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1971 Fender Telecaster Thinline Vintage Electric Guitar Kelly Green w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1971 Fender Telecaster Thinline in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order with its original Kelly Green gloss finish and purple pearloid pickguard. With the introduction of the Thinline model, Fender rolled out a new slate of custom colors for this Tele iteration, and categorizing all of these colors (which included Salmon, Hot Pink, Canary Yellow, Lavender Lilac, and of course Kelly Green as seen here) as exceedingly rare would be an understatement. Given the lack of supplementary photographic evidence, Kelly Green may indeed be the rarest color in the pack, with its rarity further compounded by the original purple pearloid pickguard only used on select examples.

The proverbial cherry on the sundae would be this Telecaster's semi-hollow mahogany body with an alder center block. The guitar has excellent natural projection and a distinctive sweetness and round punch on the plain strings in particular, with a smooth bark when you dig in hard, all qualities indicative of mahogany as a tonewood, balanced by the clear note attack and snap of the one-piece maple neck. Lightweight at 7lbs 4oz, this Thinline has a clear and powerful tone with a percussive cut and twang that will satisfy the most discerning Nashville pickers. The original pickups produce an array of well-rounded Fender tones, with the clarity, snap and sparkle you expect in the bridge position, and a neck pickup that is girthy and plucky sounding, perfect for lead work and chording without losing clarity. The guitar has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action, accurate intonation, and fresh 11-49 strings.

The maple neck has a U-shaped profile carve with full shoulders and faintly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .870" deep at the 1st fret and .930" at the 12th. The original slender frets are intact, leveled and crowned in the guitar's lifetime, showing just a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 5/8" in width, upgraded with a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal note clarity and smooth, even tone (replacing the non-original brass nut which was present on the guitar upon receipt at our shop) On the headstock, the original Fender "F" tuners are intact, and the original Fender Telecaster logo (the "Thinline" portion of the text would be added in later years) is in excellent condition. The heel of the neck has the original clear date stamp from April, 1971.

All of the electronics work as they should, with the original Switchcraft switch and stock pots that date back to the 34th week of '66, consistent with pot dates for Fender up through '71, as CTS purchased a large batch of pots in 1966 which were used in subsequent years. Both original pickups are intact with their original windings and strong output. The original chrome bridge and knurled knobs are also present, and the chrome plating is gleaming on all components including the patent number bridge baseplate, "F" tuners, and original "ashtray" bridge cover which has one small ding. The purple pearloid pickguard has great dimension and sits very flat. Interestingly enough, there was no set mounting hole pattern for these purple guards, and of the few examples which have surfaced, the screw mounting location varies widely. There is a very small route on the forward edge of the guard to allow a hair more access to the truss rod nut at the neck heel.

The Kelly Green gloss finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, and the factory "paint stick" markings are present in the neck pocket. Cosmetic wear is limited to some minor finish chips on the body parameter, and a sliver of wear through the green where the forearm crosses the top. There is very faint buckle rash central to the back and at the bass-side waist (not through the finish), with some additional scuffs and minor dings on the back consistent with light, honest use. The original gloss finish on the profile is clean and smooth, with a couple small nicks on the bass-side shoulder from frets 6-7.

An era-correct black tolex hardshell case with Fender "tail" logo on the exterior is included.