Here is a vintage 1974 Fender Telecaster Custom electric guitar. This particular example, serial number 529685, is in very excellent 100% all original condition and includes the original hard shell case, as well as, the original “ash tray” bridge cover. This earlier variety features the serial number on the 3-bolt F-plate (as opposed to later version with a serialized headstock decal), the earlier Fender amp control knobs (unlike to later ones with Strat-style plastic knobs), and a traditional Fender black tolex hard case with orange interior (instead of the hard plastic cases). The original natural Blonde finish over the maple body is very attractive and has not faded into an ugly orange color, which seems to be the case with many. The maple neck is also quite clean, and overall the cosmetic condition is near excellent. Furthermore, this is a rather light weight example, and it sounds fantastic, which makes it both a choice player’s piece, as well as, a fantastic collector’s investment opportunity.
Serial Number: 529685 (F Plate)
Neck Date Stamp: 13 03 0 3 3 4
Potentiometer Codes: 137-7406
Weight: 7 lbs. 15 oz.
Most notably used by Keith Richards, the Tele Custom featured the obvious incorporation of a humbucking pickup to replace the dull single-coil neck pickup. The Seth Lover-designed Wide Rang Humbucker is absolutely brilliant, and the hybrid of Fender’s classic bridge pickup combined with that made by the father of the P.A.F. was a pragmatic and thoughtful deviation from the original Tele design. While it wasn’t necessarily popular at first, even though players for years had been performing similar mods on earlier Teles and Esquires, it has since achieved it’s rightful claim to being one of the coolest ’70s Fenders ever made, and has recently been faithfully reissued, reincarnated as the Classic Series ’72 Telecaster Custom.
This 100% all original example is very well preserved, and while it displays some light playing wear on the neck and frets, and some very superficial belt buckle wear on the back of the body, the overall presentation would render it a strong 8.75/10. This era Fender instrument is notorious for large and distracting weather-checks in the high-gloss polyurethane finish, however, this example has survived without such. Similarly, maple necks produced during this period tend to become orange, especially on the face of the headstock, and appear to have an extreme response to UV-exposure, but thankfully this example is intact and features a more subtle patina.
Having recently been setup with Pyramid .009s, the action is now incredibly smooth, the neck is perfectly straight, and the guitar plays like a dream. The medium-sized neck has a very comfortable round profile, which enables super easy playability. Both pickups are original, and both sound fantastic. The original case is in very excellent condition.