I Wanna '52 Reissue, But Which One?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Texicaster, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Gotta love a company that identifies various of its own newer guitars as "vintage" while departing from the original spec and also changing the nature of those changes. Fender has done a terrific job -- Martin, too, and Gibson as well -- spinning so many variants that they can now baffle customers so much that they can't successfully pursue whatever criteria they really care about. One point worth remembering is that Fender finishes mostly suck from a purist standpoint. They are intended to be efficient and economical to produce-- always have been -- and while some eras offer a decent harmony of materials and techniques at least somewhat appropriate for a musical instrument, that is not usually the case. When Fender uses nitro today, it is not the material that we find on old guitars, nor is it used in the manner found on good old guitars. It's fairly cruddy stuff, and only part of the finish. With Fenders, I go for looks -- translucent blonde over ash is one of the best looks I've ever seen on a guitar -- and I don't lose sleep over the material (except for the really plastic-y thick skins) because I can't perceive a sonic difference.
    Texicaster likes this.
  2. vintageampz

    vintageampz Tele-Meister

    Sep 14, 2012
    Orange County and San Diego County
    There was never a "50's" Telecaster finished in "pumpkin orange" wash (a 80% see thru finish). ALL 50's Fender "Broadcaster", "Nocaster", "Esquires", and finally called the Telecaster (tm) were finished "Blonde", not "Butterscotch", though some did "turn" that color because of conditions they were exposed to (aka abuse) rather than stored carefully. Some accurate "Blonde" wash 50's "Telecasters" do exist, from "closet finds" to just kept carefully like this one in the GuitarHQ dot com archives. It is REALLY close to the factory Nitro Wash finish. Unless omeone kept their '52 in a vat of Tomato Soup, they weren't the color of your friends.

    Fender did have some goofy idea in the early 2000's to come out with those "orange" wash Tele's but as you can see, they aren't "authentic" '50's.

    When Fender partnered with FujiGen Gakki in Japan to make "Squier" guitars in 1983, real '52 body and neck templates were taken over for the Japanese modes. Same for the Squier Stratocaster, P-Bass and Jazz basses. We went over to instruct them on authentic mfg techniqes, coil windings, hardware (with authetic original samples) and finish. I brought back a 1982 preproduction "52' Telecaster" Squire to show the Execs. They were shocked at the quality and accuracy. It was better than what Fender was making at the new temporary factory (CBS did not include the factory or much of the large CNC machinery on the sale.)

    Oh, I kept that '82 pre-production model and I still have it and play it. The only difference between it and a real '52 is a Poly Blonde wash finish and Ceramic/Alnico II hybrid PuP's, that still sound like all Alnico 52's. The bodies was always Japanese Ash (identical in weight and tone to US Swamp Ash from Georgia) and American Maple necks.

    I worked for Fender from 1972 - 1999, I've had my own Luthier shop/retail store in California since.

    Pictured below:

    A carefully stored real 1952 Tele, photo from the guitarHQ site. That is the real 99% original and correct Blonde wash Nitro finish, Ash body

    The first Fender (FujiGen Gakki) 1982 Pre-production Squier 52 Telecaster with my 1962 Tremolux 2-Piece Amp (99% Mint)

    52_tele_1 @ guitarhq dot com archive.jpg
    63 Tremolux -  RI Tele.jpg
    AfroBill and Sean Mac like this.
  3. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

    Jun 25, 2019
    West Coast
    Wildwood is awesome! Great people there to deal with and they are great to negotiate with with excellent customer service. Can't imagine you won't love the guitar. Congrats!
  4. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

    Nov 2, 2015
  5. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

    Oct 20, 2010
    Texas, USA
    I have a 2018 Wildwood 10 FCS '59 "Relic Ready" Tele. It has the Josefina pickups. Great Tele!

    What is the finish? It is thin. Already showing some signs of wear around the edges.

    RYAN1987M likes this.
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