Ever see a maple cap tele bass?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Fretting out, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was doing my usual reverb rounds when I came across an unusual 1968 telecaster bass

    A couple things stick out to me (of course I don’t know much on the bass side)

    It’s got a maple cap neck, the older lollipop tuners, and a big cbs logo

    Has anyone seen another like this?, the crazy part is the guys asking less than what people want for the more common model

    Is this as rare of a guitar as I think it is?/is it legit


    8417D0BB-FB26-4849-B06E-890E6B17DBD1.jpeg A9CC940A-5C55-4869-AF71-5C1F5BE517AE.jpeg 4808A63E-C721-4AF8-BF52-BCE07F12BEB7.jpeg E577B3C5-27E6-46B0-ADCE-4BA4F0553E88.jpeg
     
  2. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    No but I have a 75 maple cap jazz bass with pearloid block inlays
     
  3. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Didn't most maple neck Fenders from the late 60s and 70s have maple cap necks, rather than one piece maple ones?
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Most the 68 bass’s ive seen have the one piece neck, this is the first one with a maple cap I’ve seen (not that I’ve seen a lot)

    Although guitars with maple cap fingerboards usually stop around 69
     
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  5. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    That sounds lovely
     
  6. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Those lollipop tuning keys (if the bass is legit)are on the rarer side for those.

    The logo looks weird, but with the rarity of those tuners...it may be....
    Here is the headstock on my 68 Tele bass. No lollipops :oops:
    736DA3F2-6195-4F19-9329-CCA49786A3F6.png

    Oh- and mine doesn’t appear to be maple cap- just maple. And that checking on headstock seems to be on the fretboard as well??? Just doesn’t look right to me.
     
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  7. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have no clue if it’s legit, I thought the big cbs black logo is kind of weird but maybe it was a NAMM or preproduction guitar?

    If it is legit it’s gotta be extremely rare

    Do you know when they used the lollipop tuning pegs? 66-67?
     
  8. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Have not seen that decal. It’s a Telecaster guitar decal with the word “Bass” added. Have seen a maple veneer neck on them, on very early ones. The neck appears to be fully lacquer finished as well, as opposed to just the face of the peghead; that’s a ‘67 feature. Lollipops are ‘66/‘67, usually. Serial plate is ‘68, but those can be off, or easily replaced over the decades. Signs point to a ‘67 very early production model, at least for the neck. No neck date?

    It’s very cool, if legit. Would definitely be the rarest Tele Bass I’ve ever seen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  9. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    Not legit, IMHO.
     
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  10. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Headstock logo throws up a red flag for me no matter where in the production phase it might have been. Cool bass and all though.
     
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  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I don't know about the logo, but around '68, and after, the Telecaster Bass was a legit model. A buddy had one back then. It's a close reproduction of the first Precision Bass.
     
  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    The seller didn’t have any pictures of the neck off

    If I was a serious buyer I’d definitely ask to see more pictures
     
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  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Of course.

    If legit at all, I would expect to see a summer of love neck date. I have seen early production ones with maple veneer necks, September neck dates in red ink, and the “proper” Tele Bass decal. All the specs could make sense if it’s a mid ‘67 neck date. Possibly made for NAMM, before designing the eventual Tele Bass decal. An “ES” stamp on the body would further support that theory. ES = entered special, meaning an in house order – either a show guitar, demo, prototype, or possible employee order.

    Another theory: an early production neck sat around the factory for a year, and eventually got placed on a bass and shipped to a retailer.

    If someone was faking it, they’d sure be calling a lot of attention to it by using such an odd decal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  14. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    ^^ This.
    From my research into my bass, what @EsquireOK says matches what I found. Lollipops used only for a couple of months in early 68, and that “clunky” logo with the “Bass” sort of tacked on at the end appears to be legit on some of the (super) rare early examples before they settled on the looks and hardware that my (Oct. 68) was fitted out with.

    I doubt if this is a legit early Telecaster bass example, but it DOES look cool!
     
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  15. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

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    A maple cap was used on the short run of 1966 'Slab' Precision basses. I wouldn't be surprised if these turned up on the earliest Tele basses as well.

    From memory the earliest Mustang basses had a mashup headstock decal. The donors were a guitar decal (Fender and Mustang) and then the 'Bass' taken from another source, maybe a chopped Bass V logo? Weirdly Fender used quotation marks on the Bass V decals, as though they didn't quite believe in the model themselves.

    I can't find a period Fender Bass decal with that curly 'B', as per the OP bass. Fender might have asked a local decal printer to give them a sheet of 250 copies of the word "Bass" to stick next to a CBS-era Telecaster decal.
     
  16. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a 68 with nitro and the same tuners. Maybe it's been refinished and they used what was laying around the shop for a decal.

     
  17. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm looking at the factory here, not a decal added later. I cant imagine why they would use that "Bass" decal when they had decals on hand in a matching font they could splice on. Or they could have just left "bass" off altogether, it's pretty obvious it's a bass. Just my 2 cents...I've been wrong before. Not trying to detract.
     
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