples, so you could spend you money and sound worse.
    I have one of the mid-late '70s Tele bridge pups with the odd shielded hookup lead, and it sounds pretty bad; as well as not having an actual readable date.
    Most have something stamped on the bottom under the plate, but not all are legible or actually mean what the seller claims.
    Despite all this I still buy vintage pickups when the cash is around, just because...
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm not familiar with EMC pickups, you don't mean EMG?
    And you're not saying it has Strat pickups as well as pots?
    If it has EMG pickups and any other really big changes from normal Tele config then the value difference might be bigger.
    But spending on vintage original parts may not increase the value any more than some new Duncans and new Fender pots.
     
  8. telemandave

    telemandave Tele-Meister

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    I would return to the stock stuff, if it were mine.
     
  9. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Restore. It won't be a ton of money. Right now on EBay there is a 1976 Telecaster pickup (editted ,it is a Strat pickup).
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    Dan R likes this.
  10. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Set it up however you want. But you probably won't get any more out of it than the enjoyment of what you have done.
    If that's not enough, then leave it alone.
     
  11. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a 75 tele. They originally had 1 meg pots. Since one of the pots had been changed, I just went to 250 K pots on both volume and tone. Pots are not as critical to the 'originality' of a guitar as other parts. I am very happy with 250 K because I get plenty of twang without any 'icepick'. So, if you wish it to be stock, 1 Meg pots. But you may prefer the 250 K.

    As far as pickups, you may have to look around to find some 70's tele pickups. But as others have suggested, you can get stellar tone from many different makers.

    FWIW, I love my 70's tele. Feels just right, sounds great with no shrill harshness, and delivers the Tele goods. Enjoy your tele!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    Omiewise65 likes this.
  12. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

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    I have a '69 Tele that had stock 1meg pots. When one of them froze I took the opportunity to replace them with high-quality 250K pots. To my ears, I should have done this 45 years ago. The guitar sounds MUCH better but still, as Dan R notes, lets plenty of Tele twang through, and it sweetens up the neck pickup. So, personally I would not go crazy to find period-correct pots.
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    For now I'd suggest getting a nice set of new/used pups, pots, and cap and play it. If you sell it some day you can say "back in 2016 I upgraded the pickups and electronics and I've played it for all the years since". Keep your eye out for originals at good prices and just put them in the box of parts for that guitar and offer them for sale with the guitar if that day comes. Otherwise you're playing something new and that you like.
     
  14. kingoflimbs

    kingoflimbs Tele-Meister

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    other than the pickups and pots, is everything else original? has the body been modified? what condition is the neck in? got any photos?
     
  15. Kewk

    Kewk Tele-Meister

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    I think it's stock other than the electronics. I'll try to take some pics this weekend.
     
  16. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Any '70s era Tele is worth restoring to vintage spec, for the simple fact that they get more valuable with each year that they get older. If you don't have the original pickups, that will be the most costly part of a restoration, but if the guitar's playable and in decent shape, I think it's money well spent and a sound investment. When I first started tracking the value of my '70, the collectors told me it was worth about a third what it is today. So, I think yours would be a safe investment, based on what I've seen in the vintage market. I look at old Teles like Corvettes....the '53 is the most valuable, but the '70s era models are also very desirable, highly collectible and their value continues to increase over time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
    RyCo1983 likes this.
  17. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have a 1976 Tele. I changed out the tuners to Shallers, and the pickups to some Lindy Fralins.
    I also installed a MSSC harness.
    All the original parts are in the case. Plays, and sounds great.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Dongotto

    Dongotto Tele-Meister

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    I agree about 70's tele values. We are getting close if not already there to being at price points where teles all the way into early 70's are well beyond most players. So even with some bad guitars out there I think good examples of late 70's teles will just keep on climing as they become by default the next group of guitars that people can still buy a vintage guitar without taking out a loan. So yeah bring it back.
     
  19. Kewk

    Kewk Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are a few pics. The pickups are Seymour Duncan, not EMC. I remembered wrong. The bridge seems to have no chrome. Any idea why?
     
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  20. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Is the bridge brass? I think it was a common mod back in the 70s/80s to install brass bridges. Shoot, after seeing it and knowing that it has Duncans in it, I'd just change the pots to 250K CTS and be done with it. I would keep an eye out for deals on vintage pickups and vintage 1 meg pots to stash away if you wanted to sell it in the future, but I'd just make it how you want it while you're using it. I would imagine that I wouldn't like 1 meg pots and factory mid to late 70s pickups...especially compared to Duncans and 250K CTSs.
     
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