An Exceptionally Fine Early 1967 Sunburst Custom Telecaster
1967 Fender Telecaster Custom
This super rare, fifty-two year-old, lightweight 'three-tone sunburst' Telecaster Custom weighs just 7.10 lbs. and has a solid alder body, single-bound on the top and the back. Maple neck with a nut width of 1 5/8 inches, a scale length of 25 1/2 inches and a wonderful medium-to-thick profile. Veneer rosewood fretboard with 21 original medium frets and pearl dot position markers. Single "butterfly" string tree. Headstock with CBS gold "transition" logo with "Fender" in gold with black trim, "Custom Telecaster" in black, and three patent numbers Des. 164,227" "Pat. 2,573,254" and "2,784,631" beneath. Individual dual-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons and "D-169400 / Patent No" stamped on the underside. The end of the neck is stamped in black "3 JUL 67B". Four-bolt neck plate with large Fender backward "F" logo and with serial number "197229" stamped between the top two screws. One plain metal-cover pickup (at neck) with an output of 6.22k and one black with a light-gray bottom, six-polepiece pickup with staggered polepieces (angled in bridgeplate) with an output of 6.45k. The potentiometers are stamped "137 6631 (CTS August 1966). Three-layer white over black plastic pickguard with eight screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch with "top-hat" tip, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. Chrome knobs with flat tops and knurled sides. Telecaster combined bridge/tailpiece with three 'threaded' steel saddles. When we purchased this guitar we were unhappy with the reading (and the sound) of the bridge pickup - so we sent it to Lindy Fralin who has restored it to its former glory - its now reads at a healthy 6.45k and sounds just like a 60's Tele should. We also noticed that the three-way switch had been changed but the original was still in the case. Scott Lentz was able to restore the original switch and re-soldered the contacts at the same time as re-soldering the neck pickup after it had been restored by Lindy Fralin. There is some belt buckle scarring on the back, and a small area of finish loss measuring 1 7/8 x 7/8 inch. There is a small chip to the nitro finish on the lower binding near the jack input and a tiny indentation on the back of the neck behind the sixth fret. Under the pickguard is an area of surface loss due to moisture - but this can only be seen when the pickguard is removed.This wonderful guitar has retained its lovely color and the white 'custom' binding has mellowed to a nice shade of cream. The original medium frets and rosewood fretboard show very little signs of playing wear. Complete with the original 'ashtray' bridge cover. Housed in its original Fender three-latch, rectangular black hardshell case with reddish orange plush lining and black leather ends (9.00).
This is an exceptionally fine example of an early 1967 Custom Telecaster which has all of the same features and specifications that were introduced in 1964 including the Kluson double-line tuners and headstock decal.
"The very first Custom models may be found with a regular Telecaster decal without any "Custom" mention. Most 1959 guitars, though, display a decal with a gold spaghetti logo whilst the model's designation actually reads "Custom Telecaster" (and NOT Telecaster Custom!) with a slightly bolder script - albeit not as tall - than the lettering on the regular Telecaster. Besides, it is not set within inverted commas. In mid-1964, a new decal appeared with a gold "transition" logo and 3 patent numbers, identical to those displayed at the same period on the regular Telecaster, i.e. DES 164,227 PAT. 2,573,254 2,784,631 but it kept the previous "Custom Telecaster" mention and script style. In the course of 1968, probably on standardization grounds, the regular Telecaster's decal with the CBS black logo and 2 patent numbers, but without any "Custom" mention, was gradually applied… In the course of 1967, Kluson tuners were gradually phased out and replaced by Fender-designed keys, characterized by the lack of a split shaft and a Fender logo stamped on the back-shell. Although designed in Fullerton, these keys were manufactured by SCHALLER and the gear inside the shell is thus stamped with "MADE IN W. GERMANY." This type of key remained in use on most Telecaster guitars until 1983". (A.R. Duchossoir. The Fender Telecaster. pp. 48 & 67).
"Leo Fender's new solidbody was the instrument that we know now as the Fender Telecaster, effectively the world's first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar...The guitar was originally named the Fender Esquire and then the Fender Broadcaster, and it first went into production in 1950. It was a simple, effective instrument. It had a basic, single-cutaway, solid slab of ash for a body, with a screwed-on maple neck. Everything was geared to easy production. It had a slanted pickup mounted into a steel bridge-plate carrying three adjustable bridge-saddles, and the body was finished in a yellowish color known as blond. It was unadorned and like nothing else. It was ahead of its time. (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of Fender, p. 10).
"The June 1959 NAMM convention held in New York saw the debut of the TELECASTER and ESQUIRE CUSTOM. Intended as a deluxe version of the regular models, they were characterized by what Fender called 'the custom treatment of the body,' i.e. a sunburst finish with a contrasting white binding and a triple-ply white pickguard. Otherwise, with the exception of an alder body, their basic appointments were identical to the mid-59 'standard' Telecaster and Esquire models" (A.R. Duchossoir, The Fender Telecaster, pp. 19-20).
"In 1959...two new models joined the Fender line that gave a quite different look when compared to the continuing regular Telecaster and the single-pickup Esquire. There were the Custom Telecaster and the Custom Esquire. Each had a sunburst-finish body with bound edges...The new Customs also had rosewood fingerboards, as on the Jazzmaster. During 1959 the new separate rosewood fingerboard on a maple neck was adopted for all the other existing Fender models...It replaced Fender's previous construction that laid frets directly into the face of a solid maple neck" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of Fender, p. 28).
"Reacting to criticism that its guitars were plain, Fender introduced the new bound-edge sunburst Custom Telecaster and Custom Esquire [in 1959]" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of Fender, p. 28). (#2155)
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