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1955 Fender Telecaster Vintage Guitar Blonde (Riggio Finish) w/ Tweed Case


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Up for sale, a 1955 Fender Telecaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. An early "Whiteguard" example, this Telecaster has been faithfully restored to vintage spec with a combination of original components and modern equivalents. Refinished and lightly relic'd by Riggio Custom Guitars, the burst gradient and tint of the Blonde lacquer finish represents a narrow window between late 1954-early '55 where the finish retained a more yellowed hue with subtle bursting on the body edges, prior to the stark white "Blonde" finishes of subsequent years.

The guitar weighs 7lbs 6oz, and the ash body features very tight, straight grain on the bass side, with broader, more dynamic grain on the treble side. Acoustically, the guitar has plenty of sonic breadth and a woody, percussive quality, yielding both midrange oomph and treble-centric cut. The bridge pickup is a genuine vintage Fender pickup circa 1955 with flat alnico pole pieces, converted from a Champ lap steel and metering 6.3k ohms. A copper baseplate has been installed to accommodate the Telecaster's three-point mount, and the pickup is bold and gusty with plenty of chewy twang. Via the modern three-way wiring scheme (no dark cap), toggling to the neck pickup, a modern Fender '52 Tele replacement, delivers a more reserved sound that's smooth, chiming and clear. We've had this Telecaster professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The neck has a substantial soft V-shaped profile carve (still very U-ish, but with fractionally less shoulder), measuring .915” deep at 1st fret, graduating to .999” at the 12th. The fretboard has a 7 1/4" radius, retaining the original slender fretwire which shows only light wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-5. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a very straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut is a new hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1 5/8" in width. The headstock face features a vintage-spec replacement waterslide Telecaster decal, and a set of modern Kluson-style Fender tuning machines has been installed. Only a small "5" is still faintly visible on the pencil-dated neck heel, and the neck pocket retains the original blonde finish and 3/55 date.

The electronics function as intended, and the Stackpole pots date to the 14th week of '55. The original tone cap and three-way pickup selector (wired Bridge, Bridge+Neck, Neck) round out the wiring harness. Original hardware includes the serialized neck plate, Pat. Pending bridge with steel saddles, and domed, knurled knobs. The top hat switch tip is original, while the control plate is an aged example, and the one-ply eggshell pickguard is also a modern component.

The nitro lacquer Blonde refinish via Riggio Custom Guitars was expertly executed, and the body retains its full original 1 3/4" depth and unaltered contours. Riggio's tasteful relic treatment comprises horizontal lacquer checking and some light marks of simulated wear. The nitro gloss on the neck profile and fingerboard is silky smooth, and while this finish is much older than Riggio's work on the body, the neck has also been refinished in the guitar's lifetime. This neck finish presents very much in-line with original lacquer (lightly shot and worn-in from subsequent play).

A modern tweed center pocket (1954-55 spec) hardshell case is included.