Is this a vintage tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by edodo, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    I was speaking about the regular Tele model. It was during 1972 that the notch went away on most regular Tele bodies. The notch varied in previous years, but I've never seen a regular Tele that dated to 1971 that had no notch. But the vast majority of 1973 Teles will not have no notch at all.

    The model year 1972 Custom (earliest models were completed in late 1971) was different and debuted with a notch. It disappeared too, but wasn't completely gone for a few years. Same with the 1972 Thinline, the earliest of which also had Pat Pend Strat saddles and usually had the pup cavities re-routed for depth after finishing.
     
  2. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Platinum Supporter

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    Then I guess we don't actually disagree.;)
     
  3. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    Oops, I meant to type: But the vast majority of 1973 Teles will have no notch at all.

    Meaning, most regular Teles that actually date to 1973 will have no notch. Are there any exceptions? Probably, but generally speaking, a 1973 Tele means no notch. 1973 Customs are far more likely to have something of a notch.
     
  4. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    Btw, the plastic neck plate gasket on regular Teles started in 1973, too.

    Though I've owned a lot of good Teles from later years, I prefer 1972 and older regular Teles. (But the regular Tele remained more or less "the same but different" from the early 50s until 1982; to me, that's the end of the original Tele. I don't regard a 1983 Tele as vintage, but I do consider a 1981 Tele as vintage.)
     
  5. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Platinum Supporter

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    But what about that "wrong" body shape of the early 70's to early 80's Teles? (Upper shoulder angle). Could it really be a "vintage Tele" with a wrong (non-original) body shape? What's your take on this?
     
  6. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    In 55 could it be a vintage Tele without a black pg or brass saddles? In 59 could it be a vintage Tele with a top-loader bridge and threaded saddles? In 61 could it be a vintage Tele with rosewood slab neck? In 67 with a maple cap neck and 2-ply pg and 1k pots? In 69 with no diagonal rout and stainless saddles and poly? And so on... ;)

    The Tele had lots of changes between 52 and 82. But starting in 82, it's a significantly different guitar IMO. (It's also when they started vintage reissues.)
     
  7. Tel E Twister

    Tel E Twister Tele-Meister

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    From what I gather, sometime around 1972, Fender started cutting body blanks out with a CNC machine, which couldn't achieve the original shoulder shape because of the cutter size and/or blow out potential, therefore resulting in the larger inside radius and lack of a notch on standard production guitars.
    In the early 80s, when the Fender execs started taking over from CBS, they launched the reissue project. At the 1981 NAMM show, the (new for '82) '52 RI model actually had the large inside radius and no notch, and the critics cried foul. At that point, they figured out a way to machine the bodies with the original small inside radius and resulting notch, to make the '52 RI and subsequent standard models in the original shape.
    None the less, they're all still Fender Teles, and should never be considered wrong.
    That's my take on it :D
     
  8. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Platinum Supporter

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    I definitely see your point, slack. But none of those things you mention "destroy" the appearance of the Telecaster IMO. That "wrong" body shape does!:oops: Again IMO.

    I guess we just emphasize different things ...

    Thanks for visiting. Drop by every now and then, won't you.;)
     
  9. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    I dislike that change, too.

    I also dislike two string trees, and black pg's and the serial on the headstock in the later 70s. But you'd prob have to point out a missing notch to most people, and I'd probably have to point out the second string tree or serial number on the decal.

    But starting in 1982 the basic Tele had more substantial changes, that IMO made it fundamentally different and that anyone would notice: truss rod adjustment at the headstock, no more ashtray bridge, six saddles instead of three, etc.
     
  10. Chick-N-Picker

    Chick-N-Picker Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with 1968 for my personal tastes. One as you stated is the finish change. Whether it matters to the sound. Leo would eventually have did it to save money even if he didn't sell to CBS. I consider it a big deal between vintage or not.

    But in all honesty I guess some could argue that 59 was the cut off because they switched to rosewood as standard or starting using a D shape neck. Or that vintage ended in 55 because of staggered pickups. My point is there is huge grey areas anyone could argue.

    I just consider 68 the last year although I can see good argue men's for extending it. So I guess for me

    •50-68 vintage, the best
    •68-74 sorta vintage/grey area
    •74- not vintage but no hard feelings I still think some are great.

    I'm just glad they have the AVRI so that many of us can get really close to vintage. Lucky us.
     
  11. slack

    slack Friend of Leo's

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    There's no difference between a model year 1973 and model year 1974 Tele. While exceptions exists (like almost every prior year), generally speaking: changes to the regular Tele in 1973 from prior years are no notch, two string trees, plastic neck plate gasket, and new neck date code format. The first two things happened mostly during 1972, the latter two in 1973.

    Regarding the finish change in 1968, though it is an important change, keep in mind that doesn't mean the finishes were all poly starting then. The sealer coats on most (but not all) changed to poly, but the color coats could still be lacquer, especially if it's a custom color. I've never seen a 1974 or older sunburst Tele that wasn't sprayed in lacquer. And I've seen very thin black poly sprayed with no clear coat in the early 70s.
     
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