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Newbie here with dumb questions about pawn shop find

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AceTrestle, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Fantastic find. And might be worth taking to a pro for a setup if you can’t do it. Enjoy.
     
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  2. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    Amazing find, congrats! As far as original specs go, just email Fender consumer relations with the serial number, and they will (usually) be able to give you original spec.
     
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  3. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad that someone else chimed in because I am not an expert on Teles of the era, not even barely, but as to strings, the D'Addario set pictured in a previous post is a good transition set for you, imho, and the wound G will intonate better on the 3 saddle bridge. YMMV.
     
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  4. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    Hello and welcome to TDPRI.
    Congrats on that great find. It will be an excellent one to reclaim, it looks great already. Give it a good setup and you're ready to go. Enjoy.
    The strings posted above are what I use on most of my guitars.
     
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  5. knopflerfan

    knopflerfan Tele-Afflicted

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    It may not be a "completely original" mid-70's Tele, but it sure is beautiful guitar. Congrats!
     
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  6. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    If $750 is what you paid for that guitar, you did really well...even with the added humbucker. It looks all original otherwise, and very clean.

    I'm wondering where that neck pickup with the 3 adjustment screws came from. I've seen that on some 70's Guilds, which would fit the era of this guitar.
     
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  7. Diytelecaster

    Diytelecaster Tele-Meister

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    Looks like an Ibanez humbucker to me. A lot of them had 3 screws
     
  8. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This guitar almost certainly did not ship from the factory with a Gibson style Humbucker in the neck position. The 70s Teles that came with humbuckers were the Deluxe and the Custom, both of which had the oversized pickguard and pickup selector on the upper bout. Wide Range Humbuckers never came in the standard Teles.
     
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  9. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thank you for your expertise. I've removed the strings, and taken a closer look, and I think you may be right. The frets are tough to photograph, but can you tell anything more from these shots? Thank you again.

    Assuming the frets could benefit from crowning, is this something a patient novice could do themselves, or does it require special/expensive equipment? The nearest luthier is a few hundred miles away...

    Also, I notice that there seems to be a lot of finish on the sides of the frets. Does this suggest the 'board may have been refinished at some point?

    The middle shot below shows the 12th fret, which I was using to test intonation, by comparing the harmonic to the fretted pitch. Prior to the truss rod adjustment, the fretted pitch was maybe 10 cents higher (rough guess). Now, the top and bottom E strings are maybe 5 cents higher, with the rest more in the 1 to 3 cent range. It does appear that this 12th fret has a pronounced truncated pyramid shape.

    Okay, the photos.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Do the pics below reveal anything more of interest?

    Thank you! I love how it plays... the humbucker just rings, maybe too much, as it sounds a little muddled when pushed. The single coil is unbelievably twangy, with magical sounding pops and whines. Sublime!

    Ah-hah. This is what I suspected, because the different is pretty pronounced. That said, I've managed to lower the humbucker a bit, and have raised the single coil quite a bit, so we'll see effect that has when the new strings arrive in a few days. I will see if I can get used to rolling the volume knob a bit every time I hit the switch, and failing that, will investigate getting a hotter single coil.

    Do the pics below shed any more light? Thank you!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  11. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    There do appear to be some numbers on the pots, as well as on the switch. Are you able to determine anything from these photos?

    A Dutch online tool suggests this for the tone pot:

    Code:
    Codenummer: 3047502
    
    Made: January 1975 (week 02)
    
    Manufacturer: Stackpole Electronics, Inc.
    (Used by Fender until approx 1964)
    And this for the volume pot:

    Code:
    Codenummer: 3047509
    
    Made: February 1975 (week 09)
    
    Manufacturer: Stackpole Electronics, Inc.
    (Used by Fender until approx 1964)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Not much help here but that is a heck of a good looking tele! I would have been all over it too!
     
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  13. dcos

    dcos Tele-Meister

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    I’m not a Tele expert but I think it’s a great find and in incredible shape for a guitar that age. Nice score!
     
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  14. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    Judging by the lack of wear on the fretboard, the file marks on the ends, and the amount of finish gobbed up alongside each fret, my guess is that the neck has been refretted and resprayed, but they didn't bother to scrape the finish off of the frets, and it looks like they didn't crown them at all.

    Addressing these issues isn't difficult...but is very easy for a novice to screw up. If you're interested in trying it yourself, read a few how-to's and watch a few videos to see if it's something you feel confident enough to tackle on your own. If so, it'll require investment in a few specialized tools and a cheap junker or two to practice on. Don't use a very desirable vintage guitar like this one to learn on.
     
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  15. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    Pots are from 1975, neck seems to be from 1974, serial says 1976+/- 1 year, that style of Tele with the natural finish and black guard are from about 1976/7. Can't remember the serial on my one but it was from just before they started printing it on the neck in 1977. Welcome to the world of mid/late 70's Fender!

    Just to give you an idea about serial numbers etc from then, my current Tele has a serial number of 508***, a whole 200,000 lower than yours but with a 1975 neck stamp!

    I think the frets and finish on the neck are original, they did do them that way with the poly finish. Should get more info on that from others on here.
     
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  16. Joe M

    Joe M Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Very curious, and, just to clarify, is the price tag that was shown in the photo of the case what you paid, or the original price of the guitar???
     
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  17. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    My first Tele was bought new around 1980 (an S8... serial number from memory) and there was finish on the frets exactly like the OP's. I think the fret ends were pretty scruffy too.
     
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  18. AceTrestle

    AceTrestle TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    That is indeed the pawn shop price tag, and what I paid, less tax. I didn't try to barter. Quite the opposite.

    I spotted it last Thursday, after deciding I wanted a Tele, and doing a bit of Internet research on current offerings. The new Tele Professional II looks incredible, compound radiused fretboard, noise cancelling single coils, etc... and I had myself all but talked into it.

    On a whim, though, the Scotch in me decided to see if I could just find something cheap but playable at the local pawn shop. I'm a novice on electric, I reasoned, and didn't need the best.

    On my initial visit, I only had about 20 minutes before I needed to pick up my son from school, but as soon as I saw it, it was like no other guitar existed. It caught my full attention. I plugged it into a Super Champion 100 they had sitting around, tuned it up, and played along for a while with some songs in the background on the local country music radio station.

    After selling a gun to someone, the sales gal wandered over and tried to butter me up, asking me if I played professionally or just as a hobby. I chuckled, and told her I liked the guitar, but it seemed to have a bad jack (which actually turned out to be the crappy cord the pawn shop had). "Make me an offer," she said. I didn't want to rush into anything.

    I went home, and did a bit of research on the serial number, and tried to convince myself it was too good to be true. It might be a fake, or a more recent reissue with a fake F plate. It might be stolen.

    Worse, there could be some terrible karma to buying it, like robbing some local family of a prized heirloom just because they had fallen on hard times.

    The next day, I went back in, and talked to a young man at the shop. I told him I thought it might be an original 1975 Tele, and that if it was, it could be worth much more than they were asking. I told him I thought it had been modified, with the humbucker pickup, but could still be worth upwards of $2K.

    I tried to get the story out of him, who had pawned it, and why, how long it had been there, and so on. "The player community here is really small," I told him. "I don't want someone coming up to me my guitar belongs to their dad."

    "I'll put it behind the counter and get back to you," he said, asking me to leave my name and number on a post-it. He refused to reveal any clues about its origin. He confessed to being a player himself, and I sensed that he might hope to buy it himself.

    I thought I had probably blown it. My girlfriend wryly suggested I write a Pawn Stars episode on how not to bargain.

    Later that night, as I went to sleep, I had to come to terms with how much I really wanted to buy the guitar. It was calling my name, and it just wouldn't stop.

    The next day was Saturday, and we found the shop owner himself there. He told us the story about the guy from a neighboring town pawning it, and then dying. He said it had been in the shop for a very long time, something like six years. He said the man's grandchildren had expressed interest in paying off the note at one time, but had never followed through, and the time was now well past.

    I happened to have a wad of cash in my pocket, from an electric bicycle transaction I was brokering. So, from a kind of distance, I watched myself say casually, "Okay, I'll buy it," while peeling off eight bills.

    The owner hesitated, and for a minute, I thought he was going to tell me he had repriced the instrument. It probably worked in my favor that the end of the month was near. Finally, he accepted the money.

    With tax, it was $801.37, but he told me not to worry about the $1.37.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  19. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    It's cool! Stuff like this is what Fender is aiming for with their oddball models, but that's much more vibe-y. Enjoy!
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Regarding the frets, I think you may have enough left on them to level, crown, and polish. Judging by how deeply the nut is cut, my guess is the current frets have been leveled at least once. I wouldn't bother re-crowning them without leveling them.

    Yes, you can do it yourself, but it is kinda tedious. Plenty of online resources on how to do it. The heavy poly on the fingerboard was common back then. I just refretted a 74 maple neck that looked about the same, but with not enough frets left to level and recrown.
     
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