52 reissue telecaster dating
Numerous spin-off models of the Tele were created, though, some of which had the infamous three-bolt neck attachment.
Meanwhile, guitarists who read interviews with their favorite musicians observed that in the vast majority of cases, their primary stage and recording instruments weren’t the latest and greatest designs, but vintage instruments of the 1950s through the early ’60s.
Smith, Schultz, and Balmer consulted with some of the key employees of the pre-CBS Fender era, including designer Freddie Tavares, pickup winder Gail Paz, and final assembly inspector Gloria Fuentes, each of whom had over 20 years experience at Fender.
And John Page was also brought in; he would later lead Fender’s renowned Custom Shop.
By the mid ’70s, the Japanese responded to the vacuum by producing a series of increasingly accurate copies of vintage instruments.
Tokai, in particular, produced extremely handsome clones.
And Yamaha designed its hybrid of the Gibson SG and Les Paul, dubbed the SG-2000.
Carlos Santana was regularly seen playing his Yamaha in concert and at high-profile gigs such as his 1978 appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” But American manufacturers were slow to respond.
It began in 1981, when two of Fender’s executives – president Bill Schultz and V. Roger Balmer – decided that they’d had enough of hearing of the glory days of the pre-CBS era.
In the late 1970s, Gibson geared up to produce its Heritage 80 line of reissue Les Pauls (VG, February ’04).
While far from perfect copies of the great sunburst Pauls of the late 1950s, they at least replaced the then-standard three-piece tops of the newer Les Pauls with two-piece tops, with often stunning looking curly or flamed maple.
The initial goal wasn’t so much to make an obvious reissue line, but to make Strats and Teles that were closer to their original specs.
“One of the first changes Dan Smith made was to revise the overall specs of the Strat,” said Tony Bacon, the author of 50 Years of Fender (Backbeat Books).
By the late 1970s, cumulative changes in the details of the various classic guitar models on the market – Fender’s Stratocaster and Telecaster, and Gibson’s Les Paul – were so numerous that the instruments barely resembled their original versions.