Telecaster (Maple Cap) Guitars

1966 Fender Telecaster (Maple Cap)

Color: Candy Apple red, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 02136)
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An Exceptionally Fine 1966 Custom-Color Maple-Cap Telecaster


1966 Fender Telecaster (Maple Cap)


This fifty-three year old 12 3/4-inch-wide "custom-color" Telecaster weighs just 7.70 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. Solid alder body, one-piece maple neck with a medium to thick profile, and maple-cap fretboard with 21 frets and black dot position markers. Headstock with "Fender" logo in gold with black trim, "Telecaster" in black beneath it, and two patent numbers beneath "Fender." Single "butterfly" string tree. Individual dual-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons and "D-169400 / Patent No" stamped on the underside. The end of the neck is stamped "3 MAY 66B." Four-bolt Fender "F" neck plate with serial number "159251" stamped between the top two screws. One plain metal-cover pickup (at neck) with an output of 6.54k and one gray six-polepiece pickup with staggered polepieces (angled in bridgeplate) with an output of 7.02k. The potentiometers are stamped "137 6612" (CTS March 1966). Three-layer (white/black/white) plastic pickguard with eight screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. Chrome knobs with flat tops and knurled sides and black plastic 'Top-Hat' switch tip. Fender combined bridge/tailpiece with three 'threaded' saddles. Complete with the original chrome "ashtray" bridge cover. This guitar is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. There is a minuscule amount of belt buckle wear on the back, a couple of tiny little marks on the edge and on the body of the guitar (the most significant mark on the edge to the left of the jack plate -- a little gouge about 1/4 x 1/8 inch), and a small amount of natural edgewear (from the player's sleeve). There are a few other marks which are inconsequential. There is virtually no wear to the maple-cap fretboard and there is just a small amount of wear to the original frets which is mainly confined to the first ten frets. There are two letters "ES" stamped into the body just by the neck pickup (only visible when the pickguard is removed) which signify that this guitar was "Enter Special" as with many other 1966 Fender guitars. This is an exceptional example of a very rare custom-color "Maple-Cap" Telecaster -- and the first that we have ever handled. Housed in its original Fender black hardshell case with reddish orange plush lining (9.25).

1966 and the "ES" Stamp. "The two-letter "ES" paint code means "Entered Special" for a special order or a show guitar. This does not indicate a factory refinish job, but was instead used by the factory to tell the finish booth to paint this body special order. Stamped number codes and letter codes mean different things… In 1966, Fender used the "ES" code a lot on their custom color instruments. At least for 1966, the ES code was used as some sort of default for custom colored instruments (be it Teles, or Strats or Jazz Basses). This two letters ("ES" for "Enter Special") seems to denote a special order, at least for 1966. Again this is has been seen lots of times on 1966 documented original custom color instruments." (

"From 1950 up to mid-1959, Telecaster guitars were exclusively fitted with a fretted one-piece maple neck…without a separate fingerboard. By mid-1959, the original Maple Neck was replaced by a rosewood-capped neck… 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" (A.R. Duchossoir, The Fender Telecaster, p. 50).

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