Up for sale, a 1961 Fender Telecaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. One of sparingly few original left-handed Pre-CBS ash-bodied Telecasters produced, this genuine vintage example is a stunning instrument, extremely original aside from a body-only nitro lacquer blonde finish and a professional refret. The guitar is also featherweight at 6lbs 15oz.
A guitar sure to satisfy serious collectors with all of the original date stamps and codes intact spanning late 1960 and early '61, this Tele features a solid ash body, thick slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and maple neck, delivering exquisite twang with both articulate note attack and plenty of complex midrange content. The bridge pickup is snappy and crystalline, yet never overly harsh, with the top-end tempered by the warmth of the rosewood fretboard. With both pickups engaged, the sound is cutting and clear and ideal for rhythm work, and the neck pickup has a rich, authoritative sound, bell-like in its treble response, yet with a smooth and broad signal perfect for sweet, singing leads. We've had this Tele freshly restrung with 11-50 strings and dialed in for optimal playability and intonation here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar.
The maple neck retains its original ambered gloss nitro lacquer finish, the majority of which has been worn down to the smooth bare maple from decades of contact with the palm. While the profile shape is a slender C at the nut, the neck gains tons of shoulder and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .815" deep at the 1st fret and .985" at the 12th. The slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely tight-grained and dark cut, retaining its original 7 1/4" radius and refretted with medium jumbo fretwire. The frets show light wear on the crowns beneath the plain strings 1-7, with tons of meat and overall height. The nut is a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1 5/8" in width. On the headstock, the original Telecaster decal is intact along with the stock set of Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines which still function as intended.
The neck heel features the original 1-61 grease pencil date, matching closely with the 10/60 date present in the bridge pickup cavity. The pots date to the 36th week of '60, while the date lightly written on the neck pickup's black fiber bobbin is 9-4-60. All of the electronics are original, with the pair of black bobbin pickups wired to the stock harness with the stock switch and pots. The neck pickup has just been professionally rewound to original spec, with the original windings carefully weighed and correct gauge wire and potting used, resulting in a pickup reading 6.75k ohms, closely matching the original windings on the bridge pickup at 6.89k ohms. All of the original hardware is present including the distinctive Pat. Pending bridge plate which is folded and shaped differently from its right-handed compatriot, as Fender didn't make a different tooling dye for left-handed examples and simply made do with a more utilitarian shape. Other stock hardware includes the neck plate, knurled metal knobs, control plate, and switch tip. The original white single-ply guard is also present, with one repair adjacent to where the control plate meets the guard.
The body-only nitro lacquer blonde refinish was flawlessly executed by Riggio Custom Guitars with the perfect tint and a light, tasteful relic treatment to match the degree of aging on the original neck profile finish. The neck pickup cavity was at one time enlarged, and a small piece of ash was clearly fitted and re-routed to restore the factory route shape. The lacquer is also slightly more opaque in this area, yet the ash used was a very close match. The grain of the ash can subtly be seen through the blonde finish, and Riggio's relic treatment includes horizontal checking and some small strategic nicks on the slab body edges.
A modern hardshell case is included.
A note on shipping: Shipping in the continental USA will be $225, fully insured and shipped via FedEx Two Day. Overnight shipping available for an additional fee at buyer's request. We will happily ship WORLDWIDE, but please contact us for an accurate international shipping quote before bidding or buying, as cost varies by buyer location.