Flea market find- early 50s tele?

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

  1. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    Not crazy but maybe paranoid a little. I drag my 55 refin tele to all my gigs and dodgy jam sessions. I let anyone play on it and most of them don't even know what it is. It's just a guitar at the end of the day and it was made to be played. If custom shops sounded as good I would probably have bought one but they're not even close
     
  2. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

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    Buzzy Levine at LArk Street in Teaneck has been around guitars for decades and has bought and sold tons of old Telecasters. He is the brother of world-class guitarist, Duke Levine. I would bring it to him to authenticate in a heartbeat.
     
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  3. BrowneFace

    BrowneFace TDPRI Member

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    Both Buzzy and Dave Hinson have been vintage dealers for decades, surely having disassembled plenty of blackguards - they'd know what they were looking at. Gruhn is one of the cornerstones of the whole vintage industry, but they've been known to be be off-base on some vintage solidbody appraisals, including a '58 LP Junior that I own (they'd appraised it, in writing, as a '60, even though it very clearly has the sharper edge radius of a '58 (as well as the serial number, an uncommon four-digit variant that they also did use in '60). Vintage flattops seem to be more in George's wheelhouse, although he is -no doubt- still an expert in electrics, too.

    Eleven years ago, I actually took my suspect "early-sixties" Strat body for Buzzy to assess (twenty-three years after buying the guitar!) -although it's been over-sanded, refinished, and swimming pool-routed- and he basically confirmed my suspicions that it was probably (once) legit, even got out another Pre-CBS Strat, and compared some key areas.
    Was very friendly, and did it for free. Great shop to visit, regardless. And I was sensible enough to go there, outside of his peak business hours.

    The reason I had just the body is that I'd left its loaded '62 pickguard at Lindy Fralin's, to have the pickups rewound. Tom Brantley did that work, and did a great job. He's since gone on to work on his own, and has repaired another set of pickups for me. "Tom Brantley Rewinds" - you can see detailed shots of his process, on his Instagram or facebook pages.

    JM Rolph is also extremely highly regarded, as a pickup winder and restorer of vintage pickups, should your bridge pickup require it, and Joel Wilkens ("jw.restoration" on Instagram - check out the step-by-step photos of his extraordinarily meticulous resurrections of lost-cause vintage guitars) repairs priceless vintage guitars, as well as winding his own, highly praised vintage pickup recreations. Unfortunately, he's been unable to do repairs, of late, but hadn't ruled out some pickup winding (he's in Pennsylvania, too).

    Speaking of Instagram, there's a thread on there, by Eric Daw ("ericdawcustomguitars"), which details his incredible resuscitation of a barn-find, basket case of a 1950 Esquire. Check it out for some inspiration.

    If you could find someone local, who owns a copy of Nacho Baños's "The Blackguard Book," that would provide you with all of the closeup detail of a multitude of early '50s Teles, that you could ever possibly need, in obsessively forensic detail - just to narrow down the year, as I'm sure that yours is a legit blackguard.
    In fact... why not reach out to Nacho? There's probably no greater authority on the subject, and he's on facebook.

    (Further)Good luck!
     
  4. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

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    I'm in South Jersey and have a copy of the book and would gladly let you if I can see it in person also :)

    I think Retrofret in Brooklyn does appraisals? They are well stocked with vintage Fenders

    I do think it's worth it to have checked out by Gruhn or Carters however if you could get the chance.
    Add me as a +1 for seeing Dan Erlewine do any resto work if you go that route also
     
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  5. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    That would be awesome- I’d love to thumb through that book. I messaged Nacho on FB messenger but he did not respond. I don’t blame him- I’m just a random stranger messaging him.
    I’m in Margate NJ most weekends in the summer. Maybe we can coordinate a meet up!
     
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  6. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    This is very helpful- thank you! I shot an email to Eric Daws, telling him I’m in the info gathering stage , asking if he’d take a peek at some pics and give me his 2 cents.
    If Hinson can’t authenticate via pics- and I imagine he can’t- I’ll probably plan on taking it to lark street.

    Someone asked why I wouldn’t ship to gruhn- it’s not that I wouldn’t ship if there is no other option. They said people do ship to them but that it tends to be expensive with the shipping and to insure both ways. Plus the $250 for the authentication.
    And now you’ve given me further pause. I know it’s going to cost money to restore this guitar, and I need to get it authenticated and valued prior to that, but I’m in no rush to do anything, including spending $$ if I don’t have to. I just need to plan a day to drive up to Teaneck. Thanks again-
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  7. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    I'm not a vintage expert, but it looks pretty legit to me. As far as the persons you bought it from, they may have no experience with electric guitars whatsoever, so its one of those lifetime finds that we all dream about. Without that Fender logo staring them in the face, they probably had no idea what it was. The headstock shape appears very early tele to me. I love those painted knobs and improvised pickguard. Somebody must have had some leftover linoleum from a bathroom job that had just finished. It has Americana roots written all over it. If it could only tell the story.
     
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  8. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Honestly, I bought it thinking it was a guyatone. Even if it was a guyatone, $20 is under market value by a lot. I think it was a thrift store of sorts, offloading it’s inventory.
     
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  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I hope that things work out for you in Teaneck, NJ. That's manageable from where you are. If not, you might just have to plan a road trip at some point down to Nashville or Chattanooga. Lots of folks in Nashville to do that stuff, as has been mentioned. And of course the most famous is Gruhn's. I recall driving from Princeton, NJ, to Chattanooga, TN, in 12 hours once. So it's not that bad if you start early and can avoid D.C. traffic. Then it's just western Virginia for a very long time...
     
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  10. KevinL818

    KevinL818 TDPRI Member

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    Carson Hess has a FB page, and contributes regularly to the Telecaster pages. I have no direct experience with him, but his work looks really good.
     
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  11. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Afflicted

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    Buzzy at Lark Street runs a great shop, knows his stuff, and if you catch him in the right mood has some great stories to tell.
     
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  12. Studio420Cornwall

    Studio420Cornwall TDPRI Member

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    I own several factory correct tele's from 55 thru 66 and George handles all of my guitars of which there are many others when needed. Dan Erlwine is solid to a tee. I just don't want my tools on magazine covers and videos. Best of luck and keep us up to date! Peace
     
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  13. BrandonIke

    BrandonIke Tele-Meister

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    That'd be awesome..please do PM me in the next coming months if you'd like to meet up.
    And there should be an email for Nacho floating around the forum, that might be the best option to reach him.

    Best of luck with everything!
     
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  14. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

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    The more I look at this guitar, the more attractive I find it. If I was to play it, I would leave the finish as is - I dig it!
     
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  15. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Can def use a proper pickguard, knobs, and switch tho. It’s a bona fide barncaster in it’s current state.
     

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  16. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, it is a barncaster for sure. That's why I like it :) Fender should do a finish like that.
     
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  17. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I traded emails with Nacho Banos today, who is a really interesting guy the more I read about him. He said it looks like an early 1952. I asked him if he could clarify what makes him think early ‘52, not late 52-early 53, but he didn’t reply to the question and I didn’t want to be a pest. I asked him if he would refinish and he said that if the finish was old, he’d be tempted to leave it alone.
     
  18. Festus_Hagen

    Festus_Hagen Tele-Holic

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    There ya go.

    I'd get a bakelite PG for it and keep it as-is.
     
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  19. asquinet

    asquinet Tele-Meister

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    I already told on Apr, 9th, I repeated a couple of times, I repeat again now:
    please - leave - it - as - is.... (only rewind the bridge pickup if you are sure does not work) It has tons of history!!!!!
    Every day I come back here to read the news, it's an exciting story!!!
     
  20. Groovy Records

    Groovy Records TDPRI Member

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    If money is the issue, I’d send it straight to http://www.erlewineguitars.com/ and let him do repairs without a refinish. He Can Authenticate it as well as anybody. He is “ the Man “ and would never do anything that would lessen the guitars value.
     
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