Broadcaster, NoCaster, Tele Custom, Tele Thinline,
Collectibility Rating: 1950's models: B+, 1960's
1950 Broadcaster specs:
body with Butterscotch Blond finish.
one piece neck, all with truss rods.
button string tree (1st month models don't have
"spaghetti" peghead decal with black trim.
pole pickup in treble position.
covered pickup in neck position.
fiber pickguard, clear coated with lacquer.
number on bridge plate.
Daka-Ware switch tip.
bridge saddles till November 1950, then brass with
date in neck pocket.
screws have slot heads.
Broadcasters bodies do not have the diagonal wire
route between the neck pickup and the control cavity.
This route was added to allow easier drilling and
mounting of the neck pickup's wire to the control
1951 "NoCaster" specs:
decal with "Broadcaster" cut off.
1951 Telecaster specs:
all cut "NoCaster" decals used, "Telecaster" decals
appear. Still a silver "spaghetti" logo with black
use of phillips head screws replaces slot head screws
(this change was not complete till 1953).
1952 Telecaster specs:
changes on Tele. Now instead of the last knob being
a "blend", it is a tone knob.
1954 Telecaster specs:
number on neck plate.
1954 Telecaster specs:
Blond finish replaces butterscotch finish.
single layer vinyl pickguard replaces black pickguard.
saddles change from brass to small steel smooth
1955 Telecaste specs:
pole pickup magnets replace the previous "flat pole"
pickup in the treble position.
"Top Hat" style switch tip replaces round tip.
date moved from neck pocket to under lead pickup
1956 Telecaster specs:
tree changes from round button to "butterfly" clip.
tree moved closer to the nut, roughly in alignment
with the A-string tuning post.
decal position changes to between the nut and the
string tree (rather than next to the G-string tuning
saddles change from smooth to threaded saddles.
anchor at bridge ("top loading") instead of going
thru the body (late 1958).
1959 Telecaster specs:
layer thick white pickguard (custom color Teles
used 3 layer celluloid mint green pickguard).
of pickguard screws increases from five to eight.
Telecaster" introduced with body binding, sunburst
finish, and 3 layer celluloid mint green pickguard.
The first few models have a peghead logo the same
as a regular Telecaster. Then a gold spaghetti peghead
decal reads "Custom Telecaster" (not Telecaster
Custom!), with the model name lettering slightly
bolder than a regular Telecaster.
Esquire" introduced, just like the Custom Telecaster
(but with one pickup). Same decal specs as Custom
anchor thru the body again.
1961 Telecaster specs:
numbers 2,573,254 and 2,784,631 added to peghead
decal, and DES number 164,227.
1962 Telecaster specs:
Rosewood fingerboard instead of the previous "slab"
layer celluloid mint green pickguard on all models.
were offered with a mahogany body and a translucent
red finish. Not very many were produced, and this
option is only seen in 1963/1964.
1964 Telecaster specs:
fingerboard dots replace "clay" dots.
plastic three layer pickguard.
Custom Telecaster peghead decal changed to the gold
"transition" style decal with patent numbers 2,573,254
and 2,784,631 and DES number 164,227.
1965 Telecaster specs:
Fender "transition" decal, thicker than previous
"spaghetti" logo. Two patent numbers of 2,573,254
and 3,143,028 (the DES number is dropped).
fingerboard available as an option (black dots).
1967 Telecaster specs:
Fender decal with gold trim with the two patent
numbers moved under the "Fender" part of the decal.
style tuning gears replaces Kluson-Deluxe gears.
thick finish replaces nitrocellulose lacquer.
ferrules on back now stick out, no longer flush.
paisley and blue floral finishes available 1968
& 1969 only.
Thinline was introduced (late-1968).
Custom Telecasters the peghead decal changes to
a regular Telecaster style decal (the "Custom Telecaster"
designation is dropped).
necks went back to the "one piece" construction.
necks now how a contrasting "skunk strip" on the
back of the neck (Fender wanted to use just one
truss rod construction system!).
diagonal body route between the neck pickup and
the control cavity is suspended.
in production today in several different forms.
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