Dating a fender custom shop guitar
So I bought a '52 telecaster reissue when I was a very dumb, very naive 19 year old. (One had individual saddles and the other had shared saddles- although these might not be the correct technical terms)Anyway- some 14 years later I get an urge to switch out the bridge, so I bring it in to the shop.
The dude at the counter looks at the guitar and is having trouble finding the serial number. Older fenders had the serial in the neck pocket along with the crafstma 's initials and date of manufacturing.
There is some information about later chronology on this page as well.
Original printed versions are no longer availble, but you can download a PDF version.
The first Fender solid body model, the Esquire, lasted (in name only) from April 1950 to October 1950 before it was replaced by the "Broadcaster", which lasted (in name only) from the October 1950 to January 1951.
Before that, it was a number stamped on the neckplate (1952-1976), on the bridgeplate of the earliest of Broadcasters/No Casters/Esquires/Telecasters, and on the plastic tremolo-spring cover on the earliest of Stratocasters. If you have guitar related questions, use the "Search" field or ask the community.
Other aspects of the manual, such as pickup height adjustment, generally apply to newer models.
Dating a guitar is not only a useful and interesting thing to be able to do, in financial and historical terms it is vital.
The Fender Telecaster sits at the start of the evolutionary path of the solid bodied electric guitars and therefore has gone through many changes as the breakthroughs and new developments, technological advancements and revolutionary new ideas were applied to the art of guitar making.
Therefore, there are many considerations regarding dating your Telecaster but what follows is a comprehensive general guide and a table of dates and the features and specifications which identify that period in the lines history.