1997 Fender “California Series” Telecaster in Candy Apple Red (Metallic Red).

The Blue Book Says:

CALIFORNIA TELECASTER (U.S. MFG. NO. 010-1600/1602)
– single cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 21-fret maple fingerboard with black dot inlays (1602) or rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays (1600), six-on-one-side tuners, six-saddle bridge, three-ply white pickguard, one Tex-Mex Strat and one Tex-Mex Tele single coil pickups, two knobs (v, tone) and a three-way switch mounted on a metal plate, chrome hardware, available in Black, Brown Sunburst, Candy Apple Red, Fiesta Red, or Vintage White finish, mfg. 1997-98.

AMXN Prefix: California Series electric guitars and basses, AMXN + six digits.

I say:

A really nice clean example of a great guitar.

The headstock bears the decal saying “California Series”  this indicates a range of  guitars made when fender had a problem at their finishing plant, the guitars were made with USA parts, but final assembly and finishing were done in their new “super modern and high quality” Mexico Plant  whilst Fender upgraded their USA division.

The California Series Telecaster model also features vintage hardware such as Kluson-style tuners and a vintage bridge with six individual steel saddles. Medium jumbo frets make string bending and playability by far easier in contrast to the usual thin vintage frets. All Telecaster bodies of this particular series were routed for a humbucker pickup in the neck position.

Vintage style “C” profile neck with a 9½” radius.
21 medium jumbo frets.
Vintage tremolo, tuners and 4 bolt neck plate.
3 Ply pearloid pickguard.
25½” scale length.

The neck is unmarked and in great condition, the rosewood fingerboard shows some minor wear in the “cowboy chord” positions, the frets are in great shape.

The body is finished in the very cheerful “Candy Apple Red” finish – and is in great condition bar one chip just above the jack socket – this has been filled with what looks like “Cherry Red” lacquer.  It is noticeable but really really minor! – have a look at the pictures!

Six saddle adjustable bridge is great and all the electronics are original and crackle free.  The neck pickup has Strat neck pickup with staggered pole pieces, the bridge is pretty standard.

Tonally this is a bright guitar – spank and twang in abundance 🙂