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Tele bass--finish original??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by timmarks, Aug 17, 2007.


  1. timmarks

    timmarks Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, D'Addario, Mesa
  2. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
  3. JB Lars

    JB Lars

    May 24, 2000
    Chicago Suburbs
    Nah, it's one of ibanezcollector's relics. It's actually a Squier VM Tele. ;)
     
  4. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Whoa! A late '60s Fender case that looks worse than mine! Must be worth a fortune.:D
     
  5. SuperSnake2012

    SuperSnake2012 floppy b strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    Bronx, NY
    I'd have to put a pickguard back on that... that is an ugly relic! :p
     
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    OK, here goes, but better pics would help a lot. I have to disagree with Bill (with all due respect, as he is a knowledgeable Cat). I think it is probably an old refin. It's the wrong color! I was in college when the Tele bass came out. I played a number of them, and almost traded a Guild '69 Starfire hollow body bass (bridge pickup model) for a '68 Tele bass. I have lusted after them at close range for years, as prices have shot up. :meh:

    The blond/white on telecaster basses was more transparent and less white in that era than what this bass shows. I suppose there might have been custom colors, but this seems wrong even for Fender Olympic white, to my eyes. Judging from the corrosion/abrasion on the metal parts, and the sweat/moisture damage on the upper fret area of the fingerboard, this bass has been played a lot, probably in performance situations, which were until the last decade (gasp) all very very smokey. Getting played a lot in the typical unair-conditioned sweaty 60's/70s bar scene pretty much assured that any finish would yellow quite a bit. This one looks STARKLY white in the seller's photos. There is a little yellowing and checking, but not enough yellowing--in fact it is whiter than any Tele I have seen up close or played...and actually the checking seems odd. Were those basses nitro? I seem to recall they were poly. Poly chips, cracks, lifts, and flakes due to the intrusion of moisture (look at any P-bass from that era that has been played a lot), but such "Fender poly checking" looks different to me from what this bass shows. (IMHO).

    Another point. Pickguards of that era Tele Bass are notorious for deteriorating with age, but exposure to sweat, smoke, beer, etc., really hastened their demise (as with most things). :D As they died, they shed chemicals around their edges that really accentuate the pickguard outline. Why is the body showing only faint signs of such a pickguard "shadow"? Seems too faint to me. This points to a more recent finish. The size/weirdness of the top screw holes is, well, darned weird...??? :p

    I am bothered by the apparent extreme gloss of the finish on the body AND even more by the gloss on the back of the neck. To me, they both scream refin, especially given the corrosion evident in the upper frets, that has bled into the neck wood of the fingerboard--which can't be sanded out. Such fret corrosion is player (sweat) wear, to me (I'm assuming this is a genuine '68 Fender Tele neck), so if the bass had been thusly sweatily loved and played to death, a well used/worn neck should not be so glossy. Ergo: the neck MAY have been oversprayed and then likely the body probably got an "early" (late 70's early 80's) refin due to either having been stripped, or having been badly worn, or both. Who would refin a neck but not the body??? BTW, as with all older beater Fender basses, this could be a "vintage parts bass," which is not a bad thing, as this is not a collecters item, to say the least. :D

    Finally, the pickup looks original, as does the majorly worn/scratched hardware. However, I am puzzled by the darkened exposed area of body wood near the heel plate on the back. Stain? Dark sealer? Weird, IMHO!!! Ideas anyone? :ninja:

    PS, To me, "working truss rod" does not assure there is much adjustment left, only that the internal threads on the rod are not stripped, and that the nut can be turned (it is not jammed or too worn). :ninja:

    PPS, After another look, I noticed that the bridge is sitting over some bare wood areas, and the pickup is very glossy. Not that these things are bad, but they indicate that there may have been some part exchanges and overspraying. The pickguard screw holes look less weird now that I see the finish has been lifted off by the removal of the pickguard. A similar lifting may account for the bare wood areas under and beside the bridge. Verdict: certainly a refinish job.
     
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:
    Hard to tell, without seeing in person.

    My guess, NO.
    Undercoat looks wrong.
    Aging does not look right.
     
  8. timmarks

    timmarks Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, D'Addario, Mesa
    thanks jim
    i agree--color looked wrong and undercoat....i was confused about the neck but you figured it out. was worn and tarnished and then refinished over the wear on the top. i always wanted a SCPB--not sure this'll be the one for me but i'm watching. it's already up to the ballpark price i think it's worth with this many questions involved.
     
  9. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Good points Dr. House! :)

    It kinda looks to me like it spent a month or so under water in a swamp and was then left to hang dry on a clothesline! :)
     
  10. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    That control group looks like, as we say around these parts, it was "pi$$ed on and left in the rain."
     
  11. +1

    Definately spent some time underwater...:meh:
     
  12. I spent a summer ('69) with a loaner Tele and respectfully I have to agree with Jim Carr that, based on the bad photos at least, this one looks like an early refin. Exactly as said, the original butterscotch color had transparency that is not present in any of the shots.
     
  13. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    It is either a great player or had an owner who chewed on the amplifier between sets.:D

    Teles were poly after 1970. In Tom Wheeler's interview of Leo Fender, reprinted in American Guitars, Mr Fender says that the fire inspector looked at their lacquer spraying layout, including the open-flame space heater, and immediately left and went down the street to call Fender and tell them how dangerous it was! This was certainly prior to 1965.

    Even so, the changeover to poly didn't begin until 1969, when it was used for undercoats on the body and neck, with lacquer color and clear coats. In 1970, Fender introduced the "thick skin" finish.
     
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Wow, excellent info! I have often wondered about some of the early Tele basses I have seen, that did have nitro-type checking. This would explain it. Now if only my '71 P-bass were Nitro! :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
     
  15. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html

    This is pretty definitive.

    At the end of the article are step-by-step instructions for spraying the Fender blond finish. To sum up, it requires coating an ash body with clear sealer, applying filler, spraying four more coats of sealer, and sanding progressively to 600 grit; then white lacquer is mixed with clear (1:10 ratio) for the 'white wash' coat,then clear coating. Finally, four coats of clear are sprayed (this is actually a tint coat, if you want "aged" butterscotch), and sanded and buffed.

    Note that I've left out several weeks of drying time: speaking as a one-time custom motorcycle painter, you want lacquer to harden before you finally finish sand (up to 2000 grit) and buff it.
     

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