Flea market find- early 50s tele?

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

  1. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If you went the Erlewine route you'd be in good hands.
     
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  2. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

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    I’d just toss out the bridge pickup and install a Hot Rails in its place. :D

    Great find. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.
     
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  3. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    From the facingbook courtesy BlackguardLogs.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, it"'s a D stamp. Anyway the D stamp is one of the best clues but it's not mandatory. Nacho Baños says it's just on most of the guitars of this era.
     
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  5. Flyboy

    Flyboy Tele-Meister

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    I do that travelling with my bouzouki.
     
  6. dcos

    dcos TDPRI Member

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    Just read the entire post, what a cool find! Even if it's not authentic (which it looks like it is), it would be worth the $20 bucks just to play around with. Personally, I love the way it looks right now, radio knobs, home made guard and all. One of a kind and what a history it must have! I'd like to see you get it working and play as is. You'd never have to worry about anyone stealing it as long as you didn't tell them what it is.
     
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  7. stenutin

    stenutin TDPRI Member

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    Congratulations!
    Looks like a very early Tele.
    Perhaps Leo was still prototyping before deciding on the final look on this one?
    Serial numbers those days were not accurate. They had no method yet in the early stages.
    Youre guitar looks like a museum piece to me.
    Could be all original with the pickguard, knobs and cover.
    Im wondering if the guy you bought that from could tell anything more on the guitar.
    You dont dare to ask :)
    Im happy for you.
     
  8. stenutin

    stenutin TDPRI Member

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    Oh and could the D stand for Doc Kauffman who worked with Leo after the World War in designing guitar parts for him.
    He was a musician too.
    Leo Fender was the electrian and there is a possibility he did the solders on youre guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  9. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains Tele-Meister

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    I don't know, how likely was that L.F. himself put a tele together in the shop? I picture him prototyping and designing more than hands on the production line.
     
  10. stenutin

    stenutin TDPRI Member

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    Ive read that Leo Fender earned money fixing electrical appliances in his shop during WW2.
    They had Kauffman & Fender amps before guitars.
    Protos of Tellys were made and sold.
    But looking at the neck pickup slot, looks like this Tele is newer than the oldest known one.
     
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  11. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I finally have my copy! Some meticulous documentation here! Hopefully some more clues-

    Also hoping to head up to Lark Street tomorrow-
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    This is not an early prototype- for sure it is an old refin of maybe an early to mid ‘52 blackguard. The tuners are the no-name open kind. The earlier tuners were closed, with Kluson Deluxe stamped on them. The wiring is pre-53 model. I am zeroing in on the date, but after being lost in Nacho’s book for 2 hours, I had to come up for air and have Father’s Day time with my family!
     
  13. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    I don’t know if the origin of the D has been settled, but I’ve read that folks think it was Paul Dallmier, who did QC on the earlier steel guitars and was known to carry a steel stamp with the letter D on it. From what I’ve read on other posts here, it was pretty much phased out by 1953. If I’m not mistaken, Fender moved to a new, larger production space in ‘53, so there may have been new processes used for QC at that point. There are a couple very interesting threads on here about the D.
     
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  14. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

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    Enjoy your trip to Lark Street, @Charlodius ! And let us know how it went, obviously ;)
     
  15. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Great trip to Lark Street! Buzzy Levine is a cool guy to be sure. We talked about all kinds of guitar history and he pulled out a couple of really old, cool pieces to show me. They have not one, but TWO Dumble Overdrive Specials there. One was covered in suede lol. So many other things to check out. He was so generous with his time and knowledge. There was not ever a question as to whether this guitar was real, and we decided it’s likely 52. Honestly, I think more clues lie in the Nacho book. He thinks it is a stellar find. He sold me a really awesome pickguard that he was told came from César Díaz. He believes it came from César in the 80’s. It is 1/8” thick, 6” spray ring on back. The area under the high E is so worn that you can almost press your finger through it. Screw holes have rust and there are some faint speckles of paint glowing fluorescent green when I hit the back with a black light. I think it’s a score.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  16. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    E9F3E71D-9BF4-4DD2-92D6-BB4D3ADA143F.jpeg E97E354D-1B0C-4AC3-BF42-5827F97D7A58.jpeg 9FA66A99-E4AF-477F-BB20-D27FE7CB72E0.jpeg What date code do you think these pots read? Is it 2-3-3, or 2-0-3? What is that 5th number on the bottom row?
    Meaning, these pots are either second week of August 1952, or 3rd week of January 1952. I am leaning toward it being a 3, so pots were made in August- meaning the guitar was assembled toward the end of 52. But... The switch is one of the old ones with no patent number at all on it. The wiring scheme has the longer C-D .05 mfd cap used from 50-52. Nacho’s book says the tone knob wiring came mid-late ‘52, so my guitar pre-dates that, making me wonder if the 4th number is really a zero. The string retainer looks more 51 than 52. The string ferrules look 52. If anyone else has the book and the inclination to compare pics, please give me your thoughts!

    This book is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  17. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yowza!

    That is a great P/G for your guitar.
     
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  18. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    Also - Buzzy could not find a seam in the body- even under a magnifying glass. He thinks it’s a 1 piece body. And it’s light- he weighed it on a digital scale and it’s just under 7 lbs without the pickguard. He said it’s a tough call whether or not to refin. He kinda thought it was cool as is, and said it definitely adds to the legitimacy having such an old and unique finish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  19. stenutin

    stenutin TDPRI Member

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    Awesome things happen to awesome people.
    You deserve it.
    That guitar has been waiting for someone to find it.
    Now its going to be a Blackguard again!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  20. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    Awesome pickguard. Yeah Buzzy is great. When I started playing again, I got my guitar and amp from Buzzy. He was in Albany then.
     
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