A Conversation for The Fender Telecaster: Plank That Made Good

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Post 1

geckomind

Hi there! Great entry. Very informative and fun to read! Well done!! smiley - smiley Just got a few things I'd like to suggest:

Most important: According to A.R. Duchossoir's book "The Fender Telecaster" (aka "The Tele Bible"), the Esquire wasn't the first production model. RTEC (who distributed for Leo at the time) printed a catalouge and took it to the NAMM trade show in 1950, but it wasn't received that well and Leo decided to release a two-pickup-version (the Broadcaster) first. The Esquire was later added to the RTEC/Fender catalogue as a cheaper alternative.

You also state that Tellies are traditionally made out of Ash. Well, as far as I know, Leo started to use other woods whenever the factory couldn't secure enough prime ash. They found out about the equivalent tonal character of Alder early on in the product history.

The entry then said that Leo "shielded" his guitars... Well, at least the cavities are not shielded at all. The bridge is grounded but the bridge PU is also not shielded when you take the ashtray off, as nearly everyone did (you stated that). This could lead people to think that the Telecaster is well shielded, which it is indeed not (as demonstrated by the well known 60/50 cycle hum).

Last thing: The "Fender Bass" is today also well known under the name of "Tele-Bass".

Hope you are not offended by this.... I am a great Telecaster lover (this is mine BTW: http://geckomind.net/tele/ ) and I only want to make this entry a bit better. And it's without doubt really good already... smiley - winkeye

Have a nice day and don't hesitate to give me a shout if you have any questions! smiley - cheers

Blessings,
Fabian

P.S.: Do you really think the design is so bad? I personally love it.... simple, elegant... resembles a female torso.... smiley - tongueout

P.S.S.: What about a link to the greatest knowledge base Tele-wise on the net: http://www.tdpri.com ? Great site! You can find out everything there is to know about the Telecaster there!


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Post 2

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

I already belong to TDPRI and I am making franken Tele out of various parts.

The shielding that Leo did do was exemplary for his time, almost milspec.

The sixty cycle hum will occur regardless of the shielding with those early pickups. And grounding is not the same thing as shielding.
The rear pickup was better shielded and grounded than the P-90s found on Gibsons at the time.

Plus, I have the Dishwasher book.
I'll have to go back and look at the entry. If I said the Esquire came first, I was wrong. But there is such a thing as a two-pickup Esquire.
Also, Leo's prototypes mostly had one pickup.
I don't really think of the Esquire as a "cheaper alternative". Those who like them think of them as seperate from but equal to the regular Broad/No/Tele.

Most of the entry was written off the top of my head. I checked a few things, but a lot of it is as it was first written.

Fortunately, you message here will be forever linked to the entry.


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Post 3

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"The original production model, known as the Esquire, normally had only one pickup in the specially-designed covered bridge, but a version with two pickups, including a neck one, could be ordered. "

Okay, here's the problem. The original sentence, somewhere back in time, should have read,"The original production model, now known as the Esquire..."

The first guitars in the catalog had no name as such. And the catalog shows a two pickup version of what later was called the Esquire.
But the first production instruments were in fact with one pickup. Folklore and history fail to provide us with the reason for the second pickup becoming a feature a few months later, but I suspect it had to do with Leo's friendship with Les Paul and other professional guitarists.


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Post 4

geckomind

OK, see your point there! smiley - biggrin I loved the entry and didn't want to offend you, if I did... Nice to find a TDPRI-brother here!! smiley - hug
BTW, my nick over there is "Fuzzyhead". So long... smiley - winkeye


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