telecaster standard MIA 1981

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by edodo, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

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    Hey,
    I thought I was buying a 78 tele but it was only regarding the headstock serial. Looking at the aluminum foil being the pick guard and the serial on the pots my guitar is from 1981.

    Now the finish on the guitar and the neck is real dirty and clouded. The black color of the burst looks like dark maroon and the guitar have no luster at all.

    Question is would you clean the guitar with virtuoso polish? I have bottles having owned a les Paul in the past and it did wonders with the nitro.

    I know that the tele is poly but I'm starting to wonder as I thought the poly finish would look shiny forever, that is not the case at all I can tell you. Also the finish on the neck had entered inside the grain of the wood yet this is subtle.

    By the way I love the guitar as it is thé perfect model for me with the features I seeked in a tele:
    Heel truss rod screw (no more stripped hex screw from modern tele)
    Maple neck that looks dark
    Figured neck wood
    6 saddle bridge
    Two tone burst ash body
    Warm sound
    Around my birth year
    Sound that has character and that will goes well with Princeton reverb RI and boost/dirt

    My use of this guitar is to play it. Also they are today not considered collectors so I will change the pick guard and pots/jack
     
  2. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

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  3. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really have no idea, but this sound like surface hazing of the poly? I'm not sure what they used in the late 70's or early 80's.

    If this is poly, you should be able to buff it out for a full shine again. I don't think the finish under poly will change color - I would assume this is surface haze that is causing the discoloration. Again, I don't know for sure.

    Let someone else who knows more about these years reply, though.
     
  4. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Let me help you with the pic. Btw I think it looks killer as is :)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    ""I thought the poly finish would look shiny forever,""

    I think it kinda does...:rolleyes:...

    unless you drag it behind a pickup truck on stony tar roads..or play the frikken crap out of them....:lol:

    a few of my 83 polys....:cool:


    the frets on these necks are flat and grooved... no closet queens, these ones..:twisted:
     

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  6. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect this is just a case of taking the term 'tobacco burst' too far! :D

    I think a nice polish would help a lot. To me, it looks like it's been played in quite a few smoky rooms.

    Lovely looking guitar by the way, in whatever state of cleanliness.
     
  7. Tel E Twister

    Tel E Twister Tele-Meister

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    1981 was an interesting time at Fender. It was the beginning of the end of the CBS era and many changes where going on behind the scenes. For a while, all production had ceased in order to re-tool, upgrade machines, and retrain personnel.
    BTW, you would be surprised what a barely damp, cotton cloth can do :D
     
  8. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

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    trev333:
    Awesome axe you have there! Looking sharp!


    Tel E Twister:
    Thanks for this very nice information about this specific year of 81 for CBS Fender. (I would love to hear more from that period).

    By the way, thanks to all for looking at this guitar, I really dig it so much. The last owner bought it in the US 11 years ago and never played it.

    The original tone and volume pot are in a really nasty corroded state with white stuff and the chrome plating having their ways to take off. Those are replacements.

    I used only the polish from Virtuoso (and not the cleaner bottle with is more abrasive). This stuff is great, like on the nasty Gibson nitro, now I can see the guitar that was hidden Under all this gunk. Only the body was affected. The neck had no gunk.

    I really dig having a experience of a time capsule when I open the case. I dig the color of the pluff, it looks almost like the vintage serie Martins case's interior color of my 0018V guitar case. Lovely.

    [​IMG]



    unixfish:
    I can assure you that this poly has reacted to many factor. I suspect the first two would be Tobacco fumes, the sun, and something else that could reach underneath the pickguard, maybe the alu foil sticked to the back of the PG. The burst is really like a maroon color and dark green sheen to it.

    [​IMG]

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    The color is not evident to represent with my limited LCD screen, but you get the idea. I can see that the finish underneath the pickguard is cleared - less yellowed that the rest.

    [​IMG]


    aluminium tab for the pickguard ;p

    [​IMG]

    The finish on the neck is lovely too, I didn't thought poly neck would do this though.

    The logo from this era is way lovelier than on the modern tele mia's logo imho, it's a raised decal with gold sparkle, pretty neat. (it's in such good state on this guitar I wonnder)

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    both 2010 and 1981 teles have an figured flamed maple neck (not your custom shop beauty AAA grade though) but still I think the real dark color from age and the streaks of light on the flames that it the neck is just so sexy deepth!

    The nod goes to the 81 with more depth and more sheen mild flames almost from head to heel.

    [​IMG]

    The guy had it fret serviced done. They were leveled, crowned and edge hand rolled. Nice heights to the frets, mean I'm such a lucky guy!

    [​IMG]

    I really like this axe to be from 1981, because if it does, then it's my actual birth year. Pots are plastic shafts with 81 year code with Third week.

    It's gonna be a whiteguard for now. Have ordered the pure vintage replacement and some copper foil.. to be continued.
     
  9. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think it's aged quite nicely, wouldn't want to put to much shine on it and make it look new.
     
  10. hoserton

    hoserton Tele-Meister

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    The aging of the neck looks great. I can only hope my MIM Cabronita's neck looks that good in 20 years!
     
  11. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    The Teles of that era were finished in 'polyester.' Polyurethane replaced it in 1988 on the "NEW AMERICAN STANDARDS'... Any finish can become dulled down.....
     
  12. giginthesky

    giginthesky Friend of Leo's

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    anybody else thinking maybe that neck is nitro? (the way it's crackled) edoto, i had a similar issue with one of my pbasses. ser# 79', date inside 81'. the black finish kept getting more and more cloudy with every different polish i tried. it looked disgusting. one day i accidentally overshot a little finger ease on the body. when i wiped it off, the cloudiness was gone in that spot. needless to say, i wiped down the whole body with finger ease and she's black and shiny again. i don't know if anyones come across this before or if it could actually damage the finish so i'd wait to hear some other opinions before trying. just wanted to share my experience.
     
  13. Five-O

    Five-O Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd wet sand it with 1200 grit, to get the haze off and generally bring it back to life, then buff it out with auto rubbing compound.
     
  14. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

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    Oh no don't buff it out! Are you mad to buff a vintage guitar?

    Really you should try Virtuoso polish. That stuff is made of vintage instrument. And I successfully removed all the cloudiness and gunk. without buffing out the finish. That product is chimicaly removing waxed, grease and gunk that may have attack the finish thus the cloudiness. Now the guitar is shiny gain while still having all those little scares from its age.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. edodo

    edodo TDPRI Member

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    I too think it's nitro, but it doesn't match the telecaster history of that time!
    Here are other shots. Also the back of the neck look like a satin finish, it now clean and smoother than my 2010 US standard tele!

    I changed to whiteguard.

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    Look at the finish on the neck. If it were a refinish, would the fender logo would have been damaged? This look like nitro thin coat on the raised fender logo :
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Tel E Twister

    Tel E Twister Tele-Meister

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    IDK, but those tuners say "I'm from the seventies" :confused:
    Have you checked the neck heel for a date?
    I wonder if Fender was using up extra parts during that transition period.
    Or maybe a previous owner changed the neck.
     
  17. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Nice looking Tele. That all looks correct to me for a 1981. 1981-82 were the last of the CBS and for all practical purposes the "real" Teles for lack of a better term (to myself meaning the continuation of what was originally bought from Leo).

    I know that there was the change in the "notch" around '74, and the 6 saddle bridge a bit later, but after that came the sale and change to the American Series/Standard with the top-loader and the Elites, and I believe that only the '52 continued with the regular truss rod and ashtray bridge.

    I think that through the end of that era the faces of the headstock were sprayed with nitro over the decal because the polyester would react with the decal if it were sprayed on top. You'll notice that most of those ended up with the face of the headstock darkening more than the fingerboard and rest of the neck. I also think that around '78 the sunburst also either changed to tobaccoburst, or that tobaccoburst became an additional color option.
     
  18. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I like how it looks from here. Play it! Don't polish it.
     
  19. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Back then Fender used nitro on the headstock face - they found back when they changed to the polyurethane finishes in the late 1960s that the finish melted the headstock decals they were using at the time. So the face of the headstock has that nitro checking, but the rest of the neck is urethane. They kept that up on most models through 1982 (the Leads and Bullets had a different decal material and therefore had polyurethane on headstocks, and of course the first Reissues came out in 1982 with full nitro finished necks).

    Fender used those tuners through the end of 1982. When they changed the model lineup for 1983 the new models - Elites and Standards (the top-loader Tele and 2-knob Strat) used the sealed tuners. Prior to 1983 the only model that used that type of tuner was the Tele Deluxe; the rest of them kept those "F" tuners.
     
  20. daniel o

    daniel o Tele-Meister

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    love the older fenders....isnt it sad that something from 1981 ish is older or classic?

    beautiful guitar
     
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