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Considering a pre-74 Tele. Help!

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by tjnies, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    I have owned a couple 8502 Teles as well as a Danocaster, but sold all 3. (Wish I'd held onto the Danocaster a bit longer as I'd have doubled my money).
    Anyway, I had come to a roadblock recently on electric music altogether; I reduced my herd to a 1965 Vibro Champ and my brother's old Kent 740 that I inherited.
    The Kent is fine, but my brother passed far too early and I have a tough time even picking it up anymore.

    So I actually listed the VC and Kent. My wife told me I was crazy about the VC, and not to give up on it so quickly. Wife advised AGAINST selling - can you imagine? She's the best. For the record, I do not gig or really play out much at all - it's generally a home-player's hobby.

    So I decided to consider a guitar that inspires me to play electric more. Enter my search:

    I'd love to buy a nice, mostly original pre-74 Tele. Lighter-weight, reasonably priced, non-refin. My searches on Reverb reveal a lot of dreamers. Sure, a 1974 Tele is worth $6k, right?

    Where might you all suggest I look to find something worthwhile? Of course, I'd love a 68 maple cap, but don't think many will show up at a good price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  2. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice story. You need to define what "mostly original" is to you. Is it pick ups, bridge, tuners or what?

    Then you need to give your "reasonable price" range to see if non-refin falls into that range.

    Unless you know how to spot replacement items/issues a dealer is your safest option, even at higher prices.

    Good luck, hope you find the one for you.
     
  3. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    Yep; mostly original would include most of the major components (i.e pots / pickups / tuners etc). Frankly I welcome a re-fret, as older ones are too small for my liking.
    I prefer non-refin unless the price is discounted significantly to match. Like I said, some on Reverb seem reasonable until you read of changed out items.
    "Reasonable price" reflects an appropriate discount for those things not original. As mentioned I see mid-70's Teles with changed pots etc thinking they might get $5-6k. Wishful thinking. Even all-original is overpriced. Maybe not for a 68.

    I was hoping for a dealer or known seller that may have known for pricing commensurate with actual condition.

    For reference, a Tele with updates such as tuners, frets etc would still be considered but I won't pay prices that seem to ignore those changes.
     
  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Heck you should be able to get a "player-grade" or refin '66-'68 Tele for that.
     
  5. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    I guess that is my point; price should equal condition.

    If anyone wants a laugh, check out listed prices for 1970 -1975 Teles on Reverb.
     
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  6. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    If anything I’d suggest pre 73 at most late 72s as they have the single string tree and the correct body shape

    That is if you ever plan on having better resale value

    I also agree with you I’ve seen 70s telecasters at ridiculous prices

    I guess I’m kind of spoiled as I have my dads 72 but there is no way I’d spend more than 3000 or so on one
    it seems that a lot of the American made fenders today and even MIM are just as well built and playable
    That’s just based on the experience I have with mine and I’m sure others will agree

    I could understand wanting one though as I’d love to have a mid 60s myself

    Is this search for anything pre 74 or just the 70’s 60’s era?

    I actually saw a maple cap 64 on reverb not too long ago for custom shop prices so you can find some gems on there once in a while
     
  7. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    Eh, I can't say I wouldn't consider (or maybe even prefer) a modern CS or Nocaster Tele over a 60s-70s version.
    There's so many variables and I (sadly) always think about resale value in the course of my searches.

    So while a killer 60's refinished, re-fretted, new-pickup Tele at $3k might be a wonderful player, I will likely pass.
     
  8. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    I haven't looked at a vintage guitar price guide for years but that might give you the best guess at pricing. I know they average dealer sales from the previous year.

    Not trying to be mean but looking to buy a vintage guitar that you know you can make money on is hard work, if not impossible. If you don't have I'd recommend the Telecaster Book by A.R. Duchossoir. It has a few discrepancies but is a great reference. And you may have to beat the craigslist or such bushes and still may be disappointed.

    It's sort of like you don't believe those prices on reverb but they're the same for you as for the rest of us. Many have "make an offer" so that may be your option for a vintage Telecaster.

    A used custom shop might be your answer unless you know Stewie Griffin and can borrow his time machine. That's what I'm working on at the moment but he doesn't answer my emails.
     
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  9. Flipped Mustang

    Flipped Mustang Tele-Holic

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    Think 70's prices are crazy? Look what some people are asking for 80's Telecasters! There's seems to be such a large disconnect between reasonable prices and what sellers are hoping to get that I'm not sure where you'd go these days to get a realistic price on a vintage Tele. Not very helpful, I know :(
     
  10. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    if you are looking at a vintage tele, for an investment, I would be prepared to pay what a clean original, not messed around with one is worth, and I'd be careful doing it at that.

    If you are looking for a player's guitar, I can understand why would you want a messed with "sort of" vintage guitar but...

    If you can stumble into a "players grade" guitar reasonably I get that, and that makes sense, but looking for an old 3 bolt tele that is sort of original and or needs fretwork or neckwork etc, and playing a premium for it doesn't make much sense to me.

    It's a good way for you to pay too much for something that's been messed with... and never be able to get you money out of it. the arguments over what a refin/new bridge/rewound pickup etc etc are endless and subjective.

    I would consider getting a CS guitar for about the same money or build a partscaster to whatever spec you want or, getting a used vintage RI sort of guitar or whatever. there are plenty of options available...

    It ain't good just because it's old.
     
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  11. Chief101

    Chief101 Tele-Meister

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    Have a friend who has his grandpa’s ‘73. I had a chance to do some minor cleanup/setup work on it. I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. I didn’t plug it in, but I did pick around on it. Didn’t feel great in my hands. 10 years earlier and you have a classic. That ‘73 was just okay.
     
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  12. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Right, no? Go back to 58 and buy a bunch of these unsold Vs and Explorers for a handful of dollars. Keep the two best ones and you know the rest of the story :cool:
     
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  13. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    I'll have to keep my eyes open. As I mentioned, my bogey would be a 68 maple cap. I like the neck size in that year. While I'm sitting on Santa's lap how about a sunburst too?

    Not mean at all; I may have to check out the book - thanks.
    I understand that everyone sees the same prices, but it doesn't make them viable. At least to me. I thought about making offers, but if I offer 50% of their ask it might be construed as lowballing. Maybe it is.

    I get it that not all old guitars are good guitars. I face the same with vintage Martins.


    You make great points. I am not looking for an investment, but a decent player that won't lose too much money because I overpaid. And I am in fact open to a CS Tele if vintage doesn't work out. I may have to do some research as to what to look for to avoid being taken by unscrupulous or uninformed sellers.
     
  14. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Holic

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    For reference, I have owned a number of nice modern guitars. Three Teles mentioned in the first post, 2 ES-335s, PRS DGT, Epiphone Casino 61 RI, Epi DOT, and (best for last) Thorn Grantura. This is a smaller semi-hollow like an ES-339. But far better. The Thorn was $7k and I realized it was way too nice for a home hobbyist and sold it for a profit.

    The Danocaster gave me a nice introduction to what makes vintage guitars awesome. He finishes the neck so it feels perfect. Frankly, if Dan hadn't decided to cease operations I would commission one to my liking. But he did and now used Dano prices are out of sight.
     
  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You already had WAY better teles than any pre 74 one..
    Get another 8502 ( best Fender Tele EVER made in my book) and call it a day.

    Don't get me wrong I do have a 72 but it is almost laughable compared to my 8502...
     
  16. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    If a pre-1969 guitar doesn't present itself to you, I'd consider a lightly used AVRI 58 or AVRI 64, depending on your preference for maple or rosewood fingerboards.
     
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  17. derekwarner

    derekwarner Tele-Meister

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    You say in post #14 .....

    'I get it that not all old guitars are good guitars. I face the same with vintage Martins'

    I take that onboard & am reminded of an early 80's Ovation that looked absolutely beautiful, however it obviously missed the Quality Control, as no setup work on Earth could cure an arm that was badly set with a fixed neck..it was near impossible to play for more than 5 minutes....

    [I am also reminded by John Lennon screaming....I've got blisters of my fingers]


    So having said this, a Telecaster with its bolt-on neck and adjustable if not replaceable truss rod should never be a problem for a competent Luthier to correct.....so this would apply to any early CBS manufactured guitar that people say "were dogs", "impossible to play", sounded sh*t".......or and "missed out on quality control"

    Why not talk with that Luthier Guitar person & ask his opinion on the matter prior to making any decision?

    Derek

    PS....this old CBS 70 Sunburst plays & sounds like a dream.....[it's only 49 years old & but outlast me!]

    P1160023.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  18. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I think the last one is a 60's tele. I think that GC prices are usually a pretty good barometer as to what people are paying, and what stuff is worth. It looked to me like there were some guitars on reverb that were pretty legit too.
     
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