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Verifying a vintage Tele

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Guitarzan56, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Hi guys.
    I'm hoping someone here can help me to figure out the hardware numbers on a Tele my neighbor just brought over here for me to look over for him. He just wanted me to try and verify that it's all original. My confusion is with the pot codes. The neck plate serial number checks out as a '68. Of the 2 pots, solder makes one illegible and the other has the following:
    015479 1 MEG AUD 304-6617. The pot with the solder over the numbers leaves only 015473 legible.
    The guitar is a Telecaster Custom, has a bound body, top and back, tobacco burst, maple neck with dot fret markers. I believe the finish to be poly cuz the headstock decal is on top of the finish There's a grease pencil "8" in the neck socket and heel of the neck reads 30 OCT 68B. The back of the neck where it fits in the socket has a small ink stamp that reads 468.
    It's got a "F" neck plate with the serial number 223531. The "Custom Telecaster" words on the headstock logo decal are in a straight line and do not include any numbers


    The pots appear to be Stackpole. I read somewhere that right at or just before the CBS acquisition, Fender bought a huge lot of CTS pots. I further read that this can result in a 1970 strat having CTS pots with a '67 date code. This has me confused with the Stackpoles that are in this guitar and appear to be factory. Also, am I reading it correctly?
    304 = Stackpole and 6617 is the 17th week of 1966? With Fender being notoriously "frugal" I find it interesting that they'd still be pulling from a supply of '66 pots in '68. But then maybe they got a huge lot of those in '66 cheap too like the '67 CTS pots. Oh, and another interesting thing is that the under side of the 3-ply pickguard is pearloid. Why use pearloid on the side that won't show?
    Any input from you guys will be very much appreciated.
    Regards
    -Zan, Jane, and the monkey
     
  2. PJ55

    PJ55 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Very possible that Fender bought a lot of '66 pots. Component suppliers often have surplus quantities of parts from overruns and order cancellations, returns, etc. Having been in the components business, I know this is fairly common. A cost-improver for Fender and a load off the component-maker's shelves. The pearloid under-layer on the pickguard, is something that Fender did, either to use some material, or to in some way enhance the guard. That one's a head-scratcher for me, too. Maybe someone here can help with that one. Sounds like you have a real vintage Tele there, with the normal Fender curiosities.
     
  3. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Don't know too much about pot codes but I don't think it is unusual for Fender to be using pots with dates from a couple of years earlier. For dating purposes, the pot codes mainly establish a "no earlier than" date.

    The pearloid on the underside of a pickguard definitely rings true. A lot of Fenders from around that time have pearloid on the side you don't see. I can only assume Fender bought far more of it than they were ever going to use and decided to use some of it up by using the other side. A mate of mine had a guitar from that era and decided to change the pick guard with the intention of keeping the original one somewhere safe. When he saw the pearloid on the underside, he assumed it couldn't be the original guard and tossed it in the trash. When he mentioned it at the next gig, he wasn't happy when we told him he'd been mistaken!

    Everything you said about the guitar rings true but, as always, pictures would help. In any case, we love looking at pictures of cool guitars :D
     
  4. Joefish

    Joefish Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the forum ... and we would sure appreciate a few photographs.

    ( tobacco burst w/maple neck - you're killing me)
     
  5. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Will post pix

    Thanks for all of the quick replies guys. This place is cool. I've been reading posts here for a long time but never had a reason to post 'til now. I'll post a bunch of pix tomorrow. got the camera batteries charging right now.
    Thanks again!!
     
  6. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Waiting to view what I hope is a magnificent tele.
     
  7. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    I have 1966 pot codes in a 68 tele - my serial number is approx 20,000 later than yours, I bought it in late 68.
     
  8. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    '68 tele

    Thanks man, if that ain't a vote for verification then Jane can't sing and monkey don't boogie.
     
  9. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Magnificent? well....

    It's got it's share (maybe more) of battle scars. I'm gonna get some pictures up this morning as soon as I've had my coffee. There are a couple spots where the finish is gone to the wood and it doesn't look like gradual wear. If the spot on that back is buckle rash then the guy that played this this thing liked it to hand close to his knees and the one on the front, well, I can't explain that one at all. Hang in there fellas, I'll get pix going directly.
     
  10. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The '66 pot codes have been seen on many later teles here before- nothing strange about that- Fender had a ton of 'em I guess.
    A '68 SB, double-bound Custom?- probably a maple cap neck? Whoa buddy!
    Can't wait to see pics!
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    AFAIK Fender did not rotate stock in the eras before date coded serial numbers.
    Pots were in a box at a work station, and the bottom layer did not get moved to the top when a new batch was dumped in.
    Likewise serial number plates were not used in sequence, they were pulled out of boxes in no particular order, and will not accurately date a guitar, though they are closer than pots, since they were not ordered in as large quantities as some '60s pot batches.
     
  12. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Duchossoir's book mentions...

    "...But it should be borne in mind that pots are high volume items likely to be ordered in thousands and stored for some time. In the early 70's many Fenders were still fitted with pots dating from 1966, ordered in vast quantitites by CBS shortly after the take-over!

    For example: Rosewood Telecaster #330774 (neck date "SEP71") with pots coded "1376636" i.e. 36th week of 1966..."
     
  13. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Here are some pix as promised

    I hope I got this right. I have more but this is a good start
     

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  14. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    theory

    There was a strap in the case and I think the strap buckle was what did that damage to the back. It's my best guess. As to the damage on the top edge, the felt had come loose right where the right hand case latch is. There is no doubt in my mind that banging around against the inside of that case hardware is what caused that damage. It's really a shame cuz otherwise, it's pretty much the kind of nicks and dings you'd expect to see from a 40+ year-old player.
     
  15. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    More pix

    Here they are
     

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  16. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks fantastic!!!
     
  17. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    The damage

    I checked it out and with the strap connected to the top button, the buckle is exactly where all of that damage is on the back. Theory confirmed.
     
  18. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice and definitely looks like the real deal to me.
     
  19. Guitarzan56

    Guitarzan56 TDPRI Member

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    Definitely a non-screwed-with '68

    I'm absolutely convinced that it is. With the replies regarding how the pots were purchased, handled, and installed by the factory, it all adds up. It has all cloth wiring, and NO evidence of ever being messed with internally. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the neck socket saw its 1st light of day since '68 yesterday when I took the neck off to read the date on the heel.
     
  20. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

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    Great looking guitar!
     
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