Telecaster Guitars

1964 Fender Telecaster (Maple Cap)

Color: Blonde, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00472)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

Possibly the Earliest Original Pre CBS "Maple Cap" Telecaster!

This 12 3/4-inch Telecaster weighs 8.00 lbs. and has a huge nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. Solid ash body, maple neck, and maple-cap fretboard with 21 frets and black dot position markers. Original "spaghetti" logo in silver outlined in black, with "Telecaster" in black, and "DES. 164,227 PAT. 2,573,254, 2,784,631" beneath. Single butterfly string tree. Individual Kluson deluxe "single-line" tuners with oval metal buttons. The neck is stamped "3 DEC 64 B". Four-bolt neckplate with serial number ("L61960") between the top two screws. One plain metal-cover 'black-bottom' pickup at neck with an output of 7.06k (dated underneath in yellow chalk "LM 4-3-65" and one black 'grey-bottom' six-polepiece pickup angled in bridgeplate with an output of 5.90k (dated underneath in black ink "LM 2-2-65". The bridge pickup cavity is marked "# 1" in red ink. Single-layer white plastic pickguard. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way selector switch with "top-hat" tip, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. The potentiometers are stamped "304 6450" (Stackpole December 1964). Chrome knobs with flat tops and knurled sides. Fender combined tailpiece and bridge. Apart from some insignificant surface marks on the back and a few small chips on the edges of the body this forty-one year old 'rare bird' is in as fine condition as one could ever wish for… there is a small amount of fretboard wear, as always, but actual fret wear is limited to the first three frets. An exceptional example of this very rare "Maple Cap" Telecaster, with the rich grain of the ash body showing beautifully through the blond finish. Housed in its original Fender black hardshell case with reddish orange plush lining (8.75).

Last year we sold two of the earliest maple-cap guitars known… a '65 Sunburst Stratocaster serial # L46968 (with the neck stamped "2 JUN 65 B" and the pots stamped August '65) and a '65 Sunburst Precision Bass serial # L91146 (with the neck stamped "5 JUN 65 C" and the pots stamped August '65) They both came from the same collection and in fact there was a Sunburst maple-cap Telecaster with them (serial # 196494) but that was a '66 guitar with the usual 'transition' logo on the headstock.

Back to what we have here… the neck and potentiometers date this guitar from December 1964… although the bridge and neck pickups are dated February and March '65, this is still a full six months before both the Stratocaster and the Precision Bass (which had pots dated August '65) and is the ONLY maple-cap telecaster that we have ever seen or heard of with an original "spaghetti" logo headstock decal.

"In January 1967 a maple fingerboard officially became optional on most Fender electrics, but Telecaster guitars with a maple-capped neck were actually available well before 1967, either on a replacement or a custom order basis. The 2-piece maple neck from the 60s is easily distinguished from the original one-piece neck by both the lack of walnut plug above the nut and contrasting stripe (a.k.a. "skunk stripe") on the back." (Andre Duchossoir, The Fender Telecaster, p.50).

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