Broadcaster vs. Telecaster

Mnewman123

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Well this may be a stupid question for all of you hardcore Tele-types - but I read an interview of Tom Petty's guitar player, he was discussing his favorite guitars and discussed his vintage Broadcaster- he said at first he didn;t realize it was different from a Telecaster - but they are. So, my question is what does he mean? Isn't a Broadcaster just a Telecaster from like 1951 with a similar profile to a 52 blackguard Tele? Is it that the pickups have a specific sound profile that's noticeably different from a "telecaster"?? Is there anything today being built like a "Broadcaster??"
 

BritishBluesBoy

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Back then all of them were made by hand. Neck profiles finished by hand, pickups wound by hand etc etc etc... All early Broadcasters, Nocasters, Telecasters, Esquires are different from each other. He may be talking about his specific Broadcaster being different to a specific Telecaster... Impossible to make comparisons to today's production guitars.
 

Chris H.

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The Broadcaster is different to the 1951 Tele because they have a blend knob instead of a tone knob which allows the bridge pickup to be merged with the neck pickup. Maybe thats what he means. I think!!!
 

rp1138

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Nocasters and early Telecasters all tend to have that really deep U shaped neck profile, but (and I admit that I'm basing this off of things I've read, as I've never had a chance to actually play one) a lot of Broadcasters had more of a V shaped profile, especially the early ones.

Also, Broadcasters and Nocasters had 43 guage wire on the bridge pickup instead of 42 gauge.
 

Mnewman123

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thanks - well who nows what he meant by saying he was surprised to leanr they were differetn from Teles - he seems to love his and has used it for many of the records Tom petty has made over the years.
 

BritishBluesBoy

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Nocasters and early Telecasters all tend to have that really deep U shaped neck profile, but (and I admit that I'm basing this off of things I've read, as I've never had a chance to actually play one) a lot of Broadcasters had more of a V shaped profile, especially the early ones.

Also, Broadcasters and Nocasters had 43 guage wire on the bridge pickup instead of 42 gauge.

I think you'll find what you have been reading isn't strictly true... Musikraft makes replica blackguard necks with specs taken from a very broad range of actual early 50's Fender necks. See for yourself - the specs are all across the spectrum.

https://www.musikraft.com/store.php?pg1-cid73.html
 

poorplayer

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Nacho will be able to tell you more about it and you should look at his book for more info -- but the key is not that Broadcasters are "better" but that they are early and still represent somewhat of an experimental period in the development of what became the telecaster. The very early ones have a lot of hand routing and hand-done adjustments. I've only played two in my life, a very early one and a later one. They were both very heavy, and both had a flat ridge on either side of the neck where it meets the fingerboard. One had razor thin paint, the other was super thick paint. Both had very hot and compressed bridge pups, and both had nearly dead neck pups.
 

Steveareno

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Yeah Chessehead, the old Fender calendars with the pin-ups would make a great reprints (big fan of Elvgrin, Petty, Vargas, etc).
Swang on,
 
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rp1138

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I think you'll find what you have been reading isn't strictly true... Musikraft makes replica blackguard necks with specs taken from a very broad range of actual early 50's Fender necks. See for yourself - the specs are all across the spectrum.

https://www.musikraft.com/store.php?pg1-cid73.html

I think that was the point I was trying to make: you usually see deep U shaped necks on Nocasters and blackguard Teles, but there was a more variation with the Broadcasters, including a lot of V necks, which otherwise don't really show up much on Fenders until the mid 50's.

I've been looking at that Musikraft page a lot lately, as I'm starting my first partscaster build - a Broadcaster, of course. I thought it was interesting that all but one of the Broadcasters listed had a 9.5 radius.
 

DMace

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There's a Guitar Player interview with Jim Weider where he says that the '52 and '53 Teles had smaller, soft V necks, so who the heck knows.
As for the difference between Broadcasters and Teles, I honestly didn't think there was one, other than the decal.
 

rp1138

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There's a Guitar Player interview with Jim Weider where he says that the '52 and '53 Teles had smaller, soft V necks, so who the heck knows.
As for the difference between Broadcasters and Teles, I honestly didn't think there was one, other than the decal.

Pretty much the only thing we can say for certain is that most of them had necks, and the ones that didn't don't play very well.:lol:
 

Gibson

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I'm kind of surprised that after all these years Fender has never regained the right to use the word Broadcaster for a special reissue model. Sounds like a seller.

It doubt the original legal issue still holds -- especially since FMIC now owns Gretsch? I speculate, of course.
 

sean001

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I believe the Broadcaster, Esquire and earliest Telecasters had a different bridge P/U with different wire, as previously pointed out above. Also those early P/Us had a zinc base plate as opposed to copper. I think the poles were also a bit larger. As I understand it, the P/Us were a bit stronger and a bit less trebly. Perhaps a tad thicker is the word?
 

rp1138

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I'm kind of surprised that after all these years Fender has never regained the right to use the word Broadcaster for a special reissue model. Sounds like a seller.

It doubt the original legal issue still holds -- especially since FMIC now owns Gretsch? I speculate, of course.

I saw a video about this actually. Fred Gretsch agreed to let them use the name for this run in exchange for letting him have the first one. He's going to put it on display in the Gretsch museum.
 

Colt W. Knight

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I think you'll find what you have been reading isn't strictly true... Musikraft makes replica blackguard necks with specs taken from a very broad range of actual early 50's Fender necks. See for yourself - the specs are all across the spectrum.

https://www.musikraft.com/store.php?pg1-cid73.html

I have never played or inspected an early 50s tele with the same specs yet. Also, while inspecting these early guitars, you will find a lot of variation in the fit/finish of the wood. I don't want to say mistakes, because comparing hand made instruments( by nonluthiers) to todays CNC standards is ludicrous.
 




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