"Tele" Vision
1953 Fender Telecaster


The Telecaster was the first truly successful, mass-produced solidbody guitar, setting a high standard which has yet to be surpassed.

Leo Fender built the Tele prototype in 1948. When it went into production in 1950, Fender's marketing manager Don Randall named it the Broadcaster. After a legal challenge from Gretsch over the model's name, they changed it to Telecaster. The Tele soon became the instrument of choice for players all over the musical spectrum -- the blues of Muddy Waters, the country-western sounds of Buck Owens and the seminal R&B of Steve Cropper's Stax/Volt sides.

Players are not drawn to the Tele simply for who played it. Its classic lines and design are complemented by a wide range of tones, from the beefy rhythm pickup sound to the stinging twang of its lead position. Its suitability to any number of styles is reflected by its diverse players -- chicken-picking country wailers like James Burton and Vince Gill, rocker Keith Richards and the ice-picking bluesman Albert Collins.

This particular instrument (serial #2323, a 1953 production number) is an outstanding example with relatively little playing wear. It has all the marks of the classic -- pre-1954 "butterscotch" finish with a minimum of checking, spaghetti logo, black pickguard and a remarkably clean maple neck and fingerboard. The original frets are also in excellent shape, giving this one an overall superb feel.

The electronics are original, with a fixed-tone front pickup (very warm, chunky and jazzy sound), a middle pickup selection for a more rocking rhythm color, and the sharp, crystalline twang of the bridge pickup. This Telecaster is a collector's item, but it almost begs to be played instead of being put in its case (an original, form-fit version in outstanding condition, by the way).

This instrument is SOLD