What year is this Tele body?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Baloop, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    A buddy of mine contacted me about some gear a neighbor of his had but had recently passed away. The neighbor's widow wanted to keep a few special guitars but wanted the rest of the gear gone because it was taking up room. I do not know much about Telecasters but I read that Fender wanted to get Gibson players interested in their guitars so along came the Deluxe and Custom.

    One of the guitars I bought was a Telecaster Custom with a non original neck. The electronics look untouched. The neck is made by Lentz back in 1988. The neck has not been on any other body as it only has holes that fit the guitar body and it fits so well that it's like the neck was made for this body. So here are some pics. I took a few so everyone could see the detail. The finish has some checking going from top to bottom. Not side to side. I think I know what year the body is but I'm not positive. Any input would be appreciated.

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  2. jwag

    jwag Tele-Meister

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    The neck plate was off one of these, does it look to be repainted? 46C1DD85-9709-407C-9009-6A2DE69667AC.png
     
  3. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, your picture of the pot has the capacitor right over the date code, and the other pots have the date code on the side, but you didn’t get that in the pics.

    Some of the pots may have been changed, so that’s not necessarily a fool proof way to tell, but it’s a good start.

    The upper neck pocket doesn’t have the notch, so it’s >/= 1973 and the serial number indicates 1975.

    The neck almost cost me my eyesight.

    Out of curiosity, how heavy is the loaded body?
     
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  4. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    Body is 6 lbs 1.6 oz. Here are a few more pictures. Hasn't been refinished as far as I know.


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  5. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    Does the pot number here indicate 1973 and 1974?
     
  6. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, one is 15th week of 73 the other is 46th week of 74, so the 75 serial number dating seems accurate, like it is original to the body.

    And the two Stackpole brand pots look original, too!

    Crazy that it has three different pots, but here’s another Tele, in natural, but nearly identical otherwise:

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/ngd-i-traded-my-13-amp-for-a-77-tele-custom.462968/
     
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  7. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    Ok, so I did a little research and I believe the guitar is a 1974. The reason is because the latest date on the pots from Guitar Insite dates them at 1973 and 1974. Looks like in 1975 the bridge changed to individual adjustable bridge pieces compared to this one that only have three adjustments. One of the pots is dated Nov 1974 so maybe that's why the serial number on the neck plate indicates 1975. Any other info would be great. Thanks for your input.
     
  8. skunqesh

    skunqesh Tele-Holic

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    no notch in the neck pocket, 73, 74 date in the pots, can't see the ink stamp on the back of the WRHB, but not critical. Neck Plate Serial # is well into 75.

    74-75 ?

    Interesting neck - I almost thought it was a modified Fender piece at first!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  9. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    I'm not sure why this neck is on the guitar. It's really flat and this. Sounds really good but looks out of place.
     
  10. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Friend of Leo's

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    There are plenty of images on the inter webs of 75-76 customs that still use the notched three barrel saddles. That’s not a definitive guide. And it is highly unlikely that Fender changed that feature on December 31st, more like Fender to keep using them until they were gone.

    if that is the original neck plate, several decoders say 1975.

    It’s also very unlikely that a shipment of pots came in November of 1974 and made it onto a completed guitar in the last 6 weeks of that year.

    I’d bet dollars to donuts it’s a 1975.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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  11. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    You are right, I just looked and actually found a 1975 in black. Thank you for the clarification. Now I need to start looking for an old neck.
     
  12. Turtleneck

    Turtleneck Tele-Holic

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    '74 - '75 Custom Telecaster.

    Snag it and put a proper Fender Telecaster neck on it.
     
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  13. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    Anyone have a 1975 Fender Telecaster Custom neck they want to part with?
     
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  14. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    Agree with 75 being most likely. Good project there!
     
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  15. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    It's interesting that Fender's system would return this info from just a number - a Tex Mex would have had an "MN" prefix before the number (plus it has a 4-bolt neck and the serial number on the headstock anyway). When I ran the number it also comes up with a Frontline 15R amp. Regardless you can't check a serial number for a Fender product from before 1993.

    I suspect that the owner who had the neck built was also playing Jackson/Charvels or Kramers at the time and wanted a similar feeling neck on his old Tele Custom.
     
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  16. jwag

    jwag Tele-Meister

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    Here I thought I was helping….lol. I always learn something new every time I read here on the forum.

    I tried doing some research on it, but honestly don’t have the first hand knowledge or experience with vintage Fenders to offer anything helpful. It’s a cool piece for sure, and probably a pretty good player.
     
  17. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    originally that would have had a bullet truss wouldn't it? I see that there is one of those metal anchors that you the screw the 3rd neck screw into and maybe are part of the micro tilt thing, it looks like that is not all that cleanly put into the neck. those things don't serve as the truss rod anchor on bullet rod necks do they?
     
  18. Baloop

    Baloop TDPRI Member

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    Looks like I will be receiving a 1975 Fender Telecaster Custom neck soon. I put an ad up looking for one and a member came through. I'm excited. I'll post pictures when it's put together.
     
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