70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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garyfanclub
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70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by garyfanclub » Sat May 05, 2018 5:47 am

Hunting around for one of these to add to the collection.

What do I need to know about them? Specific years to look for? Neck pocket issues?

Seems like fair market price is around 2k, though most listings are astronomically high, around 2800 to 3k. The lower ones tend to have mods or look like they’ve been dropped out of an aircraft into Khe Sahn.

Played a very nice (and light) one at a shop here in NYC, but they want 2900, which feels insane given online options. (Told him i felt he was a little high, he shrugged and said he wouldn’t negotiate down. Didnt want trades unless it was a Gibbo - and only have Rics and a T40 to dump.)

How much variability is there with these? Older ones are supposed to be heavy as hell? Any differences in PUs over the years?

If you own one, please post photos/feedback on what you like/don't like. Own one and love it/hate it?

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Vanderfuzz » Sat May 05, 2018 9:21 am

This probably doesn’t help, but if you ever get to the point when you really want a tele deluxe, but can’t stomach the high price tag, the Classic Player is a great route. I snagged one for cheap off reverb, sent off the pickups to Curtis Novak, put in a new wiring harness, and it’s one of my favorite guitars.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Mechanical Birds » Sat May 05, 2018 9:48 am

The shop I go to most has had a real deal ‘72 since I started going that I’ll never afford but always want.

Like everything else I care about music related, these guitars are something thatbwere considered a fuckin joke until like 15 or so years ago.

I hate myself for not getting into Shit in the days of $300 model Ts and $1,000 vintage jaZzmasters and $500 Tele Deluxe boys and $100 alumninum neck Kramers

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by garyfanclub » Sat May 05, 2018 10:01 am

Vanderfuzz wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 9:21 am
This probably doesn’t help, but if you ever get to the point when you really want a tele deluxe, but can’t stomach the high price tag, the Classic Player is a great route. I snagged one for cheap off reverb, sent off the pickups to Curtis Novak, put in a new wiring harness, and it’s one of my favorite guitars.
Considering this route - how do the pickups sound compared to the real deal? Wish they came in natural, then I’d be more inclined.

That said, the newer ones I’ve played just haven’t been as inspiring as the old ones.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by garyfanclub » Sat May 05, 2018 10:09 am

Mechanical Birds wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 9:48 am
The shop I go to most has had a real deal ‘72 since I started going that I’ll never afford but always want.

Like everything else I care about music related, these guitars are something thatbwere considered a fuckin joke until like 15 or so years ago.

I hate myself for not getting into Shit in the days of $300 model Ts and $1,000 vintage jaZzmasters and $500 Tele Deluxe boys and $100 alumninum neck Kramers
Shoulda coulda woulda, right? I’m waiting for the day Peavey T60s are $1500...

$2000 feels reasonable for the vintage tele deluxes I’ve played, but definitely not 3 or 4k. That said, the market here in NYC is skewed, and someone will eventually come around and pay those prices.

Missed one on eBay for $1950 a few days ago... That said, really want to try before I buy given the QA and inconsistency issues.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by DesmondWafers » Sat May 05, 2018 1:08 pm

I'm sure less people will be inclined towards a modern guitar(Hey, I didn't open the floodgates here!), but I would try out the new American pro tele deluxe. Aesthetically, they're pretty much the same as a regular tele deluxe, but with a tele headstock. A friend of mine bought one recently and it honestly convinced me to pick one up ASAP, the pickups were fantastic.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Vanderfuzz » Sun May 06, 2018 5:48 am

garyfanclub wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:01 am

Considering this route - how do the pickups sound compared to the real deal? Wish they came in natural, then I’d be more inclined.

That said, the newer ones I’ve played just haven’t been as inspiring as the old ones.
I’d say the Novaks get you 90% there, but that’s a fairly uninformed estimate. I’ve never played real WRHBs. This is based purely on hearing sound samples.

I do like them more than Lollar Regals, which never really did it for me. The Novak reworking of the stock Fenders add considerable chime and clarity. They overdrive my amp nicely, but can be dialed back for beautiful cleans. I’m a fan.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by mbene085 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:57 am

Vanderfuzz wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 5:48 am
garyfanclub wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:01 am

Considering this route - how do the pickups sound compared to the real deal? Wish they came in natural, then I’d be more inclined.

That said, the newer ones I’ve played just haven’t been as inspiring as the old ones.
I’d say the Novaks get you 90% there, but that’s a fairly uninformed estimate. I’ve never played real WRHBs. This is based purely on hearing sound samples.

I do like them more than Lollar Regals, which never really did it for me. The Novak reworking of the stock Fenders add considerable chime and clarity. They overdrive my amp nicely, but can be dialed back for beautiful cleans. I’m a fan.
Curtis's reworks of the WRHB seem to be viewed as the best modern option by Lee Ranaldo, who has spent more hours playing vintage WRHBs that everyone on this board combined, so take that for what you will.

I also love the way old guitars feel, and old pickups sometimes seem to have a certain magic quality to them. It's probably completely in my head, but I get it.

It's funny how the strat and tele guys spent decades telling everyone how shitty the 70's Instruments were, until all of a sudden they "realized" the Tele Deluxes did something cool that no Fender had done before or since. Then you started hearing about magic CuNiFe magnets and what the French call a certain I don't know what, but declared the regular 70's models to still be shit.

Then the prices of 60's models hit 5 digits and all of a sudden there are "hidden gems" among all the 70's guitars.

I'll stop ranting now. The point is, Tele Deluxes always sounded good if you like that sort of thing, and they always will. If you like the feel of a worn-in nitro neck, you can always do a parts guitar with an MJT neck and Novak WRHBs if you want to make a "Danocaster Light (on the wallet)".

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by wooderson » Sun May 06, 2018 1:36 pm

I looked at vintage Deluxes for a while but to be honest every one I found in person was pretty meh. Aside from the pickups, there was nothing that would make me want a vintage example over a reissue with good pickups. I wound up getting on the list for a Danocaster and it has Regals - they seemed a little bright at first but monkeying with the settings on my Ampeg VT-40 brought that down a lot.

I just sent payment for a pair of real WRHBs coming from a forum member, can't decide between putting them in the Danocaster or getting another body and rosewood neck and having a set of Deluxes.

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Jaguar018 » Mon May 07, 2018 6:21 am

I went through a phase where I was gassing pretty hard for one of these too, but I never pulled the trigger. I don't regret my indecision, but they still look pretty cool. I just never got the impression that they sounded all that amazing. :mellow:

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by garyfanclub » Tue May 08, 2018 3:26 am

Jaguar018 wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 6:21 am
I went through a phase where I was gassing pretty hard for one of these too, but I never pulled the trigger. I don't regret my indecision, but they still look pretty cool. I just never got the impression that they sounded all that amazing. :mellow:
The one I played last week sounded and played great, but to your point, I’ve played some old WRHB thin lines that were less than impressive.

Maybe Danocaster is the way to go with this, or maybe just doing a parts guitar with an old neck. The neck feel is what I think I’m chasing, and it feels weird to admit that I actually like a 12” radius with low fat frets. (Usually a 7.25” vintage spec guy)

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Despot » Tue May 08, 2018 3:47 am

Personally I'm more of a fan of the Customs from this era than Deluxes ... but both have their place.

I don't subscribe to the view that everything Fender did in the '70s was terrible - but I think the ratio of rubbish to decent was skewed more towards rubbish at the time. I've played some fantastic Teles and Strats from the '70s - and I had (all too briefly) a '76 Jazzmaster that was pretty great.

So applying that logic I can say that I have played some great Tele Deluxes/Customs and some ... not so great.

Weight is the big factor to consider, and why I would never blind buy one unless I knew someone in the area who could check it out. Neck profile is another - they vary ... some are blade thin (I had a '74 Custom that was super skinny profile) and some are as big and beefy as any Nocaster (I'd a '76 Custom like that).

I've personally never owned a Deluxe ... but only because I've never found one that I loved. I'm now out of the buying game for a while so I may never have a Deluxe ... but that's okay.

Regardless of weight I have usually found that vintage WRHBs sound good-to-fantastic. They're their own thing - and that's really the issue I have with Fender's modern WRHBs, which are essentially Gibson style humbuckers and really too dark/muddy to be anything close to the real thing. It's a matter of preference of course, but I'm more drawn to Customs. The only issue with a Custom (obviated by the Deluxe) is that you can have a lot of imbalance between the neck and bridge pickup on Customs (humbucker in the neck position where it gets a natural volume boost through being closer to the 12th fret anyway competing with a single coil in the bridge with less volume).

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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by Pacafeliz » Tue May 08, 2018 3:58 am

Love my Custom, but of course the Deluxe looks even better.

If you get a vintage one, go early/mid 70s. The later ones are friggin boat anchors, it's stupid!!!
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.


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Re: 70s Telecaster Deluxes - What do I need to know?

Post by wooderson » Thu May 31, 2018 11:18 pm

The vintage WRHBs I got are just stupid nice. The Lollar Regals that came with my guitar were good but brighter than what I was really looking for - the vintage ones are a bit less finicky about amp and tone settings.

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