Is my Merle Signature Tuff Dog Tele legit?

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Zhigo16, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. Zhigo16

    Zhigo16 TDPRI Member

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    I just bought a Merle Tuff Dog at least third hand. She's a beaut but I need some info to know if she's stock. According to the S/N starting with SZ I see it's a 2005. But any of the specs I find online speak of different features than I see here, so I'd like to know what I should expect. For instance, this has Windsor p/ups and only a 3 position switch. It has the gold-plated Schallers but not the pearloid pins...all gold. The pick guard is not the ivoroid, but the vintage looking pearl. The flaming on the neck is nowhere near as evident on the newer Tuff Dogs. Have I got the real deal? Pics attached. received_1018706315159710.jpeg received_1018706315159710.jpeg received_469051457100203.jpeg received_170737790937859.jpeg
     
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  2. Bulldoggio

    Bulldoggio Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The pickguard and the cs logo look a bit fishy to me.
     
  3. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    how does it play? how does it sound, does it cry out for a vintage tweed amp or an
    A.C. 30?.
    I like a bull terrier . they tell the most amusing anecdotes.
     
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  4. Bulldoggio

    Bulldoggio Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  5. sugarinthegourd

    sugarinthegourd Tele-Meister

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    I don’t know anything about this model but the screwholes in the headstock tell you those tuners aren’t original.
     
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  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Opinions may vary....but it looks like a real guitar to me. ;)
     
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  7. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Looks like most of one. Another owner probably played it and modded it to their liking; referring to the tuners, pickups and guard.
     
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  8. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

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    Like folks say, lots of changes made
     
  9. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    That looks sketch.

    Real tuff dogs go for like 5+thousand dollars right?
     
  10. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can we see the back?

    As noted the old holes on the back show new tuners. Schallers are a good set.

    That pickguard. Geeesh.

    The string tree.

    The quilt looks awful.

    That neck/fretboard & bridge look like China knockoff to me. No one in their right mind, other than a purposefully misleading opportunist, would alter a real Tuff Dog to look like a Chinese knock off.

    How much did you pay?

    *edit. This one in the video has your exact serial number.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    3-Chord-Genius, Si G X and corliss1 like this.
  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The overall, of this "example", is just yucky.

    The real ones have this aura of quality. This one has none of that. I would start from the assumption that this one is a bad counterfeit, and work from there.

    I mean, look at the quilt. Can anyone here ever remember one with such a marginal quilt?
     
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  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    On the Fender website:
    The body has a neck-through maple block and it’s a set neck, not a bolt on.
    Can’t see anything like that in your photos.
    Additionally, the “Tuff Dog” on the headstock is made from inlay. Doesn’t look like inlay in your photos, looks like a cheap decal.
    Truss rod plug doesn’t look right and Merle’s “signature” on your headstock looks wonky,
    Are honestly asking for purchase price comfort or are you trolling to improve your copy specs?
    Don’t like being cynical; just wondering for a friend.
     
  13. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    It does look suspect I’d like to see a full picture of the back
    Like you I always wonder who is legitimately curious and who has other intentions
    Especially when it’s a first post by a new member even before a introduction
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  14. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Nope.

    The tuners on a Tuff Dog are the elusive "D" shape Schallers, that use two locating pins instead of an offset ear. Tuff Dog pickguard is not pearloid. And not least, the through-neck does not have a separate fretboard.

    Check out the real thing here: LINK
     
  15. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Radius is something diff,

    8 or 8.5 I recall
     
  16. Caleb Cull

    Caleb Cull TDPRI Member

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    sugarinthegourd and Si G X like this.
  17. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Nope.

    The tuners on a Tuff Dog are the elusive "D" shape Schallers, that use two locating pins instead of an offset ear. Tuff Dog pickguard is not pearloid. And not least, the (edit)set-neck does not have a separate fretboard.

    Check out the real thing here: LINK
     
  18. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    I thought they all came with tinted necks?
     
  19. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

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    I guess that's exactly where they got it from.
     
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  20. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    Hey Y'all - Welcome aboard a little more homework here would have paid off, but the real question does it play like a million bucks?
     
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