1970’s/80’s Telecaster Burgundy Mist

1970/80’s Fender Telecaster.

From the start I’d like to state that I do not believe this to be a genuine Fender Telecaster.

I received this as part of a deal I did on some other guitars, and have spent several days trying to find out what it actually is!

Body – the lacquer finish is what I believe Fender described as burgundy mist.  The guitar has been clearly used a lot and bears a myriad of chips around the edges of the guitar.  The wood is dense, and a 3 piece construction. 

The scratch plate was made out of a Rolling Stones Vinyl LP.  I’ve replaced this with a more standard 3 ply (B/W/B) scratch plate, but will throw the Vinyl one for fun! 

The body is of a “String through body” construction.  Combine both the weight and construction and this results in a guitar with excellent sustain.  Strap buttons are typical Fender Standard buttons.

The “ashtray” bridge is a Fender badged 6 saddle construction (1980’s feature).  This allows for excellent adjustment of string height and intonation.

Neck – usually Fender have a date stamp on the end of the neck – this has gone.  It’s a 9.5” radius (Typically 1980’s and thereafter) one piece maple neck construction, no scarf joints as found on some cheap copies.  The 21 (70’s feature – changed to 22 in the 80’s)  frets are in excellent condition, showing little/no wear, and the fret ends have all been rounded, making this very comfortable to play.  Again – cheap copies often have sharp fret ends, so that’s a plus for this guitar.  One cause of concern is that the Fender logo appears to be a waterslide decal, typical of a “rebadged guitar.”  The lacquer shows some signs of wear in the open and 5 – 7th fret positions.  This has exposed a lighter shade of lacquer underneath.  Which raises the question has the neck been refinished with a more vintage looking lacquer – this could explain the loss of date numbers and replaced decal.

The Machine Heads are a high quality Sperzel locking tuners, with staggered height posts – which accounts for the String tree having been moved. 

Neck joint has a 4 point Fender badge and serial number. The serial number suggests that this is a 1970’s Fender USA

Electronics – The neck pickup appears the be a Seymour Duncan pickup (I think!) – the sound is full and sonically rich, the bridge pickup looks to be a Standard Fender pickup, with the copper base plate and cloth covered wiring. The sound from this pickup is the usual “Quacky” sound found and loved by Telecaster players – Brilliant!  A 3 way pickup selector allows choice of neck, neck+bridge, bridge.  24mm CTS volume and tone pots with Sprague orange drop capacitors.  The wiring is quite idiosyncratic in that the pots have AEG quick release wiring connectors – clearly someone who liked to swap in and out components set this up.  It works, so I see no good reason to alter it.

So what’s the result.  

  1. Telecaster badged neck (1970’s) with correct headstock shape.  
  2. Upgraded tuners.
  3. Many definitely original Fender Parts.
  4. Good quality crackle free electronics.

I’ve had Squire and MIM telecasters in the past, and this knocks the spots off them, but as I cannot guarantee that this is a genuine Fender, it seems only fair to price it at the same level as a MIM tele.