During the 1970s Fender pioneered a number of revolutionary and adventurous designs, based on their already successful Strat and Tele models, with varying levels of commercial success. The Telecaster Custom was one such design. Based around the hugely successful Telecaster platform, the Custom formalised what many enthusiasts had already done to their Telecasters, it substituted the traditional single coil neck pickup with a humbucker, leaving the single coil bridge pickup unchanged.
But this wasn’t just any old humbucker, it was the Wide Range Humbucker designed by pickup guru Seth Lover, who had made his name pioneering the humbucker concept when working for Gibson.
The sound produced by the Telecaster Custom is the best of all worlds. The neck pickup alone provides a sweet, mellow, strong, broad tone, similar to, but not quite the same as, the sound produced by a Les Paul neck pickup.
The bridge pickup is pure Telecaster, bright and jangly, with that characteristic bite expected of the original Fender slab guitar. The options for blending the two sounds are endless, allowing the Telecaster Custom to support a unique and engaging range of playing styles.
And this Custom is a bit special because it sports a lovely dark Indian Rosewood fingerboard. It is thought that less than 10% of all Tele Customs built between 1972 and 1981 featured a rosewood board, so this one is quite rare.
The maple neck has a slender C shaped profile with moderate shoulders and limited increase in profile depth as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .871” deep at the 1st fret and .937” at the 12th. The dark rosewood fingerboard retains the original medium jumbo fretwire which shows very little wear.
The guitar plays well in all positions with no buzzing or dead spots, and the original nut is intact, measuring 1 5/8". The headstock sports the original Fender "F" tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The original logo is intact and flawless, and the neck pocket is nice and snug, especially for a three-bolt Fender neck. This is a very solid, well constructed instrument.
Weight is a comfortable 8.2 lbs
The neck pickup reads 10.4 k ohms, and the bridge pickup reads 6.1 k ohms.
All of the original hardware is intact, including the Fender stamped chrome six saddle bridge, which was introduced on this model in the mid 70s. Also present are the black "witch hat" knobs, and of course the very cool Tele Custom three-ply black pickguard.
The current owner had the original 1 meg pots on the bridge pickup replaced with the more conventional 250k pots found on regular Telecasters, which provide a less brittle tonal response. The original pots are in the case.
The only other non original parts we can see are 6 newer saddle screws.
There is some player wear appropriate to a 43 year old instrument including some pick wear & light scratches to the top and some good old buckle rash, including through the finish on the back. Some light cracking of the lacquer in places but very hard to see.
This guitar has been used at the highest professional level, including on some of the biggest stages in the world, and some significant Aussie recordings.
It has been set up well, and professionally maintained. It is a fine example of a classic 70s Tele Custom with the killer combination of humbucker and single coil pickups that made this model the favourite of Keith Richards and many other significant players in the history of rock.
Comes in its original Fender hard shell case with logo in good condition.