Fender’s Telecaster Deluxe debuted in January 1973 and was in production until 1981. Along with the Custom Telecaster, the Tele Deluxe was part of the company’s concerted attack on Gibson’s seemingly unassailable humbucker market, its power-packed pickups designed by the legendary Seth Lover. Many Fender players quickly became humbucker converts with the appearance of the Custom and Deluxe models.
The Tele Deluxe certainly had a degree of familiarity for Gibson players – right down to the familiar Les Paul-style selector switch on the upper bass-side horn and separate tone and volume controls for each pickup – but was differentiated from the Kalamazoo product by its Poplar body, bolt-on one-piece Maple neck and Strat-style headstock shape.
Our Deluxe here is one of the very last of the F-series Telecasters. Its serial number 71xxxx dates it to the last quarter of 1976. The 700,000 numbers ran only from September to December of 1976, after which the new S-prefix numbers came in. The original CTS pots are dated 1975, but we cannot see the week number.
In quite amazing shape for a 40+ year old guitar, this Deluxe appears to be in very original condition. Wiring and controls are undisturbed, neck joint is solid & tight, closed back Fender tuners are accurate, bridge is clean and fully adjustable, truss rod works perfectly.
There is negligible fret wear, no fingerboard divots or wear and the back of the neck is unmarked. There is some extremely marginal wear along the edge of the board in a couple of spots, the back of the body exhibits only light player wear and there are a couple of minor edge dings here and there.
The natural lacquer is crazing in a nice and character-full way. The horizontal lines on top and back are not scratches – they are actually natural cracks in the original lacquer.
The Seth Lover humbuckers pack a hefty wallop, with neck pickup resistance of 10.7k ohms and 11.3 for the bridge, making this a guitar you can do some serious rocking with. Or roll the volume off a little and let it take you to lots of other tasteful, toneful destinations.
Apart from a little setup to suit a new owner, this nice 1976 Telecaster Deluxe needs no work whatsoever and is ready to rock on for another 40 years.
Comes in its original Fender hard shell case with metal badge, in good condition.