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Did all early '60s blonde teles/esquires come with top loader bridges?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Duckattack83, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Duckattack83

    Duckattack83 TDPRI Member

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    Or were they mixed and matched with standard bridges?

    Any images of early '60s ('60, '61) with no top loader bridge?
     
  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Top loader bridges: Late '58 through late '62.

    Bodies without rear ferrules: Late '58 through late '59.

    So, as you can see, they must've made a crap-ton of rear-loading bridges ahead of time in late 1958, but then decided after about a year to start rear loading again. But that didn't mean they couldn't still use the supply of bridges that were already rear-drilled.

    ...in general. You know how it was with Fender. Sometimes parts would get hidden and then turn up later, sometimes exceptions would occur, sometimes parts would go on out of order, etc.
     
  3. _Presto_

    _Presto_ Tele-Meister

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    I’ve seen rear load Esquires from April ‘59 - so yes they didn’t seem to do the topload-only thing for very long (mine is from March).

    Guessing they might have done both further into ‘59 but not sure - have you seen topload-only later than April?
     
  4. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    I think you're right man. After April 1959 neck dates, they seem to switch to slab board Teles with top loader and through body bridges...
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  5. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    I owned a ‘63 Esquire for about 20 yrs and it had a top loader bridge. Can’t say it came that way fm the factory but when I bought it in ‘95 people weren’t changing out parts all time like they are now. Oddly, I had the guitar for 2 or 3 wks before I noticed it. Actually a band mate pointed it out. Great guitar I should’ve kept.
     
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  6. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cannot name a specific example by month.
     
  7. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I cant answer for all of them but this early 60's had string through ferrules and an ashtray thats my late brother playing mine with my new to me black face super and my tele , funny what 300.00 bought you back then


    K.jpg
     
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  8. _Presto_

    _Presto_ Tele-Meister

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    OK cool thanks, that's what I've been thinking.

    Any idea what month in '58 they started doing topload-only?
     
  9. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    No, sorry.

    You could do a quick search on Reverb and other websites that have 1958 Teles and Esquires for sale and look for ones that have photos of the neck and or body dates, and compare...
     
  10. _Presto_

    _Presto_ Tele-Meister

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    Yep I’ve been hunting around a bit.

    Based on what I’ve found it seems like October ‘58 to March ‘59 (though I’ve mainly been hunting topload-only Esquires).

    Just found this comment in an old Fretted Americana listing (for a ‘59 toploader Esquire) which suggests the Oct start date for Esquires also, but has them running till Dec ‘59.

    It also lists March ‘61 as latest for toploader teles though, which is way later than I thought!

    “In Werner's list there are twelve entries for "top-loader" Telecasters from August 1958 through March 1961. There are only six entries for
    "top-loader" Esquires from October 1958 through December 1959 (including the present guitar).”

    Does anyone still have the Werner list?
     
  11. russ

    russ Tele-Meister

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    I have the Werner list, if you need something....
     
  12. _Presto_

    _Presto_ Tele-Meister

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    Great thank you. Just two things if you have time:

    1. What dates are the earliest and latest toploader Tele and Esquires on there? (i.e. does it match the comment from Fretted Americana posted above)

    2. Is serial number 35251 listed? (‘59 Esquire)

    thank you!
     
  13. russ

    russ Tele-Meister

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    Most serial numbers don’t list a corresponding neck date on the list.
    The earliest number listed as 'bridge strung' is 28904
    35251 is not listed.
     
  14. russ

    russ Tele-Meister

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    654E8712-227D-4BF9-9757-2F655A25FE85.jpeg
     
  15. _Presto_

    _Presto_ Tele-Meister

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  16. bterry

    bterry Tele-Meister

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    Top loader bridges were used into ~early 1962, but they weren’t set up as top loaders. They had the holes b/c of excess inventory, but they were string-through after Fender went back to that design. All the 1960 and 1961 Teles/Esquires I’ve ever owned had them, including Custom Telecasters.
     
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  17. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    Here's a good photo to clarify.

    Personally, I don't like to use the term "top loader" to describe these bridges. (From part of 1959 to 1962) It confuses things. These are actually dual loading bridges. They can be used as the standard through the body loading, or as a top loader.

    Top loader (only) bridges were used only for part of 1958 and 1959.

    So, to answer the OP's question: A 1960 or 61 Telecaster would have most likely come with one of these dual loading bridges.
    (However, this is not to say that a standard through the body bridge is an impossibility. I suppose it's possible...)



    1959 to 1962 Tele bridge.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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