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Vanity purchase?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by SpookyElectric, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. SpookyElectric

    SpookyElectric NEW MEMBER!

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    Finding myself with more disposable income than in the past, I am considering buying a 1973 Telecaster, simply because that was the year I was born. Is this a dumb thing to do, or should I get a more recent Custom Shop Tele with vintage specs? I'm not even sure if 1973 was a particularly good year for Teles, or if there are any advantages (for me) to owning a vintage instrument other than bragging rights :)

    The one I'm looking at is blonde but with a rosewood fingerboard, which makes it less common but possibly has no bearing on how good the guitar is. I'm buying it to play, not as an investment.
     
  2. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I want a birthyear strat pretty bad, but its cost prohibitive. My. 02 - go with modern quality. The American Professional II Telecaster® is a great guitar for the $
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The 70's were not particularly great years for Fender or Gibson. Only in the last 10 years has the price of CBS era guitars started to command more money. It's your money to do as you please, but I'd probably lean towards a newer model and use the savings to buy something else. I've had vintage guitars because I thought it would be cool to own, but the reality was they were just old used guitars. I owned a birthyear LP junior, a birthyear lp dc for my wife, and a birthyear LP studio for my daughter. I flipped them for a little profit and never looked back.
     
  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a '73 Strat that I sold for $250 in 1992. It was a pretty good guitar and I regret selling it simply because I believed the "collective knowledge" that all CBS Fenders were bad. You really have to judge individual guitars and not go by years or the specific location they were made.

    That said, if I was spending a few thousand bucks on a Tele, I'd go for a new custom shop, not a vintage one unless it was truly exceptional and at a fantastic price.
     
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  5. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    Naw. I've always thought it would be nice to have a Fender Champ from the year I was born. Sadly, I've waited too long and the cost would probably be prohibitive. How prohibitive you ask. Let's just say that it would probably have an octal tube rather than a 12ax7.

    upload_2021-1-22_13-18-17.png
     
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  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Those years can be hit and miss in my experience. My ‘70 tele was one of the better guitars I’ve ever owned. Likewise, a ‘75 Strat I once owned was the best. Period. I’ve played fender strats from ‘54 to present, I’ve never come across a better one than that ‘75. I sold it because at the time, I couldn’t deal with the fact that it had been a hardtail, that somebody routed for a trem. It was really nice work. Totally pro job. But I had it in my head that it was going to be “vintage” someday, and the value would be ruined by that. I should have kept it. It was the best player I’ve ever come across. And light as a feather.

    If you can play the ‘73, and it’s what you really want, I say go for it. I’m a ‘73 model myself, and I’d love to have one. But I wouldn’t buy it just for that reason. It would have to be a great player. Otherwise I’d get something else.
     
  7. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I bought some fancy leather straps with conchos, tooling (machine), and a new pair of boots. That's my vanity thing.
     
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  8. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    You will probably find an answer quick once you start looking for one that matches your specs.

    Edit: sorry, didn't see that you found one, thought that was what you were looking for!
     
  9. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Probably depends on the guitar. I have a "vintage" birth year guitar that took a lot of work and money to restore. It is now a great player, as good as anything I've had, with a sound to match. Still, I could have shopped around and found a similar modern guitar that wouldn't have needed the TLC. The bottom line for me is that the year of make by itself is way down the list of priorities.

    But if you can get it in-hand, you love it, and the price is right, go for it.
     
  10. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Contrary to what others have said, I wouldn't throw all 70s Fenders under the bus. Certainly the ratio of lemons to gems is higher, but great 70s Fender guitars can still be found. Case and point, I personally would love to have a 1972 Telecaster Thinline. I also think there are some positive features that are overlooked, such as the bullet truss rod, which is easier to adjust than the heel adjusting rods, as well as two string trees instead of one.
     
  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    That seems like a great reason to buy a telecaster. I've got an Epiphone Casino that has been a vanity project (or maybe stubborn pride, not sure which). It was a nothing special, mid-90s MIK guitar that didn't sound great and didn't feel great, but looked amazing. Every time I looked at it, I wanted to play it. Every time I played it, I wanted to put it down and get away from it. Dumped all kinds of money into new parts and work and it's a great guitar now. But if I was rational, I would have ditched it long ago and gotten a better one. I'm sure by now that I've spent as much on it as an Epiphone Elitist Casino if not more. Pride and vanity made me stick it out, and now I'm forever bonded with it. So yeah, go for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you can afford it, why not?

    Would you allow some naysayer to stop you from buying a vehicle painted silver just because they don't like silver? They can go pound sand.

    Do what you like, so long as (1) it makes you happy, and (2) you don't cause suffering of others.
     
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  13. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    Rather than buying a birth year guitar, get a guitar that you love to play whatever the vintage.

    I do happen to have a birth year guitar, but not because i sought it out. A friend just gave me an
    old guitar he had never learned to play. When i checked serial numbers to my surprise it was from
    the year i was born:cool: It rarely gets played or leaves the house.
     
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  14. SpookyElectric

    SpookyElectric NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks so much for your contributions, everyone! I've been playing (whisper it) Les Pauls for 20 years but I can no longer deny the Telecaster itch. Trouble is, I'm no Fender expert. Sounds like I'd be better off with the 2005 Custom Shop I was weighing the 73 against.

    My other possibility is to go the full team-built custom route and select body, neck, hardware etc from the catalogue. I'm not looking for any fancy options - quite the reverse, in fact. Anyone done this? Can you give me any clue of how much it will cost me? This is the first (and will probably be the last) time I have the cash to do this...
     
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  15. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    '63 would be a vanity purchase. '73 - not so much :p
     
  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can sure understand the sentimental attraction.....but I would never buy a guitar simply based on the year it was made. Especially if you're buying to PLAY and not just hang on a wall.....it would have to be compatible with my playing and comfort requirements.
    Go buy one of those "newsletters" that tells what was happening and was popular on your birthday in 1973, and then buy a guitar you REALLY like. ;););)
     
  17. d barham

    d barham Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have a birth year guitar, but I do have a birth year ('62) electric mandolin and bassman amp. I wasn't looking for either piece when I found them. There's nothing wrong with wanting or owning a birth year guitar. Take your time, they're out there. Not as many as there once were, but they can still be found. The internet is a great resource for vintage gear buyers, but be careful. Do your homework and be ready when the right thing comes along.
     
  18. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Its not dumb at all ... I just don't want a guitar THAT old :D:lol::lol:
     
  19. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Afflicted

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    Birth year guitars don’t appeal to me. Maybe if I were twenty years older and had a lot more money.
     
  20. d barham

    d barham Tele-Afflicted

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    23CA3EA5-190B-49B5-8B1E-4854D15C491A.jpeg
    BTW, I prefer blonde with rosewood.
     
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