Advice for birthday surprise?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Strahanjen, May 26, 2020.

  1. Strahanjen

    Strahanjen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    My husband's 50th birthday is approaching next month and his mom and I would like to surprise him. He has longed for a vintage blond Telecaster for as long as I've known him. Ironically, while he is an expert player, our daughter's student model cello is our most expensive instrument in the house. I'd like to change that. He's been reluctant to spend the money, but with his mom chipping in some, the purchase is more feasible.

    I'm hoping knowledgeable folks here can help me narrow down some of the choices available at the moment. While I realize that it would be best for him to pick it out, I feel that he would just put the brakes on the purchase. Thus, I'm hoping to do as well as I can for coming up with a good option. If I can find one with a good return policy, we'd just be out the shipping if the guitar I choose doesn't feel right.

    Here's a run down of possibilities I've seen. I'd love to hear your input on which might be the best choice. Also, if you know of other guitars I should consider, feel free to send me a message with a link or more information. Sadly, I don't think a pre-CBS is in our price range, but I'm guessing that some of these would be great guitars also?

    1. 1966 Blond Telecaster, all original wiring, electronics & pickups. Maple fretboard, original frets with some life still remaining. Has the ashtray cover. Neck pickup has been professionally rewound. Original case. Downside: There is a large flower sticker on the back of the body. It can be removed but it has been there since 1969 and will show a shadow when it is removed. Price around $9K. Sold from a guitar store.

    2. 1965 Blond Telecaster, sparse details in the listing, haven't heard back from seller asking for more details. Photo of electronics indicates that someone has messed with the connections between the pots and switch. Looks like there is electrical tape and a new capacitor. Asking price $10K. Sold from a private party

    3. 1969 6.9 oz Blond Telecaster - front pick up replaced over 38 years ago. Price $6,200.

    4. 1969 Blond Telecaster - original pick ups, pots dating from 1966, and switch. Missing ashtray cover. Has been refretted. Not the original pick guard. $6K

    5. 1968 Blond Telecaster - all original including case. Weighs just over 7lbs. $8,500.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    NicDo, d barham, Ian T and 2 others like this.
  2. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,601
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    What a fantastic thing to do!!!

    I really believe that delving into older vintage goods can get sticky - both because he will be reluctant to hurt your feelings by returning, and because the specifics of these vintage instruments are so personal, technical, and sometimes problematic.

    Can't you instead make a family event with a card and a check for $10K that stipulates that it HAS to be spent on a blonde 1960's telecaster - and that both his wife and his mom INSIST that it must be done?? I mean really, with both his wife and mom aligned, that's got to be enough to get him over the edge, and then he gets to pick it... which is the only safe outcome IMO.

    Just my 2 cents ...
     
  3. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    4,258
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I just spent the last ten minutes trying to answer this question, I think this advice is pretty sound

    To the op

    With the guitars listed you’ll get many different answers based on our personal preferences
    And guitars are such a personal thing without knowing You’re husband would be impossible to make conjectures of what he would like

    For example I know the 66 your talking about and that’s what I would look for so I would say that one, maybe the next poster will say go for the 69

    I’d say if you do purchase without his knowledge like you have said go through an actual store/has a return policy and maybe even use Reverb.com since they add a little extra protection
     
  4. Strahanjen

    Strahanjen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    That certainly makes sense and we may end up doing that. That said, given that he likely won't find one locally and will have to take a gamble with an online purchase anyway, maybe I can start the process by getting one possible guitar into our house? I'll make sure he knows that it is just a starting point and not to feel bad about returning.
     
  5. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,601
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Any time you engage a seller it's hard to anticipate everything that may ensue. Also, your husband will probably have a bunch of specific questions and concerns that he'd want addressed before pulling the trigger - I think we all would around here for that kind of $$. However, because the priorities would probably be different for each of us, that's why the safest thing is to put him in the driver's seat.

    You're thinking that the moment may not have the "splash" you want, but it could go the other way if it's not what he'd be happy with and the moment gets awkward because he knows what you all put into doing it. So figure out a way to have the splash - maybe with 3 birthday cards with pictures of your top 3 choices, and make it clear that you won't settle for anything other than him buying one!

    And remember, anticipation is half the fun, so he'll probably get into it in a big way.

    I know it's presumptuous to insert my opinion this way, but you asked :)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    nojazzhere and Fretting out like this.
  6. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,330
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ballard
    @Strahanjen - my wife is more than a decade late on the killer birthday present! I'll show her your post and see if it makes her angry or competitive. ;)

    A "first buy" in this price range (IMO) would involve going in w/ an experienced player, familiar w/ the vagaries of the vintage game.

    As a partscaster player, I'm not your guy.
    Heck, I brought along a responsible adult when I nipped down to the store to pick up a budget 12 string (he approved).
    A private seller might have a deal, but an unsophisticated buyer, like me, could get skinned.

    My wife makes a great birthday cake. . .

    Peace - Deeve
     
  7. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,659
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK Europe.
    So tricky. I wouldn't buy vintage from anywhere but a specialist with an international reputation, or without an appraisal and valuation from one.

    Which in my case is never going to happen.

    It's a lovely idea but you've got to involve your husband.

    Maybe to fire him up you could give him a copy of the Blackguard Book and put the fat cheque inside it.
    I believe there may be copies still available from the author?

    https://www.nachoguitars.com

    Or buy him a Nacho guitar. Much safer.!
     
    Collin D Plonker and nojazzhere like this.
  8. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,514
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    I’d book a trip with him to a place you have checked out that have plenty... and then go to the specialist stores there as a surprise.

    Of course, every guy here coming up to his 50th is trying to work out if its them now.
     
  9. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,529
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Location:
    Canada
    Very cool, and very thoughtful.

    If I had to pick one of those above, I would say the 66 with the flower decal... because I actually don't live too far from where it is being sold!

    But I do agree with some of the above comments, that while it might not have the same effect, it might be best to let your husband find the right guitar.
     
  10. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,659
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK Europe.
    I'm trying to work out if it's me and I'm nowhere near 50.
     
  11. TJStone

    TJStone TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    34
    Joined:
    May 7, 2020
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    What a great gift idea, but I would agree with TeleTucson's reply (#2) in that he may be reluctant to return or exchange the guitar if it doesn't appeal to him. My wife bought me a Les Paul as a wedding gift that I never got comfortable with and I kept it for years without playing it much before finally trading it in as I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Give him the funds that fit your budget, stipulate that it must be spent on his dream guitar, and let him pick out that one that he will enjoy for many years to come.
     
  12. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,499
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    Can't help sorry, but just wondering, would you counsel my wife....

    Pax/
    Dean
    p.s. actually, I'd go with the idea of a holiday trip that he thinks is his present. But you end up at a place with a store that has a range to pick from. A nice store might set up a bunch in your price range, but sans price tags. Tell him they all cost the same within a few hundred dollars and the money has been handed over - he has to pick one, or you will.
     
    Matthias, jvin248, Ian T and 2 others like this.
  13. Skamania

    Skamania Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    280
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Yes, order the Blackguard book from Nacho Bueno and have him inscribe the inside cover to your husband. And put a check in the book. Have him add the Blackguard book number in the Blackguard book club under the clubs tab here on TDPRI. The cover of the book has a Telecaster body picture with a number printed on the bridge just as a pre-1955 Telecaster is numbered on the bridge. I have two Blackguard books. LOL.

    Garys Classic Guitars has a nice 66. Maybe there is some wiggle room. Does he like maple or dark wood necks-I like maple but everyone is different. I have a partscaster.

    If he finds one he likes he can fly there and test it out.

    Good success!
     
    Nightclub Dwight and Ian T like this.
  14. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,659
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK Europe.
    If you manage to persuade your husband to buy an expensive vintage Tele (and that's not a sentence that occurs very often around here) do make sure you post plenty of pictures. We like pictures here!

    Best wishes to you for a happy outcome (and let us know how it all turns out.)
     
    aadvark and nojazzhere like this.
  15. Strahanjen

    Strahanjen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks everyone for your responses. It definitely seems the consensus is that I should let him pick it out. One thing I can do is some intense searching so that I can present him with a list of several potential options. Can you all comment on the best places to search where we would mostly come upon reputable dealers? I don't think we know much about where to look, other than places like Gruhn and our local stores (Willie's Guitars, Encore in the Twin Cities). I did just discover gbase.com. Is that where most people search? Or are there other good options?
     
  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,821
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    There's a number of places; you might just print out pictures of what you think would be the best candidates and tell dad to pick one. Or not. tough to say without knowing more, but I highly approve of your concept and consideration!

    Here's a few more:

    https://www.elderly.com/collections/category_web-vault/products/fender-telecaster-1968 (elderly probably does more acoustic stuff, but every now and then)

    https://cartervintage.com/collections/fender-telecasters/products/fender-telecaster-2000
    (Carter's seems a little pricey to me, but maybe not.)

    Right now, Norman's doesn't seem to have much in the way of what you're looking for, but quite often they do. Also maybe a little pricey, according to some.

    https://www.normansrareguitars.com/pages/electric?make=fender&page=2&year_max=2019&year_min=1950

    Likewise, Dave's doesn't seem to have anything online right now, but:
    https://davesguitar.com/products/type/vintage-gear/

    Reverb has quite a few listings from the 60's - maybe you've already been there?

    https://reverb.com/brand/fender?product_type=electric-guitars&decades=196

    Maybe the best idea is to take some time and let the lucky guy feel like he's made the right choice.
     
    Boreas and Collin D Plonker like this.
  17. bcook

    bcook TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Consider perhaps a guitar born the same year as he was.
     
    richiek65, gregj1964 and WingedWords like this.
  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    11,891
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I've read all the replies, and there's some great advice here.....I can't believe you are so awesome that you're doing this.
    The only reason I'm hesitant to go along is that guitars are VERY PERSONAL......each of us here have very specific likes and dislikes, and finding the right guitar can be like a magic trick.
    One suggestion I haven't seen yet is, does it have to be a FENDER guitar? What if you contacted a custom builder, and arranged a purchase, only holding off completion until your husband can specify his favorite aspects? There are several we here would recommend, especially Ron Kirn and Bob Logan. ( other folks can suggest others) They are eminently respected,
     
  19. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    What a wife! He must be a really good husband to you.

    It doesn't really matter which one you pickup, it will be incredibly heartwarming and special for him, and he'll cherish that guitar for the remainder of his life.
     
    Strahanjen and gregj1964 like this.
  20. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    626
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Alora Spain
    I just think he has a lovely wife and mum, such a great thing to :)
     
    GuyR and Strahanjen like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.