An all Original and Very Early Telecaster Thinline II
1972 Fender Telecaster Thinline
This all original forty-seven year old Natural Ash Telecaster Thinline is in exceptionally fine condition and is a real lightweight at just 6.80 lbs! Twelve and three-quarter inch wide, one and seven-eighth inch thick, hollow ash body with single 'f' hole on bass side. One-piece fretted maple neck with a nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches and a wonderful medium-to-thick profile. Twenty-one original medium frets and black dot position markers. Headstock with "Fender" logo in black with gold trim, with two numbers "Pat. 2,573,254 3,143,028" in black below. "Telecaster" in black in bold letters beside it, with "Thinline" in black below. Earliest version with single "butterfly" string tree. Individual Fender "F" tuners with octagonal metal buttons. Three-bolt 'microtilt' neck plate with serial number "356706" stamped between the top two screws. Two fully adjustable Fender 'Seth Lover' metal-covered split-pole-piece humbucker pickups with outputs of 10.39k and 10.47k. Three-layer white over black plastic pickguard with twelve screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way selector switch, all on pickguard. The potentiometers are stamped "137 7152" & "137 7201" (CTS, December 1971 & January 1972). Chrome knobs with flat tops and knurled sides. Fender fully adjustable six-saddle combined bridge/tailpiece. The end of the neck is stamped in red "3 JAN 72B". This wonderful little guitar is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition with some light finish checking and just a few very slight surface only scratches on the back. There is one small surface chip on the top edge of the horn and a few small and insignificant surface marks on the top and sides of the body. The neck shows some light wear to the finish on the treble-side of the neck. The original frets and fretboard show virtually no playing wear. A great looking, playing and sounding example of the earliest Telecaster Thinline II guitar with just one string-tree. Housed in its original Fender three-latch, rectangular black hardshell "tail" case with black leather ends and reddish orange plush lining (9.00).
"Introduced in 1968, this model was an attempt by Fender to reduce the weight of the solid Telecaster by hollowing out sections of the body -- and the guitar even included a token f-hole as a visual clue to its semi-solid status. The Thinline at first retained the standard Tele pickup layout, but with a restyled pickguard" (Tony Bacon and Paul Day, The Fender Book, p. 47).
"The Telecaster Thinline was "basically a Telecaster body with pockets hollowed-out from the rear, including a bigger one opening into the top via an 'f' hole. With the exception of the pickguard shape modified to accommodate the new semi-acoustic design, the Thinline was otherwise identical to a regular '68 Telecaster in terms of neck, electronics and hardware. But its body was about half the weight of a regular Telecaster. The new variant was first listed in July 1968 for $319.50…To convey the idea of a lighter, almost acoustic guitar, the Thinline was at first released in only natural ash and mahogany finishes with a 2-piece maple neck… By 1969, it also became available with a 3-tone sunburst finish and an optional rosewood-capped neck."
"The 60s blues boom and the ensuing transition towards heavy rock gave exposure to Gibson-type double coil humbuckers because of their sustain and weeping tone. As Fender later claimed in a 1972 leaflet: "Humbucking pickups eliminate feedback and add a gutty mid-range and bass sound." In the late 60s however, the Fender sound was mostly associated with bright sounding single coil units and CBS Musical Instruments felt the commercial need to enlarge its pickup offering. Meanwhile, Seth Lover, the man who had designed Gibson's famous humbucker in the mid-50s, resigned from his job at Kalamazoo in 1967. When Dick Evans, a former Gibson employee then working in Fullerton, heard of Seth's resignation he invited him to California. Guess what happened: Seth Lover was hired by Fender and he subsequently designed the company's first double coil pickup (available in a guitar and bass version)."
"Compared to a classic late 60s humbucker, the new Fender unit was primarily characterized by twelve adjustable cunife magnets and a mega output (DC resistance > 10k Ohms). Seth Lover's new humbucking pickup was finalized in the course of 1970 and first appeared on Fender instruments after mid-1971. Telecaster guitars were initially the sole recipient of the newly designed pickup, also fitted later to the short-lived Starcaster. By the end of 1971, The Thinline was thus revamped with two humbuckers and a Tilt Neck. The second variant of the semi-acoustic model, first listed in February 1972, otherwise incorporated a modified pickguard, a 6-piece Strat-style bridge and a "Thinline" decal on the upper bout of the headstock." (A.R. Duchossoir, The Fender Telecaster, pp. 23-25). (#2160)
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