Vintage tele find...maybe

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Telecaster Ben, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Telecaster Ben

    Telecaster Ben TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    I found a 1950 fender broadcaster body with a 1955 neck. I know the previous owner and it's been in a closet for about 10 years owned by someone who only kept it to remember their father (never played once during that time). Anyways. I bought it as a 55 telecaster, but I think it's actually a 55 tele neck one 1950 broadcaster body. I've been researching meticulously and nonstop...but I need a fresh set of eyes and the knowledge of some vintage guitar geeks. I've attached several pictures. The guitar is refinished (looks killer in the pictures, but its actually not very good it's like wall paint. See the string ferrels), the bridge has a crazy mod to accommodate a bigsby (later removed), and at one point someone actually GLUED the neck on the body...thanks goodness they did a hack job because the neck is totally loose and can be taken off the body again.
    The electronics are all original (jury is out on the pots because I didnt look at the codes yet and I hate taking this guitar apart...it makes me nervous...I understand that's key information, but I think I have all other relevant pictures)
    Neck is a 55, has the original tuners
    Pickguard is probably from the same tele the 55 neck came from because it's white.
    Switch tip is replaced
    Says bill on it

    Heres a link to photos on google drive

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1QWPHFpNF0lMyPkc4LucfQS9Z3txC6s2h

    Any help is very appreciated. If I'm wrong let me know! Thanks!
     
  2. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    462
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    Location:
    Boulder Creek, Ca
    Wow!. Sorry, I can't help at all.
     
    LunarSlingShot likes this.
  3. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,134
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    PA, US
    By no means an expert but everything I see agrees with your comments.

    A couple dumb questions:

    1. Do the controls work like a Broadcaster? By that I mean no real tone control, the mid switch position is neck with no tone and the rear position blends the neck in using the rear pot.

    2. I was surprised to see the control cavity not have a full radius at the ends, but that may be the way they are supposed to be in 1950. Have you researched that?

    Great find to me, hope those in the know comment.
     
  4. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    376
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Location:
    Delaware
    The wiring is blend wiring. My 52 has that same single cap and the orange sheath on the wires. That wiring went away at the end of 1952. Can you read the pot codes? Some folks with way more knowledge than me will be chiming in soon.
     
  5. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,683
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Lewes De.
    Nice neck, lots of grain layers. It looks flat sawn.
     
  6. Telecaster Ben

    Telecaster Ben TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    1. The controls work as you described. Theres the neck with no tone. Neck in the middle and bridge with blend as the bridge position. Works great!
    2. I've never considered the radius of the control cavity. I'd be interested to hear more about how that spec should be.

    Thanks!
     
  7. Telecaster Ben

    Telecaster Ben TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    That's the crucial thing I dont have yet is the pot codes. I'll take close pictures of the pots soon.
     
  8. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    242
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Location:
    France
    The little hole was only on the very early "teles". Can't remember where I saw that but I'm pretty sure yours is I deed a broadcaster. What is the DC resistance on the bridge pickup. Broadcaster pickups read significantly higher than tele pickups
     

    Attached Files:

    Telecaster Ben likes this.
  9. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    680
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    Holy crap that thing is cool.
    The BILL guard is fantastic.
    I'm for cleaning it up and leaving it as is for a year or two. Don't rush into a restoration. This thing is sooo real.

    You didn't mention if you had acquired it yet. Did you get a deal?
     
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    34,607
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    That is a really nice partscaster. Perhaps someone wore out the Broadcaster’s neck and replaced it in the mid-‘50s with a Fender supplied replacement??? I like the guard and would leave the ‘BILL’ as is. I don’t usually like lettering on guitars, but that one is cool.
    Was the previous owner’s dad’s name Bill? Or...since the guitar was never played by that person’s father, perhaps it belonged to a relative or friend of the owner who put it in the closet?

    congrats....and I hope you did not pay full ‘excellent and original’ price.
     
  11. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,134
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    PA, US
    Thanks for your reply, I'm hoping someone who owns the Blackgiard Book may be able to answer that.
     
    Telecaster Ben likes this.
  12. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,758
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Holy night, that is cool! Congratulations on this find. I am hardly an expert, but the crudeness of the whole body, along with all the parts and stamps, sure makes it look like a Broadcaster to me. As Wally said, I'd leave the "Bill" alone. It looks to be stenciled and cut into the pickguard? And that neck sure is nice, too, even if it's not original to the guitar. What kind of nut is that?
     
    Telecaster Ben likes this.
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    34,607
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    upload_2020-2-20_9-37-6.jpeg

    Note that the butt end of that control cavity does not have the rounded curve that is seen at the other end? That is normal. one would Usually expect to see a small clamping hole near that screw hole at that flat end of the cavity?? Maybe it was filled during the ‘ref in’.
     
    Telecaster Ben and Skydog1010 like this.
  14. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,579
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    Wow, I am still amazed these are being found in the closets at this day and age. I would have thought they would have all been sold back in the mid 2000s when prices went through the roof.

    As far as a refinish. I would not rush into that either, but you mentioned that that the finish on it might be house paint. That may be a great thing as I would imagine that the original finish might still be intact under the white, the white might have just been a protective coating for all these years.

    Still all in all it is a great find!
     
    Telecaster Ben, NicDo and fenderchamp like this.
  15. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    680
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    You might contact a museum painting restoration guy about removing the house paint if you decide to go that route. IF the original lacquer is present.

    But you can bet there's plenty of paint soaked into the grain wherever the lacquer was gone when they painted it.

    There's no way I would refinish that guitar though.
     
    2 Headed Goat and Telecaster Ben like this.
  16. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,751
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Arcadia, Wisconsin
    Thanks for sharing. Really fun to look at. For what it's worth, you also have my vote for letting Bill live on the guitar. That's pretty cool.
     
    Telecaster Ben likes this.
  17. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Location:
    omaha
    Super cool guitar, thanks for sharing all the pictures!
     
    Telecaster Ben likes this.
  18. Telecaster Ben

    Telecaster Ben TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    The daughter had a strange relationship (or lack of relationship) with her father. She was his only child and didnt even know him until he was 20 or so. She says he was in bands and such, but hardly knew him. But even so he left her in his will and then the guitar slowly made it's way to my hands over the next 10 years or so...
    I paid the part caster price. I basically was buying the neck and gambling on the rest.
     
    ArcticWhite and Wally like this.
  19. Telecaster Ben

    Telecaster Ben TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2020
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    *until she was 20 or so
     
    ArcticWhite likes this.
  20. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    680
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    I'm trying to imagine what a 50/55 partscaster goes for.
    And trying to figure out why my associates don't have ancient Fenders in their closets...

    Siri is no help at all with the more important questions in life.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.