Flea market find- early 50s tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Charlodius, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Any updates? Been a couple of weeks now.
     
  2. Tabbyplague

    Tabbyplague TDPRI Member

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    From what I can make out from the picture of the pots, they match up with 1952 year of manufacture (if that is indeed a "2" for the 4th digit). From Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars: "Many early '50's Fenders have Clarostat pots with codes stamped in blue ink... The first 3 digits signify the maker (140 is Clarostat), the 4th digit in a 6-digit code corresponds to the last digit of the year of manufacture. Pot manufacturers used a 6-digit code prior to 1960 or 1961. The final 2-digits correspond to the week of the year in which the part was made. A series of numbers ending with 2 digits greater than 53 can not be a dating code."

    Based on your picture the bottom 6-digit number on the pot looks like "1402(unreadable)9" The first 3-digits of "140" lines up with the Clarostat code, the 4th digit "2" indicates 1952, - can't really discern your 5th and 6th digits clear enough to be sure but looks like something and a "9" for the week of manufacture.

    What a find - will be curious to see how this thing turns out!
     
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  3. Billbill

    Billbill Tele-Meister

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    Lmfao holy crap u son of a!!!! Omg this just made my day...also made me sort hate u lol. I'd say 52 or '53 u son of a gun lol. God I hate you
     
  4. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    It’s more like a late 52 or an early 53 because the dots on the neck are 1 inch apart making the neck a 52 neck. The wiring is the blend circuit that has no true tone control and that went away in 53. The serial numbers starting with a five can correspond to any time between 52 and 54 because they were not sequential at that time. The mix of Flathead and Phillips screws corresponds to 52 or 53 because that’s when fender was transitioning over from flat head to Phillips. For these reasons – particularly the tone circuit reason – I thinking is that this is late 52 or early 53 .
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  5. afireinside

    afireinside TDPRI Member

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    Nice!
     
  6. Eagle Eye

    Eagle Eye TDPRI Member

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    It sure looks like an old legit Fender Tele judging by the electronics and the pickups alone. The neck and body also look legit but you will have to have an expert look at it closely to really find out. Congrats man, that is a great find.

    I played a 63 (blonde finish) which belonged to my late uncle. The electronics, bridge, pickups and even the neck looks just like that one. Maybe this one is older on account of the
    tuning pegs being slightly different.

    Wow!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  7. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I’ve traded a couple of emails with Dan Erlewine who looked at a mess of pics I sent. He said he’s interested in possibly working on it but we haven’t getten past that point. I touched base with Carson Hess on FB, who does some pretty incredible restoration work. I traded emails with Gruhn- it’s $250 to authenticate and takes two hours, but they recommend bringing it and not shipping. I’m nowhere near Nashville, and since I’m not presently thinking of selling it, I’m not planning on paying someone for that peice of paper at this time. I’ve had a bunch of folks contact me through messenger, wanting to buy it or trade other vintage guitars for it but it’s like a gift from the cosmos so I think I should keep it, leave it to my girls to figure out what to do with it when I’m gone. Meanwhile, I’m on the fence as to whether to refin back to the original state or to leave it as the barncaster that it is. Either way, it needs to be cleaned up and the bridge pickup needs to be looked at by someone who knows what they are doing and who won’t devalue the guitar in the process of fixing it.
     
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  8. Wolfman202020

    Wolfman202020 TDPRI Member

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  9. Wolfman202020

    Wolfman202020 TDPRI Member

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    Wow I hope you got an early one. The only Phillips screws I see are in the bridge and if it’s a 52-53 they used all straight slot screws. Have you pulled the pickups out and looked at the bottoms?? Any numbers on the volume and tone pots. Keep us posted and add pictures of the bottom of the pups and any numbers on the pots. Good luck
     
  10. Wolfman202020

    Wolfman202020 TDPRI Member

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    05AE37EE-2053-4B5F-919D-468A27327C7C.jpeg
     

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  11. Wolfman202020

    Wolfman202020 TDPRI Member

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    If it’s an old one and you like Harley’s better than guitars come get it and bring me that guitar
    It’s a FXWG Wide Glide
     
  12. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    you have time on your side , there is no rush for any descisions at this point, take your time , but we are all really happy for you.
    look at it this way ...
    if you do nothing now , no loss no gain, and you still have the opportunity to decide later
    If you rush out because you are excited , you may rush into a bad descision that will bite you later

    I personally think this is soo cool for you and it proves that this stuff does happen to good people, I went into a music store the other day to buy an illusive guitar pedal ( they happened to have one , go figure) and the sales rep gave me a Korg M50 synthesizer( worth about 800.00-1000.00 ) because it was intermittenet , I took it home and found a broken wire inside , it works beautifully..
    so this stuff does happen
     
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  13. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    The neck heel and pocket were refinished long ago. The pocket!!! What’s with that? I’m thinking it was back when this thing was not valuable and having a pencil signature somewhere was inconsequential. I took the bridge plate off to look at the underside of the pickup before I had actually wrapped my head around it all. I didn’t see anything in the cavity but I didn’t examine it closely before I put it back together. Now I’m freaked out I’ll strip a screw if I take it apart again lol. When I finally work up the nerve I will report back. I shined a weak black light on the headstock but saw nothing. Based on the wiring and the neck dot spacing, IDK what it would tell me that I don’t already know. Still, I’m itching to take another look in there.
     
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  14. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Since it’s not for sale, it would be an awful lot of time and money I would have spent to impress strangers on the internet lol.

    Also, it would be epic fail to go to that amount of trouble to fake something so well, yet not well enough to have something as simple as a pencil signature in the neck pocket. Or an actual black pickguard instead of Formica!
     
  15. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is a real deal 52-53 that has been messed with.

    Ignore any opinions to the contrary.

    That is all.
     
  16. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I have been a TDPRI lurker for years. I was not a member. I joined specifically for the advice and expertise that the people in this particular forum have so generously provided. If you have valuable input, I’d welcome that too. If you have doubts because it was $20, or because I joined 2 weeks ago, well I can’t help you with that.
     
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  17. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Bravo! :)

    I do hope we get to hear it sometime.
     
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  18. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    What I’ve been told is 52-53 was transitional and Leo was cheap and wasted nothing lol. Also that the Phillips and flat heads appear to be aged the same, suggesting they could be original.
     

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  19. Muku

    Muku Tele-Meister

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    Did you talk them down from 50 or $25?
     
  20. Wolfman202020

    Wolfman202020 TDPRI Member

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