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 Post subject: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:52 pm 
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I bought this about ten years ago, in a tweed case, with an owner’s manual and a “Certificate of Authenticity”. The “Dated” line on the C of A reads “070788”. The “Serial No.” line reads “8837”. I have tried to track it, specifically to confirm the date and place of manufacture. The results have been inconclusive. I would like to sub that job out to you guys, if you will. Also, what is the difference in the two wiring schemes shown below? Telecaster is all about tone, and if I find those parts that were rolling around in the case I may re-install them. Also, I am going to have it re-fretted, real soon -- it definitely needs it. I want larger frets. I consider this guitar to be a player, but if it is something more valuable than that, then I don’t want to mess it up with modifications, such as larger frets. The paragraph below should be self-explanatory, as well as the photos.


The Owner’s Manual states that a 6-section bridge and modern electronics are included, with instructions for installing them. The guitar apparently came with the vintage bridge and vintage electronics. This guitar now has the 6-section bridge (the original was not with it when I bought it) and there was a bag of components which now I can’t locate, and I presume the modern electronics were installed. The headstock says only “Fender “TELECASTER”". Nothing on the back of the headstock. Retro tuners, no name on them. 5-screw solid color black pick guard. No knob on the 3-position switch when I bought it. Knurled knobs on the pots. The neck screw plate is solid chrome, no letters, no serial number. I am not interested in pulling the pick guard to look for a number on the neck. Barrel style retainer. And neck pickup not suspended.


http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt310/mustanger361/FenderR_zpsb86d7a0b.jpg
http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt310/mustanger361/Fender2R_zpseb9f51d2.jpg
http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt310/mustanger361/Fender4R_zps5d5b07a2.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:42 am 
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Without seeing photos of the guitar itself for verification it looks to me like you have a USA-built '52 Reissue Telecaster that was assembled, inspected, and sent to the warehouse on July 7, 1988 - per that Certificate of Authenticity dated 07/07/88. Unfortunately while Fender has a searchable serial number database it only goes back to 1993 (I believe they changed computer systems at that time and the old records were filed and not uploaded).

Now until the latest version of the American Vintage '52 Tele came out in August of this year the USA-built '52 Reissues shipped from the factory with what is known as "vintage wiring" just the way Teles were wired from circa late 1951 until the mid-1960s (1967 I think). In vintage wiring the 3-way switch gives you these three settings:

    Position 1 (switch pointed toward the bridge): bridge pickup with the tone control active
    Middle position: neck pickup with the tone control active
    Position 3 (switch pointed toward the neck): neck pickup with a treble roll-off capacitor (kind of a muddy sound) and the tone control inactive

The USA Reissues came with a kit and instructions to change the guitar to "modern wiring" which gives you these three settings:

    Postion 1: bridge pickup with tone control active
    Middle Position: both pickups with tone control active
    Position 3: neck pickup with tone control active

Now you will have to tell us if the previous owner of your Tele had already made the change to modern wiring - does the switch work like the vintage wiring or the modern wiring? The wiring diagrams are one for vintage wiring and one for modern wiring.

These also shipped with the accessory bridge with 6 saddles and instructions on how to install it.

Now to your other questions. In 1952 Fenders did not have any country of origin marked on them because all Fenders were made in Fullerton California. The USA-built Reissue models also do not have a country of origin marked on them to be accurate to the original year. Also in 1952 the serial number was stamped onto the bridge plate - it would be the third line on the bridge (first line says "Fender", second line says "Patent Pending", third line is the serial number). The blank neck plate, slotted screws, bridge pickup mounted directly, nothing on the back of the headstock etc. are all hallmarks of how the Teles were built in the early 1950s - except for the missing switch knob of course.

Since this is a 1988 model, it would have been called the "U.S. Vintage Reissue 1952 Telecaster" and it would have been built in Fender's Corona, CA plant (Fender changed ownership in 1985 and they didn't buy the old CBS-era factory in Fullerton; the built a new factory down the road in Corona). As a 1988 I don't believe it has any extra value over a later one. It seems like only the CBS/Fullerton Reissues from 1982-1984 and the earliest Corona Reissues (1985-mid 1987) have escalated in value; by 1988 FMIC/Fender was really into full production mode on both the USA-built reissues and American Standards/Plus models so they don't carry the premium of the earlier ones. I would call this a player so you can do what want with it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:17 am 
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OK, John C, you didn't leave anything out. Except an opinion about the tone qualities of the two wiring schemes. As an amateur I think the tone is fabulous on this guitar and probably should leave it alone. The PO did install the modern electronics package and the modern bridge. I am so pleased to have a Butterscotch Telecaster MIA that plays in tune and needs only a refret and setup. Thanks for your detailed reply.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Sure, I'll add my take on the vintage wiring - unless you want to have a guitar the fairly well nails that muted solo tone Stills used on "Wooden Ships" I would keep the modern wiring. Personally I prefer the modern wiring - I once owned an AV '52 Tele (mine was a 2005 model) that I bought new and I had it changed to modern wiring before I even brought it home (while they were doing the initial set up). I chose to keep the original 3-saddle bridge on mine.

Since the original owner installed the 6-saddle bridge I don't think that there is any place on the guitar to find the serial number. In the CBS days they used to put stickers with the serial number on the neck and in the neck pocket of the body but I don't believe FMIC ever did that. Make sure you keep that Certificate of Authenticity since it does have the s/n on it, particularly if you never turn up that bag of original parts.


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 Post subject: Re: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:13 pm 
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I will leave the wiring like it is. The neck will be removed soon for re-fretting, and I will record any numbers we find in there. I have been looking at guitars on line, deciding if the money would be better spent on a new guitar. Yesterday I went to the stores to actually look at them. Now I have Telecaster lust, big time. I will resist, but they sure are attractive. This one will be a great unit with new frets. Thanks again for all your help.


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 Post subject: Re: "Vintage Telecaster Guitar" 1952 Re-issue
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Thanks for the picture. My 52 Tele also has that heavy orange tint on the neck. My other 52 [which I bought new in 2002] had a lighter tint that matched up better but I've since sold it.

My current 52 with the orange neck I bought from my former boss. He put in the modern wiring and put on the 6 saddle bridge. He lost the original bridge and 3 barrel saddles so now I call it my "bastard" tele since I no longer have the serial no. which is on the 3 saddle bridge.

He used to play in bands and used this guitar for about 6 years (I think it's a 1999). I turned it into a 5 string open G like Keith Richards. Fantastic action and I also put in Nocaster pickups (those 98 pups were harsh, the ones on the 2002 52 were smooth and nice)

It is a very heavy tele too. That's my biggest dislike of it but it plays really well. It was slightly beat up from his club days so I just keep it out as my beater.


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